Thursday, 25 May 2017

Automatic reply

Ping, the email bounces back. 

'Sorry I am currently unavailable. I am out of the office until Thursday 1st June 2019  
If you need assistance before that please ring..........................'

Oh, well that is so not helpful. I might as well put my question in a time capsule to be dug up when they knock down the council offices or when we reach the next millennia. 

I so am not ringing the duty team. I'll try someone else.

I call and the receptionist explains:

'They're not in this office, as you know our workers are all remote now, I'll email them and mark it 'URGENT', is that ok?'

I suppose, do think you could add an exclamation mark to give a little weigh to that? 

What a peculiar world we seem to have found ourselves in. I can't find myself cross with anybody, they're all cogs in the machine, this machine that pops out happy little families, or something like that.  We give ourselves to partnership with services and professionals, I say give but it often feels like there's no element of choice. An essay on power dynamics and gatekeeping has been in my mind for years. 

Anyway, I emailed this week to update a Social Worker on how we were doing and by the time I had a response form them the next day, a wholly reasonable timeframe, we'd moved all moved on somewhat. Uneasy calm was replaced by a very easy uncalm. 

Things move quick around here. We seem to measure our lives in minutes and seconds, we react and respond to each development. We dash to find support, advice, insight or to just even keep professionals informed. I started this post on Tuesday and by the time I get to this paragraph, Thursday,  we're somewhere else, somewhere new. For years I've looked for some sort of sense of coasting along but it seems to have passed us by we are definitely blown by strong winds. 

Professionals move in days and weeks and seem to miss lots of the turbulence, they appear periodically and that's ok. 

So, what's my point? No point just sayin'.


  1. Absolutely. There have been so many times I have sent long emails about serious incidents, then hear nothing back at all. Never mind an automated reply. I suppose I have a record that I have let people know, but when you get no response at all, even an acknowledgement. Sometimes it just heightens that feeling of utter isolation even more. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done, but know that you have even been heard.

    1. I couldn't agree more, the frustration being that if we don't get back to them it's a major issue. I'm a practice educator for SW students and I say that this 'small' stuff is the stuff that makes the biggest difference.

  2. Too bloody true!!! :(
    Recently on FB was a meme 'whose name you put here? If they never pick up you win...' and I was so tempted to put our children's SW personal mobile number there... I would so win :(((