Dear pretty much everyone,
If you try to contact me on (insert IM service of your choice here) and do not receive an immediate response, DO NOT FUCKING KEEP PINGING ME.
My status indicator does not read my mind and I typically do not bother to set it. The fact that I am set "Available" should therefore not be taken as gospel truth, either of my presence or of my availability to talk. I might have left the house. I might be in the shower. I might be fixing a meal, or eating one. I might be having hot monkey sex on the bathroom counter. I might have fallen asleep and left the laptop on.
I might be in the middle of a code binge, and if so, that has doubly unpleasant meaning for you: if I take the time to reply, it knocks me out of my groove, and if you keep pestering me, it knocks me out of my groove, so either way I want nothing more than to blow your head off with my 12-gauge. Your petulant whines of "but you weren't saying anything!" don't matter. If I do not answer after one contact attempt, assume I am not there.
Maybe I'm simply not there. Maybe I'm there, but I just don't feel like talking. Or, horror of horrors, maybe I'm there but I just don't feel like talking to you
. Moods change; I am generally pretty antisocial, but as long as you don't continually give me reason to be antisocial in your direction, I'll feel chatty at some point.
Again: if I don't answer after one try, assume I'm not there. For all intents and purposes, it will be true.
A proto-FAQ, for questions I expect may come up:But what if there's something I really, really need to tell you ASAP?
Email me. The address connected to this livejournal is checked frequently -- more often than I check my cellphone's voicemail -- and you can flag it "return receipt requested" so that my ISP will let you know I've read it. If "tell you" is "get your opinion on" or "have you solve for me", well, that might take longer.
I am also not particularly bothered by one-line pieces of information (useful
information -- articles you think I'd find interesting fall into this category) which do not demand an immediate reply; see But, Meredith, why do you stay connected while you're working if you hate being bothered so much?
for more.But I'm lonely!
Then go out and do something with your friends. Find a new hobby, or new people who enjoy a hobby you already have. Paint your walls. Paint somebody else's walls. Volunteer for a homeless shelter, a nursing home, a hospital, or your local parks department. If all else fails, go to the animal shelter and adopt a dog. But Meredith, why do you stay connected while you're working if you hate being bothered so much?
Because I am a deeply antisocial person with a family and a social life. IM is one of the fastest ways for my sister to get in touch with me if one of my parents is in the hospital, or for a friend to say "hey, a bunch of us are going to the movies later, give me a call before 7 if you want to meet up".
IM is also a great source of work assistance for me. I'm deeply grateful that I can reach out to allonymist
et al when I need someone else's perspective on a code problem, and I happily return the favour when it's within my means to do so -- and by the same token, I leave them the hell alone when they say "can't think about that right now, too busy"
That, and sometimes I just want the person-who-works-at-home version of a water-cooler break. But that happens on my schedule, not yours.How long should I wait to ping you again, if I've tried once and you haven't answered?
Wait about an hour and try again. If I don't answer, all the above continue to apply. Note that passive-aggressive remarks, of the "why arent u there?" or "*sigh*" variety, will decrease my likelihood of responding.But you never want to talk to me.
Then you've probably annoyed me with your constant pestering and should leave me alone for at least a couple of days. Note that if you can see me online at all, it means I haven't blocked you and am still up for talking with you at some point, but on my schedule, not yours. See But I'm lonely!
, and get a dog.