This is something that raises my hackles daily. Just don't do it!

@mike wait... is this an entire blog dedicated to just that one post?

@mike In meetings at a company I was at I would explain a certain pet-peeve or bad habit they had as businesspeople in an world where head businessfolk are increasingly coming from tech companies, regardless of field.

This was a nearly weekly mention. That and "don't tag me if you're just mentioning my name in passing, like saying you talked to me about something last week. Tag me if you need to get my attention."

@mike Alternatively, in nerd circles where not saying hello is the norm, it's impactful when someone says "hey aare you around?" because it's like "oh damn you need a friend?"

@mike There should be a dedicated training at every workplace for this!

@mike Right up there with "Can I ask a question?"

@mike Haha. What kind of website is this?
Stating the obvious?

@fatboy You'd THINK it would be obvious, right? I don't know how many IMs a day I get that's just, "Hi."

@mike Haha. It IS obvious.
Who sends a message saying "Hi" and nothing else?! Haha

@fatboy Way too many people. Enough that someone created a blog with a single post that they've kept up for 6 years just to tell people not to do that.

@mike Since we're on this topic of communication, what do you think of the status quo of email etiquette?
I frequently receive blank emails with a sentence in the subject line. Makes me vivid!

@fatboy That sounds like something that should never, ever happen. Thankfully I can say that's something I've never had sent to me. I'd be more than a little irritated.

@fatboy @mike Set up a mail rule to automatically delete if body == ''. Seriously.

Nearly every single person I know does this...

@mike I do this. For us its like a notification when they are away and when they come back, they revert a hi. The we can proceed with a call and get things sorted out. I don't understand what is wrong in doing so?

@pranav In this context, the "Hi" or "Hello" grabs the attention of the person receiving the message, interrupting what was already in progress but with no further information or context provided. It's much better to include the greeting along with additional information or a request, like "Hi Pranav, I need you to do this thing for me." That does steal your attention from what you're currently working on so you can watch the "Mike Stone is currently typing..." sitting on your screen.

@mike I have a rule - if you ping me on IM and just say “Hi” you’re not getting a reply. Ask the bloody question!

@kev Brilliant! That's *exactly* what I scream (in my mind) when someone just type "hello"!!!

Best situation is close to the end of the working day and I'm away from my desk, I come back after some time (it can be one hour or so), I see "hello", I write "hello" and then I go home. :)

I think I'll put as my status.

Thanks for sharing! :)

@gianf @mike I’ve had people ping me saying “hey” first thing in the morning. I haven’t replied (obviously) and they still haven’t asked the question by the time I leave for the day.


@gianf @mike

That's because they think you don't want to or cannot talk to them. A "Hi" as a reply shows people that you are available and it is convenient to chat right now.

That's because messaging is regarded more synchronous compared to email. Sometimes, people want a reply right now, otherwise they would send an email. So if you don't reply to Hi, they think that they won't get a reply in the near future and want to ask someone else or you via email.

@Winterstar I usually don’t have time. However, I will usually set my status within Skype appropriately, so if I really can’t be disturbed, I’ll put my status to DND. If I’m available on Skype, then I’m available for a discussion. I just don’t like small talk, never have.

@gianf @mike

Yup, same here. I usually don't reply.

But then I have *that thought* all the time. AHAH!!

Until sometimes I "explode" and reply with "Hi, did you just want to say hi or is there something you wanted to ask? In the latter case, please do NOT wait for a reply and ask".

As Kev, my status is always updated so if it's "Available" means I'm available. :)

Messaging is *mainly* sync, but there is no need of handshake (hi).


(to be continued)

@kev @Winterstar @mike

Plus, if you write hi and wait for hours it demonstrates it's not urgent, to me.

Sometimes when I reply "hi" I get nothing back for long time (many minutes)!!!
What am I supposed to do? Looking at the screen the whole time waiting for the *** question? :D

Emails, specially when well written, clear, precise are so, so, so underrated! One of such mails is worth 100 meetings/phone calls, chats.

(to be continued)

@gianf I work for a global company, mostly the US and Singapore. However, I find only a handful of people do it. Mostly in the UK/US to be honest. Most of the Asians just go ahead and ask, which I love.

My mantra is always, if it’s important, pick up the phone.

@Winterstar @mike

Funny. My experience is the opposite. Mostly, Asians do this.
But fortunately these cases are few.

@Winterstar @mike

@kev @Winterstar @mike

Question: do you see this behaviour more often (or exclusively) from colleagues of a different culture than yours?

In my case (multinational company, working with people located in almost all time zones and coming from different cultures) it seems it is.

I love to work with so many different people, it's so enriching!

I'd be sad working in a more etherogeneous environment (eg: all from same country or all white/black, etc. or all/main men/women, etc.).

to be cont'd

@kev @Winterstar @mike
Of course there are drawbacks, too, but in the end I'd not go back. :)

Whew! That was long! :D

Have a nice Sunday! :)

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Fosstodon is a Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.