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For work, I communicate mainly through...

Displaying poll results.
  9264 votes / 37%
Text chat program
  2013 votes / 8%
Voice chat (Phone/VoIP)
  773 votes / 3%
Video chat
72 votes / 0%
Face-to-face (Talking/Yelling)
  5917 votes / 23%
62 votes / 0%
An even mix of some or all of these
  3860 votes / 15%
Sighs and glares
  2931 votes / 11%
24892 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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For work, I communicate mainly through...

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13, 2012 @09:23AM (#40638051)

    Penn State reference worth mod points?

  • I'd LIKE it to be all email, but unfortunately, my co-workers prefer to drop in, or worse - call me on the phone.

  • by TWX (665546) on Friday July 13, 2012 @10:19AM (#40638637)
    Pretty much. Around these parts a lot of upper-level-peoples' pet projects don't happen because they refuse to provide written instructions as to what they want done. Couple that with official, published policy, lower level people won't perform these instructions without documented proof that they were formally instructed to do so. This would work to absolve them of culpability of violating policy when it can be shown who wanted them to do something that violated policy.
  • Depends (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday July 13, 2012 @10:27AM (#40638717)
    It depends, generally IT work is so routine that unless something goes wrong, there's not a whole lot to do unless we're upgrading something, and since I work in a small-ish office, most communication is done via face to face. I'd much rather have someone come get me so I can fix a problem than someone to e-mail it to me and me not get to it until later and have the employee get mad at me for not coming immediately because they can't do their work with a broken system. E-mail is useful for large-scale announcements (its X's birthday! Remember, staff meeting Tuesday) but I much rather have face to face conversation when it comes to figuring out problems.
  • Video Chat (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Antipater (2053064) on Friday July 13, 2012 @12:05PM (#40639715)

    It's not often I represent one of the tiny minorities on these polls, but video chat is really the only option for long-distance engineering.

    HQ is across the Atlantic, and discussing technical details over the phone is hard enough without having to explain verbally what part of the drawing I'm pointing at. Email works, but it's slow. So we hooked up the document camera to a video chat and couldn't be happier. Except for time zones, screw them.

  • by erice (13380) on Friday July 13, 2012 @12:44PM (#40640111) Homepage

    I had a superior (exact chain of command never clear) a little while back that absolutely refused to write anything down. If there was a need for exact detailed instructions it was always "come over to my cube and we'll have a chat". If I asked specific questions in email, she would always reply back with "come over to my cube and we'll chat". Drove me ..bat.. ..shit.. CRAZY!

    When speaking in generalities without a sharply defined agenda in person chats are fine. In fact, that's probably the best way to do it. But when detail is required, it is vitally important to get it in writing.

    The company had other dysfunctions too. That's why I don't work there anymore.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13, 2012 @01:53PM (#40640865)

    Best way to deal with this is take notes, go back to your desk, and before you start write an email stating exactly what you are going to do, what you are going to deliver, and how you will judge correctness/completeness of task.

    Then email it to her.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13, 2012 @04:14PM (#40642805)

    I'm a consultant. What I do is ALWAYS do meeting summaries. This has saved my bacon so often, I call the template "bacon brine" (it's so good at preserving bacon). By default it always says:

    "If any of the below is incorrect or if something is missing, please let me know and I will update the meeting summary"

    1) it says a meeting happened
    2) It lets me control the narrative

    the 2nd reason is actually the most important. by default everything I say is 100% correct. It's like a casino, the odds are always slightly in my favour. People have to work to get their points in.
    If I leave things out by accident (it's never an accident), then things get forgotten.
    If I need things remembered, it's right there in writing.
    You didn't respond/read the email? Your fault.
    If things (I) needed to magically reappear, poof it's there.

    That's the power of narrative, it's not just the conquers that write the history books you know.

    If you think I'm being dishonest, you should have stopped reading the moment I said "I'm a consultant".

  • Email. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by screwzloos (1942336) on Friday July 13, 2012 @04:20PM (#40642887)
    Email, email, email. Where I work, if a request comes in that wasn't emailed both to the intended recipient *and* the group/management he works for, it's not taken seriously and is put on the pile of "maybe someday" projects. No matter the urgency - in person, over the phone, smoke signal, and crop circle requests are all told to stop and do it through email or it simply won't happen.

    Great part is, that's totally accepted business policy here, since we need to be able to frequently shift work around and without thorough written documentation of the request, that's simply not feasible. I'm glad the management here stands behind that, too. Surprisingly little falls through the cracks, since everyone has an up-to-the-moment record of what everyone else should be working on.
  • Re:Depends (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arth1 (260657) on Friday July 13, 2012 @11:38PM (#40646071) Homepage Journal

    E-mail is useful for large-scale announcements (its X's birthday! Remember, staff meeting Tuesday) but I much rather have face to face conversation when it comes to figuring out problems.

    I disagree Especially for troubleshooting, it's important to get things in writing, so people know who does what exactly, don't chase red herrings, and have an audit trail of what's been done and thought of, as well as the resolution. This will come in handy years down the road.

    Face to face leads to misunderstandings, and it's impossible to talk people through technical tasks like a quick patch script. Never mind that humans in general don't have eidetic memory, and you end up with dropped work because things were forgotten, as well as animosity when one person remembers differently from another.

    Use a ticketing system that allows capturing e-mail, and otherwise use e-mail. Face-to-face is for management who wants a "feeling" of how things are going, not the low level details that actually solve the problems. Telephone is for customers, and professional phone talkers.

    Even IM is better than facetime and phone calls, but it's still inadequate - you are limited in verbosity as well as just what survives a paste, and even with logging turned on, it's a bitch to have any kind of useful history or audit trail when more than two people are involved in different IMs.

    Also, some people get overly informal in IMs, making their contributions (and I use this term loosely) unsuitable for copy/paste into tickets.

    So my choice is e-mail. Preferably unmangled by Exchange.

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich


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