Thank you for not feeling entitled

February 04, 2007

A few days ago I received an e-mail from someone I've never met requesting technical assistance from me. Now, this isn't in and of itself odd as I seem to get similar e-mails hourly, but what was odd, and welcomed, was how this person framed the question/problem:

Hi Justin,

I'm sure that people bug you about this all the time so I am hoping that you are either a patient man, or that you have a reply to this query prepared that you just paste and send…

[...]

I hope that you don't mind this (by now, rather desperate) plea for help.

[...]

Because of these simple, appreciative sentences I'm almost compelled to move this person to the front of the reply queue. It's a shame that something like this is cause for such highlighting, but if you saw some of the e-mails I've received I think you'd agree that this sort of acknowledgment and understanding is rare.

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