Twitter | Search | |
Tarah M. Wheeler
I've angered three people in the last month because I refused to meet with them. Why? The people requesting those meetings couldn't give me a clear agenda for why they wanted my time. 1/n
Reply Retweet Like More
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
I refused to set a meeting time with one CEO, one admin assistant, and one recruiter because they all "just wanted to get some time on the calendar with me." 2/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
All of these people are valuable humans, and I'm sure I would have enjoyed the conversation, but there is a creeping illness in technology and business where people don't say the *actual* reason they want to meet with you. 3/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
Each of them, by not giving me the reason they wanted to meet with me, was deliberately preventing me from sending them back the 1 or 2 line email with the actual answer to their question. 4/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
Each of those people didn't want me to give them a quick answer to their question (join advisory board, take a job, schedule a meeting at a specific time) because that would have required them to spend thought and time on an email carefully crafting their request. 5/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
They would have spent 20-30 minutes doing the research on whether I was the right person for the thing they wanted, figured out how to approach me, carefully checked their calendar for several alternatives, and written out an email. 6/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
Then, I'd have been able to answer them in 1-2 minutes of reading, answering their clear YES/NO question, and we'd have gone on with our day. Here's the math: they spend 30 minutes crafting a request to me and I spend 2 minutes answering them immediately. 30+2=32 minutes. 7/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
Instead, they request a 30 minute phone call with me because they want to "feel me out" and "pick my brain" on a topic instead of clearly asking what they wanted to ask to begin with. If I go through with it, that's 30 min from them + 30 min from me = 60 minutes. 8/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
Ah, but that's not the only cost, you see. It's not just that I've spent 28 additional minutes of my life. It's that they've got me on the phone so that it's harder for me to say no. Which means that what they're ACTUALLY doing is burdening me with emotional work. 9/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
In practice, because I try to say no to things that don't add value to both my life and others, and because I am the best person to determine whether their request is a beneficial one, this means that if I'm going to turn them down, I now have homework after the call. 10/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
So we've collectively spent 60 minutes so far. Now, however, I have an additional followup email to write that emotionally manages them, thanks them for their time (!!! wtfomg), turns them down gently, and offers unspecified help in future to make up for disappointing them. 11/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
That email isn't just another 15 minutes of my life; it's emotionally difficult and painstaking, and it's emotional energy I now don't have for my husband, parents, friends, and colleagues. Now we're at 45 minutes of my time with unspecified future emotional work I can't do. 12/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
I'm going to guess that you have a similar equation when you accept meetings or coffees or calls that don't have an agenda. It's also why women and underrepresented people in tech have so little time in reality compared to what their calendars say. 13/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
People who ask for meetings instead of clearly stating their requests up front are taking 43+ minutes of my life that they don't have to. That is the length of BtVS: Once More With Feeling. It is the length of ST:TNG Best of Both Worlds, Part 1. 14/n
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
So, no, I won't "just jump on a call Tuesday morning where we can hash it out" anymore. Have a reason why you want to talk, and "Give Me Something To Sing About". Do not be assimilated by this creeping disrespect for people's time. Resist with your last ounce of strength. 15/15
Reply Retweet Like
Jeremiah Grossman Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
I’m largely with you on the thread. Additionally, I extremely prefer to be prepared going in to a meeting. I simply find it polite for everyone attending. Without an agenda or topic, it’s impossible to do. Cal invite denied.
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @jeremiahg
Ah, but if you already know the agenda, e.g. “decide on whether to hire X” and you already know the answer and give it immediately...and then they get mad at you for declining, you know that’s not what the meeting was *really* about.
Reply Retweet Like
Chris Reimer | Boosa Tech Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
Regarding angering these people reaching out to you, we are utterly, hilariously unable to control the feelings of strangers. I just keep telling myself that, and it helps like 20%
Reply Retweet Like
Stephen Crane Dec 14
Replying to @tarah
Seems likely to be the point. It’s harder to say no, more likely to get the yes they want. Not sure how I feel about this, having been on both sides. I’ve had too many people unfairly dismiss something based on preconceptions and misinterpretation.
Reply Retweet Like
Tarah M. Wheeler Dec 14
Replying to @ChrisReimer
There is a serious, peer-reviewed, proven economic cost to women for not being liked in a way that men don't experience, and people trying to leverage "niceness" are taking advantage of that.
Reply Retweet Like