This is a bit of a rant and has nothing to do with Information Security so if you want to move on I’ll understand.
I’ve noticed lately that professional courtesy has taken a nose dive. Some examples from both work and outside of work.
At work I deal with colleagues from all over the world. Different time zones, different business units, different teams within IS, and different levels within the company (peers, Middle Management, Upper Management, etc). I’ve noticed that lots and lots of my queries go unresponded to. I’ll send an email to someone in another company requesting information about an application, issue, or whatever and “crickets”. So I’ll send a follow-up. More crickets. At first I attributed it to the fact that they didn’t know who I was or my role. But once I escalated it I’d get a response. I also attributed some of it to the cultural differences in regards to roles. I’d request something from someone who may be a level or two above me and in their culture I was stepping out of bounds. Fine, but please let me know that I should follow the “chain of command” and who I need to communicate with. Don’t just ignore me.
This has continued and as of late it has become an issue with people here in the US as well. I’d reach out to someone for information and nothing. I’d follow-up and nothing. Even other IS staff that support different LOBs are jumping on the ignoring band wagon. People who are supposed to be on my team from a IS perspective have decided that they don’t need to respond to request for information, joining calls, providing input or resources when requested. Why? I do bathe daily and brush my teeth. I even use deodorant and most of these people aren’t even in the same office as I am. I’m very careful to respond to those who reach out to me and I’m careful to be professional, courteous, nice, helpful, etc…. so what is going on? I’ve also noticed that when I pass people in the hallway they don’t speak. This has been going on around here since before I got here but it bothers me. I’d say hi and they would keep walking w/o a word or maybe they would mumble something in response. If I don’t say anything then they surely don’t. It just seems to me that if you pass someone that you work with it would be polite to at least pretend to be friendly. I’m not asking you to stop and have a conversation or buy me lunch. Just smile and say Hi.
Outside of the office I’ve been involved with InfoSec groups for a few years. I was one of the leaders of the Atlanta NAISG chapter and when I moved to Cincinnati I got involved with OWASP and took over as the chapter lead in late 2011. Last year we had a great year in terms of getting quality speakers to come in to town and speak to us. I was very disappointed in the attendance but understand that people have priorities that don’t always allow them to participate in things that they may want to do. So we reached out to the membership with requests for what do you like, don’t like, what can we do differently, can you speak, who do you know that can speak, etc… For the most part we received little to no response and this didn’t surprise me in the least b/c I know that this type of request has a very low response rate. As we wrapped up last year and started to prepare for this year things got very busy at work and home so we kept putting off planning. We decided to not meet in January and plan for February. Then we delayed it to March, April, etc…. To date we have not met yet in 2013.
I decided a couple of weeks ago that we are going to have a June meeting regardless of how busy things are. So I started reaching out to various companies to see if they had interest in joining the meetings and to find out if they had anyone who may be interested in speaking to the group. As I said last year we brought in 8 out of town speakers and only had 2 that were local. I really want to get more local speakers and thought some of the local companies and consulting firms may have people that can speak. “Crickets”, Again I’m getting no response. Not even a “Thanks but no thanks”, “Let me check and get back with you”, nothing.
So what is wrong? Why have people allowed themselves to become rude? Am I being too sensitive to this? I’d be curious as to what the rest of you are seeing.