January 16, 2014
Why it takes so long for a company to reply to you
I've worked for big companies, and I've interviewed at big companies. From the inside, "corporate time" seems to fly by. There just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done! Work piles up, and it seems like you never get a chance to catch your breath. One more thing turns into ten more things, and the day is over. So things have to wait until tomorrow, or next week, or next month. Believe me, inside of a big company, things are moving as fast as humanly possible.
Outside of a big company, as you wait for someone to reply to you, time seems to slow down. From the point of view of being on the outside, it seems like you are being ignored. You are just being set aside until later. Whoever needs to reply to you probably has to reply to twelve other things that are much more urgent. So, there is nothing to do but wait.
But the good news is that you will get a reply. It may be "sorry, no", but it will happen. A courteous big company person will say "sorry it took so long to get back to you", but chances are they won't say anything like that. They are getting back to you as quickly as possible. It's almost as if big companies were on a different type of time, that moves differently from the rest of the world.
Dealing with big companies is like fishing. It takes more than patience, it takes doing a lot of fishing. Keep a lot of lines in the water. Keep track of it yourself. Find something else to look at instead of checking the line every few minutes. Email has been wonderful for this kind of stuff. Weeks after I'd forgotten anything about the person who was supposed to get back to me, I can go back and read the email and cheerfully greet them by name. To them, it was right away. To me, I just have to act like it was. And I can!
Posted by Brad Hall