Ever send an email, leave a voice mail message or actually hand-write a note to a friend, acquaintance or associate only to have them contact you with questions that are clearly answered in the original note?
It can be annoying, especially when it happens frequently with multiple people.
Know what's more annoying than that? Having someone get agitated with you (I'm being really nice with that description) because THEY failed to read multiple email notifications and an event description that described the participation criteria and requirements, and drove an hour to attend an event for which they were not registered
. Yep, that happened. A couple times.
Makes me wonder if those business owners actually read the teaming agreements or subcontract agreements they enter into. Better yet, do they (or someone in their company) read the full SOW or RFP before a bid is submitted?
Not only is it annoying having to repeat information due to someone else not having all of the information because they were too lazy or simply did not care enough to read the entire message, it's a timesuck for the person having to deal with it. How much time do you lose having to repeat yourself unnecessarily?
These are minor examples, but in one of my previous blogs I talked about this in the context of a government contracting officer being annoyed and frustrated because respondents did not read the complete information in a pre-solicitation document and peppered him with lot's of questions very specifically covered in the pre-solicitation document and provided responses that clearly indicated they did not read (or understand) the information in the document.
Another way to make a lasting impression on someone you are trying to garner a relationship with in order to win business from them and their organization.
So RTFM is not just about email and voice mail messages, it's about agreements and solicitations, etc. It's having enough respect for yourself to not put you (or your company) in the position of making uninformed comments or asking unnecessary questions. It's also respect for others by relieving them of the aggravation and wasted time regurgitating information included in the original message.