I require requests to be emailed. If I have a conversation with someone about a new request, it ends with “be sure to send an email”. I’ll even carefully explain the important points they need to include in the email, particularly if the request won’t end up on my desk.
Actually, all requests are supposed to go through our helpdesk, so it’s “be sure to send an email request to the helpdesk”, but if they send it to me instead, I’ll manage.
That goes for requests for anyone in our department. Yes, we frequently get stopped in the hallway for a request that the user knows is for someone else and knows the person they’re asking couldn’t possibly know about, but hey - shouldn’t be any problem to be their errandboy, right?
If someone doesn’t send the email, then their stuff doesn’t get done.
One, my memory is not what it used to be. (I think mine is mostly stress, but perhaps it’s age and I’m just lying to myself. ;)) I really, truly will forget what you told me, quite frequently. The details if not the entire conversation. Of course, frequently when I get stopped for a “can you just…” conversation, I’m in the middle of something or on the way to/from something that is occupying most of my brainpower - that “request in passing” just doesn’t lodge.
Two, people are often not very clear about what they want in “hallway meetings”. When I used to work from verbal requests, I ended up doing a lot of it over because the requester gave me bad info and/or I misunderstood them. Making them sit down and think about their request to put it in writing (at their desk, where they can look up info as needed) usually results in a much smoother process.
Three, I have documentation of what was requested. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I’ve needed that.
We do actually have this as policy, so I have backup on it as needed. However, I did it before it was policy. If the request is important to you, then you can take the two minutes to email me about it instead of expecting me to remember minute details of fourteen conversations a day with twenty different people.
Lobsang - yuppers, we send all query results out with a copy of the query. Our situation is a little different, though. It’s because we get requests of “I need you to rerun that query you ran for me last (week, month, Spring, year, decade, etc.) except different.” Yeah, guys, we remember exactly what that was. We only run queries for 1000 users, you know. :rolleyes: