(Today, the contact system for general emails has been changed. I knew I had to do this about a month ago, as the press of the work was just overwhelming me. Thankfully, Steve Baker agreed to take on this project and oversee it. He writes about how the system will work below.
Meantime, the new contact email address is firstname.lastname@example.org – CJ)
By Steve Baker
On September 10 Charlie published the post he called “Changes Coming” here: https://charliej373.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/changes-coming/
In it he said the following: “Shortly, I am going to put a new “Contact” email address up and remove the old one. I will keep the old one and use it for communication with colleagues, priests, pastors and regional coordinators, but will not leave it published or answer general queries from it. I will get a team of people to respond to questions from the new address (I already have someone in mind to lead the team) and alert me to anything that needs personal attention from me.”
Well, I read that and thought, “That poor schlub he’s picked is going to have *his* life overset, fer sher.” Literally 30 seconds later I went to my Mail program and found an email from Charlie saying essentially, “Well, Steve, you’re that guy.” I felt an odd mix of horrified, flattered, and challenged all at the same moment.
Since then I have worked out the basics and asked several people to help me do this. All are commenters on this website. I would like to introduce them to you now.
I knew right away that if I were to focus on keeping our efforts in service to Charlie’s Message and mission while watching over and developing our team, I would need help on the operations side. I am deeply grateful to commenters “Doug” and “Lambsie37” for being willing to take on this set of vital functions. They even happen to be married, so they can cover for each other! They will not be answering emails, but they will work with the others on our team to keep all of us focused on replying to the emails we get. They are both tech-savvy, so I am looking to them to help make our efforts easier, more productive, and enjoyable.
I also knew that I cannot do all the replying work either. We will be handling somewhere around 50 or more emails a day starting today, and we already know Charlie has been overwhelmed while trying to do this by himself. I have asked three commenters to form the core of our “Replier” team to take the lead on answering those emails every day. By spreading the load out over three repliers, we hope nobody will end up too busy. I am delighted that all three of those I asked said they would help. In alphabetical order by screen name, they are Beckita, EllenChris, and Mick.
I am about as certain as I can be that Doug, Jacki, and I will need to ask more commenters to help us out as members of our replier team. However, we decided to keep to three while we figure out how all this will actually work now that we are going live today. Once we’ve worked out some of the kinks, I may contact some of you to see if you would be willing to join us in helping Charlie in this way. I’m trying to keep each person’s work to an hour a day or less, which means that more repliers means less work for each. And of course, we all get a great retirement package when we get to the Rescue in 2017!
Charlie has published contemporaneously with this post a new “Contact” page. We now have several options set out for people to use to find topics, posts and other information on the site more easily and without needing to send an email to our TNRS Answers team which would mean having to wait a couple days for an answer. (There is much to be said for instant gratification in this instance.)
However, if an email turns out to be the only real option for someone visiting this site, we will always do our best to help. We intend to answer the vast majority of emails we receive in 2 days or less (not including Sundays). If we have to do some research in order to answer the request, or if we have to confer within the team, our reply might take as long as 5 days total.
We are also going to work with Charlie for the next few weeks to reduce the backlog of emails he has built up in his Inbox. For those who previously emailed Charlie and have not yet heard back from him, you may end up hearing from our TNRS Answers team instead.
Wish us luck and pray for our TNRS Answers team. We’re gonna need those prayers! 😀
Update (10/5/15): I just want to say how much our TNRS Answers team appreciates all of you who have been so supportive of our team with your comments. Your words and your prayers have been a wonderful boost to all of us.
On behalf of our team members: “Thank you.”