President's Letter (February 2013)
This morning as I reversed my car out of its cosy garage, I noticed that the snowdrops which had been hidden last week are at last showing themselves. I am sure that there were many of you, who like me thought a duvet day would be preferable to crawling along in traffic through the slush and black ice but equally, I expect that you did not succumb to that temptation because of the risk of what colleagues present in the office might pile onto your desk in your absence.
I have been feeling snowed under metaphorically too, and I shall take my rather privileged opportunity to air a considerable grouse in this letter to you. I cannot be the only person, Luddite or not, who feels that there is a form of virtual bullying that is becoming the norm as far as the proliferation of emails is concerned. Those of us who have children are aware of the problems of social networking sites and the opportunities for cyber bullying but I do not think it is confined to the young. Why is it necessary to send an email and then send another when the first has not been answered within 24 hours? Why is it necessary to send an email and then follow it up with a telephone call to see if I have received it? Why do I feel that emails to which correspondence is attached should take any sort of preference over anything else that I am engaged in? Why is there an overbearing feeling that I should answer right now? I am not usually able to answer each letter received by return unless there is some important date or detail which requires the utmost urgency. Everything else must take its turn. In addition, a little time for reflection on the content and the state of play is no bad thing. So much can go wrong with an email which doesn’t happen in an old fashioned letter. It is little wonder that LawCare is dealing with cases of solicitors suffering from stress in ever increasing numbers. Could I be the first to call for a truce? If something is really urgent why not use that almost redundant instrument of communication languishing on your desk and talk to each other. It is more pleasant (usually), quicker and more likely to give you the answer you want and also gives a chance to network with someone in the same boat as you.
On a much jollier note, it is time to book your place at the Annual Dinner to be held in the City Hall on 19th April. This year it coincides with the Local Law Societies Annual Conference, which our Society is hosting and which I hope will be attended by the Presidents and Secretaries, amongst others, of many of our brother Societies in England and Wales. I should very much like to have your support in showing the guests that we have a vibrant and sociable Society here in Cardiff – Application Form on Page 9.