While celebrating the current methods of instant communication, I have learned not to assume too much. Breakdowns still occur.

Email is wonderful though not completely reliable. I sent a message to someone in Richmond on Sept. 15 — the day before flying up there.

Upon arrival, I was surprised to learned that she had responded immediately yet I had not received it. Her message made its way to my inbox, however, on Oct. 22.

Since Dec. 4 I have been trying to get an endorsement blurb for a book to someone. There have been no indications that my messages have bounced. Yet the publisher has not received them.

Finally, this week, I sent the message to a third party and asked that it be sent on to the publisher. Whether it completed that indirect flight or not, I don’t know. Guess we’ll see when the book comes out.

The lesson here, of course, is to not make assumptions that all messages get to their proper destinations. Confirmations of important ones are needed.

But not all communication errors are tied to technical snafus. Good old human error can also be at play.

The threat of bad weather caused the local public school system in Macon, Ga., to close down on Friday. The school board notified the appropriate leaders including all principals.

The call surprised one recipient, but not because he doubted the weather forecast that missed the mark. His surprise was being on the call list since he retired as a principal — a mere 32 years ago.

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