I have observed in several work places that people will ping me via Slack/Hangouts/etc. with a very basic hello message:

Hey SomeUser

Then they will wait indefinitely for me to respond before making any attempt to actually communicate the issue. I find this habit very irritating, and would much rather I do not have to task switch just to ask what the issue is. I would find it much more useful to just say:

Hey SomeUser, I noticed X and wonder if you could help me fix it?

Hey SomeUser, do you have some time to discuss Y?

How can I convey that I would prefer more direct communication? I would like to be polite and professional, but also convey that while this pattern may be intended to respect my time, I find it to achieve exactly the opposite.

  • Probably correct on the duplicate vote. I poked around but did not find one that was obvious.
    – Some User
    May 28, 2019 at 21:26
  • Just randomly ping them throughout the day and say "hi"?
    – Keith
    May 28, 2019 at 21:28
  • 1
    That might be entertaining, but would probably become rude quite quickly and ultimately end up being counterproductive.
    – Some User
    May 28, 2019 at 21:30
  • I normally don't answer until there is some question. Works pretty good for me.
    – Linaith
    May 29, 2019 at 7:22

1 Answer 1


For some people, it seems rude to simply jump into the question, so you're better off dealing with your frustration rather than expecting them to change. But you can let them know you're ready for their question with your response:

Hi, what do you need?

That gets the greeting out of the way, and gives them the strong clue that you're ready for their question now. And without a lot of typing.

  • "Yes?" also suffices in some locales.
    – bishop
    May 29, 2019 at 6:15
  • or "What's up ?"
    – Hilmar
    May 29, 2019 at 10:54

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