GENTLE READER: By asking how — in what form — one could get a prompt response from that person, if that were necessary.
Admittedly, Miss Manners would ask this somewhat coldly, as the response you describe suggests that these people did actually get your telephone messages.
But she is also aware that we are in a transitional period, when many people have all but abandoned telephoning, even though they carry telephones with them everywhere. They use its other functions to communicate in writing. These are less intrusive and more flexible about time. When you say you are not online “yet,” you are aware that it is necessary — not, Miss Manners assures you, because you should placate people who ignored messages they received, but simply because it will be easier for you to reach people and get answers.
Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
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