Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content guy, bestselling author

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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3 hours too late: The price of slowly replying to email

I was recently invited on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to attend two icons of European sport in a single week: Wimbledon and Le Mans. It would have been an all-expense paid trip for my travel column.

Apparently some journalist couldn’t attend, so I was emailed a last minute invite in his place. First-class overseas airfare. Center court Wimbledon tickets. 5-star hotel. Several Michelin-rated restaurants. And test driving a fancy new sports car around Le Mans! I was giddy with the prospects of visiting and writing about the experience, but I knew not to count my chickens until they hatched.

Because I check email infrequently in an effort to stay sane and get more work done, I didn’t accept the invitation until nearly three hours later, after consulting with my wife. Several days passed, and I didn’t hear back. A few days later, I replied again and the publicist apologetically told me that “this invite filled up fast,” so I didn’t get the booking.

Maybe the person that did was a bigger deal than me. Maybe the good luck gods were conspiring against me. Or maybe had I checked my email more quickly I could have locked in the reservation.

Whatever the reason, I’ll never go back to constantly checking email like I did 13 years ago. If I actually did lose this gig because I was slow to respond, the last 13 years of better sanity and productivity were totally worth it. I’m certain the next 13 will be, too. But this one stings, even if it’s the epitome of all first-world problems.