It is a comforting, albeit horribly wrong belief, as we all know. Maybe sometimes no news is good, but most of the time it isn’t. And if no news isn’t really good news, what is "no news"?
That was a question I was discussing with Emma Alvarez Gibson the other day both on Twitter and via phone. Emma and I were talking about a situation where a client had contacted her twice for proposals, but then after she delivered, they went silent and wouldn't respond. We both wondered aloud about what "no news" meant in this situation - beyond frustration!
Thinking back on times when I've gotten no news (or wasn't sharing news with someone else eagerly awaiting it), it is apparent you can fill in a lot of things in place of the "good" in "No news is good news."
Here's my list of 33 substitute to complete, “No news is __________ news.”
#1 . . . I just got back from vacation and have no recollection of ANYTHING that happened before I left . . .
#2 . . . a time of newfound spirituality as I pray you'll quit calling me . . .
#3 . . . my boss was on my ass for this project last week, but forgot about it this week so I did too . . .
#4 . . . utter shock and surprise at how much you want for your work . . .
#5 . . . we lost the invoice . . .
#6 . . . we’re going to say we lost the invoice if you ever happen to catch us on the phone . . .
#7 . . . we’re trying to lose the invoice right now . . .
#9 . . . I don’t know what to do next . . .
#10 . . . you’ve overstayed your welcome . . .
#11 . . . coming from a deep-seated sociopathic tendency I see no reason to address in counseling . . .
#12 . . . I’ve wrung every bit of value you could ever provide out of you already . . .
#13 . . . not bad news yet, but it will be as soon as we sign the deal with the other vendor (or "hire the other candidate for the job") . . .
#14 . . . I’ll get around to it someday . . .
#15 . . . you’re my worst nightmare . . .
#16 . . . what you want to talk about is my worst nightmare . . .
#17 . . . less painful than having to pick up the phone or email you . . .
#18 . . . you shouldn’t have asked me to reimburse your travel expenses . . .
#19 . . . I have no response to that . . .
#20 . . . my cell phone is broken . . .
#21 . . . I'm pretending like my cell phone is broken . . .
#22 . . . makes me feel guilty but not guilty enough to tell you any news . . .
#23 . . . that's how I roll . . .
#24 . . . my life has changed and you're not a part of who I am now . . .
#25 . . . don't hold your breath . . .
#26 . . . it takes us a month to schedule the meeting we have to have to schedule the REAL meeting . . .
#27 . . . we're decompressing over here right now . . .
#28 . . . and I would know you from? . . .
#29 . . . hurting me more than it's hurting you . . .
#30 . . . I'm working so hard to get you some news I have no time to give you the news . . .
#31 . . . sorry, but you're too boring for us to get back to in a timely fashion . . .
#32 . . . you didn't really think we were serious . . .
#33 . . . just what you suspect it means . . . news.
That's my list for all the other kinds of news that "no news" can be. What would you add to the list? – Mike Brown
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