‘This mail box is full and is not taking voicemail at this time’ in a saccharine female American accent. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve called Dr. Ramontja’s two assistants at the Department of Mineral Resources, but keep getting this message. Seems they’re not in the office much and don’t check their mail often.
But eureka! I dig about through my mail and find a reply that’s been sitting in the in-tray since last week. Don’t know why I hadn’t seen it. It’s from Water Affairs, with a nice fleshy response. Now I’ve got something to go on. I spend the afternoon reading it and dropping in some query notes, which I email off to the rest of the EMG team. A quick ‘thank you’ note to the DWA gets an ‘I hope that helps’ reply. All very informal and courteous, yet it suggests that someone is actually reading the emails on the other side.