People who use the term “ASAP” really annoy me and occasionally downright piss me off. I’m sure some of you who read this post will sit there thinking, “But I use that term.” All I have to say to that is stop it.

Why does this upset me so much? Because it means absolutely NOTHING of consequence.

“I’ll get that for you ASAP.” Oh really? When is “as soon as possible” to you? Does that mean in an hour? A day? A week?

“Get this to me ASAP.” Again. What does this mean? Do you want this in 5 minutes? Will an hour do? Can it wait a day?

Then the fact that someone acts like they’re too busy to even type out the more polite “as soon as possible” further irks me. I admit I use shorthand. I use the perpetually overused “lol” and “omg” and other such abbreviations for longer phrases. In polite society, though, I’d like to think that if you are requesting something or promising to get something to someone, that you can take the extra 3 seconds it takes to type out “as soon as possible.”

Let’s get back to the real problem though. ASAP means nothing. It can mean whatever it wants to the person demanding or promising. It fails to set any sort of expectation. Why not just say, “I’ll have this for you in an hour.” Or, “I need this by close of business (not COB).” Set some sort of goal to work towards. I can’t work against ASAP. But I can work towards having something completed by 5pm.

I think people that use this term fundamentally have a fear of commitment. Its so much easier to have this nebulous “ASAP” thing going on without actually committing to a time. I say, “COMMIT!”  Look like a cut above and demand or give a time.

PS. I really need to stop using shorthand in general.


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