Just a little observation from the typist's place of business: I've noticed that email is the preferred method of communications when the initiator wants a record of the conversation, and the telephone becomes the preferred method when a record would be inconvenient. (I'm occasionally guilty of this myself.)
I emailed a colleague - at the request of my boss - to see if I could negotiate a date for him to complete and submit a report. My purpose in using email was not the passive-aggressive one described above. I was just trying to avoid an unpleasant conversation.
Sadly, my hopes were dashed when I received a phone call in reply. The call started with, "I'm not going to bargain on timing." The diva went on to say how long it was going to take to do this job (leading one to think that, far from being nearly done, as was supposed to be the case, he had barely started the project), and how he was only going to let other people see the product when it was completely polished; otherwise, he claimed, readers would "talk s**t about his work" - unfairly, he implied. When the conversation circled back to timing, he told me to take it whenever it was done, no commitments on his part, or he wasn't going to bother to finish it at all. I ended the communication quickly, lest I say something I would later regret.
I'll have to say I wasn't really surprised to hear that his next order of business was to leave two lengthy phonemail messages with my boss, complaining about me, how I impugned his reputation and treated him poorly, blah blah blah.
Divas gotta sing, I guess.