Week 72: Email Mistake

Friday, 17 May 2019

Reading time 2 minutes 02 seconds 

Where’s the ANY key ? – Homer Simpson

“Email” my sister once explained to me, “will never catch on”. Of all the things she had predicted this wasn’t her finest hour.

We’ve all had email mishaps and my own email disaster happened when I worked in an Investment Bank. At the time email was a new concept and many business users initially refused to use it, I should have been one of them.

One day I received an email from a team member. It explained how another colleague needed a task completed urgently which in turn meant extra work for me and the team. These days you would call it a lastminute.com request but back then you would look at it and the phrase out of your mouth would begin and end with the letter F…

I was angry. As angry as an old man ordering soup in a deli (© George Costanza) so I spent a while sitting on the handle before deciding to flap my wings and fly. Every other word of my mail was a curse word or what HR would typically call gross misconduct. Probably because I was also being very gross.

I hit the send button and as I did I noticed that receivers list wasn’t limited to the person who sent me the email. It was me, him and all the senior managers of the bank’s IT team and the person I had cussed out.

Immediately I fell to my knees. This wasn’t because I had discovered God, but the Lord did advise me to yank out the network cable in a last-ditch attempt to save my job. With the cable detached I looked up from under the desk like a meercat. My screen still had ‘sending message’ on the screen and I naturally assumed because of my speed and reflexes in saving the situation this could only mean that I was Superman. Obviously a stupid Reply All button pressing Superman.

Several colleagues shouted that their email wasn’t working. History was repeating itself and my technology blunders were spiralling.

However it turned out that seconds before I pressed send the email server had crashed, which meant my mail hadn’t been sent. I returned to my screen and deleted the offending and offensive non-sent email. Once again, in my game of Corporate Russian Roulette, I had dodged a bullet.

The main lesson I learned that day was to stop sending angry emails. If you’re going to be angry it’s better to do it all in person right to their face. 

I later learned that’s also gross misconduct.

Picture: My very loving family sent this. I think it’s me………….