I woke up this morning and the first thing I wanted to do was scratch my back. Vigorously. Last weekend’s sunburn had been manifesting itself in serious peeling since Wednesday, and today was the worst. From my shoulders downward, things looked about as attractive as a snake shedding its skin.
Today was a day off for me, and I intended to spend it doing leisurely things. Waking up when my body felt like waking up, watching cooking shows over morning coffee and then I was going to see my mom and grandpa, since he’s staying at my parents’ home while my grandmother gallivants through Europe solo.
Last night as I was trying to get things wrapped up at work, I sent a massive client email following up on 12 things, the last of which referenced an attachment which I — awesomely — forgot to attach. I emailed our department VP when I realized what I’d done, and he kindly volunteered to send it this morning when he was in. When I checked my work email after waking and saw that he’d done so, I decided to send him a quick note of thanks.
But then I decided to ask him about one other thing, so I started to compose a longer email. I was trying to be articulate and explain a situation accurately before I got to my question, and at one point I saved my email as a draft and went back to my inbox to check an email from someone else to make sure my facts were correct.
Once I had all my ducks in a row, I went back to my email draft and pulled it up, tapped the screen (it’s an Android) to continue writing the email and nothing responded to my touch. I tapped it again, and still nothing. I tapped once more, saw a few letters that I thought resembled the word “Ancestry” and then the email disappeared.
Wait, what…? What happened? Where did it go?
“Holy F,” I thought to myself, “I think I just prematurely sent the email.”
And not just to our department VP, but to more people.
The freaking out began, and before too long I was itchy from hives of nervousness instead of my peeling back.
I sped to the phone in my kitchen and tried my best to remember the office’s main line. I got through to the receptionist and asked to be transferred to my boss ASAP. Near hysterics, since I knew the email had been sent — including to clients (that weren’t mine) — I spoke in an elevated voice and quickly recapped what I’d done, but explained that I wasn’t sure exactly how it’d happened.
He was awesome. He calmed me down and pulled up the email, then — after a brief pause — said, “Oh, wow…hm…oh, my God! This even went to our clients at Ancestry!”
I was suddenly no longer calm, and my worst fears were confirmed. Not only was I the tool (still within my 90-day introductory period with the agency, mind you) who failed to attach a document to a client email last night, but I was the tool who decided to thank my boss for sending it in my absence — only to end up emailing the whole world.
And by the whole world, I mean my world. People in the office, clients outside of the office — I even managed to somehow send an email to our agency calendar.
My boss reminded me that it didn’t say anything bad, it was just an email that shouldn’t have gone to as many people as it did. He told me to simply send a “Sorry, please disregard” email, which I did — although I really didn’t want to touch the Android after what I’d just done. (He also tried to lighten the mood by telling me that sending a mass email like that was what I get for working on a day off, although I wasn’t ready to laugh just yet.)
With the gentle touch of someone who’d just been burned, I hopped back in the saddle, crafted another note apologizing to everyone on my initial message for my mass email fail, then cautiously sent that one, as well.
It made me think of a few times at my last job where I had a couple of email accidents. Once, right after sending a client email, I realized I’d ended an otherwise incredibly polished message with, “Best retards” instead of “Best regards.”
And on another occasion, I was having a firm discussion with someone in the office over email and addressed her as “Tuna” instead of “Tina.”
After today’s email snafu, I watched my inbox become more and more full, and couldn’t bring myself to read or reply to any of them for fear of accidentally emailing another batch of unsuspecting souls.
I put myself in the shoes of our clients and wondered what I’d think of my emails as they came through. I’d see the first one, be confused, then I’d see another email from the same idi— er, person — and, since it asked me to “disregard,” I’d do exactly that. I’d promptly trash both emails and move on with my day.
The only thing I can say is that two days ago — after it took me 25 minutes to compose a brief email in the San Francisco airport — I complained about my work Android and asked whether I could go back to a Blackberry (yes, still a faithful ‘berry-er). My boss said he’d support that, and encouraged me to talk to IT.
Given today’s situation, I think he’s going to make sure the switch happens ASAP.
After I calmed down and my hives went away, I realized that my shirt was damp, thanks to the sweat storm I’d created/endured. I went back to shaking my head over my idiocy and scratching my itchy back. Thanks to my shame, I dawdled in getting ready to go see grandpa and mom, and finally got out the door around 3:30.
The professional in me is embarrassed for doing this in the first place, but to do it during my 90-day introductory period is just genius. I pretty much just raised my hand and volunteered to be the company’s #1 liability. Granted, the content of the email was tame and full of a whole lotta nothing, but still.
The writer in me, however, was mortified that the email which got sent out contained incomplete thoughts and was missing punctuation — two pet peeves of mine. Oh, the horror.
Tonight, while I wish I was more technologically savvy and hadn’t done it at all, I am thankful for having committed my faux pas on a day off so that I have two more days to lick my wounds. I’m thankful for my level-headed boss who basically told me to stop worrying about it and move on, and for…wine.
Tasty, delicious, forgiving wine — and, interestingly, I’m drinking Conundrum.
How appropriate after today’s events.