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Eek! Email Error!

Ahhh, email.  So easy-to-use!  So easy-to-talk-through!  Ever crafted an email and hit "SEND" when you meant to hit "SAVE"?  Ever blurted out all your inner-most thoughts in an email thinking you could save it for later but then - !poof! - cyberspace whisks it away to send to the [un]intended recipient? Ever type something you didn't really mean? Ever been unnecessarily mean, sacrcastic, catty? Ever live to laugh about it later?Send

The authors of the new book SEND is looking for your "tales of misdirected emails and other errors of email etiquette".  Share your stories!

As a li'l somethin'-somethin' for your quips: urbanMamas would like to offer a couple of free tickets to the Just Between Friends pre-sale on Friday, April 27th, to some of the wackiest, craziest stories of email errors.

P.S. The authors, David Shipley and Will Schwalbe, will appear at Powell's this Sunday, April 22nd, at 7:30PM.


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oh boy, that kind of thing used to happen a lot back when I was the partying college student type...That said, I was the partying college student type, and so don't remember any of them!!

I've crashed and burned many-a-time with the listservs or group lists. I forget that when you hit "reply", the automatic reply-to email is the entire list.

A few years ago, I met a mama on a yahoo-group, PDX_Moms. In her emails out to the group, it seemed like we had similar interests. At the end of one email, she asked other mamas if someone wanted to join her for a midday run.

That was perfect for me; "sure I'll meet up with you for a midday run." I hit "reply" and chose a good meeting spot for this blind mama-run date. I added, "I'm Filipina. It shouldn't be hard to spot me in this town." Now, everyone in the group knew I was Fiipina and where we were meeting for our run.

My new friend, who I'd never met, replied back providing visual clues so I could recognize her, "I'm actually Vietnamese." We started this email back and forth with comments like: "I'm glad we found an easy way to recognize each other; we didn't even have to run carrying a red rose", "Yeah, we would have had a hard time if we were a couple of white mamas meeting up for the first time," then, "People say that all Asian people look alike, but I don't get it. Don't all white people look alike to you?" ...

All this email banter was broadast to the entire yahoo-group. If there was a way for me blush online, I was doing it.

I did an e-mail oops at a previous position within my company. I had cut and paste something from a document into an e-mail and it contained a note to myself about one of the operator's habits that was not following protocol correctly (it was my job as the process engineer to define protocol and then train the operators to it). It contained his name and the incorrect habit and then I sent it to all of the engineers and all of the operators in our group... whoops! I had to apologize to him personally and explain my mistake. He had been at the company a lot longer than I had and I felt horrible calling him out in front of everyone that way! I promise, it was just a mistake!

I recently sent a resume in to a PR firm that offered informational interviews. I had carefully revised my resume with input from a friend in PR. She'd shared her comments right in the draft, in 'track changes' mode. Which I forgot to turn off before I sent it in. Which the HR person immediately saw when she opened the document. Her rather tart response: "just so you know... all your changes appeared when I opened this..." Ooops. At least it wasn't for a job where appearances and attention to detail and strong communication skills are everything. Heh. Needless to say, she didn't offer me an interview.

Oh, and I thought of another one. When email was still pretty newish and when I was still in college, my signature included my full name, my nickname, my apartment address, my phone number, and my email. I am not sure how, but an email of mine made it to the wrong hands. I got a call late, late one night from this drunk guy who asked me all these questions about what I looked like, what I was studying in college, if I went out a lot. It made me really, really nervous, as it should. At the end of the conversation, drunk guy had a moment of clarity and advised me to remove all my personal info from my signature so it won't get into the wrong hands.

uh, duh.

This is not an email story, but it is embarrassing....I was calling in sick to work one morning and had to leave a voice mail on the main phone since no one was in yet. So I played it up like I was really sick (my boyfriend had the day off and I wanted to spend it with him) by making myself sound tired and groggy and I may have even coughed a few times. So then I said goodbye and hung up. I then turned to my boyfriend and said, "so do you think I pulled it off ok? Did I sound sick?" We went on to talk about something really inappropriate for awhile, and then all of the sudden, I heard a voice saying, "if you'd like to make a call, please hang up and try again..." I hadn't hung up the phone all the way! I came into work the next day and approached the office manager to find out what he had heard. He said he had heard some talking in the background but couldn't make it out clearly and so he just deleted the message. I was so relieved, but not quite sure I believed him! So now when I call in sick, even though it's the real thing, I make darn sure the phone is hung up and I keep my mouth shut at least for the first few minutes!

A while ago I was visiting my mom and writing a late-night email to my then-husband. I titled it, "tell me the wicked truth" and, while i won't describe all the details, went on to write an email that contained several phrases like "love kitten," "sugarpie," "mr. handsome," and so on.

The next morning, I had a response from said email, though the response came, oddly, from my contact at the company that does all the web work for my bosses. In her very short response she said, "I don't think you meant to send this to me..."

I could have died!!! I realized that the first 2 letters of her last name were the same as the first 2 letters of my husband's name, and so my auto-address thing just put her name in and i didn't even check. It still makes me embarrassed.... blushing as I type this.

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