How To Screw Up Royally

I was going to lay this out in step-by-step fashion, but really, there’s only one step:

  1. When setting up an Outlook rule to automatically forward e-mails regarding a particular client into a specially marked folder, accidentally set it to delete said e-mails instead.

That way, when the customer e-mails you asking for help, you never get back to them.

And when Sales e-mails you asking you why the customer is sending them angry e-mails about you, you never get them.

And when your boss e-mails you asking why Sales is sending her angry e-mails about why you’re not getting back to them or the customer, you never get them.

Bad, bad day.

:eek: Oops.

How to screw up royally #2:

If you work for a company called ITP…

Which is also the name of a disease (Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura)…

And you handle incoming enquiry emails…

And you get one saying “How dare you name your company after a horrible disease! My mother has ITP and it’s awful!”…

And you want to share the email with your colleagues, with the comment: “Who wants to deal with this loony?”…

…make sure you send the email to your colleagues.

Don’t send it back to the person who sent it in the first place.

That was a bad day too. :frowning:


You know what’s funny, though ? One phone call. One. From client to you, or Sales dep. to you, or boss to you. Or from you to any of 'em. And there’d have been no problem whatsoever.
Gotta love how passive-aggressive email has made us, that we’d rather stew in anger and bitch at the asshole on the other side of the screen than ring him/her or drop by his/her cubicle.

OK, so I’m a big hypocrite who hates hates hates telephones. Still, I’m freuded by the Schaden.

I, for one, would love to have some sort of dialogue box so that when I accidentally hit “Reply to All”, it pops up and asks me if I’m REALLY sure I want to do that.


I wanted to create a table called MyIrreplaceableTable_copy, so I made a script for MyIrreplaceableTable that looked like this:

DROP TABLE MyIrreplaceableTable
CREATE TABLE MyIrreplaceableTable(
SuperImportantField1 int,
SuperImportantField2 int,
SuperImportantField3 int,
SuperImportantField4 int)

All I had to do was get rid of the first line and add “_copy” to the third line.

You can see where this is going, right?

It could have been worse; you could have left your computer logged in to the Dope…:smiley:

Ooh, I’m always afraid of doing that (or calling someone names after I hang up the phone, but it’s not quite disconnected yet). I’ve learned not to trust the “mute” button on a phone.

Or hunting flies with a can of Pledge.

Years ago I was taking a break at a job, and overheard part of a conversation between a couple of IT guys. The gist of it was “She was crying, but I told her that once an e-mail is sent, you can’t unsend it. There was nothing I could do.”

I had no idea what they talking about. When I got back to my desk, I had an e-mail from some woman I didn’t know, basically saying “My boss is such a dick and his toupe looks ridiculous and I bet he has a tiny penis.” It was addressed company-wide.

Hal, that just sucks. Hope you were able to dig your way out.

jjimm, I’m not chastising you in any way, but I learned a long, long time ago to be utterly professional in all my work-related email correspondence. All it takes is one idiot along the chain to forward that email back to the client and someone is going to get burned.

Over the past few years, I have gotten really paranoid about email. I have sent emails to colleagues that clearly said “Private / Confidential / Internal Use Only” and have had that colleague forward it on to the client. Just the other day, I had a colleague that responded to a client’s email by hitting Reply to All with a snide, snippy remark. He thought he was replying just to me.

Listen to the mighty **BobArrgh **and heed his ways.
I’ve learned that no matter how many times I put the words “draft” and “do not distribute” on a document, some customer *will *get his hands on it and keep it forever. Somehow the final and correct document will never get to the customer who has a draft. It’s like old people who still use the copy of the yellow pages they got when they first moved into their new house, 30 years ago.

No, I deserve chastisement. I learned that rule the hard way on that very day, back in 1998.

I also once got an instruction at the top of a very long email chain between the CTO and one of the (female) developers.

I implemented it, and hit “delete”.

Then I got a mail from the CTO saying “please don’t read the rest of that email”.

So naturally I went into the trash and read it. First email:

“I’m here all alone in my hotel room in Boston. It’s cold and I wish you were here to warm me up hunny bunny.” (He was married to someone else.)

She responded in kind until their cutesy conversation degenerated into talking about databases. I could not. Stop. Laughing.

If Hal worked for one of our email hosting clients, and Hal called the IT guy to ask about the missing emails, the IT guy would have emailed us and said “A bunch of our users are missing emails can you reboot the server?”

“Uh no we’re not going to reboot the busy mail server in the middle of the day for you. Can you give us an example of a user who is not getting email?”

“One user is Hal. Can you reboot the server?”

“Ok can you give us his email address and the email address of someone who is sending him emails that he is not receiving?”

“Hal is not getting emails from

“Ok well we searched all the logs and found 3 instances of Hal getting email from so everything is fine according to our system. There must be something wrong on your end.”

“A bunch of users are missing emails. Can you reboot the server?”

“No. We checked the logs, there is something wrong on your end. Here’s excerpts from the logs with examples of all the successful sends.”

“Can you reboot the server?”

“We rebooted the server.”

“Thanks! Turns out that Hal had a setting in Outlook that deleted emails from that address.”

This would be an all-day affair.

Thanks for not reporting this to the email host, Hal. They appreciate it.

Wait, so you’re saying that if I had have called the IT department and harassed them until they rebooted the mail server, that would have fixed everything? Well, live and learn – thanks though, I’ll remember your tip next time there’s a problem!

Mine mostly involve getting caught sending cartoons (mostly Dilbert and the Dinette Set) back and forth among co-workers and friends and having the boss think we are playing on the internet all day (when actually we’ve been playing with email). Okay, technically it’s not work related, but I believe a cartoon email can prevent work place pain and violence.

OK, I missed the hunting flies one. Got a link?

Hmm. Seems I post on here a fair amount regarding my screwups. Ah well…here ya go.

After being witness to my share of e-mail horror shows, I thought Outllook’s “Recall This Message” functionality was the answer to my prayers. It’s fairly useless, though, and whenever I get an e-mail that says “So-and-so would like to recall message . . .”, it just makes me want to read the original message (which I can). Schadenfreude is a powerful narcotic.

I think calling IT and harassing them should be number one on your list of things to try no matter what is going wrong in your life. You don’t want those bastards just sitting around playing video games, do you?