I am an inside sales rep in Portland OR for a major software firm; my territory includes most of New York State, and a few scattered accounts in the city. I actually used to cover NYC in its entirety, and so have quite a few former customers in the affected area, some in the WTC…former WTC.
Needless to say, I am torn up about yesterday’s tragedy. I feel I can’t do anything but donate blood (and will do so as soon as the lines at the blood bank are shorter), so I decided to send my current and former customers and business partners in NY an email of consolation expressing my sympathies. It went like this (personal and company info deleted, italics added):
The bottom few lines of contact info and the ad link are part of my autosignature, this goes out with every email I send. Didn’t even think about it, as normal.
Well, a few minutes later I got an email saying something along the lines of, “Would have been a nice sentiment if it weren’t for the ad at the bottom…shameful.” Needless to say, I was mortified, and promptly sent out the following email:
I wound up getting (so far) a total of 2 negative responses to the first email, 2 requests to remove addresses from list, and 6 positive, thankful responses, including 3 specifically mentioning that the ad in the sig line wwas understandable, and not offensive.
My question is:
Was my apology contrite enough? Was an apology needed at all?(I think so) Is it an understandable oversight, or should I have been more careful in sending out the first email?
It’s real tough for me, becuase I feel that even if most people appreciated the sentiments, if I added to one person’s pain, I’ll feel horrible (I already do).
I’m not looking for approval, or consolation, as there are people with much bigger problems right now. Just asking for an honest opinion, whenever anyone can find the time to give it.
p.s. To all the emergency workers in NYC - you men and women are my heroes. I look at what you do with awe and respect. Hell, I look at all NYC with awe and respect now. Good luck and be careful.