Email is not your friend

We all see it every day. Some idiot flames his peer, his boss, his employee, the CEO or whoever in email and is then shocked that it makes the rounds of the company and comes back to bite him in the ass. Hell, sometimes we’re that idiot. I admit that my email has bitten me in the ass too, at times. Most often, it’s that I’m mis-interpreted…’tone’ and subtlety is implied where it wasn’t intended…but sometimes it’s that I risked a casual remark about someone and it made the rounds to that person.

So I learned (or at least have told myself that I’ve learned) the critical email lesson: don’t put anything in writing that you don’t want shared with the entire company (or other companies). It’s that simple folks. Just don’t write it down! Don’t rip your boss apart to your buddy, flag it “confidential” and believe that means anything!

Don’t write about your slutty weekend activities, your all-night Ecstasy binge, or even your problems with athlete’s foot because nature abhors a vacuum, and corporate culture fills that vacuum with gossip and intrigue. Don’t write about anything that you don’t want to hear folks talking about at lunch later in the day.

Here’s the gist of this (you know this, but the reminder seems appropriate): your work email? Not yours. Your work computer? Also not yours. The words you type on that computer or in that email? Bingo…not yours. Freedom of expression, big brother is watching, a right to privacy, all that crap doesn’t mean a thing if you’re expressing yourself on the company’s time on the company’s computer. It’s the equivalent of writing your deepest thoughts in your sister’s diary and then being appalled that she read (and mocked you for) them.

Get a clue people. Or at least don’t be shocked when your supposedly ‘confidential’ email is on the boss’s desk in the morning and there’s an empty box on your desk so you can pack.

One Response to “Email is not your friend”

  1. BitterOldMo says:

    Correct.

    I regularly forward non-proprietary, non-confidential emails to friends, family, and random acquaintances. And laugh about it.

    Keep your sluttishness, ineptitude, and pharmaceutical preferences at home, please, or at least know that me and all of my friends – and all of their friends – are laughing about you.

    Dammit. How embarrassing. I hate farting in my cubicle.

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