Total Recall Recall
So tonite I went out to dinner with some friends and one of em mentioned how they sent out a really dumb email at work and it reminded me of how dumb I used to be with email. Here's one story.
When I was working at a dotcom I was in a "satellite" office. There was only like 7 or 8 of us in the whole office .Basically it was an office in New York so the bottom of the company letterhead could say we had an office in New York. You know that snobby city listing thing. Put this way. Houston was listed and that office was one dude there who sat in his underwear and worked from home. It was like that.
Within the first month I was working on some biz dev bs and my boss told me to send an email out to the whole company about the goings on. I was super nervous about this email. Not only because the email was going to be sent to the whole company....but it was also my very first introduction to the whole company... plus I kind of didn't even know what the hell I was talking about and somehow I had to tactfully try and hide that from the whole company.
So I spent all day working on this like two paragraph email. I wanted it to be casual but professional, serious but still light-hearted, clear concise but not leaving out important details. I was stressing over it. It took me an hour just to figure out how to end it. 'Let me know if you have any questions? Looking forward to meeting you? The always arrogant... Best, ? What to do? I took walks around the block to clear my head. I printed it out and read it outloud to myself slowly word by word.
Finally it was time to send it off. I clicked send and held it. I must have held the button in for like two minutes. Then off it went. I heard the other 7 computers in my office all ding. I knew there were a couple hundred dings going off around the company. I was like shaking. I reread my email for the hundripled time it and within a minute I realized I left off a very key piece of information. I totally panicked. Freaked! Doh! I told the people in the office that I screwed up and didn't know what to do. One dude told me about a "recall" feature in Outlook. Told me I can just cancel the email but I should do it immediately. And in that panic I decided to go with it. I pulled the trigger on the recall. Immediately my inbox was filled with recall successes and recall failures notices from the whole company. I watched the names of the people who read my email and those who didn't.
In the meantime I worked up a rush second draft of the email with the additional information and sent it off lickity split. I tried to relax. I never used the recall before. Didn't know how it would be perceived. Within a minute of the second email I realized something else was totally wrong with the email totally! I might have been oversharing. At that point I was delirious with email mania and I figured after doing one recall the email should be totally perfect. The one that was out there... wasn't perfect. I panicked again and did another recall. A second recall within ten minutes! Again my inbox was flooded with recall failure and success notices. It was a mess.
I found out later that even people who hadn't read the email at least receive a bizarro notice that some dopey NY guy recalled two emails. Of course, I found out later that the recall thing is just basically a no-go unless it's like something extreme. (Like when some HR lady accidentally sent out an excel spreadsheet to all managers with everyone's salaries on it. She didn't even get fired. I guess who fires an HR person anyway.)
Anyway, that was my introduction to the whole company. Their new fancy new york biz dev guy did a double recall introduction. A real sign of confidence. When I went out to the West Coast for some group meeting, people I didn't know... knew me by the double recall. When I introduced myself to one guy he said right away, 'Double Recall!' I felt shame of my email disaster. The third email wasn't even right either btw...
After that I just used the phone alot. It was safer.