Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The error of your ways...

I was working on a particular negotiation recently. With a third party who was supposed to be an asset but behaved more like the opposing side. A little too opposing if you will. Lots and lots of chatter about all they can accomplish. But not a great deal of actual accomplishment.

Here is a good example of when you should not be a dumbarse.

This group is holding a press conference regarding a certain topic that directly impacts us and our client. We want to know who from the media is being invited. I get this answer "Many important media representatives."

hmmmm. I would love to spend all afternoon McGyver-like with my lipstick case, a can of Pringles, and my Magic 8 Ball trying to extract meaning from that meaningless response but I lack the time.

This is what is called We don't have the information but will attempt to bluff. Or what I also like to call Misrepresenting leverage.

I email back: Can you provide the specific names of the "important media representatives?"

The reply I receive lists some real media entities but not the actual names of the people from those organizations. Like CNN. I am certain there are more than a thousand people working there and since you are the one inviting the media, we both know you need a name to do so. You would therefore have that name on a list. Also, this is information our team needs to have and is normally given quite promptly.

I follow up again.

I get this : We will try to find that information for you.

This irritates me in myriad ways.

1. You invited them and are telling the client about your grand experience in media coverage. Demonstrate your grand abilities by giving specifics. Why are you not giving specifics? Because you do not have actual names. You have pretend names and believe me John Cocktoasten does not sound credible on paper.

2. You will try to find this information? It's not a treasure hunt. A good place to look? ON YOUR COMPUTER. The same one you are emailing me from. At least if you have to stall do it the smart way and say " I am in meetings offsite the rest of the day and will get to you when I am back in the office" I don't know your schedule so I won't know your lying. Yet.

So I send a direct response indicating that we are happy to reach out to CNN directly since we have worked closely with them in the past.

I get an email back that was clearly NOT intended to go to me but to everyone else on their side of the table. Enjoy explaining that to your boss, who was also copied on the email. The email you accidentally copied me on. The one to which I replied TO ALL, "Are you sure you meant to copy me on this?"

Here is a tip: Your first day on the job learn the importance of the REPLY ALL function and that you should NEVER NEVER use it when you are about to talk some sh*t about someone ALSO COPIED ON THE EMAIL.

82 comments:

My name is PJ. said...

Isn't it great that from this level of idiocy, in addition to frustration, you give birth to a big, bouncing blogpost that makes us all laugh? If dumbarse only knew..... :)

Jules said...

Yes! That REPLY ALL has been the downfall of many. A teacher in my building once hit it and then called the assistant Superintendent a B*tch. And of course the email went to her.

Nice.

Also, WE ALL should know how to lie properly. THAT is your job as a parent, you know....

Matthew said...

I don't think I've ever used a 'reply all'. Or maybe I have and didn't realise it?

The latter would explain a lot.

Buckeroomama said...

Very nice. LOL.

I wonder how he/she will look you in the eye the next time you meet.

Theta Mom said...

REPLY ALL... don't they understand what it means? LOL

Mala said...

The REPLY ALL button is evil. I once had a co-worker write me a dirty note just after hitting the REPLY ALL. dumbass!!!

Anyway, good luck with all of that. I feel a juicy follow up post!

Little Ms Blogger said...

Ouch. Hoping your boss doesn't give a shit or has more important stuff to worry about.

Mommy Mac said...

"reply all"

I think I know of a lot of people in my life that press this button in their real lifes, not just on regrarding their email accounts.

Ding-a-lings.

Good thing we got quick draw Jenny Mac out in our legal fields to shoot'em down!!!!

Gettum, Sheriff Mac.

.mac :)

mo.stoneskin said...

I wonder what your lipstick case has to say. I also appreciate 'dumbarse', which (I assume) is a dirty-sounding Britified version of 'dumbass'.

the walking man said...

Redact names and forward the e-mail please.

blueviolet said...

That karma...she's a smart one.

AmyK said...

Just getting your information was a battle of wills. Then karma won. I so rarely see it happen that just knowing that it did is a joy. A big oops there.

stepfabulous said...

Love it. It's always fun when you can "reply" to the "reply all" asking if you were supposed to be included. :) At least in my world it is............. I <3 email wars!

kyslp said...

The 'Reply all' button is the work of the devil. I'm sure there are many good stories centered around her.

Lisa said...

Mega dumbarseness!

Geez Louise♥ said...

How can you be so dumb?? I guess they are just as smart as you thought they were!! haha!!

Chrystal

SUGAR said...

ahah thats the equivilant of sending a horrible bitching scathing text to the person you were talking about by mistake ;)

sugar
xoxo

confused homemaker said...

Reply All is dangerous. I have seen many fall to it, sending out something that they wish they could take back.

Emily said...

I'm always a little wary of that reply-all button. And I kind of do think it's cool you get to rub elbows with media people...

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

That's classic, but doesn't it make you feel good when they screw up like that!! My ex was one of those that worked against his attorney...of course, he worked better for mine, so I was okay with it!

Suburban Princess said...

I love it when you can sit there quietly and let someone else self distruct!

Scrappy Girl said...

Now that is a bad day that probably got a lot worse...yikes!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

The energy people expend trying to avoid admitting "I don't have that information" is staggering. Had this one done that to begin, the whole "reply all" incident wouldn't have happened.

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

I think that Reply All should be taken off email programs. It is NEVER used in the proper context and typically gets people in trouble for copying everyone in their mother on something.

Insane how some people still don't know that since computers have been around now for quite some time and are obviously not leaving anytime soon....

Tsquared417 said...

Reply all is a favorite topic at my work...people are so stupid and use it so inappropriately. Is there ever a good reason to reply all? I don't think so.

mammydiaries said...

Thank you so much for the lovely award :) And another great blog as always :)

Too Many Hats said...

Ouch! I'm sure you will be rushing to work with him again - LOSER.

otherworldlyone said...

'Reply All' got me in the you know what once. You can bet your ass it's never happened again.

Sounds like that person needs a lesson in BS 101.

Michael Rivers said...

Reply All is a scary scary button. I try to keep away from it at all costs!!

Pollyanna said...

I love busting people. I was once found myself in a similar position (I wasn't supposed to get the e-mail). I replied to all saying I was confused by her statement and asked what exactly lead her to such a conclusion about me. After a lot of blustering that eventually ended with an apology, I never worked with her again.

Mommy Lisa said...

I am going to guess and say the third party in question was 25-ish.

The Girl said...

This post makes me blush for that person. Why oh why oh why do people hit reply all. NEVER hit reply all. Even if you think you want to reply to all. Don't. Start afresh.

I had a particularly disturbing experience with this when my sister-in-law hit reply all to an e-mail when in fact it was an e-mail most definitely intended for my brother's eyes only. I still can't get rid of that one from my head.

Suzanne said...

WOW! nosy me wants to know what it said! Love the reply all function. Saved items in shared folders are fun tooooooooo.

S

Michele Renee said...

And to think for that worker is a better one who is unemployed and needs that job. Hopefully he or she wrote back and apologized.

Dumblond said...

Wow. That third party sounds like a "winner". Take comfort in the knowledge that replying to that email that was not intended for you probably made them make in their pants...

foxy said...

Uh oh. Someone is in TROUBLE. What a remedial mistake!!!

Baloney said...

Karma.

McVal said...

OOPS! LOL! My mom has done that a dozen times and copied my brother along with his exwife in the same email. (Fireworks on THAT one!) Or talked about an uncle in an email that he's copied on...
sigh... When will they learn?

Barbaloot said...

I love that you're stepping up and calling them out...I never have the guts to do stuff like that.

Ju said...

Loved it, hahaha. I must admit, I was once in that person's shoes...I replied to all saying what an idiot person "B" was being.
Person "B" got the email and replied to me saying that he was forwarding that to my boss and was hoping I would get sacked. I didn't, and I learnt a very good lesson.
Do not ever reply to all.

Kristina P. said...

KARMA!!!

JenJen said...

Reply all is for the absolutely sure. This dude? notsomuch.

Kr√ęg said...

Isn't blogging about work kinda like hitting REPLY TO ALL? Except broader?

Mrs Montoya said...

I am certain that reply all was invented just to weed out incompetence. Looks like the state of Georgia has found another candidate for unemployment! I can't wait to hear if you get another opportunity to bust out the lipstick case and can of Pringles. Priceless, JennyMac!

Slamdunk said...

I treasure each of the few times I have inadvertently been included in a "reply all" msg. My latest one was when one of our techies wanted to complain about having to fix my laptop and accidentally copied me on a reply to her co-worker. Wow, my laptop has never worked so well...

Muppet said...

Can I just say how much I love reading your blog. It's like we're sitting back in that college dorm room again. :)

JennyMac said...

haha Kreg..believe me, I recognize the parallels...except the name on my blog, and the name on my paycheck aren't the same. LOL. Mama knows how to be incognito.

Pricilla said...

Obviously we just don't know what we are doing and someone (ie: you) has just shown us up and we need to take our battered ego and use it to show everyone (oops, including you) just how important (not) we are.

I am soooooo glad I am a goat now and not working any longer.

The hubby is also happy to be a RETIRED attorney. He says most attorneys aspire to that....

Lisa and Laura said...

Ouch! This is always my biggest fear in life. I can't imagine getting caught talking smack. Can't wait to hear about his backpedaling...

MommaKiss said...

So wrong it's funny. only because I've been there. To the CFO of the company. Nice.

Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy said...

John Cocktoasten? ... BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

*ahem*

obladi oblada said...

LOL...I love it. People rule, dont they?

AnnQ said...

Absolutely Love it! I work for a very very large company, and the level of ineptitude I even see internally is mind-boggling.

Kelly @ The Miller Mix said...

Would that everyone read this!

Intense Guy said...

And then there are those that can't for the life of them, reply all when they really ought to...

I once sat in the dark for 2 weeks while the boss was on vacation, along with the everyone in the department when they announced what was to be done in their absence but only sent the e-mail to themselves thinking they couldn't see all the intended recipients because they were "blind copied"...

E-mail isn't exactly rocket science... but jeepers...

The Blonde Duck said...

They should teach this to college kids...

Hyla said...

UhOh, someone's getting fired!

B.o.B. said...

OUCH! and BURN!

hahahaha

Kate said...

Ouch ha ha

Charisse and Holly said...

office politics...now you were asking me why I'm a stay at home mom?! I'm here to support you baby! LOL Holly at lifelaughlatte.blogspot.com

ConFuschias said...

oh, that must have felt so sweet to reply all back

Mira is triplet crown said...

Don't you wish you could control who you had to work with? There are so many ignorant jerks out there. You showed him though!

Mark said...

Watch the reply all button, make sure the phone call is really disconnected, ensure your mute button is actually pressed ... all key lessons to survival!

Hollyrocks said...

Hahaha nice. What a nasty little feature "Reply All" can be when used improperly. Love it.

Constructive Attitude said...

What did the email say?

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

"We will try to find that information for you." means "it doesn't exist, as yet."

But, oh, you are leaving me hanging in suspense! What did the oopsy reply-all say, pray tell?

Melissa B. said...

This person sounds a tad Sarah Palin-ish. As in her interview with Katie Couric: "Yes, I read all of the newspapers that I need to read," or some such nonsense. As in, "Hell, no-I don't know what's going on, but I'll try to pretend, 'cause I'm on national TV." Reply all is a godsend sometimes, huh?

Eva Gallant said...

OOOOh... love that your replied!

Little Ms J said...

I "replied all" one time from my BB and a client got to see me chew out a co-worker for their idiocy. Not cool. I have since learned to check and recheck the To and CC lines like an OCD freak in case an unintended recipient's name popped up out of the ether.

prerna said...

LOL!! Reply All.. Isn't the meaning clear?? **still laughing**

Unknown Mami said...

I so want to know what the email said and I would love to see the look on the dumbarse's face when you replied.

Kristin said...

I've been witness to the evils of REPLY ALL myself. Chick was fired. Ah ha

Amanda said...

I remember a couple of years back when I was the one talked about in the 'reply all' email. I'd just had a baby, had opened a new store in a different city, and perhaps wasn't quite my usual efficient self when it came to my other business, in which I was involved with this b**ch. The email wasn't nice. I was devastated. To make it worse, she did one of those 'so&so wishes to recall this email'. Too late, and how do you recall an email?

Jenn@ You know... that blog? said...

hahaha - love it! I can just imagine your face when you hit send on that reply-all.

I am anal-retentive about making sure who I'm sending replies to. OCD even.

Lets not forget the Copy and Paste cache too - especially in the case of a live virtual meeting room (or IRC, etc.) always make sure what you're pasting is what you've just copied, and not a totally inappropriate copy of something entirely unrelated... and completely embarrassing. Been there, done that. Made myself look like a complete and utter fool.

Great post!!

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

Have you been in MY email?? I got a wicked lovely rant about my parenting skills that my sons teacher was sending to the school counselor regarding my request for a phone call rather than a face to face since I have a small child that would be hard to bring to school. Learn what the reply button does!

I don't think I've ever enjoyed listening to someone squirm so much in front of their boss while they apologized for being a dumb a$$. She announced her retirement three days later :)

secret agent woman said...

Emails can be a real curse for the stupid.

Arielle said...

I sort of wonder why the 'reply all' function exists when all it seems to do is get people in trouble.

Maureen said...

Ahahaha! As Sheldon* would say, "Bazinga!"

(*Big Bang Theory)

jmberrygirl said...

Haha! THis is great. Thanks for checking out my blog! I've enjoyed reading yours.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

LOL reply all it can be a killer. Sadly I know many people who think reply to every email that they hit this button. Really come on!

Burn ... oh yeah I just turned to my teenage self on that comment!

questfortherightone.blogspot.com said...

I remember once how a friend of mine was given notice via email that he did not win funding for his research as a Phd student. So he emails back his wife, and somehow manages to hit some button that somehow copies the funding officer to the email which said:

"kazoo boo hoo f*** them all but you".

He was a poetry grad student.

M-Cat said...

Some people are such dumbasses. This happened to me not long ago. She sent an email to clearly the WRONG person, blasting away at me.

Oops-a-doodle!! Bitch