My office email went berserk yesterday. Three hours after verifying status, rebuilding and rebooting, I accessed my emails only to discover that hundreds of old messages were mysteriously resent from my inbox. It was only a matter of minutes before my boss called me into his office, my phone started ringing and my inbox became flooded with inquiries. Nearly everyone I had written in the past year was trying to decode my messages.
At first it was a minor nuisance to repeatedly explain what happened. And then, as I read message after message that I had written over the past year, I started to worry. What if, in my impatience, I had been a little too curt with a colleague? What if there was some minor fire I had already diffused, and now I was reigniting it?
Lucky for me, the worst of the confusing messages came as I was leaving. One of my last inquiring emails was from a former colleague (and friend) at JUF News, congratulating me on being pregnant…with my 5th! I set her straight and breathed a sigh of relief. No harm done.
I’m hoping to capture that feeling of minor panic from yesterday–to take it as a lesson to take the time to be more courteous in my office emails. It’s all too easy to sound rude, in an effort to be quick. Then again, it’s all too easy to take the few extra moments to be kind as well.
In the meantime, do us both a favor if you see an email from me in your inbox. Just press “Delete.”