Email Blues II – Misrouted Messages

imagesThis is a sequel of some sort to my previous post – Email Blues. The other day a colleague of mine phoned me and asked “how do you recall an email? “ Ayayay.. It was obvious to me that he copied an unintended addressee and wanted to intercept the message before it got read by the recipient ! Microsoft Outlook email has a recall message feature but works only when the recipient hasn’t read the email – yet. If the message has already been read, the recall becomes mere formality because yikes, the harm had been done.

I recall many years ago, when my wife was still working in Pinas – we were on a long distance relationship that time – she had mistakenly addressed her mail for me to her boss, the president of the company ( she was an exec secretary at that time) ! She was raring to go home and hit the send key prematurely , without re-checking the addressee field 😦 The boss intercepted her before she walked out and showed the message on her screen – unopened in the inbox. The boss quipped “ by the way, as you can see, I haven’t read it yet. The subject was a bit strange so I called you to be sure “ 😉 LOL. Embarrassing ! I ultimately received the email and was glad there wasn’t any steamy language hehe.. and it was her response about my planned vacation to Manila 🙂

The thought of sending an email to an unintended party scares me, especially if has to do with office matters which are confidential in nature. I also see a lot of people quarelling on an issue over email – ugh. Why do we have to be stupid to have a transcript, a log of a squabble? A phone call is always best when it comes to settling arguments or disputes because it leaves no track for people to pick up and use against you in future. We all know that email is not the user’s exclusive property. In event of a criminal investigation, employers and email providers are bound by law to turn over email correspondences to the government, and this includes text and Blackberry messages. It may never happen to us but it is important to know our exposure. For now, avoidance of misrouted emails is paramount. A second check of the TO and CC lines wouldn’t harm before we finalize the transmission with the send button !


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