Email programs have warning buttons that come up when you are about to do something relatively insignificant like send an email out without a subject.
What they really should have is warnings like these
1. Warning: You are angry now and will regret sending this email
2. Warning: Sending this email will eventually get you fired
3. Warning: You are forwarding this email right back to the person that sent it to you and you really, really don’t want to do that
I recently did number three with a somewhat famous writer with almost no sense of humor under normal circumstances. It was ugly.
What essentially happened was that he mentioned some Clarence Clemons interviews that had recently been on the air on Facebook and I facetiously commented “I haven’t heard those, but I did hear him on Stern and that was genius. Probably had some different topics though.”
I originally meant it as a tease (I tried to assure him that I was using the term “genius” facetiously, but he told me that I was unable to legally do this), but I found myself defending Stern against claims of misogyny and racism. Although, I was constantly apologizing for having upset him (it was an abusive relationship), he eventually called me a white supremicist and told me that our email relationship was over.
I was a little shocked by the venom and wanted to forward these emails to a friend to see whether he felt that I had been out of line, but I accidentally forwarded them right back to the guy who was already angry with me. Followed by an apology by me that he didn’t accept. Essentially, he called me a scumbag and said that forwarding emails without the permission of the author was a scurrilous practice.
I would agree had it been some love talk or personal issues in the emails, but essentially we were discussing how offensive it was for Howard Stern to ask whether Patty Scialfa was a cunt and about the size of Clarence’s penis.
The only thing embarrassing in the emails was essentially how rude and nasty I was treated for what I still have little idea. Essentially, I hit a sore spot and didn’t survive the nuclear explosion that followed.
Actually, I did have this happen in a work environment and it hurt me and I was really angry about it, but in the long run I have to admit that you reap what you sow. Especially, if you are using the company’s email.
If you ask me to keep something secret I will, but if you are a jerk to me – chances are that it’s going to be forwarded to one of my friends – email me at your own risk.