|Yesterday, I received an email at work that looked like this:
Subject: URGENT Safety AlertLike I've said before, if you don't take the time to write a good email, I won't take the time to read it. If you tell me to read an attachment for some "urgent" or "important" information, I'll ignore it simply because it's in an attachment.
Please read, post and execute immediately.
Just for fun, I looked at the attachment. It was about ice on the sidewalks and how we should be careful to not break our skulls open so nobody gets sued. Appropriate, yet stupid. The contents of the message could have been easily summarized in one line: "Watch out for ice on the sidewalks." Done. Again just for fun, I replied to the email and said this:
Subject: RE: URGENT Safety AlertI phrased it in such a way as to come across as a semi-criticism while not sounding too mean (since I don't even know this person). I also only replied to the original sender because it wasn't appropriate for a reply-all. I sat back in my chair and snickered.
To: Original Sender
If it's that urgent, why put it in an attachment? People are less likely to read an attachment than the actual body of an email message.
About an hour later, I got a response:
Subject: RE: URGENT Safety AlertMy heart stopped when I read the Cc line. She told on me. She replied to not only my boss, but to my boss's boss, a person I haven't even met because he's too important. People lose their jobs for less than this. I was a bit scared to say the least.
Cc: My boss; my boss's boss; her boss; her boss's boss
The reason for sending an attachment is that [some group] in [some department] wanted to accentuate the urgency of the matter with descriptive lettering. Also, our e-mail system does not allow us to use anything other than Rich Text format.
Since you have taken the time to ask the question, I've taken the time to answer it.
But then I thought about it. I hoped to get a reply from my boss's boss saying something like, "Yo lady, what's your problem? You're telling on this guy for some petty little bullcrap? Grow up." I didn't get a response from anybody (yet). Feeling proactive, I went to tell my boss to expect the email in his mail box, but he had already read it. And he was laughing. He said to not worry about it and proceeded to tell me a story about a guy who sent an angry email to the biggest boss in the place, and even he didn't lose his job. I was relieved. I said, "If I knew I was dealing with a child, I wouldn't have sent that email."
In conclusion, a great way to get me to hate you is to tell on me. #technology