Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

I didn’t mean to hit SEND.

In the early days of email, I got into a lot of trouble.  Mostly, because I sent emails that I did not really mean to.  I was one of the worst offenders of the accidental SEND and REPLY ALL buttons, sending mass communiqués when they should have stayed in their wee safe electronic boxes or in the DELETE pile.Send

For example, I’m sort of sorry about:

  • …outing my boss for having an affair with the elfin-like crystal worshiping girl who was hired to take my place during my maternity leave.  My irritation at the unmitigated gall of two (that was meant for one) was sent to all.
  • …sharing to a much wider audience than the group that was our mighty mini staff, that I was pretty certain Elroy Jetson and Pete Keefe were separated at birth (minus only the black handlebar mustache that led one to tell them apart).  Tho’ the similarities WERE remarkable.
  • …revealing waaay more than one embarrassing moment of personal weakness / raw emotion / true feelings / character flaw – after an adult beverage, while seated at the computer (which is what led to the in-house Friends Don’t Let Friends Mix Merlot & Email campaign of one particular autumn that I’d like to forget).

With time, I eventually became much more adept at using a decent filter on my fingers, making sure to read twice, send once.

Until recently.

A long life of ninja level multi-tasking skills had led me to believe that I could handle phone calls, emails, incoming packages and ringing doorbells all at once.  Turns out… not so much.

In the middle of low-level chaos, I received an email that said something about “forwarding” and I did.  Right then.  Right there.  Without reading the remainder of the message.  We all know that sticks and stones can break some bones and words, we’ve proven, can bruise them.

There are a number of ways to handle a situation such as this, and they all begin with variations of apologies, like:

Forgive me…

Excuse me…

Pardon me…

Then, if you further dig around for something meaningful to say, you can look up synonyms for “sorry” and find:

Regretful

Apologetic

Remorseful

Repentant

Interestingly enough, you’ll also find these words buried in the heap:

Unhappy, Sad and Wretched.

Which is where the simple push of an electronic button has left me: unhappy, sad and feeling more than a little wretched, because I’m pretty sure that that unintended email has bruised a very, very dear friend.  William Blake said, “It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”  But, I’m hoping he’s full of beans.  No matter what, I do hope… to the very core of my being, that this friend can instead take the advice of Robert Brault, when he so wisely said (and maybe even emailed) “If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one.”

As for me?  Having read twice and cried lots, I’ll pick SEND… once.

<3

“If the only way you could read an email was to run a mile first, the urge would quickly die. Human beings constantly do subconscious effort/reward calculations. Tapping a screen is the easiest of physical tasks.” – Andrew Weil

“A stiff apology is a second insult.  The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

P.S. — I’m sort of hoping Gilbert K. Chesterton is full of beans, too.

 

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