I was reading an article online today about a British survey which showed that email gaffes saw 1 in 20 people being reprimanded or even fired from their jobs. I wish it went on to elaborate a little about the kind of dumb things that were leading to disciplinary action, but it didn't, it did mention the fact that men are more likely to make these faux pas than women, 28% vs. 17%.
What kind of things do you need to send and to who to get yourself fired?
I'm guessing that the 95% of these people suffer from some form of frontal lobe damage or disease, 4% are careless and 1% the victims of evil co-workers. Let's look at these 3 types a little closer...
Type 1 or the 95%ers have little or no ability to reason or to weigh up actions vs. consequences. This is a common complaint when someone has suffered damage to the frontal lobe due to accident, disease or the fact that their parents were a little too closely related. These people have more than likely received porn or similar NSFW attachment and deemed it a good idea to share. This is a great example of when "sharing is caring" does not apply, and forwarding this kind of attachment to you GM/CEO/Regional Manager or HR Dept. is not the brightest thing to do.
The other most common scenario these people fall victim to is the "You're an idiot and I'm gonna tell ya..." scenario. This happens when type 1 employee has to deal with someone they don't agree with, angry customer/client, uppity co-worker, corporate directive or perhaps they weren't happy with the quality of the viagra they bought from that very legitimate looking email marketing company. Once again the frontal lobe fails and a rather heart felt and honest email gets sent, sometime to the correct people sometimes not, sometimes these people get caught by sys-admins when the mail client flags it due to the enormous collection of expletives. These people should be flipping burgers... On second thought, I don't think I want these people handling my food.
Type 2 or the 4%ers are a completely different kettle of fish. Generally quite intelligent and quite capable of playing the actions vs. consequences game, these people fall foul of superiors when they hit reply instead of forward or compose a nasty email as a cathartic release never intending to actually send it, but as a force of habit they address it and, "click" jobless!
Type 3 or the 1%ers are the ones I truly feel sorry for. These people are the victims of office terrorism, 1 of 2 things happen to these people, They either compose a cathartic email and then go for a walk to cool down, which leave these terminal open and unguarded, terrorist enters cubicle and addresses the therapy email, "click" fired! The second scenario is when they leave their terminal open and unguarded and the terrorist composes, addresses and send email from victims account.
I must admit that I have been known to be a type 2. I have replied when I should've forwarded (to my GM no less) however I'm very careful not to write crap in black and white. I have also composed those cathartic emails and left them unsent while I cool down. This activity will cease immediately. I think I'll take up tennis or start writing a blog instead.
Let me know if you've done any of the above or if you have stories of people who have.
Stop and Think