Have You Ever?
My workplace sometimes gets articles from contributors. One such person is a guy I'll call "Topper". Topper is a bugger to edit. He'll send you the copy, then spend ages making changes as you're trying to fit it to the publications it's going into.
My co-worker, "George" gets the brunt of this. And he's not the most positive of fellows in the first place. I might call him "resistant to change". In other words, the two are a pairing from hell.
This morning George found in his mailbox a note from Topper asking for changes to an article that had been formatted and sent to the layout department. George has recently had to cope with a ten percent jump in his workload due to an expansion in our product line. And since we've had some fairly radical staff and organizational changes lately, the enterprise has been sailing toward the falls in a cocked hat; none of which has done anything to impprove George's state of mind.
So George decided to send Topper's note to "Caroline" in the editorial department. Irritably he clicked "respond" and wrote:
Hi Caro: Topper's just sent me another e-mail. I don't know how to respond to him. Could you please get him off my back?--Then he clicked "send".
Which, my Avid Fan will know, is where it all went pear-shaped. For as noted, he hadn't clicked "forward", but "respond". So suddenly this fairly mild plea between friends was going to exactly the one person who shouldn't be seeing it.
George freaked. If I had suggested that yanking the telecom cord from the wall would have resulted in the message dribbling onto the floor in a pool of blue internet fluid, I think he would have done it.
He literally scurried around the office for a few minutes before phoning Caroline asking whatinhell was he going to do?
At time of writing he is explaining to Topper's answering machine.
What would you do, O Avid Fan? The question is academic now, but I've had too many close shaves not to keep a fistful of panic control strategies on hand. Ideas and suggestions for next time will be welcomed.