So today I got an email from a sales rep. That is normal.
What isn't normal is that he wanted to send it to his boss, and he said some things about us that were none too friendly.
How did happen? Well, instead of FORWARD, he hit REPLY. Easy mistake, since one word starts with an F and has seven letters and the other starts with an R and has five. I mean, they're only a few hundred pages from each other in the dictionary. Could happen to anyone.
So the Canoelover's First Law of Electronic Communication:
"If you wouldn't say it to the person, don't write it in an email."
Canoelover's Second Law of Electronic Communication:
"The odds of the message being redirected to the person you are talking about are positively and exponentially correlated to the volatility of the content."
Which leads directly to Canoelover's Third Law of Electronic Communication:
"Everyone will eventually have the opportunity to read everything ever written."
Some may dispute Canoelover's Third Law. It may be overstating it, but it is probably better to assume that someday, someone will have access to everything ever written, including these words. All I know is that in my experience, I have never regretted keeping something in my head that could have easily been blogged, emailed, or otherwise shouted from the interweb's rooftops.
Sadly, I have emailed things I later regretted. Not that anyone found them and used them against me, but because I failed to follow my own First Law. The laws and rules I establish are for me first, and if anyone wants to join in for some reason, fine and dandy.
In this case, said rep is now eating a nice plate of pan-seared corvid. Problem is, he did this before. Yes, we have a hat-trick, ladies and gentlemen. So any apology will ring hollow and only further expose hypocrisy.
Let's be careful out there.