The employees in your group use an email listserv to make it more efficient to communicate information that is relevant to everyone. When an employee sends an email containing a question or an important message to the listserv, it goes to everyone on the list, as does your message if you reply to it. Listservs are a great way to make sure everyone stays informed at the same time.
If, however, you want to make a private reply to a message posted to that list, you must select “Reply to Sender Only” in order to prevent everyone in the group from reading your message. This works just fine, unless you forget to do this. If you do forget, you can find yourself in this situation:
Your co-worker, a friend of yours in the next cubicle over, sends the following email to the listserv at 8:00 AM: “Hey—the boss just called and wants to know if anyone might be late for the 2:00 PM meeting. If you think you might be late, get back to me ASAP.”
“What a hypocrite,” you say to yourself, “the boss is always late! Why are we getting the third degree?” You and your friend have frequently commented on the boss’s tardiness, so you fire off a reply to your buddy a few minutes later: “Do you believe this? The boss wants to know if we might be late? Does anyone keep tabs on her?”
After a quick proofread, you hit the Send key at 8:05 AM and plan on arriving early to the meeting just to show your boss you’re not a goof-off and that you take your work seriously. A few minutes later, you start hearing giggles coming from the cubicles around you, and then your friend drops by. “WTF?” he says, “you just sent your message to the entire list, including the boss.”
”What?!” you exclaim. The next thing you do is pull up your sent mail, and there is the evidence: you forgot to select “Reply to Sender Only.”
You are now dealing with an awkward workplace situation involving email.
Given the information you’ve gathered from the assigned readings from Week One's Lessson, Digital Communication, what is the best strategy for dealing with the hasty (and flippant) message you sent? In your response, address the problem with the initial email and “your” impetuous response to it. Cite evidence from the readings that helped you reach your decision. Finally, propose a strategy you could use to avoid making the email a career-ending one.
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