What’s your worst e-mail ‘oops’?

By Steve Outing

On a small e-mail discussion list that I’m on, one of the participants inadvertently sent everyone a PDF of a couple prescriptions for a family member. Obviously, her e-mail was intended to go elsewhere — probably her pharmacist. It was one of those “oh, s***!” mistakes that the speed of digital communications makes too easy.

Who among us hasn’t done something like this? If you can say that you’ve never sent an e-mail or instant message to the wrong person and it ended up being embarrassing, then you must be an abnormally careful person.

This incident reminded me of my worst instance of this kind of boo-boo. It was an instant-message exchange, using a corporate system (since this was well before IM entered the world), between me and a co-worker at a newspaper. I was working as a copy editor, and I was exchanging messages with a reporter, who was in another room not 50 feet from me. We were discussing the section editor, who was in his office nearby.

In addition to messaging the reporter, I was also messaging the editor; two instant online conversations were going on simultaneously. You can guess what happened. … The one message I sent to the reporter that was disparaging of the editor, well, that was the one I accidentally sent to the editor. Oh, s***!

What’s your most embarrassing digital working-too-fast moment?

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!