Saturday 6 July 2013

You Got Mail - D'OH!!!!

I received an email similar to this at work the other day:

Hiya my little Peach Drop,
Are we doing anything on Saturday? Debbie and Sebbie want to go out for a drink.
Let me know.
Lots of love
Cuteybeauty xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The terms of endearment and other names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.

The one person I won’t protect on this one occasion is Mrs PM.

Because she wrote it.

Now while I don’t mind her using pet names in a personal email to me and me alone, I do object when she accidentally adds a group of work colleagues to the distribution list.

I replied with the following email.

Three things:

(1) Yes we are free on Saturday to meet Deb and Sebastian for drinks (does he KNOW you call him Sebbie?).

(2) Did you mean to copy in your entire IT department? 


Yes, I know points (2) and (3) are the same point but it is such an important point that I felt it needed to be made twice. Now your entire IT department knows that you call me “my little Peach Drop” and that I call you “CuteyBeauty”. 

Do you think you will hear the last of this?

Mrs PM replied with something like:

OH SHIT!!!!!!!!

However, her reply never got to me because it fell foul of our profanity filter, a kind of firewall against swearing in emails. The profanity filter is a little like a jobsworth employee who feels that the company will fall apart if it doesn’t throw any emails containing dodgy words into the bin.

Our profanity filter is very keen, so keen in fact that it throws out words that contain dodgy words within them or words that have a meaning that can be either a swear word or not, depending on the context. Words like:


If a person joined my company called Richard but preferred to be known as Dick in his emails he would never get any. You can complain to the IT department by sending an email like:

Dear IT,

Can you please configure the profanity filter so that my emails to Dick Scunthorpe and Ed Balls are not thrown out?


Plastic Mancunian

The problem is that it will never get past the profanity filter because it contains the bloody words you want to complain about.

Suffice it to say that Mrs PM’s email didn’t get to me. All this goes to show is that email is a dangerous thing, particularly if you don’t proof read it before you send it or carefully check the recipients of the email. Once you have pressed that SEND button, it is too late.

One work colleague sent a personal email to his girlfriend but forgot to remove the formal signature added automatically at the end. It sounded something like:

Hi love,

Can you buy some chicken on the way home? 

Kindest Regards,
Anthony Wallaby
Project Manager

Her reply was something like:

Dear Anthony,

I will procure some chicken for you. Can you obtain a signed purchase order? 

Best regards,
Fiona McNulty
Head of Chicken Procurement

One other trap you can fall into is to accidentally click on the wrong name when sending an email. I once saw an email pop up in my inbox saying something like:

Hi all,

It’s Dan’s stag party on Saturday and I have booked a kissogram for him. She’s a police woman and will “arrest” him in The Hogshead pub at 9pm. Make sure you’re there for it – should be a scream. It’ll cost £5 a head.

P.S. Dan hates kissograms so keep it quiet.



I replied:

Hi Bob,

Did you mean to include Dan on the distribution list?



If Dan had been called Dick, perhaps Bob would have got away with it.


Anonymous said...

This is funny...I laughed - out loud. No one heard me because my husband is vacuuming - or as y'all say - hoovering.

Really funny...Thanx!

(Now if I can only figure out what the "prove you're not a robot" crap says. And good thing I'm not emailing this to you at work ...)

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Grace,

Yes - "crap" would never make it past the profanity jobsworth.




Jackie K said...

Very funny - I laughed out loud too. Love it how twenty years after we got email we're still stuffing it up regularly.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Jackie,

Indeed we are. And I have been guilty of some email howlers too.




River said...

Oh Sh**!!
So how many turned up for drinks with Deb and Sheb?

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Mrs PM's entire IT department, me, Mrs PM, Deb, Seb and my entire IT department because I accidentally included them too.