Know Your ‘Netiquette’
SENDING an email in error can be a minor embarrassment or it can cost you your job. Yet, with some two-million emails sent globally every second, it’s no wonder that most of us have, at some time, forgotten our netiquette and committed an email faux pas which has ended up causing offence, embarrassment, annoyance or even got us the sack. The UK’s leading online provider of commercial office space, officebroker.com, works with over 90 per cent of the UK’s serviced office space providers and landlords and has access to thousands of office workers and businesses across the country.
Here, the company reveals some of the most embarrassing email blunders it has come across:
- A business manager accidentally sent details of all his employees’ salary on a company group email. Realising his error, he set the fire alarm off to clear the office before going round and deleting the email from every in-box.
- Following a sick day, an employee sent an email to a friend explaining his illness was due to ‘class As’. Unfortunately, he sent it to everyone in his company including the senior management. He now works elsewhere.
- A company included 24,000 email addresses in the ‘To’ box of a message. Many intended recipients probably never got to the actual message because it took them so long to scroll down to it.
- An IT professional unwittingly managed to ‘out’ a pal to his family Having received a chatty group email from his mate who had moved to New York, he replied suggesting it would be a great opportunity for him to find himself a new man only he had hit ‘Reply to All’, thus revealing his friend’s hidden sexuality to his nearest and dearest.
- Whilst having an e-conversation with a friend, a business man referred to a third friend’s wife in a very insulting manner. The e-conversation progressed to arrangements for a night out which the friend then forwarded on to the third party forgetting the disparaging comment which he had earlier made about this person’s wife. Not surprisingly, the planned night out didn’t go ahead.
- A police officer sent an email to her colleagues asking: “Who stole my yoghurt out of the fridge?” Unfortunately she accidentally sent the email to the entire West Midlands police force and received many a reply including: “Do you need CID? Have you sealed off the area? Has the dog unit been called?”
With 42 e-blunders happening every minute of the day, it’s no wonder that most of us have had to deal with an e-horror at some point in our working lives.
Need to know
Netiquette is derived by merging the words network and etiquette. More specifically the term netiquette has been described as the conventions of politeness recognised on Usenet and in mailing lists.
In the context of the new Internet global culture, attempts are being made to identify common standards of etiquette.
Netiquette breaches do not always bring retribution. Most breaches of politeness and courtesy may do no more than reflect poorly on the individual user. One who knows the rules of this new culture may well have an advantage over one who does not.