I think enough time has passed for me to tell this story. They say time heals all wounds and this wound of mine is slowly healing. Several months have now passed since this unspeakable incident happened at work. I…Replied All…Yes, I replied all in an email that turned heads for all the wrong reasons. Where do I start explaining myself…so what happened was…
I work in the office of communications focusing on social media for a department that deals with environmental issues. So on this particular date in late August, Kermit the Frog’s new girlfriend, Denise, was trending on Twitter. Apparently Kermit and Miss Piggy had broken up and Denise was the hot trend. At the same time, our president was in Alaska speaking about climate change. A particular topic that is far more poignant than say Kermit’s new girlfriend, Denise. However, the president speaking on climate change was of no interest to the Twitter world. I was annoyed that people cared more about Denise than say our planet. So I commented to a coworker (who also works in social media) about Denise and how our planet was doomed.
Later that day, my co-worker, who we’ll call PC, sent me an email on my work email account with a link to an article introducing the world to Denise. Of course, I opened and read it. I’m not gonna lie, I was curious about Denise, although I am #TeamMissPiggy all the way. At the same time, my agency was dealing with a crisis in the media.
To give some background on this, an activist was speaking with the media about a particular site, which my agency was responsible for cleaning. The activist was not happy at all with the work the agency was doing. To give more context to my story, the agency recently had employees who sent emails with inappropriate comments about this particular activist. Let’s say they didn’t say nice things about the activist.
Back to my story: my supervisor emailed a link to an article that quoted this particular activist to his boss and a few others and cc’d me. I had both emails open. PC and I constantly joke around and email each other back and forth work related material as well as non-work related material such as the Denise article. So thinking, I would be witty, I replied back saying “I don’t like her, she looks like a bish…”
I eagerly waited for PC’s response, even giggled a little thinking about what PC would say but nothing came. PC usually responds quickly…I kept waiting. It seemed like the longest minute ever! Two minutes passed and nothing. I took a look at the emails and I immediately froze as I saw that little arrow pointing back on my supervisor’s email and not PC’s. All the color in my body flushed away and even felt weak as if something had sucked out all the blood in my body.
Even as I write this, just thinking about it, I want to crawl into a hole. After realizing what I had just done, I panicked and frantically tried to retract the email before anyone would open it. But that shit doesn’t work!!! I sent the retract request but nothing happened. Sweat began to percolate on my forehead. I didn’t know what to do. What the hell was I going to tell my supervisor and then his supervisor and everyone else cc’d?! Yeah, that hole was starting to look pretty good and so was the window of 22nd floor.
I tried looking for my supervisor to explain the email but he was in a meeting with his supervisor and a few other people who also happened to receive the email. So I sat at my desk, pale looking and thinking I had to pack my few office belongings because this was for sure my last day at the office.
Finally, my supervisor came to my cubicle and called me into his office. He explained he had seen the email as well as everyone else cc’d. My supervisor was not amused by my email. He didn’t think Denise was a bish at all! And he was not the only person who stopped by; a different supervisor cc’d in the email decided to come and shake her head at me (Side note: Now she was a bish!).
I was pretty much speechless. With my tail in between my legs, I immediately explained myself and asked for forgiveness. I told him the email was not about the activist or any living, breathing person but about the muppet, Denise. I told him that this was not an appropriate use of my work email. I apologized profusely. Not only did I apologize to him but also to everyone else cc’d.
I was in the “doghouse” for several months. My supervisor took me off some of my high profile projects. I had to walk around with a scarlet RA on my chest. Not only was I ashamed of my stupidity, but I was so scared, and still am, to reply to any emails. Every time I send a work email or any email for that matter, I take about five minutes to inspect it! I get nervous and sweaty. I hesitate to hit send. This incident was traumatizing!
Moral of this story is: Denise is a fucking bitch! #TeamMissPiggy. Also, don’t reply all. Just saying…