Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Fortune Magazine did an article on their blog:
E-mail may be hazardous to your career
Careless e-mailing has brought down some high-flyers. Fortune shares tips on how to keep safe.

The article itself isn't all that great, but check it out. Then, check out the forum:
"FORTUNE Talkback E-mail could be hazardous to your career. �

Much, much more interesting. The stories speak for themselves; I could post for pages about a few of them. They show that for every Claire Swire, or mega-famous e-mail forward, there are hundreds of smaller stories. If you have any, send them in; I'm all interesting.

The one post that I thought was really interesting, at least for tonight - I'll be back, talkback forum - is this one:
I don’t quite understand why you would ask this and why anyone would repeat for the whole world the contents of an embarrassing email. If it was embarrassing for the limited audience to see it the first time, why would anyone want to experience the embarrassment a second time in front of all of your readers?
Posted By Mark G. Manuel, Kenai, Alaska : May 3, 2007 5:06 pm

And it's a good point. Many of the people who posted their stories of accidental forwards were the senders themselves. Why cop to it? I think it has something to do with the nature of embarrassment. Embarrassment is both tragedy and comedy. Laughing it off is a coping mechanism to deal with embarrassment, to be sure. Much in the same way that someone with a spot on their tie or a black eye might offer the explanation for it without being asked. Those people anticipate the negative reaction their observer might have (slob, victim) and recast themselves in that person's judgment - often assuming the worst-case scenario - as something else (unlucky, accident-prone). But taking that one step further are people with embarrassing stories in their past who laugh them off by bringing attention to them, even when they're not readily apparent. It's as if they want to change the past, by recasting this action, in the largest collective subjective sense, as a funny story, rather than a tragic one. If everyone remembers a tragedy as a comedy, doesn't it become a comedy?

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