When An Email Meant For A Team Landed Up in 27000 People’s Inbox!
A to-err-is-human incident
This happened to a Google executive, Jenny Illes Wood.
Like any other day, the inopportune day was also busy. She had just written a mail and sent it to her team. Or that’s what she thought.
Instead, the mail landed in the inbox of 27000 people in an email group.
While some recipients might have ignored it, some were scratching their heads. Making head and tail out of it.
Upon realizing her blunder, she quickly owned up to her mistake and wrote a new mail. “Not everything we do every day will be perfect,” she wrote.
The second mail also went to 27000 (perplexed) people.
And the responses surprised her, she tells Jason Feifer (the narrator of the incident, as posted on LinkedIn).
“We don’t talk about it, but it keeps us up at night and it distracts us from doing our best work. Getting this stuff out in the open is truly meaningful for people.”
The Reflective Angle
While some may tag it as a funny incident, it brings out some food for thought.
We all commit mistakes. No denying that. And we expect to be forgiven (and our mistakes forgotten).
May it be a spilled glass of milk, a delayed report, or a tender submission deadline missed — no matter what is the magnitude of our mistake, we seek forgiveness.
But do we extend the same to others?
How often do we jump at the chance to catch someone who has wronged us?
It’s like catching someone doing something wrong, makes us right(?).
How many times have you found yourself letting go of someone’s mistake with — it’s okay, we all do it.
That’s the probing we need to do.
The Dragging Effect
There is one other daunting thing about committing mistakes. It tends to drag you down.
It makes you feel small, sometimes. Incapable.
What will others think of me? Can’t even do this much? What image will they have of me?
One cannot go back in time and undo/amend an act. That train has gone. But;
a mistake can not only drag you away from your productive today but also from the rewarding tomorrow.
And the sooner you stop fretting about it, the sooner others stop bothering about it.
Get hold of yourself. Pause.
The first thing to do upon realizing a mistake is — Own up.
Does a hell lot of a job.
Owning up to a mistake is like putting a lid on an ever-oozing can of worms.
Close the matter. Yes, it started with me and it ends here. It gives the pass to move on to the next job at hand.
Making a mistake is bad, but not owning up just makes it worse.
The Final Countdown
So you did something wrong. No big deal.
- It is just an act that will soon be forgotten. But remember to extend the same leniency (that you expect) to others also.
- Mistakes have strong gravitational power; they can pull you down real hard. Learn to cut off the chain attached.
- Say it loud for the world to hear. And laugh it off (even when the world is laughing).
Because mistakes are proof, that someone is trying.