Don’t Ever Post While….

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I suspect we’ve all done it.

Have you felt like screaming immediately after you have hit that SEND button?  Or better still, after a few glasses of wine (oh gawd we would never admit that one), tweeted something so stupid, awful and irrevocably damaging that we only wish the ground could swallow us up.

How about that email you sent to a really, really close friend at work. You are exhausted from spending three weeks working on (what you believe is) a presentation that you have elevated to the position of godliness. Your boss grabs the divine presentation folder in his (or maybe hers?) greasy hands, folds its pristine leaves into a tube and without so much as a glance, walks off.  Worse, after the client presentation, he or she takes credit for the whole bloody thing.  Your department wins the contract, and what do you get for it? Not even a thanks.

So you spill your guts to your best friend about your boss, your department, the stinky admin who despises you, and finally your company in an email that makes you feel slightly better. I mean, didn’t your counselor tell you to write your feelings down and then let them go, or burn them, or bury them. Something like that anywho.

That feeling of relief doesn’t last long.  The creepy heat starts with the ears and spreads across the back of the head and neck. It then spreads across your cheeks, your mouth dries up and you heart starts to palpitate.  All of these things are normal reactions of flight. However, in this 21st century, the enemy is the Internet. Did you send it to him or her or was that a SEND ALL you just saw, as the document’s little round revolving image tells you it is distributing itself across the Internet faster than a speeding bullet.

A while ago I worked with a group of sales people. When the boss flew out my job was to check his email. He was usually too busy playing golf in Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney to do this himself.

On one occasion one young and totally stressed out techie was going through a horrendous divorce. Unfortunately, the letter he thought he sent to his soon-to-be ex-wife landed up in our bosses email box. And the email which was supposed to reach our boss thanking him for his substantial pay raise which was to be deposited in a different bank account, reached his soon-to-be ex-wife. Scattered throughout the ex-wife letter were words no one would want to read, and in particular ones boss.

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At the time I thought the whole thing was really funny until I did something similar.  Not quite as bad, but sending an email out to a large distribution list which was probably a split shopping list for my spouse.  Silly stuff.  But that same, awful sick feeling still hit me.

What’s the worse case scenario?

People no longer regard you as anything but a nutcase

This truly breaks your heart because since the inception of the Internet blog, in particular Facebook, you have become ridiculously narcissistic and think that everyone hangs off every word you post. Your deceit crumbles like confetti.

Your wife/husband now has a good reason to divorce you

Think beggary; think destitution.

Your competitor now has a good reason to sue you

Think libel, followed swiftly by beggary and destitution.

You lose your job
Oh absolutely. Think ‘All of the Above.’

It’s a Stress Filled World We Live In

It certainly is and for most of us, under many conditions, we sometimes forget to leave things aside before that post.  We should all definitely get into the habit of patience.  Take me, and auto-correct.  I was late sending out Christmas Cards a few years ago.  Along with some of the cards went a Christmas letter.  In the letter I discussed various members of the family.  My half-brother and half-sister were mentioned in very favorable terms. However, in mentioning their last name I had not noticed that ‘Word’ had auto-corrected it to ‘scrotum.’ The rest is history.

Hot Off The Press

Today, all over the Internet, is a story about one sad, sad PayPal executive who unfortunately ranted on a tweet which he says he thought was private but turned out to be very, very public.  I read the article in The London Telegraph because it’s, well, The London Telegraph. Considering he was an executive and considering the tweets were full of strange typos and cryptic letters, one does wonder.  Was he on vacation?  Apparently.  Was he drunk?  Who knows.  He claims he was not only on vacation, but had been working 20 hours a day and was testing a new android phone. All very valid excuses but honestly, the majority of people really did not want to believe him.

I feel sorry for him actually.  So don’t laugh.  Remember…..What Goes Around, Comes Around.  You just never know when it could be you and for sure The Fate Gods are definitely lurking in their hundreds of thousands around the Internet.

What’s The Best Way To Handle this Situation If It Was You?

  1. Hire Stephen Colbert’s scriptwriter to write you an hysterically funny excuse.  Laughter and comedy actually make people like you more.
  2. Blame it on the kids.  They lifted your phone, which you left on, and blogged on your behalf. If you don’t have any kids try No. 3.
  3. Tell everyone your cellphone was stolen. The rascal thief blogged it, you would never have said such stuff.
  4. Cast fate to the wind and reiterate exactly what you posted because you hate your spouse, job, boss, department, and are exhausted with your competitors.

Unfortunately anything you post on the Internet is forever but over time will obfuscate and remain buried amongst a million other futile blog mishaps. You won’t forget but like a bad meal eventually you will be able to digest it and jettison the memory into the wide gray waters of the World Wide Web.

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