This post is 100% inspired by a combination of a real-life e-mail mistake I received 8 years ago and this article about 11 of the worst email mistakes you can make. Hopefully this story reminds you to never send an e-mail out of anger before taking a breather to calm down. Here we go!
The Huge E-mail Mistake that Changed my Life Forever
Once upon a time, I was about a year and a half out of college, working in a job that I only partially loved. I liked what I did, but didn’t love the management. Said management made one terrible e-mail mistake that changed my life forever.
Ok, ok…. let me paint a better picture for you. I worked for a flooring company in Columbus, OH, and helped with their marketing. I worked closely with who turned out to be one of my very best friends, who later was a bridesmaid in my wedding! To this day, we are still besties. As for the job – I was in the nitty gritty of search engine optimization, content writing, website development, marketing analytics, and more. Working with my bestie on marketing project after marketing project was the fun part!
The not so fun part, as I mentioned earlier, was the management of the flooring company! The CEO of this flooring company got fired from his own father’s flooring company some time ago. To spite his father, he ended up starting his own flooring company, which grew to a $100+ million dollar business in very short order. To this day, him and his father are still not on speaking terms.
The Contents of the Craziest Email Ever
One day, my bestie and I got back from getting a bite to eat. As I approached my desk, I realized the office was as quiet as could be. The peacefulness I observed was far from the usual. I finally sat down and got settled, and proceeded to pull up Outlook. The first thing I saw was an e-mail marked as urgent from none other than the CEO. Upon opening up the e-mail, I noticed there were about 20 people that received the e-mail, out of the company’s 150 or so employees. Note to self – if I ever send a nasty gram like the one I received, make sure I’m not sending it to a gazillion people!
This e-mail was for all intents and purposes a threat to FIRE all 20 of us. It read, “If this project is not complete by the end of business today, YOU ARE FIRED!” Oh, the dreaded screaming capital letters. Can you imagine? I came back from lunch to an e-mail that screamed I was going to be fire. If I was reading this today, knowing what I know now, I’d be rolling around on the floor laughing.
For your knowledge, this was absolutely terrifying to me at the time! I was totally freaking out and had an overwhelming feeling of wanting to puke, while feeling like I was going to pass out. I can’t tell you how many people I had seen get fired with no notice at this place… too many to count! All I could think to myself was, this is it! Me along with these 20 other people are on the chopping block! I didn’t even know what the project was, as I was not involved in it and had never heard about it! Talk about INSANE!
Wake up Call
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results! Let me clue you in – management here was absolutely insane! This was the only e-mail I ever received like this in my career. Do you want to know why?
No, I did not get fired. Whatever the CEO was so pissed about did get completed by the end of the day. However, this e-mail was my wake up call. It told me that I was not a valued employee. It also told me girl, you better look for something better now, before the CEO has an even crazier day!
That very night, I went home, and started the good ole’ fashioned job hunt. Since I already had a job, I figured I should only apply for things that really, really appealed to me. I found two jobs and went through the tedious process of filling out the applications. I’m pretty certain I spent the entire evening doing this, which is why being selective is so important.
Less than One Month Later
A few days after applying, a recruiter from Discover Card gave me a ring. The position at Discover my top choice out of the two positions I applied for. I ended up going through three whole rounds of interviews with Discover before being offered the job. Additionally, I had to take a test to prove my analysis skills. My decision to leave the flooring company for Discover was hands down the easiest and best decision I’ve made in my career to date. I will forever be grateful for all that Discover did for me, my family, and my career.
The difference in the culture between the flooring company and Discover was unreal. Discover Card continuously showed it cared about its people. From snacks, to the onsite gym, the cafeteria with subsidized healthy options, the on-site nurse practitioner, and free lunches almost every week. You know what – I could go on with the list of perks forever. However, I do have to share the best perk in the entire universe; my hubby and I got to go on an all expenses paid trip to the Orange Bowl to see our Ohio State Buckeyes. While there, I got to meet Dierks Bentley, that year’s halftime performer! Discover is thebomb.com!
Moral of the E-mail Mistake Story
I want to leave you with several thoughts that I really hope you take away from my story:
- Focus on the things you can control. I couldn’t control how crazy my work environment was at the flooring company. What I could control was my happiness and whether or not I chose to work there. If you don’t like your current situation, you are the only one that can change your story.
- Please, I beg of you, NEVER send an email out of anger. Even if you aren’t off your rocker, you could totally come across that way. Angry e-mails could equate to the loss of great employees. They also often result in lost creditilibty!
- Find work that you love, where you feel valued. I honestly loved Discover Card! Even though I’ve moved on since moving to Cleveland, I always did love Discover, and I always will! I felt valued there, even though my job was just one very minuscule piece of the big picture! Enjoying where you spend the majority of your time throughout the week will make a huge difference in your overall happiness! Not even that, but you might just happen to make more money working for a company where you are valued. Since leaving the flooring company just six years ago, I have tripled my salary! You never know how you’ll be rewarded by stepping out of your comfort zone and standing up for yourself.
Friends, that’s all I have for today. However, I want to hear all about crazy e-mail mistakes that you’ve received! Ready……. go! Please drop us a quick story down in the comments below.
P.S. If you could use some more inspiration, here are some of the most popular inspirational posts: