Sending E-Mail Without Having To Say You’re Sorry

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This month I have a confession to make.  I’m hoping that you can learn from my mistakes!

Two days ago I returned to my office after a trip that was a combination of business and pleasure. I attended the National Speakers Convention in New York City. It’s a city I love, but not one where you go to relax. Before I left the area I crossed the Hudson to New Jersey to visit my six-month-old granddaughter. I wouldn’t have missed the opportunity for anything on earth, but two days with an infant, a first time mother and father, an adolescent Chocolate Lab and two aging indoor cats whose lives have been turned upside down, was not exactly restful. Add to that crowded airports, confusion over additional airline fees, those annoying security checks where you dress and undress with total strangers, and semi-hostile airline employees; I arrived home exhausted.

Failing to recognize or admit any impairment to mind or body from my travels, I headed straight for my computer and began checking e-mail. So far so good. The problem came when I decided to reply to a few. I should have remembered the warning labels that say, “Do not attempt to drive or operate heavy equipment until you know how this product will affect you.” There needs to be a warning label on your e-mail program as well saying, “Do not attempt to send e-mail until you know that you are of sound mind and completely focused.”

One reply was to a friend. When I glanced at it later in my “sent” items, I saw to my embarrassment a number of glaring errors. I had used spell-check, but failed to notice when the spell checker had selected a word that was spelled correctly, but was misused and made no sense. Happily, the message was between friends.

Then came the biggie. In response to a lengthy sales pitch that I was too tired to deal with, I decided to forward it to my assistant along with a few disparaging remarks about the message. The problem was that I hit “reply” instead of “forward.” What happened next should have been no surprise. My phone rang. It was the somewhat offended salesman himself pointing out that I had obviously sent the response to him in error. He did not let me off easily.

Lessons learned:

1. E-mail can be a dangerous thing.
2. If you are not on your game, stay out of your e-mail program.
3. If you are the least bit weary, check the “send” line first and delete any and all addresses you see.
4. After you have composed your response, let it sit a while before you do your final review.
5. If you are confident that your message is ready to go, fill in the address line. If not, come back to it after a nap or a good night’s sleep.

Once e-mail is gone, it is almost impossible to retrieve. So follow the warning on the label and don’t attempt to drive, operate heavy equipment or send e-mail until you are sure of your mental state.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website,

One thought on “Sending E-Mail Without Having To Say You’re Sorry

  1. Drainage surveys

    I agree on what you have share,Since Email are easy to transfer to different terminals you really need to be careful for whatever messages or documents you send because you are the one who is accountable for any problems it may take.


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