Clever responses to my communications blunder
I send a lot of emails — THOUSANDS of emails — for SPJ. Last Thursday morning, I sent one to every member of the organization. After pressing send, I turned to my to-do list and planned the rest of my workday.
Then I saw this on Twitter:
Right you are, Carl. I went into the contact list and saw that each email address lined up with an unrelated name. I sent 7,331 incorrectly addressed emails.
All I could do was correct the mistake and let it serve as a reminder to triple check everything I send out — the revered double-check had failed me this time.
I expected to lose part of my day to addressing the problem. I did. But I didn’t expect to spend much of the afternoon laughing.
Thank you, journalists, for your persistent sense of humor.
In exchange for your patience and wit, I give you:
The Top 5 Responses to My Stupid Mistake (and the subsequent correction email)
5. “I liked being ‘Dave’ for a day.” — Peggy
4. “I was all set to climb up on you with both feet about the ‘Donald’ thing. Trump, maybe or Donald Duck, even … then you corrected your mistake.” — Janet
3. “I considered making a smart aleck reply, but figured it would have to take its place in a long line.”
2. “I’ve been called a lot of things worse than ‘Jennifer’ in my years as a community newspaper editor.” — Gary
(Three others also said they have been called worse. Journalism!)
And the winner, by far:
1. “Thanks for the invitation, but my name isn’t ‘Mary.’ : -)”
[I replied to this man —Mark — with an apology]
“No big deal, Christine. I guess I’m still a little sensitive about the fact that, back in ancient times, my local newspaper used to publish the list of school classes for fall, and they almost always ID’d me as ‘Mary.’ Humiliating experience for a 6-year old boy.”
[Additional apology sent]
“Thank you. Gotta run. Appointment with my therapist.”
And that, I believe, is called a Silver Lining.
But really, I’m lucky to have experienced little backlash. Regardless — lesson learned.
BONUS: How the foolishness unfolded on Twitter:
Christine DiGangi is the communications coordinator at SPJ headquarters. She graduated from DePauw University and has worked in journalism and communications. Connect with Christine through email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Twitter, @cdigang.