So when I arrived to work this morning, I received a rather innocuous little memo. Nothing big. Nothing worrisome. Just a company-wide e-mail explaining a system issue has been discovered and is being fixed. They wanted to alert us before somebody found it on their own and started freaking out. No big deal, right? Wrong.
A couple of minutes later, somebody sent out a question relating to the problem. We use Lotus Notes for our e-mail here at work, and it comes with two basic reply options: Reply (which sends your message back to original sender), and Reply to All (which sends your message back to the sender and all the addressees of the original message). A lot of people don't seem to grasp the difference between the two Reply functions. Guess which one this guy chose?
Usually when somebody makes this mistake, it's not a big deal. It usually happens within the building I work in, which means that oh, say, 300 people receive the message. Either it gets ignored, or a "sorry -- I'm a dumbass!" message comes through ten minutes later. And that's it. End of story. Not today though. Today the legitimate message went out companywide to approximately 4,500 employees. The accidental one went out to every one of us, too. So did the reply. Then the "this is personal information that you probably don't want to share" message. Then the "I don't understand why I'm getting these messages" message. Then the response to that one, and the response to that one... And so on. Finally someone in HR sent out something asking us not to discuss this topic via e-mail anymore, and be sure to know the difference between Reply and Reply to All.
Fat chance of that happening.