So who else has hit "reply-all" to a work email?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by glocke12, May 14, 2010.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    I work in a lab for a pharma company (see previous post of mine to describe what exactly its like to work for a pharma company), and had spent about two hours doing prepwork for an experiment that I had been waiting days to do and that many people were waiting to see the results.

    It is a VERY busy lab with many people working in it, and as a result it gets rather cluttered very easily.

    Today, one of the managers who hasnt had to step foot into a lab for years because she is a manager, took it upon herself to "de-clutter" the lab. The end result is that a portion of my experiment was ruined and some expensive reagents were wasted. I had to start over and the data is delayed causing trouble for me. Being under alot of stress and pressure already to get this data out, I was actually on the verge of tears when I realized what had happened.

    After all this occured this woman sends out an email admonishing us all for being slobs, and she went on to brag extensively about how well she cleaned up. I wrote a reply to her giving an itemized detail of the cost of everything she thew out, and how much of a set back this was for me and the project I was on, and explained that the stuff of mine that was thrown out was not in the way, and was clearly marked and easily identifiable as not being trash.
    Instead of sending it only to her I sent it to "reply-all", which includes managers and directors, more or less as a way to make her look like an idiot. Might have been a mistake, but boy did that feel good!!
  2. toolbox macrumors 68020


    Oct 6, 2007
    Australia (WA)
    Yep i have hit reply to all many times, it hasn't landed me in hot water.

    but good on you for detailing your loss in data / productivity. The manager may have something to answer for!
  3. Decrepit macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2007
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    I used to work for a place with 150,000 employees. Every so often, somebody would do that by accident. No problem it happens.

    BUT, then the morons in the company would reply to that one, replying to all of course, and say remove me from this distribution list.

    Which of course led to people replying to all, telling those who were saying to be removed that they were idiots.

    So, one mistake would turn into literally a million or two emails as people spammed each other rather than noticing it was a mistake, and just hitting delete.

    It's good that I'm not in charge when things like that happen. I would immediately reduce the performance ranking of every person who was part of the storm after the initial mistake. And if it *ever* happened twice, you'd be fired. At.

  4. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    This was always hilarious. I miss working for a big company sometimes.
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    So you're saying your company employs morons? ;)
  6. Decrepit macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2007
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    Thousands of them. More than 50% of the company can't be above average.

    They laid me off several years ago. I was way too expensive.
  7. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    This has happened at every job I have had an email account at.

    I also hate it when people don't use BCC, so then your email address is sent out to everyone, of course people you don't know.
  8. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    uh, no you me.
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    The US State Department's e-mail system actually crashed from a series of reply-all messages a couple years ago. Hilarious.
  10. Decrepit macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2007
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    There are some very very nice aspects to working in a place that has a budget.

    Working for places that can never get anything done because they can't afford to do it right, so you are always fixing crap rather than being productive? Kinda sucks.

    Now I'm in heaven. I'm working for a place with under 1500 people, but being in the energy industry, we have a ridiculous budget.
  11. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    Years go, I worked in a university library. There was one lady in administration who would routinely send out urban legend emails to everyone. You know the type: deodorant causes cancer, Febreeze will kill your pets, AIDS needles on gas pumps, etc. A friend of mine at work and I were both fans of Snopes and other urban legend sites, so we would usually just reply to her explaining how they were fake, sending links to Snopes, etc. She didn't get the message, so my friend did a reply to all one time. He didn't just put the Snopes link in the reply. He put in links to research found in journals found in our library, and had citations for all his quotes and stats. To add insult to injury, he began the email with something along the lines of "After doing a bit of research in our own library, I discovered the following:"

    She never sent out another of those emails.
  12. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    I had a guy who would manage like that. It seems these idiots get promoted for being idiots! LOL

    This guy used to find some little issue, blow it up to make it look like the company will be destroyed if you don't fix it, and personally champion the issue.

    Unfortunately he never knew WTF he was talking about, and after spamming a damning email to everyone, would run over "in person" to apologize, so you wouldn't retort in email, just talk it over in person. This made him look correct in managements eyes, because their were never any replies to it.


    I flamed this guy for jumping on something that was clearly his fault, but blamed me. I even added a few people to the list, since he felt including all my senior management was a good idea.

    Never happened again though!

    Yeah, sometimes you do things you regret, and believe me, people never forget it. There's always good and bad to the situation, the good being she will never come in and clean the lab again.

    The bad, she won't forget you did this. Best you can do is talk to her and tell her your true intention was to reply to her and you messed up. I wouldn't apologize for being late in the testing results though.
  13. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    I've never hit a reply to all, but I have made other cock-ups at work.

    My boss was well-known for being hard to pin down, so even though I worked in the same room as him I had to organise a meeting through Lotus Notes whenever I needed to see him about a project. He was also normally late to (or didn't go to) meetings.

    I'd arranged a meeting to spend a while talking about some equipment I'd designed, and when we were supposed to be 5 minutes into it he still hadn't called me to go to the meeting room. Lotus Notes has an in-built IM system so I opened it and sent a message to the guy who sat opposite me saying something like "Good to see XXXX is punctual to our meetings, as normal". When he didn't respond I thought he was just playing it cool, to not attract attention. Then I heard my boss (who never uses the IM) saying "Hmm, what's this popped up...... Oh". My boss and the intended recipient both had names beginning with "S", and Lotus had shortened them in the list to "S...". I got an IM back saying "**** you, now I'm definitely not coming".

    After that (and nearly sending a message to the head of the whole company instead of another student) I removed everyone from my IM list.
  14. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I've done it, intentionally though. I don't think I've ever accidentally done it. But even though my company has 300,000 employees, usually a reply to all consists of no more than about 50 people who are on my team.

    Not quite a reply to all story, but bad nonetheless. I worked in my university's IT department, and we have an Exchange distribution list that goes to all students and employees. Obviously, for security purposes, only authorized users can send to it. Well, one of the assistants to the Dean is an authorized user since sometimes she has to email stuff out to everybody. One day she decides to send two fairly large funny video clips (maybe about 10 megs each) to a couple of her coworkers, except she made use of Outlook's auto complete in the To field without actually paying attention to what auto complete chose for the email address. So rather than sending these clips to her coworkers, she sent it to the all students/employees DL. Somewhere in the middle of attempting to replicate 20 megs of video clips across about 20,000 mailboxes at once, the Exchange server crashed.
  15. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    So far I've only used reply all intentionally. You have to be careful when you use that function to give someone a dressing down. It can come off making you look vindictive, immature, and unprofessional.

    Instead it's best to send the message only to those whose opinion matters and the content should be factual and without a vindictive tone. Deliberately humiliating someone in front of their peers and subordinates will be remembered -- believe me.

    Your ability to deal with difficult situations in the work place with sensitivity and political acumen is far more valuable in a workplace than proving you are "right" and getting back at someone.
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Eff that. Your boss made a mistake and tried to make you look like slobs. Well, she got hers in return, and it wasn't even something you had to lie about.

    People shouldn't send out emails like the one you sent. Whoever told you that it wasn't right are right. However, if a manager handles a situation like this in such a crappy way, then she deserves it when she makes a mistake. Sorry, but she should know how to manage people.....and she doesn't. She also doesn't know how to manage projects, since she just threw away money, work, work hours, and caused stress.
  17. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Hardly a word day goes by that I don't use Reply to All.

    I know the horror stories that some have had from using it accidentally, but my experience is that it's a pretty simple matter to look in the "To:" field and see either a single name, or several names. I guess it's just me being careful.
  18. Decrepit macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2007
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    One of my customers decided to send a 200MB video out to a few dozen people. From their Exchange 2000 server. Took the whole law firm offline as it clogged the DSL connection, the domain controller's CPU and memory peaked, etc.

    It probably would have unwound, but he resent the batch when his friends said it hadn't arrived yet.

    That was a blast to fix. (cough)

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