We’ve all been there before, right? A little too much wine, beer or moonshine mixed with loneliness turns into an inescapable urge to reach out to _________ electronically.
The result: words, typed or spoken, that you’d pay $1 million to retract.
The solution: step away from your phone and computer while intoxicated.
Having been on the giving and receiving end of more than a few alcohol-induced texts, emails and calls, I’m pretty forgiving. I laugh them off and use them for comical anecdotes.
Oddly enough, I’ve discovered sober communication mishaps, especially at work, can generate even more amusement. Here are two of my favorites.
Phone Faux Pas
She, and I’ll call her Mitsy, had been struggling with her job for months. In an effort to get her back on track, her supervisor moved her into a different cubicle sandwiched between me and another colleague, both high performers.
Several weeks post move, Mitsy discovered she’d never setup a phone at her new location. That came up after her supervisor received an angry call from a senior vice president complaining that Mitsy hadn’t returned any of his messages.
How in the world Mitsy could go weeks without getting a phone call and not realize something was amiss is a discussion for another day. Regardless, soon after I heard her setting up her new voice mail message.
“Hi, this is Mitsy. Sorry I missed your call. Leave a message, and I’ll call you back.”
She hung up. Her message light blinked.
“Oh, look. I got a message!”
Click, click, click. She punched in her code to retrieve it.
Moments later. “Oh. Hmmm…”
Clunk. More dialing.
“Hi, this is Mitsy. Sorry I missed your call. Leave a message, and I’ll call you back.” She hangs up again.
“Oh, look. A new message!”
Click, click, click. Pause….another groan.
Did she just do what I think she did? Twice? She answered my internal question by repeating it a third time.
As amusing as I found her exercise in insanity, I couldn’t take hearing a fourth attempt. I marched over to her cubicle.
“Mitsy, stop the madness! The way you reset your outgoing message is completely different from checking your messages by dialing yourself. Look up the instructions on the intranet and let me know if you have questions.”
It’s true. I could have handled it better, but it was the latest example of a long list of ridiculousness from her, and I lacked patience that day.
I immediately earned the top spot on her “disliked coworker” list, but I heard her successfully reset her outgoing message 20 minutes later.
A few months passed – my turn to struggle with a not-so-bright day. My mind scattered as another coworker asked me a complicated question. My answer was neither eloquent nor succinct, but she kindly thanked me for my insight when I finished.
Mitsy, still hating me, fired off this email to a nearby colleague.
Subject: She’s so annoying
Body: Did you overhear that conversation? Could Kim have been more repetitive? It was awful. 🙂
The only problem – Mitsy sent that message to me, not the intended recipient.
I laughed out loud when it popped up in my inbox. I found it humorous both due to her mistake and because she was spot on.
Subject: Re. She’s so annoying
Body: I don’t think you meant to send this to me, but you’re right. My explanation was atrocious. 🙂
Mitsy never emailed me again.
While Mitsy wasn’t always the brightest bulb in the bunch, she did have her moments of brilliance. And I thank her for teaching me two valuable lessons:
- Double-check the To: field in emails
- Whether drunk or sober, dialing yourself is always disappointing and never smart
How about you? Have you encountered similar mistakes with or sans alcohol?