|The Ham Sandwich Scandal|
Posted 11 September 2005
The Ham Sandwich Affair showed the dangers of abusing email. Electronic mail is a powerful tool and misusing it can be expensive and embarrassing. Its important to follow some basic rules when dealing with email.
We've revisted the basic rules of email etiquette. Those rules rules were first written three years ago and are as valid today as they were then. But there are issues both email users and employers need to keep in mind.
Lessons for users
Dont write anything you wouldnt want to see publicly. If you dont want to see it on the six oclock news next to your picture, then dont write it. Dont use expletives and be very careful about insulting third parties, they might just get a copy.
Angry? By all means write an angry email. But dont send it, save it to your drafts folder and re-read it the next day. Never send an angry email.
Dont address mail until you are ready to send it. That way, if you accidentally hit send it wont go. Only include people who have reason for reading your email.
Similarly, the whole office doesnt care about your ham sandwich. The send all function is a powerful and dangerous device. Only send all if it is genuinely something everyone on your mailing list needs to know about.
Some people have work
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Lessons for employers
The lessons from this debacle are as great for employers as employees. There is no doubt this affair has proved embarrassing for the firm involved. Irresponsible emails can damage a reputation and be expensive.
Companies need to make
clear that their e
Forwarding internal correspondence outside the company is generally not acceptable. Even if it is two people calling each other funny names, hanging your businesses dirty laundry out publicly is not a good look.
Managers need to take their email practices seriously. While a comment from a secretary on the 18th floor may be laughed off, when its forwarded by a manager or a partner, it becomes serious. Managers need to treat email as serious company correspondence.
The Ham Sandwich affair was good for a laugh, but it shows that email can be a dangerous. Think before you send, and dont send anything written in anger. Remember, dont send anything you wouldnt to see next to your photo in tomorrows newspaper.
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