Oops – I didn’t mean to send that...

30th June 2015

By Julie Causton

It’s an awful feeling – your stomach lurches, you go hot, then cold, then hot again, your face starts burning, your palms sweat and you feel sick. No, I’m not describing motion sickness, but the moment when you hit send and realise you’ve just sent the wrong email to the wrong person.

Everyone has at some point wished they could recall an email sent in haste or error. The degrees of fall-out range from embarrassment …..like the time I forwarded a complimentary message from a hard-to-please client to my boss with an accompanying gleeful comment, only to realise, seconds later, that I’d replied instead…….to diplomatic melt-downs such as recently happened in the Romanian Embassy in Paris when a member of staff sent out an invitation to a list of important dignitaries. Unfortunately he also attached the spread sheet containing the invitees’ contact details as well as some rather undiplomatic comments about them. Presumably the descriptions, which included ghastly and undesirable, were “for your eyes only” and intended to help brief the event planners. Nevertheless, such lack of diplomacy from the eponymous service could not go unpunished so the perpetrator was fired. 

Whether they cost you your job or just chip your professional veneer, mistake emails could be a thing of the past, thanks to Gmail’s new “Undo Send” feature. Users now have up to 30 seconds to cancel an email after hitting send, which will hopefully save many a red face and possibly a few diplomatic careers.

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