You weren’t supposed to see that!

Ever been on the receiving end of an email you weren’t supposed to receive, like I was yesterday? Topics may vary but the most awkward ones are when they’re in relation to you or your work. Sadly, we still encounter people who find the need to immaturely behave.

The instance was in relation to a reluctant person unwilling to cooperate and see the benefit from participating in a particular event. Instead of being a team player, they unilaterally self-selected out and then complained that they still needed to contribute in some way. Their “aren’t I lucky?” comment was forwarded to me instead of their intended recipient. Whoops. I queried the statement and have yet to receive a response. Busted.

It reminds me of the time three apparently senior – and apparently mature – managers received an agenda for an upcoming meeting with an irritating colleague. The items were general, but they added their creative flair by adding their own items to the end of the agenda – those being various annoying habits exhibited by said employee, so it looked something like the following:


  1. previous actions
  2. marketing agreement
  3. fundraising strategy
  4. outstanding items
  5. talking on top of other people
  6. talking loudly
  7. talking with your mouth full of food
  8. close talking
  9. not listening

And on and on it went. The problem occurred when one of the people accidently copied in the person whom they were ridiculing. Whoops. They were not meant to see that. Needless to say, it wasn’t received well. Check out HR Hot Tip #42 in my book 101 HR Hot Tips: Handy Secrets for Success in the Workplace. Vent, but don’t hit send.

Or what about when you overhear something you’re not supposed to. Like the time I was in earshot of someone who was bagging me out about something, yet when I said “Hey I heard that!” they started crying! Why is that? Their tears. Hang on a sec – I’m the one who should have been crying!

What about when someone doesn’t know you’re in the Zoom or MS Teams meeting and they slip up. Yup, that’s awkies too.
Remember HR Hot Tip #81: Be upfront and honest with the people you bitch about.

As I always say, stupidity is a sackable offence. It’s not worth the damage to your credibility, and your thoughts are private. Protect them. So don’t write anything you don’t want seen on the front page of the computer and don’t say anything at work about anyone you wouldn’t say to their face. Be kind.


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