The question mark is important here – so far, this potential downfall has been met with mutual hysterics (unlike the shocked silence that met my previous korporate downfall), but if the laughter gets just a little bit too loud and goes a little bit too far .. well, it could be unfortunate. But I can’t help it. It’s just SO FUNNY and SO TERRIBLE.
Spell check is a necessary evil that is too often used as a crutch. Toss in a little ESL and some fast fingers, and you have a recipe for total disaster. I’ve already complained about equipment being “over-knighted” to a customer location, and how our “tool-free” technical support would be happy to take your calls .. but this is so much WORSE.
We had an outage at work, and unfortunately, we didn’t make things work again in a very timely manner. There was a lot of miscommunication and frustration on all sides, and when the smoke had cleared, the VP (my former BossBoss; now just my Sideways Boss) sent out an apology email to the customer that had suffered through our mistakes. This is all fine and good, and definitely not unusual. However, the VP is always too busy to worry about proper spelling and grammar. Most people ignore this, but you know me – I die a little inside every time I see a tragic mistake that someone (with my mad skillz) should have caught. Sure, I put a mandatory spell checker policy in place, but it doesn’t always help – after all, it’s not smart enough to know if you’re using the correct word; it just wants your words to be spelled right.
And this is how the VP came to send out an email apologizing for “the incontinence”.
That’s bad, right? It makes you cringe with awkward embarrassment. I should have KNOWN that no good could possibly come from a co-worker asking me to verify what “incontinence” meant, but oh how I wish it was just an idle question.
Slightly horrified, I brought the mistake to the attention of my former boss and suggested that maybe we could ask him to have someone else check the VP’s Important Customer Emails BEFORE he sends them out. I had been volunteered on a company-wide basis to do this for our CEO a few months back, and I was happy to do it – I wasn’t suggesting that *I* be the one to eyeball the VP’s outgoing email, but that *someone* should do it. The idea was quickly smacked down – VP! Can do what he wants! Bad Kimli! Yes this is hilarious, but SHHH! So, I went on my way.
Curious, I looked at the outgoing email again. I wanted to see what had happened, and how we screwed up – on the record, it was so I could see if there were any training opportunities here, but really I was just being nosy.
And that’s when I discovered that our VP had just apologized for “the incontinence” to a bathroom supply company.
That, I just discovered, makes products for elderly or disabled people.
I am too scared to say “this could only be worse if …”, even if I laughed so hard I cried (and immediately ran around to tell Former Boss and Visiting Co-worker, who brought the whole thing to my attention).
I am going to korporate hell.