The Email Mistake Horror Show, Starring Me

You always hear about those nightmarish work stories that haunt you to the core. Like the one where you’re asked to share a presentation you didn’t think was due for another week. Or the one where you’re stuck in the elevator with the CEO of your company and you suddenly have the intellect of a potato. Don’t worry, I think to myself, those are just urban work legends. They don’t happen to real people.

Well, I was wrong. Dead wrong. Everyone makes mistakes at work. Skipping over sidewalk lines or avoiding black cats won’t exempt you from the curse of professional doom. With more to do and less time to do it, we’re expected to be faster, better and more efficient. In doing so, sometimes we compromise the quality of a task in order to scratch it off our never ending to-do list. Big, big mistake!

Something as simple as sending an email can leave you wanting to hide under the covers. It just takes the click of the ‘send’ button to throw you spiraling into the Twilight Zone. So learn from me, oh innocent ones. For I have sacrificed myself for you. That’s a lie. But I did actually make these mistakes, so please learn from me as you continue into the email abyss.

These are my 3 recent email mistakes. Read if you dare.

1. Forgetting the dreaded attachment

Type, type, type, I’ve attached the document below, type, type, SEND! AHH! It still horrifies me to this day! It’s so simply avoided, but yet it’s so easy to find yourself trapped in this mistake. I was so caught up in the copy of the email and making sure it was addressed (and CC’d) to the right people that I completely forgot to attach the document the email actually was about. When this happens, the worst part of it all is the follow up email. The email you then have to resend to everyone confessing your idiocy and attaching the forgotten email.

How do you avoid this nail biter? I’ve learned that I should add my attachments first to ensure they are included. Then, continue on with the body of the email. Finally, add the email addresses. Adding the contacts should be kept for last just in case you get a rush of adrenaline and send your email prematurely. I’ve made that mistake too.

2. Not proof-reading #Goosebumps

I have committed this crime way too many times. I’m so eager to send my email that I write and send without reading it through. It’s like the girl in the scary movies that could have avoided her dramatic death had she just pulled her cell phone out of her back pocket. Hello! It’s so obvious, isn’t it? After you type up your email, take the extra 10 seconds to read it through. More times than not, you’ll notice you forgot a simple “the” or a comma, or maybe you’ve even addressed the email to the wrong person. Like the time I addressed an email to Brandy when her name was actually Beth. Guilty as charged.

3. UnnecesSCARY emails

This is another email mistake that haunts my dreams. I have sent too many emails asking questions that have already been answered had I just read the thread in its entirety or done a little research of my own. Oh, you already sent me your content calendar? It looks like I never received it! Lie. It’s important to make sure you didn’t miss anything before you send an email requesting an item you’ve already received. This is a waste of everyone’s time, and you don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Yes, I know, emailing someone to quickly get your answer is the easiest way to move forward, but easier isn’t always smarter. Make sure you’ve looked for your answers before you ask someone else for them.

I hope you heed my advice and don’t learn your lesson the hard way. Save yourself from the email grim reaper and take the extra time to check over your emails before you hit send. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!


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