Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An Email Foible Fable

This is a story about two San Francisco Chronicle employees, Priscilla and Sylvia. Priscilla worked in marketing, promotion and events. Sylvia worked in advertising sales. If you've ever worked with salespeople, you know how much they want to make the sale. And if that means giving away the shop, that's fine with them, so long as giving away the shop doesn't affect their bottom line.

Oh, that's so totally biased against salespeople, isn't it? But the basic premise is true for anything, right? So long as it doesn't have a negative impact on me, let's do everything and anything to help me. We're all looking out for number one, unless we're Mother Teresa. [And, if we're Mother Teresa, we're dead and not reading this.]

Back to Priscilla and Sylvia. Sylvia wanted marketing to give away the store to lure an advertiser. Priscilla didn't want to give away the store because that would impact her ability to give away store parts to other advertisers (who weren't Sylvia's). That annoyed Sylvia mightily. In fact, when Priscilla sent an email detailing why she wasn't going to do something, Sylvia was fed up. She had had it with Priscilla. And she complained about Priscilla  mightily in an email to others.

Only instead of forwarding the email to the others, she sent the complaint email about Priscilla  to  Priscilla .


Do you know how horrible Sylvia felt? Sick-to-her-stomach horrible. Because she and Priscilla had never had a decent relationship; in fact, in Sylvia's mind, Priscilla was always hindering Sylvia's progress. Priscilla, quite frankly, was a bitch in Sylvia's eyes.

But you can't both work at The Chronicle the same company and constantly be thrown into working together with that between you, splayed out all over the conference table like a dead skunk. So, while never retracting the hatred she felt for Priscilla, Sylvia walked over to Priscilla, looked her in the eye and apologized for what she had done. And then she wrote a note and sent it to her as well. And, from time to time, Priscilla would pull out that note and get an evil smile of satisfaction on her face. And, eventually, Priscilla and Sylvia actually became friends. And, eventually, Sylvia stopped getting sick to her stomach every time she recalled what it was she had done.

The end.

Or the beginning.

1 comment:

Josie Two Shoes said...

Which of us hasn't pulled that classic email error at some point... sent the message to the person we were writing about rather than the one we intended? My younger sister sent one to my older sister that was intended for me. The fallout from that still hasn't been resolved. I think that these ladies handled it the very best way, rather than slinking by each other for years to come, they chose to confront it head on and go forward tentatively from there. I am also a direct person, so I relate to approaching things this way. Bravo for them, we could all learn a lesson here!


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