Friday, June 21, 2013

Spotted: Can You, Like, Un-Send E-mails?

Last summer, a fellow intern was reading a story about a politician in a news publication in our Hill office when she noticed that one of our LAs was in the background of the picture.  The LA had worked for this politician before joining our office some years ago.  The intern who saw the picture was assigned to this LA for the summer and was the one person in the office with whom the intern had the most direct communication and would provide a letter of recommendation should the intern ask.  

The intern was naturally excited when she saw the picture and immediately emailed the LA a link to the picture/accompanying article.  Something along the lines of: "You're featured in [publication]! THIS IS SO COOL!!!!" 

It was at this point that I looked over and noticed the article she had seen.  What would have been obvious to her had she actually read the article, or even its headline, before blasting off that email to her supervisor, was that the coverage of the LA's former boss was decidedly negative.  Further, the politician's former staff was partially implicated in the criticism. 

I broke the bad (read: hilarious) news.  My intern friend freaked out and, after asking if there was "a way to, like, un-send emails?" thrust the keyboard in my direction and beseeched me to "fix it with your smart words!"  I made my best attempt at an oops-I-should-have-read-the-headline-but-let's-laugh-it-off mea culpa email, but I know that the intern was correct in her assessment of the situation: "the LA is going to think I'm really dumb."