Monday, November 20, 2006

Death Wish

What’s in a letter?

Picture the scene if you will... it’s Friday afternoon, it’s 30 minutes before knocking-off time, you’re tired, you’re bored and you’re desperate to finish off the last of your work and head home for the weekend...

All you have to do is email your department manager with some info he has requested - in this case an inventory of building equipment - and then you’re almost in the home stretch and can practically taste the free air of the weekend.

You begin to compose the email. You don’t want to appear too informal - he is after all the big boss of your department. Clearly "Hi Dale" is too chatty, too casual for what is after all a very slight but very formal working relationship. "Dear Dale" is much the safer option. Respectful, full of old style reverence and it can’t possibly offend anybody.

Unfortunately you’re so tired and eager to get away from the office that your typing skills are on the skids. An innocent finger slip - unnoticed in your haste to leave the grind of the workplace - substitutes the "r" for a "d"... and suddenly instead of "Dear Dale" your email begins "Dead Dale".

But you don’t notice until... Oh God. It’s been sent. And there’s no way to recall it.

You slope off home hoping that the famed dyslexia of this particular section boss will perhaps render the faux pas unnoticed...

Unfortunately you arrive at work this grey Monday morning to find a print-out of Friday’s email placed in the middle of your desk with the mistyped word highlighted big and large in bright red marker pen with a massive exclamation mark beside it...

What do you do now?

Keep your head down and hope the incident is soon lost amongst the normal flotsam of the day and make a vow never to rely solely on the spellchecker to pick up your typing errors ever again?

Or meet conspicuously with black suited Italian businessmen at lunchtime and make good the veiled threat?

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