Technology. It’s life enhancing. It’s efficient. It’s time saving. Right? Um, only if you use it correctly!
Today we share our worst technological blunders and there’s only one word that comes to mind. Oops!
The Rational Optimist
When I was a university student, my fellow classmates and I worked at different sponsor organisations for periods of 6 months. There were around 25 of us in total, and being young with short attention spans, we ended up spending an inordinate amount of time emailing each other (all day, every day) when we were supposed to be gaining meaningful work experience.
One day we were recounting the events of the previous few days, which from memory most likely involved discussing who in our class had met some cute guy and what ramifications this had on existing relationships, friendships and competing interests. I remember becoming quite incensed at one particular girl, let’s call her Miss X, over the ensuing email conversation, for reasons that now escape my recollection.
What I do distinctly remember is blasting an email off to a girlfriend to moan about Miss X’s behaviour. I described her as a bitch (as the juvenile version of me back then often did about people that didn’t agree with me) and expressed my building disdain for her.
Within minutes, I was receiving emails from my classmates along the lines of:
“Wow, tell us how you really feel about her!”
“You do realise that Miss X just saw what you just wrote about her…?”
“Ummm, I suspect that you hit Reply All by accident…”
I had clearly made the rookie mistake of hitting Reply All rather than Forward to my intended recipient, my nasty comments had been put out there for all to see, and I was made to look like the complete bitch that I was.
Of course, all that was left for me to do was to apologise to Miss X for my appalling behaviour, both over email and then in person the next time I saw her in class, and hope that she forgave me. I think she eventually did.
Anyone who subscribes to this blog will probably recall, not that long ago, receiving an email notifying them of a post I’d just published.
Clearly entitled “NOT FOR PUBLISHING”.
It was full of book titles I was intending on purchasing. Including a lot of 50 Shades.
The worst part? I hated 50 Shades.
It started with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach… and then the internal debate began…
Optimist: “Is it possible I just stuffed up?”
Realist: ”Yep, you did.”
Optimist: “But surely it’s not that bad?”
Realist: “Yep, it is that bad.”
Optimist: “Don’t be silly. I can’t possibly have done something that stupid and careless!”
Realist: “Yep, I think you’ll find you did.”
And so the realisation took hold… I had indeed made the worst blunder of my career. Having entered the live production environment rather than the test environment, in the stroke of a key I had taken down a global company’s major financial system during the busiest time of month, impacted users worldwide and caused hours of extra work for myself and my team late into the night.
And mistakes like that just don’t go away. When I went back to work for the company again a few years later, my team’s favourite catch-cry was still “Don’t let PetiteFolle touch the production system”! Luckily they were joking… but to this day I do still wonder how on earth I managed to do something so stupid!