Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Look before you leap

Typing fast is good. But typing fast without realising what we are typing is dangerous. I learnt this with a very good experience today. I was working from the morning and was tired of work. Atlast,I thought I could send a joke to the friends in my team. After selecting the joke, I was selecting the emailaddresses from my address book in Outlook. I have created distribution lists for addressing various groups already. So it was easy for me to send the email. I simply clicked some friend's list and the SI team list. SI team is the distribution list I created with persons in my project team who all joined with me. It is a very good joke. It is about Madras local tamil language used in Windows menu and errors. A sample of it is:

Open = thora naina
Close = moodikko
Abort, Retry, Ignore = Ishtam illati uttudu
Yes,No,Cancel= ippa innaa sollikeere nee
General protection fault = allam Gali
Access denied = Kai veche, keesiduven

Laughing at the joke, I sent it with a belief that my friends can also enjoy the laughter.

Within a few minutes, I got mails from two of my team members, thanking for the joke. I felt happier. With little satisfaction I might have had, then there came the problem in the form of a phone call. My phone at my desk started ringing. I picked the phone casually and answered it, "Hello, Jeykumar". It was someone whom I do not know. He was asking how I got his email address. I don't know what he was talking about and he also asked if I am in SI. I dont know why he was asking all these. I said "Yes" with a great curiousity. He then asked where I am sitting as he could hear my voice. I had no idea why he is asking this till now. Then he asked, "Did you send the mail about Madras technology?". Damn. Now I got what went wrong. This person is from SI department but not in my team. I have sent the joke to him instead of addressing just to my team. But how can it have happened??? The thoughts ran so quickly in a second and I found the answer in a few seconds. The distribution list I created included not only my team members but also others in the SI department. Which means that I have sent the email to about 360 persons sitting in this building and everyone from new software engineers to the project managers will be reading it by now.
By this time, my head started spinning. I recovered myself from my thoughts and apologized to him for the disturbance that might have been caused to him. When I was about to relax, he added that the mail will have reached Murali who is the head of the SI department. Oh! my god. What have I done to myself! I was completely worried that the Department head may call and shout me for sending jokes to the group. After hanging up, I became a bit nervous. But then, I consoled myself saying this is our company. Mails like these must not be a much problem. And then the phone started ringing again. This time it was another person with the same question? He advised me not to send jokes to the group ID. I thanked for his advice and silently hung up the phone. Oh! oh! What can I do? And then there was ringing in my phone again. I am sure it must be another person asking, "Madras Technology?" Please..... Not again!
I picked the phone and it was a member of my team. Phew! I said, "Hello! da". But his question was again, "Madras Technology to SI team?????". I started my answer immediately, "That was a mista.... sorry...". He stopped me in the middle and said, "I also mailed to the group once and got call from someone advising not to do this". Great. I have a company with me. I told him proudly that I got TWO calls. We laughed and soon replaced the receiver. My immediate step to make an end to this is an apology email to all the members for sending the joke. I did it immediately and was happy this will make an end to this problem. And it did. I didn't get any calls after that. I got relaxed and thought I should never send email without checking the addresses carefully.
Now I got a mail from a member of SI department. I got tensed and I opened the mail. To my surprise, this nice person was telling that the joke was interesting though and he enjoyed it. Great. Mails like this tempts me to send another mail to SI. But we should learn from our experiences and I am not going to mail any joke to the SI team group email address. Nice moral on a very nice day it is. Happy ending always here.