“Joe” received one of those mass e-mails at work from a friend about how Company A’s logo really represented the devil and all the supporting documentation about that suspicion. “Joe,” being like many of us, hit “forward” and sent it on to his list of family and friends.

Here’s the kicker: As the e-mail was forwarded from friend to friend, no one bothered to delete the long list of senders. Of course, it ended up on the desk of one of Company A’s executives. Company A was a client of Company B where “Joe” worked. Company A was now looking at an insulting e-mail from one of their clients! Needless to say, Company A was not happy and contacted executives at Company B to complain. “Joe” almost lost his job because it caused great embarrassment to Company B.

How could this have been avoided? The best answer would be to NEVER forward mass e-mails. But I’m fairly confident that won’t happen because we all get them and some of them are pretty funny.

Failing that, consider these:

  1. If you receive mass e-mails from family and friends at a work e-mail account and want to send it to your family and friends, send it to your personal e-mail account first.
  2. Before forwarding any e-mail, make sure you delete the previous senders’ names and the names of the other people who were included in the e-mail chain.
  3. When you send it to your family and friends, hide their names using the “BCC” feature of your e-mail program. This keeps their e-mail address out of everyone else’s hands.

Any other e-mail horror stories you’ve run into? What was your “kicker?”