Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Red Faced @ Life is Good

Red-faced. Embarrassed. Chagrinned. That's me. I made a colossal blunder recently. But, the first step to getting over that sort of fiasco is to make light of it, try to see the humor in it, and then just keep on swimming.

I've been working on my writing a lot this spring and summer. I've read books to hone my craft, I've brainstormed, written drafts, edited, and published posts. Last week I was working on a GMC chart. Goal, motivation, conflict. Both external and internal. The charts look like this:
Character GMC's

Chrystal Bane-Howard



They help you get a handle on what makes your character tick, and gives richness and depth to them. I've been toying with finally writing a novel, since it's a long-term goal of mine. And times a wasting. So I had filled out this chart for the possible wife character (Chrystal), and another for her slime-ball husband (Dan). Their motivations and goals were not exactly...admirable shall we say. And I sent it to a writing buddy for critique. Thought I sent it to a writing buddy.

So I get an email from myself containing this chart. Hmm, that was stupid. But I send a lot of emails to myself when the recipients are a group of people in the bcc. I must have been on auto-pilot. I didn't think much of it, no harm done. Re-sent the email to my buddy. It's not long before emails start pouring in.

I'm confused. What do you want me to do with this file?”
Did you mean to send this, please explain.”

Then the phone rings. It's The Swede.

I think you sent me a file by mistake.”

It's at this point that I go to my sent folder, and realize with dawning horror that not only did I send it to myself, I also filled in the bcc. As is habit for many, many emails I send daily. You see, I'm the coordinator for our church's prayer chain. I sent my file TO THE ENTIRE PRAYER CHAIN. OMG! I mean, people get email by mistake a lot, but this file wasn't regarding tame subjects. These characters were committing adultery and murder and phony works of philanthropy. I'm simply mortified.

Immediately I go to damage control mode. Lots of people only check their email once a day. Maybe they'll get my explanation without even opening the file. There's at least some hope. I send out a self-deprecating apology, asking that they just delete the file. And pray. (Appropriate, right?) I know what you're thinking, “Well if she's that embarrassed by what she wrote and who saw it, maybe she shouldn't be writing that.” Yeah, I hear you. But I happen to believe Christians should read widely and variedly, and discern for themselves what's appropriate or not. It's just that a lot of these dear pray-ers are of my grandparent's generation, where a lot of stuff just wasn't said out loud. And certainly not by church-goers. So it's while cringing that I await what the senior pastor will say. Because of course the entire church staff is on this list.

He apparently, though, was a bit behind in his email. Almost a week later I get his email. I recognize the subject line he's replied to. This is what I've been waiting for.

I'm not quite sure what you want me to do with this.”

I write back, peddling as fast as I can, tell him about the damage control I did, about people's reactions. And wait for his reply. It's not long before he puts me out of my misery.

That's SO funny. Please give my regards to Chrystal.”

So folks, the moral of the story is this. Don't send emails on auto-pilot. Ever. As for me, I think I'll print copies of what I've written and hand them to my writing buddy. Better safe than sorry.

This post is part of Alphabe-Thursday. We're going through the rainbow, one color at a time. Head over to our hostess with the most-est, Jenny Matlock for other great posts featuring the color RED.


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Oh my, I would have been mortified if I did this! How do I know that? It's because I've done something similar in the past and it took a long time to rectify it. The "send" button in e-mail should always ask: "Are You sure?" :)

Jo said...

oh geez .... quite the little blunder ... i'm sure everyone will realize that no harm was meant, and i'm sure that those older grannies out there secretly got a kick out of it! wonderful spin on RED

Unknown said...

Oh dear, not a great feeling. Glad your pastor has a sense of humor. I enjoyed reading the post.

Someone is Special said...

OMG.. a blunder done in a neat way.. Great...

Yours Frendly,
Saravana Kumar M

Keri {One Mama's Daily Drama} said...

Oh my! This sounds like something I would do. Good to hear you're trying to get a laugh out of it though! I would be hiding my face for a while!

Debbiedoos said...

HOLY MOLY is all I can say to this one...but you know what they will soon forget it...and hey it was not about them so what do they or should they care? I agree though emails should double check are you sure LOL!!~

purejoy said...

wow. laughing so totally out loud on this, but would be crying under my bed if it actually happened to me. sooooo funny. glad your pastor has a good sense of humor. i feel like mine would too. he's cool that way.
send my regards to crystal…oh. my. word.

Brian Miller said...

hahaha. oh my...glad he rolled with it...i got a few of those stories i could share...smiles.

Annesphamily said...

What a story! I imagine I would be red faced over that! Glad you got the damage control! Red rocks! Anne

Sarah said...

Oh, I think this is a terrific story. Perhaps you can use this in your story. ~ Sarah

Ellen aka Ellie said...

Way to go!


the thrifty ba said...

glad im not the only one who does something no so birllant every now and again.

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

MWAHAHAHAHAHA! Now THAT'S funny!!! And, yes, I've had my moments too!

Unknown said...

Not to rub salt in your wounds but I was laughing so hard at your misfortune. Sorry but true. You handled yourself with class dear Tina. And I will remember this story if I ever try to send email on "auto pilot".

jeff campbell said...

Interesting take on 'red'...computers and auto pilot...a dangerous combination ;-) Peace

Dawn said...

LOL! I'm sure many of them prayed really hard for you that day!

Lola said...

Oh my, glad he rolled with it though!

Happy Rainbow Red day,


PS Mine this time is HERE. Hope you can join me!

Unknown said...

Oh my! I have done this before as well!

Susan Anderson said...

THIS is a GREAT story.



One Photo said...

Oh my, I can totally understand you were mortified but at the same time Tina this is just totally hilarious. Thank you for making me laugh uproariously. I am trying to picture the bemused looks on some of the congregations faces when they received this missive from you. I bet you got some interesting responses and non-responses! But your Pastor, well he is a gem and I love his response.

Life@Cee said...

Tina, this was roll on the floor, gut wrenching funny. Thanks for sharing your "red face" moment with us. Couldn't have been any better unless I'd been there myself at your moment of misery. What a nice surprise response from your pastor. Who knew?

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I love email, but there are times when stuff like this just happens..don't beat yourself up too much, your friends will understand!

Viki said...

You must have been mortified, ha. Darn, I wish I would have been on that list, I would have appreciated the adultery, etc . Great post.

~✽Mumsy✽~ said...

I love your post! I would be running in circles like ants in my pant if this happens to me. Great story!

The Decorative Dreamer said...

Oh this is too funny! I am sorry it happened but there is humor in it! One day you will see that. I have been red faced this week too and posted about it myself. Good luck with your novel! Sounds interesting!

Anonymous said...

That is so funny! It's amazing the power e-mail has, but it certainly increases the embarrassment when we do those things.


Alexandra said...

oh. em.. gee. THAT is embarrassing. SO very embarrassing. Thanks for the laugh, but I can just imagine your face when you discovered what happened. oh em gee..

Pondside said...

That's a good story with a lesson for all of us! I'd imagine that email has been responsible for a lot of red faces!
Last year I was mortified when the salutation in an email to my humorless boss read "Hell Bob" instead of "Hello Bob"

Jenny said...

Would it be wrong to say this post just makes me feel better cuz I do stuff like this all the time!

What a clever way to link to the color Red!

This seems like such a cool device to use!

And you can put me on the giant e-mail distribution list. I would just be impressed with you!


Anonymous said...

Oh I'm so embarrassed that I need to lower the thermostat. A few years ago I was writing such a SCATHING email concerning a particular woman.....and mentioned: "It's no wonder that her husband would be attracted to _________. She's so sweet and ________ is so HORRIBLE!"

Yep. I sent it to Mrs. Horrible.

The next four hours were of me vomiting, crying, and writhing on the floor.....I had to take a sick day from work and prayed the ENTIRE day, promising to never, ever, say anything bad about another person least not in print.

dana: from my own blog called LIFE IS GOOD.

jenn said...

did it occur to you that maybe you made what might have been an ordinary day extraordinary for them?

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

Just stopping by from Jenny's Party!! I am late getting around to everyone! I don't know what to say! Part of me is laughing because it is so funny! Another part of me is cringing because I can imagine how you feel! All you can do is tell the truth and laugh about it! God will take care of the rest!

Unknown said...

Oh I do feel for you. It is so easy to send emails or post comments that you don't want to be made public.
In my case, I am always worried about typos and spelling mistakes.
But what to do if you send something silly by mistake? If the people that receive it are your friends, if would seem reasonable that they should understand that it was a mistake. If not, then they are not your true friends.

Good luck with the novel! I have also dreams of writing a novel or story. I have found a site that has short story-competitions. If you win you get published in an anthology. I am toying with the idea of sending in a story. A short story is a good study for a longer story like a novel. Here is their site:

Best wishes,

Anna's Red B-Words