Monday, April 19, 2010
A few days ago I got an e-mail with a friendly business proposition from a stranger. I handled it in a friendly, business-like manner. Then I proceeded to make fun of that person in an e-mail to my buddy and partner in wise-cracking crime.
Making fun of people is a part of my daily survival. Hell hath no sarcasm like a woman bored. With nothing but cubicles to entertain us, we become Statler and Waldorf, the cranky old Muppets in the balcony, finding a way to prove that everything sucks. It usually makes for a hilarious morning and a great substitution for the fresh-baked donuts they don't serve at my workplace.
But I didn't send the e-mail about the stranger to my buddy. I sent it to THE STRANGER.
What the? NO! Come back. Retrieve! How did this happen? I have no idea. I scrambled to un-send the message, a function that has never been a part of Yahoo Mail. Then in my panic, I turned the format from Classic to Beta, changing the font, colors and placement of everything on my screen. I was squinting at tiny words, frantically clicking in an attempt to do damage control.
It's like that story you read in gradeschool about the kid who gossips. He asks a wise old man how he can undo the harm caused, and the old man tells him take a pillow and empty its feathers onto the ground. The kid does as he is told. Then the old man instructs him to return each feather to the pillow, but the wind has blown half of them away. The kid understands how hard it is to take words back. And switches from Yahoo to Gmail.
The person that wrote me was gracious enough to let it slide, but it has still been bothering me. It's one thing to criticize someone to their face, and another thing to do it behind their back. But doing it behind their back and accidentally to their face takes ALL the fun out of it. I think the only thing that will make me feel better is time. Because Time is a magazine rife with idiots to ridicule. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.