What to do when you send a rude email to the wrong person

Sadly, there's no such thing as an unsend button, so if you don't want the problem to get worse you need to come clean, says Jeremy Bullmore.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 13 Sep 2016

Q. I've made a massive faux pas at work. I wrote an email to my colleague bemoaning one of our clients - but instead of sending it to my colleague, I accidentally sent it to the client. The email was rude and completely unprofessional. I've neither heard back from the client, nor plucked up the courage to tell my boss. I feel sick to my stomach. Help!

Jeremy Bullmore: This won't go away. When your boss finds out about it, as he will, he may just forgive you for the original idiotic error but not for concealing it from him and jeopardising his own relationship with the client. So come clean immediately, throw yourself on your boss's mercy and offer to prostrate yourself in person to the client. (I'm assuming you're male. I can't imagine a woman being quite so mindless. If your boss is a woman, you may get a touch more sympathy than you deserve, but don't count on it.)

Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. Email him your problems at editorial@managementtoday.com. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.


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