What's your problem?

I got fired for a dodgy email...

by Jeremy Bullmore

Q: I was fired from my last job at a legal firm for sending an e-mail about my stag weekend to my e-mail address book, some of whom were clients. The story got some local press and I'm finding it quite difficult to explain away the situation in job interviews. I realise it was a stupid thing to do, but found it quite funny at the time and never thought it would get so serious. I've had four interviews so far and no-one finds it amusing. What's my best bet in explaining this in future ones? I'm getting worried about this. 

A: You'll go on being worried - and with good reason - until you finally come to terms with what you did and how it strikes other people. It's clear from the way you pose your question that, although you now realise it was a pretty stupid thing to do, you're still surprised that nobody else seems to find it amusing, particularly potential employers. To you, it was just a bit of a jape, a harmless enough lark, maybe in retrospect a little unwise but surely not a hanging offence? C'mon, guys - where's your sense of humour?

At the risk of joining the ranks of the humourless, my sympathies lie more with them than with you - because you're still failing to distinguish between the jape itself and the questions it quite properly raises about your judgment.

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