Email Mishaps Rant

Monday, February 23, 2009


(What I wished I could have done to my computer earlier)

Quick, answer:

What could be one of the worst thing that happens when you are emailing?

Delete a really long and involved email that you'd spent an hour working on? Eh, wrong.

Accidentally sent a personal email to the wrong person? Keep guessing.

Lost an important contact? Not even close.

Give up? Ok, how about send 50 of the same email to 160 potential clients within 1 1/2 hours? In case you'd like the math that's 8,000 emails. Yes, 8,000 emails sent accidentally by yours truly to what I had hoped would be some awesome new clients. Exit to story.

For the last few weeks (well months really) I have honing down an email list of boutiques that I'd love to carry Knuckleheads. I've called an insane amount of stores (literally over 400), ruled out which are no longer in business, which sell more traditional items, who I would be more likely to order from our awesome company. I called and asked for email address, begged assistants to let me get an email, pretended to be really cool and savvy when I talked to a shop owner and was truly grateful when each store gave me a chance to send our catalogs through an email for them to view.

Ironically, I had been waiting for the list to be complete so that I wouldn't accidentally send a repeat email, little did I know that I would accidentally spam every single contact in my gmail group, um, like 50 times. I'm still scratching my head over what happened.

Last night I put together an email, wrote a short note so that they wouldn't have to spend much time reading it and they could just get to the meat of the email which was the amazing catalogs I attached for their viewing pleasure. I waited to send it until today because I was trying to figure out a way to attach a picture of this season's clothes in the body of the gmail. Big mistake.

After trying a few times and sending myself a few emails with the picture unsuccessfully, I gave up the idea and settled on introducing myself and the line in a brief, non-obnoxious email. The catalogs would speak for themselves.

However, instead of just sending the email once, for whatever reason, my gmail account looped the sending action and repeated to send the email over and over and over and over. And over. In a panic I tried to delete the email. No avail. Next I tried to call google. Besides the fact that it was now 5:04 and they stop answering the phone at 5, did you know that it is completely impossible to speak with someone there? Or send them an email for that matter? Yeah. Seriously.

So I called my brother who was at a loss, and asked a girl in the showroom next to mine whose boyfriend is computer handy what to do. His reply? "Uh oh." Crap.

By this point I am receiving phone calls and emails asking to be removed from the email list, as well as truly concerned people who just want to let me know what's going on. I call and email each person who has not blocked me by now, but has actually taken a moment to let me know what's going on. Mind you these people don't know me but they are super cool about this drama. Bless them, they deserve a pint of Ben and Jerry's. Jarom says a basket of fruit. (=

Anyhow, at this point it was 6 and the LA marketplace was closing. Jarom says to pack everything up and get going since there is no help on the internet (apparently I am the only one who has had this happen) and we'll figure it out at home. I am so stressed out that I can barely eat anything. Really, I skipped dinner I was so sick to my stomach thinking I had blown the time and effort to make these contacts. In fact it is 12:10 and I still haven't eaten.

When I get home there are 207 emails in my spam box, but most of them are from a little while ago. In the last few hours I haven't received one. Hallelujah I think it's over. I think I lost a few people from this experience, but I also got to talk to quite a few who were really nice about everything and who were actually intrigued by our company. Go figure. The worse part was that the repeated email's attachments didn't even work. Honestly? So I will have to send the attachments again. Ick. Worse PR moment ever.

Bless the lady's heart who said to me, "Thank you for the emails! I couldn't open my attachment, can you send it again?" Not a comment about the insane number, just a kind note of thanks for thinking about her and sincere interest. She won major brownie points for her kindness.

I am hoping the repeated emails makes them think I am a determined individual instead of a crazy spammer sales representative. We'll see. But I learned something and I am going to save you the drama of what happened to me today:

1. Don't create an email and wait until later (or the next day) to send it. It won't send like normal and will freak out and go "War Games" on you. Forget about man controlling technology, that's what John Conner was trying to tell everyone.

2. If for some reason you don't like learning from other people's mistakes or you are a rebel and bypass #1, send out an immediate apology and personal email or call to each person who writes you or calls you. This is called recognizing you are an idiot- whether accidental or not.

3. If for some reason you do not follow # 1 and 2, leave the country immediately. People will be pissed. And they have a right to be. People have been tarred and feathered for less.

10 comments :

Devon and Alicia said...

Oh Holy, this could only happen to you. I'm sorry...wish I could help.

Sarah said...

That's crazy!! The good thing is all those store owners will remember the name Knuckleheads...that's what viral marketing is all about right?;)

Daniel said...

I just got your comment right now right as I was reading your blog...so now I have to drop a comment. Well, I love that photo...how did you do that? Just a long exposure? Anyway, the way pink slips work is not by how good or bad you are as a teacher...unfortunately...it's all about seniority. I am about to say goodbye to some of the best educators I know, most of whom are first year teachers while some very poor teachers stay on board. Sad, but that's the way the system works. Too bad about your emailing, that is very frustrating and strange. You should email Google...sul serio!

Kirsten said...

That stinks! I felt so bad when you called Glenn. I hope everyone is understanding!!

Anupa Harvey said...

Oh man! What a bummer! Don't worry though, you're definitely NOT the first person to have experienced technical difficulties, and I'm sure people will understand. Hang in there!

Tasha said...

What a serious and complete nightmare. Seriously. I have never heard of that happening before . . . let alone at a really important time. I am glad there were a lot of people that were still cool about the whole thing.

Holly and Ryan said...

SO....do you know if your potential clients got the emails? I ask, because I accidentally sent an email at work using gmail (Accidentally, because gmail said it sent...but I didn't push the “send” button). Then, I sent a second email apologizing for the first. Interesting thing is that the recipient never received the first email.....or she was very forgiving. So.....maybe there is hope. Good luck.

Perley Family said...

Oh no! That is terrible. Why do computers work against us sometimes? I liked your bits of advice at the end especially #3! You are hilarious!

Debbie Costa said...

Hey Holly, I realize this some, oh WAY TOO LATE, but http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/new-in-labs-undo-send.html
check it out for future reference :)
P.S. I'm so sorry!!!!!!

The last Unicorn said...

I knew I had seen your blog before! It was so fun seeing you at the wedding. Hope to see you again sometime soon :)
~Lori