My company’s product is an email delivery system that large companies use to send and manage their promotional and transactional emails.
Back in May, one of the people responsible for making sure email campaigns get sent properly, accurately and on-time ran a test email that resulted in my email inbox receiving more than 250,000 emails all at once.
Since my inbox doesn’t have the capacity to receive that many at once, they were streaming in as fast as they could.
Because I was being bombarded with emails, I couldn’t receive any others and it was actually rendering my laptop useless.
Over the course of four straight hours, with constant monitoring, I had deleted more than 25,000 emails. After waiting for project managers and email deliverability specialists to figure out how to stop this, I made a call to my IT guy who had a brilliant idea and figured it out. And like that, no more emails.
Later that day, I met the woman who made this error. In our company, errors like that will get you fired because the client can lose millions of dollars when mistakes like that are made to their entire customer base.
I was in a pretty bad mood about the whole thing because it cost me an entire morning of work when I had several large projects due that day. But I was able to make nice when I met her and limited to my anger to a passive aggressive joke about it. She did not apologize.
The next day, I was told that I had to apologize to her because I apparently upset her with my comment.
As I look around the things happening in my work, my city and my country, I can’t help but think how representative that incident is of where we’re heading as a society.