Ever wish you could just go back to an ill-advised e-mail you wrote and sent, in a fit of anger, or something you said that really hurt someone, and just take a big Life Eraser, and correct it?
I do. I sent one of those e-mails this morning. I found out something that I'd been promised, that had broad implications for a sensitive negotiation process I'm in the middle of, did not get delivered in time. I'm gonna have some 'splainin' to do, and it won't be pretty.
So, I fired off an e-mail at the person I deemed responsible for the failure. My policy is usually to get up and take a walk, maybe even have someone else take a look at it, before I hit the send button on that kind of e-mail. But I was too hot, and ignored my usual policy. It didn't take long before I realized there might have been more than met the eye in the situation, and I might have jumped the gun on assessing the blame.
This was someone who used to work for me, and who I've always thought very highly of. I know that she values my opinion of her, and I know that my e-mail really hurt her. It was unnecessarily critical.
I did what I should have done in the first place. It was lunchtime, so I went out for a walk along the national Mall. While looking for a bench to sit down and chill with my sandwich and soda, I was drawn into the Sculpture Garden.
This was the first piece that confronted me. I literally burst out laughing, and thought "That is just what I need! A Life Eraser!". I sent a photo of it to the girl, and told her that if it worked that way, I would start with that e-mail I'd sent.
She laughed and said she was past it, and said that it reminded her of Wilson in Castaway.