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Worst. Employee Communication Faux Pas. Ever.

Posted on: December 10th, 2015 | Category: Employee Handbooks, Employee Relations, Human Resources, Our Blog

Here’s a #TBT post that we first ran back in 2013. It’s one of the funniest stories we have ever covered, and it comes with a valuable message about using work telecommunications for private matters. —Editor

sandwich van email blunder | myHR PartnerIn what can only be described as one of the worst case scenarios for embarrassing yourself at the office, Business Insider reported a story about a receptionist in Scotland who inadvertently forwarded a very sexually explicit email exchange she had with her fiancé to her entire office. The couple worked together at the same oil company when she sent out a seemingly harmless notice to everyone telling them that the sandwich van had arrived for lunch. Unfortunately, the thread of private email messages between the two lovebirds had been included somehow by accident.

We won’t go in to details here, but suffice it to say the content of the lovers’ exchange was definitely not suitable for the workplace. If this still doesn’t sound like a nightmare come true, it’s because you have either been reading to much Fifty Shades of Grey and/or haven’t read far enough along in this blog post yet.

According to the report, “The email quickly went viral and Tweets with the hashtag #sandwichvan quickly appeared on Twitter.”

Not long after the event occurred, a human resources rep at the company released a statement saying the couple was “absolutely mortified” and “apologize for any offense caused”, and then they both quit their jobs.

What are the myHR Partner morals of this story?

  • Do not—we repeat DO NOT—use your work email address for personal business.
  • Make sure your company policy for using business email accounts is clearly stated in your handbooks.
  • Have a plan ready to tactfully and respectfully handle embarrassing employee mistakes like these. (And keep your sense of humor, too.)
  • Have your sandwich truck vendors send out their own messages. It’s safer that way.




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