I work for a man named Marty Smith. At 9PM this morning, Marty left for a meeting. At shortly before 10AM, our admin assistant entered the office in tears and told us a higher level admin assistant called and told her Marty was dead of a heart attack. This was very hard to believe since he had walked out the door and seemed to be feeling OK. She left the office to confirm. She came back and said that Jimmy Johnson (a branch chief in another office) said Marty’s wife had called and he had passed shortly before.
Now this is very strange, we work & live in a large metropolitan area and it’s not easy to get back and forth (Marty often takes public transportation). So Marty would have immediately headed home instead of going to the meeting, when there are medical facilities in our building. And why would Jimmy Johnson hear first? He barely knows Marty.
I called Jimmy Johnson with several of our branch employees standing around my cubicle and told him that I had heard that Marty Smith had passed and he said it was Marty Martin (who was an employee of his) who had passed according to Mr. Martin’s wife. I repeated what Jimmy said, “Marty Martin has passed…”, and those around my cubicle starting laughing in relief. I expressed my sorrow to Jimmy and ended the phone call.
Faux pas: Don’t call around announcing a death if you haven’t confirmed it.
Faux pas 2: Marty is well liked but I can imagine what Jimmy thought when I said, “Marty Martin died”, and there was cheering. Do you recommend I contact Jimmy and explain and apologize on behalf of my office? 0612-12
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