Author Topic: Complete Silence Via Email?  (Read 8187 times)

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JillyJ

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Complete Silence Via Email?
« on: February 23, 2011, 07:12:41 PM »
Hi All,

Not sure if I'm putting this in the right category - let me know.

I recently took a trip out of the country to a tropical location.  Upon coming back I was chatting about the trip with a co-worker.  She mentioned to me that another friend was thinking about going there and was asking me questions on behalf of the friend.  I needed more information to answer the questions so I suggested she have her friend message me directly, telling her I'd be happy to give her any tips. 

My co-worker apparently gave her my work email address (despite having other options), and the woman emailed me.  The questions were mostly along the lines of "what resort did you stay at?" "is such and such an area safe?" "good restaurants?" etc.  But then she says, "Also my husband has his little habit, and would like to get a fix.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can just ignore this part of my email.  But if you do, I'd love some tips about where to go."

I was appalled.  Not only at the question, but additionally, that it was sent to my work email.  I wouldn't have a clue where to direct this woman, and even if I did, I certainly wouldn't do so via my work email.  I immediately deleted the email, opting not to respond to a person who would ask a complete stranger where to score drugs.

So, my dilemma is this - since I told my co-worker to have her contact me, was I a) obligated to respond in some way to her email - ignoring the offensive part and answering her other questions?  Or b) should I mention it to my co-worker about the email and why I didn't answer it?

Hanna

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 07:26:57 PM »
I wouldn't mention it unless she brings it up.
Then I would say "Coworker, I didn't know what to say. She asked me where her husband could get "a fix" for his habit.  I was shocked that a complete stranger would think that was a good question to ask the coworker of a friend."

JillyJ

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 07:33:29 PM »
So you think ignoring the email and not responding is ok?

Hanna

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2011, 07:42:52 PM »
Yes, I do because I don't think anyone should feel compelled to respond to a stranger asking you about where to get drugs.

If you reply and ignore it, she still might get the impression you approve.
This is someone that clearly has boundary issues, and not someone I would want to engage.

Xallanthia

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2011, 07:49:00 PM »
I think you're OK not getting back to her, but I would have replied to her normal questions from my personal email account, asking her to contact me there in the future, and acted like I didn't read the part about her husband's "habit."  Even though in some tropical locations and for some "habits" I actually know the answer...  not from seeking it out, the purveyors approached my brother and I who just happened to be in the area.

JillyJ

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2011, 09:23:24 PM »
I actually thought about that Xallanthia, and wrote down her email address, so that's still an option.

Twik

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2011, 11:06:41 PM »
I respectfully disagree with Xallanthia on this. Someone who starts their initial contact with you asking about illegal activities, and assuming that you take part in them as well, is unlikely to improve on prolonged acquaintance. Even replying by pretending you overlooked that little tidbit is likely to result in, "Oh, and are you *sure* you don't know where to get it?"

Add that she's got the lack of sense to send this to someone's work e-mail? Run away like the wind.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Hanna

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2011, 11:32:57 PM »
I also think replying to it from a personal email account makes it seem like you are okay with the question, just not it being asked over your work email.

Honestly, no matter your feelings about whatever it is he wants, her asking a complete stranger this kind of question shows she completely lacks discretion.  Not someone I'd want to be connected with.

Animala

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2011, 12:05:13 AM »
I completely agree with Twik.  I would also add her to a block/spam list. 

Xallanthia

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2011, 01:34:57 AM »
 *shrug* like I said, I don't think the OP is wrong not to contact her, I think it's perfectly valid.  I'm just saying what I would've probably done, although it depends on the exact wording of the "habit"-related request.  If it was really up front and insulting (insinuating that I do drugs), I'd probably ignore completely.  If it was discrete and apologetic, I'd reply to the rest of the email and ignore that section.  But I don't think mine is the only right answer.

hot_shaker

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2011, 05:42:43 AM »
Do you know if all your work E-mails are monitored? If so, I'd be proactive in going to management and stating "Someone gave out my work E-mail address to a stranger, and they sent me an inappropriate E-mail. I've deleted it and don't intend to respond, but I just wanted to let you guys know in case any problems arise."

I'm not seeing the CW's friend's email as that big of a deal.  This other person made a vague reference to an illegal activity and even said upfront that the OP may not be able to help ("If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can just ignore this part of my email.").  While it was sent to her work email, I'm not sure that there's anyway for this to come back on the OP.  What are they going to do?  Fire her for "knowing" someone who's married to someone who has certain "habits"?  I certainly wouldn't go running to HR; that seems like a case of protesting too much.  Even if the OP does get questioned, I think the quoted sentence would give her an out; if the OP was a known drug user, the woman would not have included that part.

In the OP's shoes, I would have forwarded the email to my personal account and then just replied from there.  If you can't help him with his habit just ignore that part, like she suggested.

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Twik

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2011, 01:19:53 PM »
What are they going to do?  Fire her for "knowing" someone who's married to someone who has certain "habits"? 

Some places would. "No smoke without fire," and all that.

In any case, I would find someone asking me for help in breaking a law to be a "big enough deal" that I would not wish to continue any further in the correspondence.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

jibby

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2011, 01:32:24 PM »
I don't believe you were rude for deleting the email.  I would have responded to the rest of the email and made it clear that I while I knew what she was referencing, it's simply not something with which I could help. 

Personally, I wouldn't want to have that question left hanging in my work email account unanswered.  I wouldn't want my employer to think I was anything but against {random illegal activity}, regardless of my personal feelings toward {random illegal activity}.

hot_shaker

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2011, 01:39:11 PM »
What are they going to do?  Fire her for "knowing" someone who's married to someone who has certain "habits"?

Some places would. "No smoke without fire," and all that.

In any case, I would find someone asking me for help in breaking a law to be a "big enough deal" that I would not wish to continue any further in the correspondence.

Well, I would say "that's not fair" but we've all seen businesses do things that aren't fair so I guess that's not a good comeback.  :)



I don't believe you were rude for deleting the email.  I would have responded to the rest of the email and made it clear that I while I knew what she was referencing, it's simply not something with which I could help. 

Personally, I wouldn't want to have that question left hanging in my work email account unanswered.  I wouldn't want my employer to think I was anything but against {random illegal activity}, regardless of my personal feelings toward {random illegal activity}.

This thought occurred to me as well.  By not responding, instead of denying outright, it might make it appear that the OP was able to help but was smart enough not to write it down.

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JillyJ

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Re: Complete Silence Via Email?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2011, 06:16:51 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.  The email can be monitored, but is not on a routine basis.  And once deleted, the next time you log off your email (which is daily) you are asked if you want to "permanently delete all deleted emails" which I do.  Obviously, nothing is really gone without a trace, but if they got to the point where they were looking at my permanently deleted emails I'd have a bigger problem at work than a random drug reference from a stranger.  In fact, I'd wager even if it was discovered, it would reflect badly on my co-worker, not me, since in the email it is obvious that this woman and I are strangers, but that she and my co-worker are friends.  So, if there was any "guilt-by-association" it would not be mine.  LOL.