Wednesday, November 9, 2011


We've all done this, right?  You and a number of family members and friends get an email from family member A.  This email is meant to inform you of a potential scam or theft, and is sent because family member A cares about you.  In this case, the email regards the possibility of cashiers at stores like Walmart stealing money by claiming you requested cash back, but not giving you the cash back.  You read the email, and say, "This looks like a hoax."  So you check and discover, yep, it's a hoax.  You love your family, and don't want them to have more anxiety than necessary in this crazy, mad world.  So you send out an email to let everyone know that fortunately in this case there's no need for concern.  In my case, the email sent out to my family and friends looked like this:

"FYI: This is impossible.  The only way you can get cash back is by inputting that request yourself.  Cashiers cannot initiate this - it's a safety.

Not that checking your receipts is a bad idea, or anything!"

Thinking you've now performed your public service, you go about your merry way.  But family member B reads this and lets you know that family member A's feelings might be hurt to have her email so publicly corrected.  You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, especially since both are doing this out of a sense of love.  So you send an apology.  But you can't just write ANYTHING.  You have to be careful.  You can't offend the offended family member by flippantly apologizing, or writing anything that could look flippant, because you are sincere in your desire not to you carefully craft an apology to let everyone know that you really don't want to upset anyone.  Mine looked like this:

"My apologies to all if the initial email response I sent sounded rude or curt.  I assure you I did not mean to be so.  I know that there are so many concerns about theft, and I was trying to reassure everyone that this is a scam.  I don't get to spend much time online these days, so I spend my evenings trying to shoot through my emails as fast as possible.  If I offended anyone with my words, please forgive me.  Chasing after three kids kind of crimps my internet time!  Much love to you all!"

In most normal worlds, this is the end of it, right?  HAHAHAHAHAHA!  Have you MET us?  Here in follows the email conversation.  Names have been changed to protect the (somewhat) innocent:

First reply (from someone who lives in my house and is the only person of the opposite gender in my house) we'll call Guy 1:
"I would like to apologize if anyone thought I was upset at Colleen's original email.
I also apologize for leaving my socks on the living room floor.
I feel better now.
Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?"

Next reply from another person we'll call Guy I've known all my life: 
"Well I apologize for getting upset, I was thinking this would be the perfect way for me to transition into retirement by working at Wal-Mart as a cashier and being able to generate enough tax free income to truly retire.  Darn another perfectly good plan down the tube socks."

Next reply from another recipient we'll call Winner of Best response: 
"Well!  What a fire-storm!  I was offended by all of you.  Don't send me any more of these e-mails, ever and I mean ever.  My time is much too precious to be spending it reading all these emails.   And now I'm worried about every transaction I make at every store I go to and I'm under so much pressure from these warnings and you know, there are other things out there to be afraid of.  Like spiders and snakes.  and ...what are those little bugs that have those pinchers...they look like small lobsters...yes, stay away from them too!

So glad to be included in this nonsense.  Love y'all"

Last reply from person we'll call Guy I've known all HIS life: 
"The person responsible for sacking the person who has offended the group has been sacked.  Thank you.

--Management" what?  After laughing your butt off, what do you do?  I mean, you really didn't mean to offend any family members (and the good news is for the record no one was offended - this has become a fun family joke).  But at the same time...I mean, did you READ the email thread?  So here's where I decided to go in the end: 
"AAAAAAAAUGH!!  There are insects with little pinchers out there stealing my money from Walmart and stuffing it down people's tube socks?!?  I can't deal with all of this - no more emails!  
To [Winner of Best response]: YOU are hilarious!  Thank goodness you've been fired!"  
Oh your family and friends are NUTS but you love them!!!

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