Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Recall Button

[Prior warning: This is not about 'recall' as in remember, but about re-call as in calling back.]

We had congregated for a play-date for the kids, and as usual, the kids were in their own world, while we chatted away. The kids enjoyed our neglect, and we were happy to have them lost to some safe and happy (and loud and screaming and singing place), away from us. Thus as the spread of snacks kept filling up our tummies, and the decibels kept filling up the room, and the fat-bellied tea-pot kept getting emptied, we covered in our chatter all the absentees, some Egypt and Libya, and of course all the husbands of the world.

Then, as all conversations do, we somehow meandered onto an unlikely topic- of faux pas and blunders (and oh, is a full time mom's day punctuated with at least one blooper a day? You bet!). Anyhow, as us stay-at-home moms narrated our tales--sheepishly, apologetically, and guiltily, someone had to lift the morale of the company. So, this friend, who, co-incidentally was the only gainfully employed person (typically out early from her HR work on Fridays), started to give examples of gaffes and goof-ups people do at work so often---a place where one would expect a certain level of pre-meditated alertness. "And this is when, sometimes, there could be actually so much real loss to the company!", she added. Then she gave an example of her boss who had by mistake sent out information about an upcoming Merger deal that he was working on, to the competitor! Now, that was no slip--it was a slide--a landslide I would say. And yet, nothing major happened. The boss directed my friend to use the 'recall' feature in the outlook email--and recall as many errant emails as promptly as possible. The boss and my friend are both still on the company's pay-roll!

The Kodak moment arrived then---when a good majority of us moms, almost in a chorus, exclaimed, "What? There is a recall button?" Those few who were intelligent on the subject, not only pointed to the location of such a 'magic' button, but also gave a few more personal anecdotes to illustrate the handiness of the button---the poetic significance of which was not lost on us anyhow. The recall button became the 'tip' of the month for us. How many times, we have sent out empty mails, or switched mails or sent totally unintended material with the mail (like, I would so many times not like to have sent the long list of mushy, cutesy and some plain intelligent quotations that I use as my signature 'essay' to a potential employer, but that impulsive click on the send button, and all damage is done!)? Now, bingo---there is a RECALL button.

Pity, there is no re-calling the time going by. I cannot re-call the first moment when I let my toddler get off the high-chair while eating. Now, she almost always likes her meal running around the house----takes upwards of 45 mins, and gives me the not-so-needed work out. I cannot re-call the few hurtful words and sentences I said to some people I love, and care for. I think (and hope ) that they forgot, but alas I remember them from the very first time they were uttered in moments of rage or heated discussions. I cannot re-call a lot, but I know I can do better starting now. That's how I am going to take it.

2 comments:

sanju said...

in my experience, even the recall button doesn't work. By the time the recall message goes out some recipients have already read the original :(
So the conclusion is - be very very cautious when sending emails - as the adage - look before you leap :)

eAnjali said...

Sure Sanju. My knowledgeable pals tell me the same horror story--how it adds insult to injury to be caught 'recalling' a mail that has been read! Nothing to beat a breathful of 'freeze' where fingers just sit on the keyboard and don't press any key, and the eyes do the plain and simple scanning/revising of the mail ready to be sent!