Monday, June 05, 2006

You’ve got mail-The End.

How would you react if you were reading your forward mails as usual and you get a warning message in bold letters saying,” You have been using your official mail for personal purpose. This has been noted by the company.” You click Ok. And it continues, “A copy of your inbox is being taken as a proof and will be reported to the HR.” You click OK again. The progress bar shows the status of copying the inbox. “The inbox has been copied.”

I first thought it was some kind of a prank. When I saw my machine name too in the message, I hit the panic button. Sirens were blowing in my head. I was scared that the HR would come in search of me or call me to ask why I was using my mailbox for sending personal mails. I could not think of any convincing answer to that question which was, by now, stabbing my “professional ethics” with a huge, sharp spear.

My brain was rattling with numerous questions …
What if my rating goes down because of it?
What if I was thrown out of the company for such a silly reason?
Are they really keeping a watch on everyone’s mail box?
Then would they be able to read my mails too?
Or is there some automatic setting in the mail client that this should be done when the no. of mails sent to n fro goes beyond some limit.
Am I the only one to receive this warning?
Why didn’t the others get the same warning?
Then am I the only one sending such huge no. of forwards?
No one ever told me about this rule before. .. was it mentioned in the company mail policy? Or I never read it properly?

I was even thinking of moving all my personal mails into some folder and keeping all the official mails in the inbox so that even if someone does come to check my inbox (something like what happens in my college.. the black n white “squads” check the students’, including girls’, bags to see if we have mobiles as we are not allowed to bring mobiles to the college.)

But then, the hard fact hit me that the proof was already taken and I couldn’t do anything about it now.

I was helplessly opening the forward mails I was getting and the very thought of forwarding them to others brought all those questions back in my already cluttered head.

I was wondering why I always fall in such trouble which nobody else has ever heard of or experienced and coming out of which seems very improbable.

I was so scared that I couldn’t even reply to one of my friend’s mail in which he had asked if I was on leave (considering the fact that he hadn’t received a single mail from me).I feared someone was monitoring my mailbox.

At last, only in the evening I gathered some left-over courage within my panic-stricken heart and asked about it to my team mate (we were in the same training batch when we joined work). I was relieved to hear that he too had got the same warning. At least I’m not alone in this weird problem. He felt that it was because of some mail we had received from a batch mate that morning. I got the warning when I was trying to open a mail (which I suspected of being the cause of it all) but still couldn’t believe that it was all a prank ‘coz that mail hadn’t opened by then.

On enquiring about it with my friends in office the next day, I found the culprit mail. The mail had an attachment, an exe file, which on running just showed up a message box which said “Hi”. The file was very small, around 8 or 10 kb. Usually, exe files are very large in size. I had wondered what kind of an attachment was that… it did nothing. Only later did I come to know that it had done everything to make someone stop forwarding mails altogether.

I thought of taking sweet revenge on all my other friends and forwarded it to all of them. One of them called me up to check if the warning was because of the mail. Another friend feared that the message was because of her overflowing inbox and deleted all the mails, including all her favourite forwards and mails, which she had saved over a long time.

This was just another light hearted prank. But I realized the graveness of the situation when a friend told me about a person who was fired because he had violated the client’s mail policy by subscribing to his college groups and receiving so many forwards to his official mail id.

The result of it all… I don’t send forward mails anymore.


Neo said...

hey Deepa..
y so much panic for this simple mail? i think u r new to the fwd mails world..obviously fresher? huh?? r not from cse background ;)


crsathish said...

no individual can play with any body else email id. irundhallum, dhaireeyamaa irunga deepa. forward laa enna irkku. namma orooo ammaa vaa paarunga ! Iron Lady...

Jagan said...

forward illama we are getting bored keep 4warding ..and oh yeah , please 4ward it to my yahoo id :d

3Signs said...

Oru prank forward kke ipdiyaa ...? hmm...Dhakka nokko Deepa..

Deepa said...

@Neo, Sathish & 3Signs

Fear is a question: What are you afraid of, and why? Just as the seed of health is in illness, because illness contains information, your fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if you explore them.
-Marilyn Ferguson

This was today's (June 7,2006) motivational quote in my blog...

yea.. me too bored without sending as many fwds as I used to..

n u playing safe by getting all fwd mails to ur yahoo on the pretext of small inbox size, huh? such mails as the one I had got, bring out the right reaction only when recd in off. mails.

Jagan said...

i got the prank mail when in my first company .I could make out immediately bcos i reopened the same attachement immdtly and i relaised it was a prank ..

Avann said...

As a policy any company which has presence is Uncle Sam's Country cannot have a policy whereby they can monitor or open any employee's email without consent, unless allowed by the court to do so... Even though the brain knows it... the mind wont listen to it...But thinking of it... Any one with a straight mind and a conscience will surely panic... And you are not alone...

pushkala said...

the mail hit the alarm signal in me too!
but soon i realised the prank!


VineethaAthrey said...

Well I had been wondering as to what made you stop mailing or more aptly, forwarding!Guess I should keep track of your blog, to find the *answers*;-)

Prash said...

hi ...just that this question hit my head so hard. .... wat on earth is wrong in having your personal email in your official email id...???

I dont see any reason to have a check on it!!!