Saturday, February 21, 2009

An Obsession For Perfection - A Common Mistake In Corporate Email Disclaimers

I believe that I'm obsessed with perfection. I like finding imperfections and shortcomings, and I feel good when these flaws and shortcomings are put to rest. I have a strong belief that if processes are in place to discover and correct flaws - small or big - then processes and systems will improve quickly. Analogies can be drawn between finding and correcting flaws, and debugging and testing.

Yesterday, when I read the following email disclaimer of a leading consulting company, I felt uncomfortable on finding a flaw.

This message may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the addressee or authorized to receive this for the addressee, you must not use, copy, disclose or take any action based on this message or any information herein. If you have received this message in error, please advise the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message. Thank you for your cooperation.

The disclaimer requests the unintended recipient to advise the sender by reply email, and requests deletion of only the original message. It should also have been requested to delete the reply email, since almost all reply emails include a copy of the original email (without attachments).

Unadulterated nitpicking for sure. But that's what obsession is about.

An Idea For Truly Portable Applications

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