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A new employee wrote, “I have a problem with a male. Could you help me?” to a colleague. Quite an unusually direct request from someone whom you have only just met!
Did they mean:
- I have a problem with an email.
- I have a problem with a male colleague.
- I have a problem with a personal male friend.
It transpired, after a discreet conversation, the new colleague had a problem with an email, but, in their haste, did not check their spelling. Initially, this resulted in an embarrassing dilemma for the recipient.
Normally, when new in a job, we do not discuss personal issues with unknown colleagues. Fortunately, the colleague did not mention this to anyone else; had they done so, the resulting rumours and gossip would have haunted the new employee from that day hence.
Be careful what you write! Misspelled or misused words may give the wrong impression, or set in motion an unwanted chain of events.
What would you have done?