So our company's SalesForce database is supposed to do just about everything except brush your teeth. It's pretty good, but SalesForce itself is not the basis for this conversation.
Today's comment is about the unexpected consequences of my unintended mis-use of a Salesforce feature. The feature allows me, when sending an email, to put a special code in the "bcc" line that will automatically place a copy of the email I'm writing into my file on the person to whom I'm sending the note. Pretty neat.
Only one problem. The special code begins with the word "email..." followed by a string of code that only a computer coder could love. Makes no sense to me but I don't care, it does the job. I began to take the whole system for granted to the point that I would just write in "em..." and expect the correct code letters to follow and, in turn, place a copy of my email in the file for the intended recipient of my note. But I'd forgotten that I have a number of terrific people in my contact list whose email addresses begin with "em..." as in Ellen Hancock (whose email starts with "emh...") and as in Esther Margolis (whose email starts with "em...as" well).
Ellen Hancock (an extraordinary business leader who now sits on Aetna and Colgate boards) endured probably a dozen or so of my random emails showing up in her inbox before finally writing me a note saying it was great to hear from me, but what were these notes about, exactly? Esther Margolis (also an amazing business woman, President and Publisher of Newmarket Press) is perhaps, blessedly, away on vacation or some such; or maybe by this point my emails have gone into her "junk" file because I didn't hear from her. We figured out the problem moments after hearing from Ellen, and have fixed things on my end.
But the unexpected consequence is that Ellen--a truly remarkable friend I see way too little of--and I will be getting together next month in New York when she comes to attend one of the public boards on which she sits as a Director. Rather than being ticked off that I had intruded in her email space, she was, luckily, happy to be reminded that we've not gotten together for a while and suggested we get together. That is a delightful, albeit fully unexpected, consequence of my screw-up.
So there can be a silver lining in our errors. I don't recommend installing this particular error as an excuse to let people know you miss them. But, hey, if it happens, say thanks if they are nice enough to regard it as a serendipitous treat.
Now if I can just keep from typing "em..." and leaving it to my Sales Force program to fix things...I'll be fine.