Forwarding internal email (thrown under the bus?)

LaSeenoLaSeeno Member Posts: 64 ■■□□□□□□□□
Curious on other's take on a situation. We recently contracted a vendor out for some work. Seemed to be a lot of confusion between my company's management and the vendor about expectations of the deliverables. I sent my boss somewhat of a degrading email on our vendors performance. He forwarded it to them with his take (agreement with me).

Personally, I feel he should have asked for my permission. I would have been more tactful if I was intending on the vendor reading it.

Lesson learned, don't trust anyone or email anything you don't want someone to read.

Just curious, in my shoes. How would you feel?

Comments

  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I agree and would be a little upset. But it's just business. I'm sure thats how your boss felt when he sent it.

    A rule of thumb I go by is don't put something down in writing about someone if you don't ever want that person to see it. Whether that be an email, facebook, text message, whatever. Cause there is always a chance they will see it at some time. Especially since it is pretty much gonna be stored somewhere forever.
  • Moldygr33nb3anMoldygr33nb3an Member Posts: 241
    I agree and would be a little upset. But it's just business. I'm sure thats how your boss felt when he sent it. A rule of thumb I go by is don't put something down in writing about someone if you don't ever want that person to see it. Whether that be an email, facebook, text message, whatever. Cause there is always a chance they will see it at some time. Especially since it is pretty much gonna be stored somewhere forever.
    Agree. If I don't want someone else to know what I am saying about them, I either pick up the phone or go talk face-to-face. Some people don't see through the same lens. Chances are, your boss is someone who has dealt with this many times before and isn't in the business of making people feel good. This has happened to me numerous times - sometimes unintentionally as my derogatory email winds up at the bottom of a long chain - which causes me to sweat bullets, knowing someone is bound to read it. I would just own it and if its brought up just pretend you didn't care "However, it would be best not to share that with the contractors lol" in a joking manner.
    Current: OSCP

    Next: CCNP (R&S and Sec)

    Follow my OSCP Thread!
  • alias454alias454 Member Posts: 648
    LaSeeno wrote: »
    Curious on other's take on a situation. We recently contracted a vendor out for some work. Seemed to be a lot of confusion between my company's management and the vendor about expectations of the deliverables. I sent my boss somewhat of a degrading email on our vendors performance. He forwarded it to them with his take (agreement with me).

    Personally, I feel he should have asked for my permission. I would have been more tactful if I was intending on the vendor reading it.

    Lesson learned, don't trust anyone or email anything you don't want someone to read.

    Just curious, in my shoes. How would you feel?

    Of course the the lesson is that one should always expect any written comms to end up in front of the person being talked about. With that said, your boss read it and probably thought it was acceptable so they sent it on.

    Personally, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I've done exactly what your boss did. And for me - it's always a calculated move. Basically - when I do it - it's to send a message to the recipient and to reinforce a point. As @alias454 said - don't loose sleep over it. Clearly your boss agreed with you. And in some ways you actually provided him with the coverage that he needs to now have a discussion with the vendor.

    On the flip side - I've used this same exact way of sending a message up or across the chain. For example - I may craft an email which I sent to my boss with the intention that he/she will then forward it on (sometimes we will pre-discuss it) I see it as part of my job to give my manager a way to open dialogue at his level but put him/her in a position where he doesn't have to be the bad guy.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,654 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I would of felt the same way as you OP.
  • rob42rob42 Member Posts: 423
    I.M.H.O it was very unprofessional of your boss to do that: I never send anything that's clearly intended "for my eyes only" to anyone else. Not cool...
    No longer an active member
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    rob42 wrote: »
    I.M.H.O it was very unprofessional of your boss to do that: I never send anything that's clearly intended "for my eyes only" to anyone else. Not cool...
    Respectfully, I would disagree. There is no point in sending a memo or email if you don't expect action to be taken. And if it's written down on company assets and it's business related - than there should never be an expectation that it will not be used. If the email sent to the manager was professional than there should be no concern about having it be forwarded on. The caveat would be if the contents were proprietary or confidential to the company.

    If the contents are intended to be confidential - than the sender should be explicit - @OP did you ask for the email to be between you and your manager?
  • PJ_SneakersPJ_Sneakers CompTIA, EC-Council, ISACA, Microsoft USAMember Posts: 884 ■■■■■■□□□□
    LaSeeno wrote: »
    Just curious, in my shoes. How would you feel?
    Happens to me all the time.

    It's not a problem if you can stand by your original statements and you're not being an ass.
  • rob42rob42 Member Posts: 423
    paul78 wrote: »
    Respectfully, I would disagree. There is no point in sending a memo or email if you don't expect action to be taken. And if it's written down on company assets and it's business related - than there should never be an expectation that it will not be used. If the email sent to the manager was professional than there should be no concern about having it be forwarded on. The caveat would be if the contents were proprietary or confidential to the company.

    If the contents are intended to be confidential - than the sender should be explicit - @OP did you ask for the email to be between you and your manager?


    I understand what you're saying, and yes, I agree, if action is required, then action should be taken, but it should be done in a professional and diplomatic way. Sending an internal email (which by definition is confidential) to an outside party is, in my books, a no-no.

    One can make reference to it by saying "It has been brought to my attention that..." when communicating with the third party, but forwarding an email verbatim may not be in the interests of either organisation, especially if the content is less than complementary to the third party.

    Like I say, it's just M.H.O, but a practice that's served me well over the years.
    No longer an active member
  • LaSeenoLaSeeno Member Posts: 64 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Happens to me all the time.

    It's not a problem if you can stand by your original statements and you're not being an ass.

    I don't think it was that bad. I just didn't expect it to go down like that. First time this has happened to me. And the big man didn't think it was a big deal at all. As someone mentioned earlier, I think it empowered him to respond the way he was already feeling.
  • PJ_SneakersPJ_Sneakers CompTIA, EC-Council, ISACA, Microsoft USAMember Posts: 884 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Yeah it's kind of inconsiderate, but probably not malicious at all.

    Just remember that anything you send in an email can show up again. Tomorrow, next year, ten years from now. I had emails I sent three years ago resurface after we were served a subpoena. You never know.
  • alias454alias454 Member Posts: 648
    Always potential for unintended disclosure(think Sony). This thread isn't necessarily on that level but we have to remember that in all the things we do.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,078 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I have to agree with Paul78 here. There's not much point in making a complaint simply to complain. If someone complains to me about a contract I oversee, I verify the facts and then take it to someone in the contractor chain to get it fixed. With some people I know they know their stuff and are thorough and if they have a complaint, it must be so.

    The one area I think you have a right to be concerned about is burning professional bridges. You sent an official work email but sometimes it can go to someone who misinterprets it (or interprets it correctly...) which makes it difficult to work with them. You need to make these situations clear to your boss when necessary since he won't know the status of all of your business relationships.

    In the past I've split the emails into sections to my boss giving context with a separate section he can use if he wants to forward on. These are always clearly labeled like "****** INTERNAL ONLY *******"
  • MideMide Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yeah I've had this happen as well. I would keep everything very factual and try to leave out emotion from the email. Etiquette-wise your boss should've wrote his own email and dealt with the issue and only used your email as more information/ammo. So not cool on his part. Not worth complaining about though, next time just know how your boss does things and probably just tell him face to face.
  • SweenMachineSweenMachine MCSA: Office 365, MCSA: Windows 7 (I am old), ITIL Foundations V3 Chicago areaMember Posts: 300 ■■■■□□□□□□
    LaSeeno wrote: »
    Curious on other's take on a situation. We recently contracted a vendor out for some work. Seemed to be a lot of confusion between my company's management and the vendor about expectations of the deliverables. I sent my boss somewhat of a degrading email on our vendors performance. He forwarded it to them with his take (agreement with me).

    Personally, I feel he should have asked for my permission. I would have been more tactful if I was intending on the vendor reading it.

    Lesson learned, don't trust anyone or email anything you don't want someone to read.

    Just curious, in my shoes. How would you feel?

    As someone who has direct reports and works with vendors, I am trusting my employees to handle the situations and if they email me to grease some wheels or to complain, my expectation is anything stated in the email will be directly forwarded on to the vendor if feel it is accurate.

    Bottom line is, you boss isn't your friend. He/she is your boss. Expect anything you say to be an on the record discussion, even if that behavior isn't standard for him/her. I am a pretty laid back boss, but I am still in management for a reason. If the deal falls through with the vendor, it ultimately falls on me and not you, so I am not concerned about your feelings.

    -scott
Sign In or Register to comment.