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Dear Mr. O’Leary

One of our employees recently moved on from our company. In her resignation email she addressed her Indian boss as “Dear Mr. O’Leary”. When the email routed to me I laughed out loud. She must have copied and pasted resignation text, written generically to an Irish man. Sent incorrectly to a South Asian one, the error exposed the hazards of copy-paste.

Before I pontificate on the merits of original thought, let me admit that I have copy-pasted when confronted with brain freeze. In full disclosure, when I founded our company, the By-Laws came from internet sites, as did the Articles of Incorporation. I made them ours with appropriate changes. I did not want to start from scratch on these docs for fear of leaving out important content.

Since I am in confession-mode, I’ll (sheepishly) admit that I’ve made a few spectacular gaffes in my life.

Like the time Outlook changed “Dear Mahmood” (a distinguished and older client contact) to “Dear Manhood”. My fast fingers clicked right thru the change. I was mortified. I hesitated following up with a mea culpa email because that would just draw more attention to it. And I hesitated not doing anything because he would feel insulted. So, I called him and apologized. He was very gracious but I aged a few years in the ensuing chaos.

Or, the time when “Got a sec?” turned into to “Got a sex?” just as I sent the text to my colleague. Full-on weird!! Thankfully I’ve known him a very long time and we were able to laugh over it. After that episode, I turned off autocorrect on my phone and typed things like - Hot a zec? One key off and straight into gibberish. I can't seem to live with or without autocorrect!

On these mistakes I can at least take refuge in software interference. Forgetting to replace O'Leary is sheer carelessness, along the lines of people calling me "Remy". Instead of feeling blue, I try my best to find humor in daily mistakes - intentional and unintentional...

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