Email Follies, Part II

By Deane Barker on June 17, 2005

Ketchup stain sparks e-mail flurry: A secretary at a London law firm accidentally spilled ketchup on the pants of a senior associate of the firm. He sent her an email asking for £4 to have his pants cleaned.

She responded with wonderful sarcasm and CC’d some people, who forwarded it to others, and it was sent throughout the entire London legal community over the course of a day. The senior associate now looks like an idiot.

[The secretary wrote, ] “I apologize again for accidentally getting a few splashes of ketchup on your trousers. Obviously your financial need as a senior associate is greater than mine as a mere secretary.”

She wrote that she had told various partners, lawyers and trainees about his e-mail and they had offered to “do a collection” to raise the cash.

“I however declined their kind offer but should you feel the urgent need for the £4, it will be on my desk this afternoon.”

Be careful what you email. It wasn’t worth the $7.32.

(And what was “Email Follies, Part I,” you ask? This post or this one, take your pick.)



  1. Well, the Senior Associate IS an idiot. He’s just lucky that it wasn’t a blue dress.

  2. Why does he look stupid? She spilled ketchup on him, she should pay. Maybe he was an ass for demanding that she pay, but she should have offered in the first place.

    I’d fire her, and justifiably.

  3. While your comments stand up to a logic test, there is such a thing as grace, class, and chivalry (assuming the associate was male and the secretary was female).

    Logic isn’t always the best guiding principle in these situations. A lot of people have done things that are defensible from a logical standpoint, but totally cheap from any other.

    For seven bucks, he could have shown some class.

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