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A bit of background to the topic... My wife works for a very large international bank in Canada. Recently, her team was moving to another floor and looked like the moving company has lost a small value personal item in the process. My first reaction was: "No big deal, just send a group email to see if anyone got it by mistake", which seemed pretty normal within mid-size tech companies I am used to work for. Her immediate reaction was that she felt super embarassed to even think about sending such sort of email and bother her colleagues about pretty much a personal matter. To be honest, the item doesn't matter as much but I felt that she doesn't feel comfortable with her workplace culture or maybe she is just too shy. To cut story short, this has escalated into arguing and now I feel I might be missing something and owe her an apology.

So would the sort of email I've suggested be appropriate withing larger companies or not?

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    One thing I learned about marriage: If Lady is upset, apologize. If you think you owe it to her or not does not matter. She'll appreciate it anyway. (That part is kind of more suited on IPS ... ) – Fildor Oct 6 '17 at 14:20
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    Whether and how to notify/ask others would depend on the company. The best way forward is probably just to ask her manager or someone else or to see what everyone else is doing. It also depends on company size (as a regular employee, I wouldn't send any unsolicited email to 50+ coworkers without permission, especially not for something that's not particularly important). – Bernhard Barker Oct 6 '17 at 21:46
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Yes, it's appropriate, and just like this:

All,

During our recent move a small, personal item was lost. If anyone has come across a three pointed widget box, please contact Mrs eYe at 555-1212, thank you. eYe Kindest regards,

Mrs. eYe

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Yes, you owe your wife an apology.

Is this sort of email appropriate within larger companies? Depends on the company culture. For some it may be commonplace, particularly if there are smaller lists for specific buildings or office. For some smaller companies it may seem inappropriate if no one ever uses the company list for things not directly related to the business.

We really can't answer whether it's appropriate or not, because it will vary depending on where you work. The person who can tell you whether it's appropriate is your wife, who actually works for the company. If she were unsure whether she felt uncomfortable with it because she's shy or because of the culture, she could ask her manager if it would be appropriate.

Your biggest mistake here however is letting this turn into an argument. Your wife knows the answer to this question far better than you do. You should have trusted her opinion and let it go far before it turned into a fight.

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1) Ask colleagues how this kind of thing is done. In my company, emails like this are sent out by an administration address.

2) Use the appropriate distribution list. Ensure that it's limited to the geographic location/departments involved and no more than that. You may need more than one if you're wanting more than one department.

3) Consider buying a replacement.

Take the third option.

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  • Take the third option even if just as an apology for arguing over a trifle. Perhaps make it a surprise as well... – Kilisi Oct 7 '17 at 21:22

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