You Know That “Recall” Option In Your Email?

Posted on 15-01-2015

You know the feeling – you’ve spent the past hour composing an email, filling everyone into the BCC, attaching the right documents, and then you hit Send. Except you then notice a spelling mistake, or there’s an “XXXXXX” where there should be a quote from your client.


Now ordinarily at this point you would have cleared your desk, formatted your PC, dropped your tacky souvenir holiday items into a box and quit your job.


Someone in IT once told you that if you ever fucked up an email, you could magically pray to the Internet gods and they would disperse their minions to the corners of the earth to delete that faulty email from people’s inboxes. That magical prayer was called “Recall Message”, and looked like this:


So of course, you breathe a sigh of relief, click the button, and think that everything is right with the world.

Except, it’s not.

The ‘Recall Message’ (specifically for those who use¬†Outlook), doesn’t work the way you think it does. The Recall Message ONLY works for internal emails, so if for example you send your coworker an email calling her a fat whore and then regret it, you can hit the Recall Message to automagically delete the email from her Inbox (if she hasn’t opened it already). Crisis averted, all is right with the world, and you can go back to being fake BFFs at work.

But for the rest of the world, i.e everyone else in your address book, this recall function doesn’t work. In fact, it makes things even more messed up because when you click the “Recall Message” button, people will get ANOTHER email from you saying that “XXXXX wants to recall the message”, which then makes us pore over your original message EVEN MORE trying to figure out why you didn’t want us to open it.

A simpler solution? Just send a new email with “Correction” or something like that¬†in the subject. We understand email fuck-ups will happen, but if you’re one of those people who thinks that the Recall Message is the solution, well I just have one thing to say:


(Cheers Aby)


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