June 27, 2011

CERN Ombuds Considers the Dangers of Email

In his latest newsletter column, Vincent Vuillemi, the Ombuds at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, looks at the fallout from an employee's careless email and the role of Ombuds in remediating the situation.

In the fictionalized scenario, a supervisor's response to an email is sent to all of the original recipients instead of just the sender. Unfortunately, the response was highly critical and possibly violated the organization's code of conduct. With the help of the Ombuds, the employee, "began the painful search for the suitable words to excuse the language he used in the email. In the end, he sent a conscientious apology to his colleagues, but alas, the harm had already been done." (CERN Ombuds Corner.)

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