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E-mail Internet Listening

There is one person here who keeps forwarding email to warn or advise us on matters that are nothing but myths. I have checked out what she sends, and it is junk. I have shown her sites that disprove her messages, but as soon as she gets some new nonsense, she sends it. How do we get her to stop?

There are plenty of people who just cannot wait to click "send" every time they come across a soppy tale, urgent advice, or dire warning. These mythology purveyors are so caught up in the moment that they cannot pause for a nanosecond to verify what they are about to transmit. And, as you discovered, they are not even swayed when given the facts.

The easiest way for you and your co-workers to counter this co-worker's "send" button is with your "delete" button. Every time a mythological message arrives, delete it and say nothing about it to her. Although it would be nice to delete her email without even opening it, that could be a problem if she occasionally sends you messages that are part of her job.

You should also check out your company's policy in this area. Most such policies indicate that all company property is to be used for company-related purposes, and any other uses are subject to discipline, up to and including termination. If your company has such a policy, you should mention this to her, and if she thinks it's a myth, you should mention this to your manager. If your company has no such policy, then it's time to get real and get one.

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