Sometimes saying sorry really ISN'T the thing to do

Flashback to the days of text-based email, when this company has a 32K limit on how big an email message can be -- and that's usually fine, says a pilot fish working there.

"But then someone sent a message to everyone in the corporation -- there were a few thousand of us -- and it crashed every email client in the organization," fish says.

"There were so many addressees that when you tried to read it, the program halted at the 32K point, so we couldn't even see what the earth-shattering message was.

"I pulled the offending message into a word processor and scrolled to the bottom. The message was in German, so I forwarded it to a friend in another company who speaks the language. He translated it as a notice that a tiny server in Germany, with about eight users, was going down for maintenance that night.

"They crashed the entire enterprise for that?

"An hour later, when we had deleted the message and restarted our email programs, the offending emailer sent out an apology. He again addressed it to everyone in the company -- and he crashed us all again."

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