Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
I have received a very rude email from an employee in another department of my company. There was a miscommunication with her department and mine, which could have been quickly cleared up if she would have simply picked up the phone and asked me about it. Instead she wrote me an email saying how I dropped the ball on the project, and on top of that, she cced multiple levels of management and co-workers. I have never even met this woman, and she had the nerve to do this to me. What should I do so I do not look bad and get a bad reputation with the higher ups?
Panicked and Mad Employee
Dear Panicked and Mad Employee,
She obviously is handling this all wrong. You are right to say that she should have just picked up the phone, or if you are in the same office, asked you about it in person. I would go to her office if possible, or if not possible, then call her. Straighten it all out and then write a follow up email with a “Reply All” summarizing how you are glad you called her to solve the problem, and give the detailed solution that you came up with. This way she will be the one who looks bad and you will look like you handled the issue promptly and efficiently. If you cannot get hold of her quickly, then “Reply All” stating that you tried to call her right away, and tell her how to solve the issue. Be extra nice on the email, apologizing for the misunderstanding, and state how you look forward to meeting her in person soon. This should make your managers think of you as someone who can handle people well and solve problems on your own.