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Catch22 - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
I have received an email to which I cannot reply without risking offending, and to which I cannot refrain from replying without risking offending.

I would like the internet to be accidentally unplugged by the cleaner, please, so that I don't have to make a decision.

Current Mood: paralysed

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From: bibliogirl Date: May 24th, 2004 08:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Send a blank reply? (The closest the Internet has to 'mu'?)
karen2205 From: karen2205 Date: May 24th, 2004 08:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Wait 24 hours. Write a reply. Wait another 24 hours and amend it as necessary and then send it anyway.

48 hours ish is a perfectly reasonable length of time to wait for a reply.

In any case being afraid of offending someone is generally not a good reason for not doing something - go ahead and say what needs to be said gently and see what happens.
From: kaet Date: May 24th, 2004 08:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Do you think the person who sent the email would know that would be the case?
j4 From: j4 Date: May 24th, 2004 08:28 am (UTC) (Link)
If I knew what the person who sent the email thought, I wouldn't be in this situation. :-(
From: kaet Date: May 24th, 2004 08:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I guess that there's the risk of offense if you ask, too?

I think when things get so complicated and tied up in knots, that I tend just to say it anyway. People can expect you to make reasonable moves to avoid offence, but relationships aren't supposed to be logic puzzles, and people aren't perfact, and communication faulty, and if they have trouble understanding those things, then that's not really your problem. If I say that the reason for a mail wasn't to cause offence, though I acknowledge that it might do so, but that other options were bigger dangers or wouldn't have reduced offence, then there's not much else you can do. Sometimes things will cause offence, I think. I'm not easily offended myself, but everyone has their own ways of dealing with things. Of course, if you're a necessary part of that person's way of dealing with offence, then it all becomes knotty again. Though I think it's easy to believe oneself necessary to the process by a kind of mistransferance from observing that you are sufficient for it.
julietk From: julietk Date: May 24th, 2004 09:07 am (UTC) (Link)
In that sort of situation I think in general I'd be inclined to reply, as gently as possible, and possibly even saying 'I hope you're not offended, but I thought I'd rather reply than not'.

Sometimes folk are less easily offended than one thinks they might be; sometimes it's just not possible to avoid offence, which doesn't mean it's your fault. Sometimes things need to be said even with the risk of offence.

Plus, if you *don't* reply, it's possible that they may email you again in a couple of days asking whether you got their message, or whatever. Which is probably worse.
oldbloke From: oldbloke Date: May 24th, 2004 01:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Can you convincingly fake a bounce?
Maybe down the server and get the mail resubmitted while it isn't there, somehow...
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