I hate those silly disclaimers some people put on their email. I suppose that in most cases, their employers force them to add a disclaimer at the bottom of their email for "legal reasons." If you're unfamiliar with the concept, this is what I'm talking about:
This e-mail message (including any attachments) is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this message (including any attachments) is strictly prohibited.
If you have received this message in error, please contact the sender by reply e-mail message and destroy all copies of the original message (including attachments).
I hope that no individuals are putting these disclaimers on their email without being coerced by some corporate entity.
It will not surprise you to hear that I have a number of gripes.
Firstly, the disclaimer is at the bottom of the email message. There is no guarantee that someone is going to read your whole message. How can anyone expect to hold you to an "agreement of which you were not even aware? Even if you do read it, shouldn't you have to consent to an agreement? And since it's at the end of the message, you've already read the confidential information, so it's already been disseminated in violation of the agreement.
I question the legal enforceability of such a disclaimer. I expect it's just enough CYA that a company can scare you with lawyers. I hate manipulation like that.
And it's just plain unfriendly sounding, no matter when you encounter it. You get an email from a friend or colleague and at the bottom are a bunch of demands. How pleasant! You have a nice day, too.
Have you ever gotten misdirected email that had one of these disclaimers on it? I actually have, more than once. In fact, I did earlier this week. it was a fascinating story about some sort of liver and brain research, and frozen rodent carcasses were involved. Bert screwed up royally by throwing away some of the carcasses without having done the necessary brain samples. It was a whole sad tale. Happily, though, it looked like two years of research might be salvaged by some carcasses that had been shoved to the bottom of a bag in the freezer by Jason.
So, good on ya, frozen rodent carcass researchers! And congrats, Jason, for saving the day.
I'm wondering if I should put a directive at the end of each of my blog posts:
This blog post (including any images) is for the sole use of the intended reader(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. If the reader of this post is not the intended reader, you are hereby notified that you smell like dirty socks. If you are the intended reader then you are required to laugh at my jokes, tell me how brilliant I am, and buy me a beer.