UPDATE: Yesterday I shared an example of a time that I did not open an untitled attachment when I should have. Since then several readers have commented strongly that one should NEVER open untitled attachments. I stand corrected. Please read the original post (it’s brief)—and their important comments.
Here's the original post:
Recently I made an awkward mistake, and I want to help you avoid doing the same. You know those untitled attachments that sometimes accompany emails you receive? I’m talking about the ones you click that typically are just a name and a signature block or logo—nothing you normally need.
Because I never seemed to need the information in those untitled attachments, I got out of the habit of opening them. I just ignored them, thinking they were signature blocks.
Today when I was going through old emails, I found one (shown partially above) that I had thought was too brief–in fact, it had said nothing. I was surprised that a friendly former client had not included any message when attaching a document (a separate attachment), since he had always seemed warm and focused on good relationships.
Today I bothered to open that untitled attachment. Surprise! It held a message for me:
I believe I’ve made all the corrections to the goofs you caught. Would you mind double-checking my revisions to be sure?
All the best,
Now I feel silly having thought this client in too much of a hurry to write a real message. But it turns out I was the one who had been in a hurry. I didn't take time to open that file.
I wrote to him today and apologized.
Has anything similar happened to you?