Tag Archives: cheating with email

Encouraging Cheating

It seemed like a headline designed to earn clicks on the USA Today web site: “8 things you’re still doing wrong with email.” Even though The Curmudgeon knew he’d probably be sorry, he clicked.

And he’s sorry.

Because really, some of them should have been titled “Ways you can use email to cheat and deceive.”

Here’s one of the eight ways:

Do you use Microsoft Office? Set a timer to look like you’re working when you’re not. For example, write an email message at, say, 2pm, but it doesn’t get sent to your boss until 1am to look like you’re burning the midnight oil. Or if you work from home and want to schedule messages to be sent all day – though you hit the beach at 11am – this same trick works great. Start a new message, click Options near the upper-middle of the screen, select Delay Delivery and finally, click Do Not Deliver Before. Now select the date and time when this message should be delivered using the drop-down boxes. Write your message, click Send and it’ll hang in your outbox until your specified time. Note: your computer needs to be on for it to send at the specified time. Boomerang for Gmail also works well.

And here’s another:

If you were supposed to email something to your boss by 1 p.m. but you didn’t get it completed until 9 a.m. the following day, change the clock on your computer or phone back to noon the previous day, send the email, then change the time back again. If your boss complains he never received it, insist you sent it on time. If he checks the date of the email, he’ll see you weren’t lying. Blame the delay on a server issue: “Yes, it took two days for an email to reach me from Joe in accounting.” Note: you’ll likely need to be the administrator of your computer to make these time changes. Also, if someone emails you at work and you don’t want to face the music about something, why not reply with a fake “out-of-office” reply? That is, in the subject line, manually write “Auto Reply Message: Out of Office” and type something inside such as “I’ll be at an offsite meeting until Friday and will get back to you then.” Sneaky.

Nice, huh? As if it’s not bad enough that people are constantly trying to cut corners and cheat, now we have the largest circulation newspaper in the country giving them tips on how to do it.

Just last week The Curmudgeon wrote about cheating in the world of sports and how in that world, cheaters, contrary to the old saying, often do prosper. Just a few days after he posted that piece major league baseball suspended the second pitcher in the past two weeks for illegally applying a foreign substance to a baseball. The Curmudgeon was going to write about this but he read that the particular way these pitchers were cheating has been quietly condoned and even encouraged for years. The only reason these particular pitchers were suspended, in fact, was because they hid what they were doing so poorly that the umpires, who know about this kind of cheating, had no choice but to throw them out of the game. Now, as a result of these two suspensions just a few days apart, there’s growing interest in baseball circles in changing the rules to make what those pitchers did acceptable. So educated, The Curmudgeon decided – reluctantly, giving them the benefit of the doubt – not to write about it, just to let it go.

And now this.

It’s disappointing, and it’s seemingly everywhere.

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