Some of my legal work includes electronic discovery; e-Discovery, for litigation. In addition to countless presentations, meeting notes, spreadsheets and family photos, this is a job where attorneys are tasked to read volumes of other people’s e-mail.
My friend Joycelyn, who also does e-Discovery, tells every one of her private practice clients the following: “Don’t write anything down that you don’t want to show up in court — even on a napkin.” And in our age of instant communication, writing it down usually means company e-mail! That includes love notes to your paramour; dirty jokes to your fraternity brothers, complaints about your boss to your mother; and your monthly household budget no matter if your piggy bank is bursting or times are tough. Text messages are also fair game, especially if you’re sending them on the company Blackberry. Sage advice for everyone, even if you don’t plan on ever getting sued (and who really plans on getting sued?)
We also review our share of e-mails forwarding urban legends; prayer requests, and virus hoaxes that someone has not taken the time to verify on snopes.com. Sometimes we get a funny e-mails that we’d love to share, but simply cannot because of attorney-client confidentiality agreements.
Someone at the office ran across a wine-related chain e-mail and wanted me to pass it along. Of course, since our work is confidential, we can’t publish or divulge the contents of any of the documents we look at. But I found something on the “internets” that reminds me of some of the documents we see.
Here it is for your amusement:
Beware, Wine Lovers! There is a dangerous virus being passed electronically, orally and by hand.
This virus is called Worm-Overload-Recreational-Killer (W.O.R.K.). If you receive WORK from any of your colleagues, your boss or anyone else via any means DO NOT TOUCH IT. This virus will wipe out your private life completely.
If you should come into contact with W.O.R.K. put your jacket on and take two good friends to the nearest pub. Purchase the antidote known as Work-Isolator-Neutralizer-Extractor (W.I.N.E.). The quickest acting W.I.N.E. type is called Swift-Hitting-Infiltrator-Remover-All-Zones (SHIRAZ) but this is only available for those who can afford it. The next best equivalent is Cheapest-Available-System-Killer (C.A.S.K.) We found a more potent variant; the Zealous-Isolator-Neutralizer (Z.I.N.) that we found to be incredibly effective.
Choose the one most suited to your particular malady and take the antidote repeatedly until W.O.R.K. has been completely eliminated from your system.
Forward this warning to 5 friends. If you do not have 5 friends, you have already been infected and W.O.R.K. is controlling your life. This virus is DEADLY (Destroys-Every-Available-Drop of-Life-and Youth).
Update 02-14-2009: After extensive testing it has been concluded that Best-Equivalent-Extractor-Remedy (B.E.E.R.) may be substituted for WINE but will probably require a much more generous application. — Original Source Unknown
As my friend Thea might suggest, run out this evening and get an ounce (or two or three or four) of precaution. As you’ve no doubt heard, it’s worth a pound of cure!