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The art of the BCC

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Wide White: The art of the BCC

Monday, October 26, 2009

The art of the BCC

Some people love the blind carbon copy, better known by everyone as the BCC. They think it's great that you can send an email to 10 people but 8 people think it only went to 8 people.

Being the recipient of just about every type of BCC, I thought I'd compile a short list of BCC types.

1. The Slammer. You send a scathing email to someone - a coworker, a friend - and then BCC someone of more significant importance - a boss, a pastor - so they can follow up on your important tirade. Pat yourself on the back, Slammer, you have quietly sent your issue up the chain of command. This will get interesting when that coworker gets that same email forwarded to him from his boss later that day and realizes what you did.

2. The Secret Compliment. You send a compliment about a coworker to your coworker's boss and BCC that coworker. Or you send a compliment to your coworker and BCC their boss. Either way, you want to pay a compliment to someone while brown-nosing another. Good work.

3. The Wink. You send an email to a number of people who are important and BCC someone you want to include but who is less important than the rest of the recipients. For example, a Sr. Account Executive sends an executive account summary to a number of VPs and other executives (the word "executive" is used a lot). You are just a Junior Account Manager but that Sr. Account Executive knows you do all of the real work to make that account happy. So, he BCC's you on the account summary. It's his way of giving you that wink that says, "I think highly of you, son, and someday, you'll make it high enough to warrant a regular CC."

4. The Silent Informant. This is similar to The Secret Compliment and The Slammer in that you are BCC'ing your boss or some other superior. However, the purpose of this email is to keep him in the loop. You've been working with a headache of an account for the last 5 weeks and just had a significant development. In your reply all to the customer, you BCC your boss. It's your way of saying, "No worries, Boss, I've got this one. See me? This is me on it!" You're keeping him in the loop, but you're also working for an extra percent in that next raise.

5. The Who's On It? You receive an email with no recipient. Oh, you received it, but the email contains no one in the "To" or "CC" lines. You immediately wonder who else may have warranted the sender's attention. This could be a forward telling you that Obama is the anti-Christ because he failed to put his hand across his chest during the national anthem. It could be a Christmas letter from friends. It could be a notice that a company you work with is undergoing system maintenance next weekend. Regardless, you have no idea who else is on it. 80% of the time (most forwards and all system maintenance notices) you couldn't care less, but then there's that pesky 20% (the Christmas letter from that friend from elementary school...if he included me, who else in the world might be on it?) that keep you wondering.

There are certainly more, but I'll leave those for you to add in the comments.


Blogger Dana declared,

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/27/2009 9:55 AM  
Blogger Dana declared,

That's definitely interesting. I've never BCCed anyone before...or had it done to me as far as I all confuses me! But that's pretty humorous to think about. Thanks for sharing big bro!

10/27/2009 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Chet declared,

My personal favorite is the Slammer, mainly because of the name but also because of the implications. It's a good one.

10/28/2009 10:33 AM  
Blogger Keithslady declared,

I only use it when I feel I should be protecting the privacy of the people I'm sending it to. What is that called?

10/29/2009 10:11 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

That would be the "Who's On It?"

10/29/2009 10:24 AM  

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