Can Capital Letters in Your E-Mail Get You Fired?

Yup! It happened in New Zealand. Sheesh!  Or should I say SHEESH!!! In honor of Labor Day, I just have to share this bizarre little workplace story about the hidden pitfalls of business email:

Office worker fired from job for writing emails in capitals

OK. This case was pretty out there and it actually had a happy ending for the woman who was fired. But it’s still a good reminder that what we write in our e-mail does matter – especially business email.  And whatever we say and send can last forever.

So proofread what you write and think twice before you send. Better safe than sorry may sound old-fashioned, but when it comes to business email…it’s probably a good rule to follow.

Oh…and whatever you do, please don’t be SHOUTY.

Anyone have an email oops you’d like to share?


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.


  1. This goes along with the President’s admonition to students to be careful what they post in Facebook. It’s not only what one types on the job, but before the job—maybe even as a small child—which may come back to haunt one. Scary.
    I once accidentally sent a business-related email to the wrong person. The main content was fine; no company secrets or anything, but included data the accidental recipient really didn’t need to know. The “oops” part was that it had been intended for a person I knew, um, very well, and included lots of X’s and O’s at the bottom. 😳
    I sent a “sorry about that” email to the colleague, who nicely replied that it was no problem, she’d done things like that before. Whew!

  2. Hah! You really lucked out on that one, Muse. I’ve had one or two accidental sends myself. Can be very embarrassing…and at times worse.

    I also second President Obama’s warning about Facebook. What we write now lives on forever and very well may be the reason we don’t get that promotion or job one day. Then again, Facebook can be a great networking tool as well as a terrific way to express who we are and get comfortable with doing that. Just takes a little common sense and the ability to think of how what we write today might look to the future us.

  3. I am not surprised. I think all caps in email and comment fields is universal for YELLING. Be careful email can be a scary tool if used wrong.

  4. Hah! So true. And so many of us have learned the hard way. Caps is just part of the story, of course. I’ve had an accidental send or two in my lifetime!

  5. I completely agree. Writing in all caps is completely unprofessional. We all went to school to learn how to read and write. Writing in all caps in personal emails is obviously a choice, but if someone doesn’t have the ability to write a business email professionally, that person shouldn’t be working in a business environment.

  6. Hi Jarrod!


    Just kidding. 😉 Appreciate the visit.

    – Ronnie Ann

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