I retort, you decide
Email can be a rotten way to communicate, as an email from Runway Reporter’s Stacy Gregg highlighted to me today. And that I need to take my share of responsibility for the “Raybon Kan incident” that has occupied a few entries on this blog.
When Stacy ﬁrst blogged about Jack Cooper’s confusion between Raybon and me, I thanked her and did think it was humorous. However, as readers know, running an image of me alongside editorial about Raybon was less than humorous to me or to Raybon—and now half a dozen people with Chinese blood in related industries agree, and had been wondering how something like this could happen in 2006. That’s just running casually into people, rather than a search. (In fact, yesterday’s entry would not have happened if people didn’t keep mentioning that they were offended and wondered what I thought.)
I mentioned the error to Stacy on the day of publication, but I was, with hindsight, less than clear about my displeasure: I simply pointed it out that it was a private joke. Perhaps I just don’t signal displeasure as well as some—I leave people to do as they see ﬁt to remedy a situation, as an expectation. What I should have said was that a private joke was not something that needed to go any further, and that not everyone would have got it (the fact a message appeared on the home page of Runway Reporter indicated as much). And here’s where email is so limiting: read with the same good humour as the ﬁrst message I sent her, she took it as my acceptance of her joke. Unfortunately, it was not to be read with that same sense, not that she knew then.
Stacy replied to that notiﬁcation saying that others had pointed out the error and asked if the photograph was retouched. I expected, by then, that that meant the photograph would be removed and I responded, in a nice way, that it was not retouched. As you’ll read below, she thought this was my being good-humoured about the matter—when I was merely being polite in answering a question. (By this point, I was rather shocked to note that the photograph was being credited to Raybon. But it was not worth raising a fuss about.)
Thus, it is only fair to publish her response to me today in full, in its exact form (with the exception of small tweaks such as removing double spaces between sentences), below—and to note that we both know where each of us stands on the issue as of today.
Hi Jack – the girls at my ofﬁce just forwarded me your blog. I am surprised. You and I had been in email conversation the whole way through the ‘joke’ and now it’s like we’d never discussed this when in fact we’ve merrily emailed each other several times about it……you know it is two-pronged a joke about jack cooper mistaking me for myken and you for raybon. It was carolyn enting who suggested I write about it in my blog because, she said, “jack gets mistaken for raybon all the time”. If, upon reﬂection, you found it insulting (even though you sent me emails making jokes about it yourself) – you could have contacted me as you know full well no offence was meant.
You’re welcome to add this email to your blog, but if you do I want it published in its entirity as I would hate for people to once again get the wrong end of the stick on the matter. After all, like you say, you are better looking than Raybon Kan…
I have long since forgiven Stacy and the site for the error: it was an interesting reminder about email communications—and an opportunity to note that this blog, for me, is a record of events and thoughts shared with others, rather than a tool for attacking a colleague. (I have plenty of forums in which to do that.)
I imagine most bloggers consider their entries similarly—if they were to attack someone, more mainstream sources or writing to the person him- or herself would be better courses. Here, it’s our medium for expression that just happens to be public—bridging that awkward gap between diary and publication. Posted by Jack Yan, 10:34
Thank you so much, 莫維平! Have a wonderful mid-autumn festival, too! (I always remember it as I was born three days before it.)Post a Comment
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