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TV reporter's sick-call email sparks glorious reply-all chaos

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Abby Eden, Twitter

If you've ever been caught up in an accidental reply-all email thread, you know how much of a disaster it can be between the lame jokesters, the "remove me from this list" complaints (which only make it worse) and the productivity black hole it creates. For Kansas City's Nick Vasos, however, his reply-all mistake led to something... more. When the Fox 4 TV reporter inadvertently sent a sick-call email to all of Nexstar Media Group, he not only triggered an epic reply-all email chain, he sparked a social media sensation. Staff built mock shrines to wish him well, he was highlighted on the Today Show, and the #PrayersforNick hashtag ended up trending nationwide -- normally the sort of thing reserved for actual disasters, hot movies and other high-profile stories.

Vasos also apologized for giving a scare to fans of Nick Cage, Nick Jonas and other famous Nicks. A celebrity's name in hashtags is sometimes a sign they're at death's door, so you can imagine the panic some might have felt.

The kicker? It all came down to trying to be a considerate employee. Vasos explained that he'd texted his manager to indicate that he was sick, but turned to email to be safe when he didn't get a reply. The mistake was to assume that the email auto-complete would use an address he was used to for his manager, rather than the company-wide address.

Vasos is taking it all with grace, although this probably isn't the legacy he planned on. One thing's for sure: this reply-all frenzy makes a very, very good case for limiting whole-company email addresses to accepting messages from specific recipients.