Chris S. worked at a large financial firm that had its roots in the wild and crazy days - long before political correctness was all the rage. Men behaved savagely, both financially and socially. Women, no matter their skill and/or rank, were objects, targets ripe for abuse. Fast forward a few decades into the PC era and the madness was scaled back quite a bit, but the characters remained. The off-color jokes and emails are still passed around; just more discretely. Right or wrong, it's just the way the business side has always been in large financial firms.

One day, Chris received an email from the CTO asking him to consider the attached resume for the open position on his team. The resume looked decent, and the level of business knowledge the candidate would bring to the team would be extremely helpful, so Chris decided to reply and set up an interview. As he hit reply, Chris noticed that the email had been forwarded from the broker to the CTO; it was initially a series of exchanges between the candidate and broker who were obviously buddies, so he decided to read it all, starting from the bottom up.

After some friendly banter between the candidate and the broker, the discussion took a seedier turn. The broker had asked how his vacation to eastern Europe had gone. Details were proffered about the girls he met, the acts they performed and the pictures he took. Perhaps a normal exchange between friends or co-workers, but certainly inappropriate as part of an email introducing a candidate for a job.

Now there were no inter-species acts. No animals or virgins were sacrificed. It was just someone cutting loose on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Let's face it, when you come back from vacation, especially an exotic one, those around you invariably ask for details and everybody obliges.

Of course, leaving those details and pictures in an email being used to introduce a candidate was a serious breach of etiquette by the broker, but how many times have each of us simply kept replying to an email, long after the conversation has changed from the original subject matter? Or forwarding it to others? It's pretty obvious that the broker didn't bother to think about the contents of the email all the way to the bottom. It's equally obvious the CTO just read the top paragraph and forwarded it on.

Chris decided that since the material was left in the email, he would pass on a potentially decent candidate because the broker who recommended him was careless. Pity; he could have shown the email the broker sent to the CTO to the candidate on the interview; his reaction to the broker having forwarded all the other stuff beyond the resume would have spoken volumes about his true character.