I was tech support for a company that primarily provided a mass messaging platform for schools.
One day I get a frantic call from the administrator of a rather large private Jewish school.
She explains to me that her phone is ringing off the hook with frightened parents because her mass message got truncated.
I pull up her account, find the last message sent and review it. She typed up a beautifully formatted letter in Microsoft word, that explained how a child had left their backpack unattended and the school took no chances and called in the bomb squad, but there was nothing dangerous in the bag and it was reunited with its owner, etc…
However she saved the words document as html and uploaded it to our emergency alert system which broadcasts it to every emergency contact phone number for each student and faculty.
This means that several thousand phones simultaneously received a very confusing text message and robo call in the middle of the school day. The decipherable part of the message said something about a suspicious package on campus and the bomb squad, although i think even the word squad was truncated.
Anyway, I explained to the caller why the message got truncated and how to prevent it from happening in the future, to which she asked if I could undo her mistake. I had already canceled the process, but 100% of the text messages were sent and several thousand phone calls had already been received. I said, “I’m sorry ma’am, I don’t have a time machine.”
I probably should’ve been fired for saying that, but luckily, she laughed. I suggested she send another message without formatting, explaining what the first message meant to say. She agreed but didn’t want to hang up because her other phones were still ringing.
As if the time machine line wasn’t bad enough, I also said, “Could be worse. There could actually have been a bomb in the bag.”
I was not cut out for that line of work.