A mysterious and puzzling email with the subject line of “Integration Test Email #1” landed in the boxes of some HBO Max subscribers on Thursday. Just hours later, the company said that the message was intended to be an empty test email, and “yes, it was the intern.”
The unnamed intern quickly became the new star of HBO Max on social media, as hundreds of encouraging messages poured in to reassure the intern that mistakes happen, in all phases of careers.
The body of the email in question contains but one sentence, “This template is used by integration tests only.”
Just hours after people started tweeting questions about and images of the email, the support page for HBO Max responded.
“We mistakenly sent out an empty test email to a portion of our HBO Max mailing list this evening,” the HBO Max support account tweeted. “…yes, it was the intern. No, really. And we’re helping them through it.”
And instead of subscribers responding with angry messages about an inconvenience, they used the opportunity to tell their own stories of work snafus. Even Monica Lewinsky, who had an affair with former President Bill Clinton when she was a White House intern, offered words of encouragement.
“Dear intern: it gets better,” she wrote. “ps. don’t wear a beret for awhile, k?”
Another individual wrote about how they “once globally took down Spotify.”
It almost happened twice,” they wrote. “…You managed to find something broken in the way integration tests are done. It’s a good thing and will help improve things.”
Writer Caissie St. Onge tweeted a recap of a mistake she made well beyond the time she was interning.
“I was using my desktop calendar to make a monthly note of when I started my menstrual period, but after several months I realized I was making that note on a calendar I shared with all of my colleagues company wide,” she said. “I was 37 years old.”
“When I was 25 I made a PDF assigning each employee to the Muppet they reminded me of the most,” another wrote. “I meant to send it to my work friend, but I accidentally sent it to the entire company. My supervisor (Beaker) wanted to fire me, but the owners (Bert & Ernie) intervened.”
Mistakes on the job are so common, that even people who work in the White House make them.
“I once didn’t recognize then-VP George HW Bush and almost didn’t let him into a meeting…in the Cabinet Room. Of the White House. Where he worked,” one person wrote. “…you’ll be fine.”