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The worst 'Reply All' of all?

A recruitment executive sends a candidate an e-mail telling him to "f*** off." Sadly, he also sends it to the 4,000 people the candidate had e-mailed in search of work.

The recruitment industry has its quota of questionable characters.

They prey on those desperate to improve their lots in life. They make promises they know will not ultimately be kept. It's not often, indeed, that they express themselves in words that might contain huge dollops of, well, truth.

So who cannot have vast and deep sympathy for Gary Chaplin, a recruitment executive who spoke his mind, but, sadly, spoke it a little too clearly and a little too publicly?

Chaplin, working for a British company called Stark Brooks, received an e-mail from a candidate seeking work in the banking and finance industry.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

He was slightly peeved that the candidate had sent the e-mail to 4,000 people. So, as the Sun shines upon the facts, he offered a broad-minded e-mail in return.

It read, in part: "I think I speak for all 4,000 people you have emailed when I say, 'Thanks for your CV' - it's nice to know you are taking this seriously."

Clearly, there were large spoonfuls of sarcasm in this communication. However, Chaplin added: "Please f*** off ... you are too stupid to get a job, even in banking." His final flourish was: "Yours hitting the delete button Have a nice day!"

You might imagine that this was bad enough. However, Chaplin seems to have pressed the dastardly "Reply All" button, before the one marked "Delete." His intemperate e-mail went to all 4,000 of the candidate's targets.

Oh, of course he was fired. How could he not be? Especially as he'd made up a name when he sent the e-mail--Richard Vickers--and there happens to be someone of that name in the recruitment industry.

Chaplin's real identity was revealed by his Internet Service Provider, at which time he desperately tried to send all 4,000 people an e-mail of apology.

He told the Sun: "I am mortified by what I did. I meant no offense to this man looking for a job."

Some might differ with this analysis.

One might wonder now which recruitment executives Chaplin will be e-mailing in order to get a new job. One can only hope he will approach each of them individually.