Due to some unfortunate miscommunication, one of the staff members at a university felt like I did not meet one of my obligations.
The staff member sent me an extremely rude email that happened to include other members of the department who I happen to know personally. The fact that the email was extremely condescending makes it seem like the staff member was trying to make me look bad.
Several months ago I received an email outlining some obligations. About a week ago I received another email explaining that I did not have to do one of those obligations. (Fortunately, it turned out to be something that was relatively simple and could be done at any time.)
Because I did not think I had to do the obligation, I did not do it. If the staff member would have clarified what they said, I would have been more than happy to do it. It also turned out to be something extremely simple.
Instead of clarifying, they sent an email that said "I did your work for you" and "here is what I said several months ago to prove that you knew you had to do this" but did not mention where they said "you do not have to do this".
The email was extremely rude and condescending. I would have been able to let it go if they did not include the other members of the department in the email. Now I am not sure how to respond. My thought is that they just forgot that they said I did not have to do the obligation.
I am not sure how to handle this. I have ideas along the lines of asking for an apology, clarifying the situation and explaining that I felt they were extremely rude, or forwarding the entire email chain to higher members of the department.
If I do decide to ask for an apology or clarify the situation, I can't decide whether or not I should include higher members of the department or who in the department I should include.