Tuesday, September 16, 2008

No More Mr. Nice Guy!

I try to be a decent fellow, I really do. Most of the time.

But sometimes people just drive a fellow over the brink.

Case in point: Someone who has a Yahoo e-mail address similar to mine but who stupidly keeps giving the wrong address (viz., mine). Or someone who has stupid friends who keep e-mailing me when they clearly mean to e-mail the other. Or both.

The Cliff Notes version: Not quite three years ago, I received several order confirmations from Yves Rocher ("The World Leader in Botanical Beauty Care," if you must know) addressed to a Mary Ann Reynolds at my address. Clearly an error. I notified customer service of this mistake; they sent their apologies; and I gave it not another thought.

Until a couple of days later, when I started getting all sorts of e-mail from various women who were trying to organize a lunch. So I helpfully e-mailed them and told the of the errors of their ways, and suggested that if they wanted Mary Ann to attend they'd best get her correct address. No reply. In fact, the erroneous mail continued ("the 15th won't work for me; how about the 19th?" and so on) for several days. Delete, delete, delete.

Over the past 35 months, the pattern has been the same. Nothing for a good long time, then a sudden rash of e-mail. From a travel agent. From a condominium manager. From the lunch group. Then nothing for a good long time. Then another rash of messages. And so on.

In every case, I helpfully e-mail the offender and suggest that they check for their friend's/customer's correct address and update their address books accordingly. And in every case I receive a courteous and apologetic reply from businesses, but never anything from "real people."

This past summer came another spate of e-mails intended for Mary Ann but sent to me. Less cheerful than in the early days--largely because these messages are coming from the same women whom I have alerted about the mistaken address--I persist in trying to do the right thing. Mary Ann is never going to see the pictures of your niece if you don't listen to what I've been trying to tell you these past three years and update your goddamn address book!

As before, no one possesses the courtesy necessary to e-mail back a simple thank-you.

Well, this past week I have received two copies of a travel itinerary for one of the individuals whom I have tried to set straight--indeed, the one with the niece, the one whom I notified in July that she still had the wrong address and who obviously can't be bothered to either update her address book or to acknowledge her annoying mistake.

And that was the last straw. Or, I guess, the last two straws.

I have tried. God knows I've tried. I have e-mailed every single woman on the let's-do-lunch list. I have e-mailed the woman who's coming out to visit Mary Ann next week. It doesn't do a bit of good. They don't acknowledge, they don't correct.

So the heck with them.

Every single message that I receive for Mary Ann will from now on go straight into the trash. And the woman who sent the itineraries, and the photos, and previous messages that I informed her were missing their mark, well, she's now on the block list.

Some people just won't let you help them. The best thing you can do for them is let them have their way.

And guess what? The old conscience is 100% clear and sunny.

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