Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I See Now that this Will Never End

For a brief time I thought I had made some headway, but as usual I was wrong. This showed up this morning in my office e-mail:

REMEMBER: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public next month.
REMINDER.... all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing
Companies and you will start to receive sale calls.


To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone:
It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your
Time. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the
Cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a
Different phone number.


The nice woman who sent this to me also, of course, sent it to a long list of other recipients. Thus perpetuating the falsehood. Innocently, sure, but nevertheless perpetuating a falsehood. (See "Celling Your Soul" at the Urban Legends Reference Pages.)

This is far from the first such alarm that this well-meaning correspondent has sent, but it's the first in quite awhile to come to me. Which is why I had lulled myself into thinking that I had, well, wised her up a little. For in the past when she's sent these little bits of blarney, I have--gently, in a spirit of helpfulness--instructed her that hotels cannot get your credit-card information from your room key card; you cannot unlock your car by pressing certain buttons on your cell phone; a certain soap company is not in league with the devil; an dnobody is going to start charging you for e-mail in order to subsidize the post office.

Since I hadn't heard from her in awhile, I thought I had gotten through. Now I suspect she just quit sending me things because she was tired of my being a spoilsport.

Anyhow, I am faced with the usual dilemma:

A. Do I try to be helpful and (once again) point out to this woman that not everything that someone forwards to her is to be believed, and in fact a great deal of it should be dismissed out of hand (i.e., do I be a spoilsport)?

B. Do I sigh, and shrug, and lament the gullibility of certain of my fellow travelers, and let her have the pleasure of thinking she is performing a public service by eternalizing these canards and hoaxes) i.e., do I be an enabler)?

I'm leaning toward B, if only because I'm
in the second week of a cold and very tired ...

Yeah, This Makes Me Want to Shop Your Sale

The salutation: "Hi null, Additional 30% off plus $1 shipping!*"

Geez. I'm touched.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Mr. Nice Guy? Who's He?

Here’s a little oddity that showed up in my Mac mail inbox this morning:

This is not the first time I have received misdirected e-mail from someone in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Evidently there is some high official in the LDS organization who shares my name, and there are other folks in the Mormon fold who have somehow turned up my address and have convinced themselves that I am he. Or he is I. Or however it goes. And without a second thought, apparently, or even a first thought, they sling their message to my mailbox and go skipping on about their own business.

I refer you now to my post of September 16, 2008, “No More Mr. Nice Guy!” In it, you may or may not recall, or care, I groused about receiving fairly frequent e-mail intended for a Mary Ann Reynolds (both she and her friends seem to have trouble rendering her e-mail address, the result being that a distressing amount of it ends up in my Yahoo inbox), and my failed attempts to get her and her friends to change their ways and adjust their address books. I found, over a period of a couple of years, that businesses were quick to reply to my correction, and to apologize—although that wasn’t the point: I was actually trying to be a nice guy (as the title implied)—but that none of the “real people” whom I helpfully responded to could be bothered to acknowledge my e-mail, let alone thank me for taking the time to point out that they had the wrong address. Finally I reached the point where I added these senders to my block list, and gave up on them. They can spend eternity wondering why Mary Ann never responds to their e-mail.

Well, I am at about that same point with the Mormons. Every time I have received a misdirected message intended for the “other” William Reynolds, I have promptly and pleasantly responded to it and encouraged the sender to make the necessary correction in order to ensure that his or her messages get to the proper party in a timely fashion. I have never had the courtesy of a reply for my trouble (again, not the point), and the misdirects just keep on coming (and that is the point!). In fairness, this is the first I’ve received from this particular sender...but far from the first I’ve received from his “stake.”

So I’m afraid I’ve reached the same conclusion with these guys as I did with Mary Ann and her pals, viz., no more Mr. Nice Guy. I’m inclined to agree with Thunderbird that this message is junk, and to let the senders and the intended recipient sort it all out on their end.

Maybe that’s the only way they’ll learn.

Maybe they’ll never learn.

That certainly seems to be the case so far.