Sunday, February 07, 2010

Some People Can't Be Helped

I have written previously about my often vain attempts to help people who erroneously send e-mail to me. For every person who graciously responds and offers appreciation for having been informed they have the wrong address for whoever they're attempting to contact (sometimes another William Reynolds; sometimes, oddly, not), another half dozen or so do not. And, worse, they continue to send me e-mail that is clearly intended for someone else. (See here for the sad tale of my trying to let a Mary Ann Reynolds's friends know they didn't have her proper address.)

Today's adventure stands as another shining example of some people's boundless stupidity, and how even the most well-meaning of nice guys (me, for instance) can't rescue them.

I happened to be online this morning when e-mail popped into my Yahoo account from someone named Sandi with the subject line "Training Certificates - 1-21-10." Something made me think it wasn't spam, so I opened it. Obviously it was intended for some other William Reynolds (not, alas, a unique name) who had attended a seminar with the enticing name "Basic Math for Water Operators" last month in Illinois. Being, as previously mentioned, a well-meaning nice guy, I immediately dashed off a note to Sandi to inform her that she had the wrong Reynolds.

No reply, but I wasn't surprised. As I mentioned above, that sort of thing happens constantly.

But a fellow wishes that people would at least pay attention. For a little while ago here comes e-mail from Sandi with the subject line "Sales Receipt from Illinois Section." And, sure enough, attached is a PDF receipt for the other Reynolds's seminar fee.

Too bad the invoice didn't include Mr. Reynolds's e-mail address; I might have still been nice guy enough to e-mail him that I've tried to help him out but have met resistance.

But there was no such address, and I have once again reached the end of my nice-guyness. I tried, my conscience is clear, and if people are too busy sending e-mail to incorrect addresses to check their own e-mail alerting them to their mistake, well, what can I do?

This is what that guy means when he says you can't fix stupid.

On the plus side, I have instructions for printing out a certificate to show I successfully completed  Basic Math for Water Operators, which should look cool on the old résumé.