Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

"I know you sent your response by email," the young associate told me yesterday, "but I didn't see it until after Thanksgiving when I got back from my vacation." She was asking for additional time to complete her Reply Brief.

"What happened?" I asked. I had sent the response on the 17th of November -- plenty of time, from what we'd talked of before, for her to receive it and start in on her reply.

She sounded a little sheepish: "It was trapped in my spam filter."

I tried to come up with some witty response about how her firm's server shouldn't be making that kind of automated judgment about the quality of my work product, but she continued. "I get 400 emails a day."

"400?" I asked, incredulous. "What are you doing online?" I can get 200 on a bad day -- when the members of the State Bar listservs get particularly agitated about something -- but never 400.

"It's not just me," she said quickly. "I looked into it -- because, you know, some of these were, uh, kind of embarrassing. I found out it's what comes into the firm server, because we all have the same firm address." Hers is a medium size firm for Chicago, probably no more than 30 attorneys.

"Kind of makes you wonder what the partners are doing behind the closed doors," I said.

She agreed. Moral of the story is this: Don't go walking into the partner's office without knocking first. Who knows what's on their computer screen?
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I get my share of spam, of course. Not a week goes by where the relative of some obscure, but now deposed African politician isn't asking very politely me for my banking information so they can transfer millions... even hundreds of millions... to my account. Sometimes it's an investment banker who has the millions of some mysterious foreigner who has died rich, but childless. Sometimes I'm the long lost relative... sometimes I'm just the trusted professional the banker needs to handle the transaction... and the banker is always willing to split the pot with me... so long as I provide that banking information.

Even despite the spam, I like email. I can't believe, as Richard Roeper claims, in this morning's Chicago Sun-Times, that email has been around for 35 years already. What I do believe is that email has one significant and overriding advantage over the telephone: I've never been called out of the bathroom to answer an email.
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Unscientific survey

How many emails do you get in a day?
Bonus Questions: Do you ever send or receive blog posts by email? Do you have a funny story about spam? (As always, keep it clean.... Use euphenisms as necessary.)

13 comments:

may said...

i'm surprised about the spam you get, because really, they don't offer you the ones i used to get? you know, the ones that think i want a longer, larger...so i can charm the ladies. ugh. and the ones that offer sleeping pills for practically nothing?

i have to ignore all of them, because how can i use my larger, longer ....if i am sleeping the whole day?

thank heavens for filters, they all got scared for a year now. what i mostly get now are car and home insurance offers. i wonder how they found out i don't really want to have a longer, larger...

Anonymous said...

well i don't know about you but i have bellsouth as an isp and i don't get any of this stuff any more. none. i switched about six months ago and have not had a problem since. spam sucks! bee

Anonymous said...

To "May" - I get those. I thought everybody did.. those emails are ridiculous, I just squinch (is that a word) my forehead and think, "why? I seriously don't get it"... oh well.

To "Curmudgeon". Thanks for the note on my blog this am.. test is not over yet..survival season finale part i later tonight. Is it still snowing in Chicago?

The Curmudgeon said...

May, East -- I've received those ads for, uh, well... let's just say I've received them too -- but not that often, and hardly at all lately....

since my wife stopped forwarding them to me!

(Insert rim shot here)

Ellee said...

If only spam could be interesting, don't people realise how dull it is. Let it be witty, let it be fun, let it inspire us, leave us wanting more, instead on pushing that delete button in exasperation.

Anonymous said...

I haven't gotten any of those "endowment" mails in awhile. Still get the Viagra type spam (now that was a weird phrase) and investment tips for the stock market.

Curmudgeon, glad to run into another old school Python fan!

Shelly Franz said...

How much email do I get a day? About the same as your hapless assistant. But mine's not spam. I belong to several Yahoo! groups, mostly for graphics, and I get sigtags, graphics, and fonts galore. Not to mention some just conversation. But it's mostly graphics. I too, like email, to the point that I hate to pick up the phone if I can take care of it by email. Chris's grandmother and I have been known to email each other up to six times a day, almost carrying on a conversation in real time. She's hard-of-hearing, so email has been a God-send for her.

The Curmudgeon said...

ben & bennie -- you caught me. I counted the number of "spams" very carefully....

Anonymous said...

Dear Curmudgeon -

Please visit our blog. Me and Ben have a gift for thee.

Anonymous said...

get alot of junk email....no and no to the other two.....

Hope you had a great day!!

Cheers

Mother Jones RN said...

The amount of email I receive varies from day to day. The numbers are usually based on the number of times my college age daughters write, asking me for money.

MJ

The Curmudgeon said...

My kids usually call when they want money. It's the personal touch.

And I do mean touch.

Another reason to dislike phones....

Anonymous said...

I get a lot spam at one of my email addresses. (I have 4.)