Thursday, January 23, 2014

I Don't Love A Mystery

I get e-mail:

Hi Chris,
 Hope all is well! I just wanted to follow up on my previous email from last week in case you had missed it. I'm reaching out to you about a resource that I'd love for you to look at, as it is something I believe you will enjoy!
Generic Name from Gmail Address

If there is a sure way into the round file, this is it. The previous email was just as mysterious. If you think I'd enjoy the resource, tell me what it is up front. Tell me who you work for, where you've sold the resource, what it does and how it can help us. A message like this is either from a crazy person or an inept marketer. I'm not going to find out which.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Masterly Spelling Abilites

This paragraph comes from a grammar checking site who wanted me to link to them. I'm not providing links - that only encourages them. And, maybe the grammar here is fine according to their grammar checker. It's just the English reads like it's written by a Martian.

When you thoroughly check your texts you won’t have to fear possible mistakes when submitting your work to your professor, boss, or colleague. You get peace of mind through demonstrating your understanding of how to spell correctly. Additionally, your audience may look up to you for having such masterly spelling abilities. Knowing how to spell is essential for any line of work, from being a lawyer to a doctor. You can be assured that even doctors can misspell, but they surely check their spelling before submitting any writing. Would you prefer a doctor who could spell over one who has trouble spelling? Would it not cause some questions in your mind if you had a doctor who constantly misspelled words? It would cause questions for the average person. Ensuring that you do not have this issue, regardless of your line of work, will give you the boost in writing confidence that you need to get the jobs. Additionally, not only do you have the ability to check your spelling, but you can check your grammar as well right here. Start now and instantly correct any grammar mistakes, get vocabulary suggestions, and check your text for plagiarism, whether it is intentional or not – a good idea.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

I'm Not In An Allowing Mood

Just when I think I've seen the worst pitch for services, there's this:

Dear Ms. Hurst, My Name is Xxxxxx Yyyyyyy, I’m the Director of Sales - North America for Zzzzz Group. a provider of electronic information resources that focuses on the distribution of databases, online publications, standards and books in electronic format (eBooks). The company headquartered in Somecity, Somestate, USA was founded in 2005 and has several offices in Latin America. Zzzzzz Group represents over 30+ leading scientific publishers in over 25 countries. 

I would  like to discuss with you any  means of cooperation with the publishers that we represent. In short I’m looking for an alliance with your consortia as we have a very attractive consortia price structure. 

I would be happy to set up a meeting at your convenience at your headquarters to discuss this cooperation in more details if you can allow me. 

I have attached a sheet with some of the publishers and organizations that we represent. 

Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you soon.

I don't mind that I've been assigned the wrong gender. Chris is ambiguous. What I do mind is that a director of sales can't be bothered to proofread a message before sending it out. Read the third paragraph. "Details" should be "detail". "Can allow me" should "wish". "Headquarters" should be "office". Try: "I'd be happy to set up a meeting at your office at your convenience to discuss this further". I can only assume that English is a second language which makes proofreading by a native English speaker that much more important. I hear they have a few of those in the United States.

Anyway, it's obviously an "I'm doing this because someone is making me do this" e-mail. I should be glad it's not a cold call.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

You've Looked At This Blog? Really?

I get e-mail
My name is redacted and I am the Media Director of redacted.
My team and I have looked at your blog and we would like to give you exclusive access to our new media content database on the redacted platform called the redacted Media Center. 
The redacted Media Center is front row access for media professionals such as yourself in the fashion and design industry. We curate thousands of independent designers from over 50 countries, giving you exclusives on their collections, trends, images, videos, press releases, event invitations, launch parties, media content and samples.

Well, if you'd looked at this blog, you'd know (a) I'm not a media professional (b) I'm not in the fashion and design industry and (c) I'm not worth wasting an e-mail on. Dear God, am I on some new list that's going to send me more of this idiocy?

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Laziness of the Internet Bottom Feeder

I get email:

Hi Chris,
 I stumbled on your page about career resources for students.  The page that I landed on was (link removed) and I am  looking to see if you were the correct person that administers or manages this page.  I have a question regarding the resources and wanted to know if you were the right person to help answer them.
 If you are not the right contact, I would appreciate if you could forward me to the right person!  Hope to hear back from you soon. 
Generic Woman's Name

The email address is a gmail account. The link actually took you to an outdated page on new computer science books in the library, and I'm a little ashamed that it hasn't been kept up-to-date. That's another problem. There isn't a page in the libguides about career resources for computer science students, because, to be honest, the students know more about that than I do

So what should I do? I'm not crazy enough to answer an email that can't even get the basic facts right, because who wants whatever it is they're trying to sell me. So, it's blog post time.

More email:

Hi Chris,
I would like to suggest a site for the Biology links page located here:
The name of the site is (website removed).
It's a helpful resource for researching ecology on the Internet.
(link removed)
Generic Woman's Name
The links page isn't anything to write home about, but I don't think it's obviously outdated. The problem is the suggested site. It's on a general site that laughingly calls itself best of the web. The ecology page is awful. Just brutally bad. Does someone think I'll just link to it without taking a look. Or does someone think that it's actually good? Either thought is depressing enough.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

What's French For Lazy?

A little dusty in here, don't you think? When in doubt, let's talk about Spam.

So I get a message informing me of a workshop in Montreal to "Reussir son role d'assistant(e), ressources-humaines". Not much use to me in Manitoba. At some point I got on the French business spam list, and once you're on the list, there's no escape. There is an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the message, and I dutifully click on that. The page it takes me to asks why I want to leave the list. I say, as I always do, "I never subscribed". It won't actually get me off the list, because each mail out has its own list. I get a confirmation email saying "We are sorry that you decided to opt-out." As if care they're sorry. Whatever.

The interesting part is that the unsubscribe web page and the follow-up email are all in English. I guess there's no French spam infrastructure or its just too much of a hassle to change the default messages on the software from English. Why anyone goes to their workshops, even Montrealers, is beyond me.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Most Inept Phishing Email I've Had In Some Time

Whoever you are metaamerica dot org, you are seriously funny:

It was door to our attention that your VISA / MasterCard must PROTECTION part of our continuing commitment to protect your card and reduce fraud. If you could take 3-5 minutes of your online experience and to allow protection of your card When you start protecting your card, you will not encounter future problems with the online service. To start protecting your credit card, click the link below:

I can only assume this is dictation software gone seriously amok.