Email and mail: drowning in it

fifty cents for nothing

email-1When I was employed, I always had a lot of email. Much of it was sought intentionally, from news entities, so that I could purloin stories for our work blog.

One of the things I learned by trial and error: if you nick from one source, it’s stealing. If you take from several sources, it’s “procuring.” And the entities I was purloining from never cared as long as I did three things: link to the original article, take no more than three paragraphs, and not give away the ANSWER in the quoted material.

This was a task I often gave to the interns because we were posting five days a week for a time before we cut back to thrice a week. The site’s all but defunct, but so it goes.

My personal email was totally out of control as well. Last year, I whittled it down from an absurd 10K or more to a still insane 4000. A lot of them are things I want to write about or read about. Maybe THIS year I’ll create that Wikipedia piece about my late friend Raoul Vezina. There are about 100 emails, with attachments, on that topic alone.

And still, it comes

But that’s not my real problem. It’s the damn influx of NEW email. During the 2020 campaign, I could be getting maybe 20 emails per HOUR, and I’d skim most of them. Mostly they were political in nature. I thought they’d end after the November 2020 election. Oh, but then there’d be a new wave about the special runoffs in Georgia on January 5. Now, are we done?

Nah, there is always another issue. And most of the sources I didn’t solicit but had gotten my info from someone else. So I’ve gotten vicious with the Unsubscribe button. Most of the entities write, “Please don’t go. Would you like fewer emails?” Too late, Jack.

And on the print side

Actually, my snail mail has declined over time. Much of that is a function of paying bills online. Still, I get a lot of solicitations from not-for-profits for money. And they include “incentives.” More than one has included mailing labels. You might be amazed how many packets of those I’ve shredded each year.

A few include these little notepads. We use them for shopping lists. But we still don’t send money. One even sent a Kennedy half dollar to show that their cause was in the spirit of the 35th President. Or something. I wasn’t guilted into giving them anything either.

Louie, Louie

Much of my email lately is about how truly terrible Louis DeJoy is. He’s the Postmaster-General whose “leadership” has delayed stimulus checks, lost vital medication, and, boldly, try to sabotage democracy.

At a hearing in mid-February, pretty much promised to make the service worse. His plan seems to be to get rid of priority mail, eliminate overtime for postal workers, and raise the price of stamps.

President Biden can’t fire him outright. But he can nominate people to the USPS Board of Governors who can oust him. And that would be a good thing. 

Sherwin-Williams emails

Viva retirement?!

sherwin-williams.explore colorTime to start answering Ask Roger Anything questions. Judy, who I’ve only known since 1977, asked:
Isn’t it great not having to adapt to a different work environment? Viva retirement!

Well, you’d think so. But what’s different is that my wife and my daughter are home. And they are actually working too. My wife’s a teacher. She had to go into work on Monday and Tuesday last week, which I thought was crazy. Subsequently she’s been checking email, responding to requests. My daughter still has homework, which was due Monday, Wednesday and Friday last week.

So it’s a negotiation of using the two computers for the three people. My job is to wade through the influx of new emails. An article from eMarketing last week spoke to this:

Email overload

Social media users [are] marveling that every brand they had ever done business with was writing them to talk about COVID-19 and what those brands were doing to help. Email marketers do seem to have sent these messages to every address they have permission to use…

So, if you roll your eyes at that next email, try to remember that it’s probably important to someone else who’s wondering whether a product or service they regularly use is going to be available—or potentially endangering workers and consumers.

I may not have cared about each of the 100-odd marketer emails I received about the pandemic over the past week or so, but there were some I was waiting for anxiously… I didn’t need to hear from Sherwin-Williams that my neighborhood store would be offering curbside pickup for safety—but I know there are workers in my community who did need that message.

Look at it this way: There is an influx of brand emails being sent, but at least you have plenty of time at home to clean out your inbox.

My “Sherwin-Williams” emails

Medicare has temporarily expanded its coverage of telehealth services. My primary doctor’s office has a COVID hotline.
The CDTA buses are operating on a modified weekday schedule resembling the Saturday service. But they’ll add several routes that do not normally operate on Saturday that serve medical facilities, grocery stores or other locations to which essential trips need to be made.
Are my bank and credit union changing their hours? Somewhat.
The videos I took out from the Albany Public Library aren’t due until the library reopens. Indeed, the return slots will be closed.
Early (6-7 a.m.) hours at the Price Chopper/Market 32 supermarkets for senior citizens. Like me, whippersnappers!

My Congressman Paul Tonko’s phone lines for the DC office at (202) 225-5076 and Albany office at (518) 465-0700 remain available for constituents to contact staff.
Tax day has moved from April 15 to July 15. That’s good because we’re about a month behind in preparing, in large part because of my FIL’s illness.
Free Pandora for three months. A lot of things that were behind paywalls are not, for now.
The SBA is providing low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters.
Smithsonian Open Access is where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking.

The first e-mail I ever wrote

I sent some e-mail to a few people, including my colleague who was sitting in his desk perhaps three meters away. The adviser thought this was daft.

email-1005x1024Something I had forgotten:

When our work office was first going to get electronic mail, sometime c. 1995, it was all a bit mysterious as to what we would use it for. We all went to some computer lab, where it was explained what it was and how to send it. We were instructed to create messages. One of my colleagues wrote to me Continue reading “The first e-mail I ever wrote”

Passwords: is my email leaked?

I’ve changed the passwords on my blogs.

From Yahoo:

You can use a site called, appropriately enough, “Is my email leaked?” if you’d like to check the status of your Gmail, Yandex, or Mail.ru account. The site itself is safe, and you can even give a shortened version of your email address with asterisks if you’re concerned.

So I checked out my gmail address. Continue reading “Passwords: is my email leaked?”

The Lydster, Part 109: E-mail

Thought I would ask y’all your opinion on this issue: when did your kids get their own e-mails?

The Daughter, who is nine, wants an e-mail account. Why? Because her friends have them. Often, when I am trying to decide what is appropriate for her, I try to remember what it was I was allowed to do when I was a child. Lessee, I got my first e-mail account when I was…forty. OK, that’s not helpful.

I asked my friends with children. Continue reading “The Lydster, Part 109: E-mail”