Thursday 10 March 2011

Enough already!

I was an early adopter at gmail and thought it would be a good idea to have my last name as my user name there - there may be other Cramptons, but I'm the one with the last name account.

Stupid stupid stupid move.

I'm now the recipient of emails intended for Cramptons around the world but sent by people who use a space instead of a dot or dash in addresses.

Sitting in my Gmail inbox:
  • The Redbox rental receipts of some Crampton in Nebraska (who just returned The Social Network!) I've been getting these for months. There is no way to stop them. I've tried.
  • Multiple emails from the US military intended for a Crampton in the DoD who recently moved house with the army. First a bunch of notes confirming addresses and times for shipment, then a bunch of post-move notes asking whether everything had gone well with the move, and now a survey from the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Personal Property Directorate, Headquarters Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Scott AFB, IL, asking how satisfied I was with the move. I have sent at least three replies to various military emails telling them they're sending to the wrong guy. But they won't stop. Good thing I'm not into identity theft; on the other hand, stealing the identity of a recently returned veteran seems a remarkably bad idea. I've seen Rambo.
  • A note from someone in France who's looking forward to seeing us both in February and who is taking a sun break in Marrakesh currently, "My life galloping along but all gossip when we meet". I hope I didn't miss out on anything too juicy. No clue to whom this one was intended.
  • A note from the Dale Carnegie Training group for some Crampton (name here withheld) who was trying to register for one of their programmes - I wish him well with the training!
  • An email thanking me for participating in the Career-Mail program at Trinity Mother Frances and promising that I'll receive an email when jobs become available that match my selection criteria. Whoever participated - it's not worked out for him so far. I've not received anything. Hopefully he has.
  • Many many birthday greetings for many Cramptons from their elderly relations who don't know how to use email. Usually with lots of updates about their families. They all seem like very nice people.
  • Emails about a CIA RFP that some DoD contractor was thinking about bidding on. The attached RFP documents seemed interesting - policy analysis stuff. Was all unfortunately stamped unclassified though.
  • A while back I was getting employment offers meant for another Crampton who had screwed up his email address on his CV - he put the space instead of the dot. I eventually convinced him to fix his vita - this took more work than you'd expect.
Bottom line: if you get the chance to get the cool "" email address, don't. Unless you're into reading other peoples' mail. Or identity theft. I usually give a skim to try to forward on to the right recipient, or at least reply saying they've got the wrong guy.


  1. Ha, I thought I had it bad by getting david.winter (not a really common name, but it seems people just presume their David Winter has the email address).

    Just in the last little while I have confirmed tickets to a Houston Astros game, a homework essay to proof for someone from an English public school, airpoints from a budget airline in Ireland and a receipt for the parking spot my namesake had leased in Johannesburg. And so many legit' commercial mailing lists from around the world (who signs up for those things, and why do they think they share my email address?)

    Like you, I usually read a tiny bit to see it's not for me and reply to let the sender know they'd missed their target.

  2. Catchall Crampton - maybe this feature will help you.

  3. Back in college when I was heavy into LARPing, I sent out a bunch of 'In-Character' emails to the wrong address.

    Be glad all you're getting is netflix queue information... :)