A sign of the times . . .

There is certainly nothing new about getting SPAM (defined here as unwanted advertisements sent via email) in your email.  However, there has been a recent shift that I have seen in the content of the spam I am getting, and it deserves to be remarked on.

Everyone knows that our US national job market is trashed, and most intelligent people either know or suspect that the government has been fudging the numbers for years.  I know I have never been counted, because when I left the workforce, I was not eligible for unemployment, and though not old enough to retire I have not worked in about 7 years.  I’m just a part of the unofficial statistic the government prefers to pretend doesn’t exist.  The government pretends that if you are not currently drawing unemployment compensation, you are employed.

Mind you, I have NEVER been qualified for any job that payed better than $20k/yr (my last job’s official compensation rate).  Since I didn’t work that last job for a full year, I can honestly say that I have never actually earned more than $10k in a single tax year, though I nearly did the year I made PFC in the US Army.

Yet, for some silly reason I have suddenly (just in the last few weeks) started getting email “notices” that I have been selected to work at a who’s-who of Fortune 500 companies (including Sony, Ford, Google, and IBM) at salaries ranging from $5k/wk to $87,000/wk.

It shouldn’t take a genius to instantly recognize that all such ads are (at best) SPAM.  They may even be illegal PHISHING emails.  If you get something like that (especially from a company you have not recently applied to work for), there is only one correct thing to do with it – hit the “DELETE” button!

Email newsletter etiquette . . .

I get a lot of email newsletters.  It’s because I’m interested in so many different things.  Gun rights.  Health care.  Organic food.  Humor.  Movie news.  Education.  Human rights.  Government.

Well, you get the idea.  The point is that I already would get a lot of material just because of the volume of my interests.  But, it would seem that many people who publish email newsletters are either not understanding their medium, or they have a scam-artist mentality.

So, we need some basic rules on Email Newsletter Etiquette.

1.  When you send out an email, you only need to send one copy per subscriber.  If they like it – their email account has a way to create folders to store it in.  The email can be re-read as many times as they like before they delete it.  Don’t send another until you’ve actually written something substantially different – unless there is a major update, crisis, or a correction.  Major does not include fixing a spelling error.

2.  #1 also means that you do not need to have 16 assistants (or friends or colleagues) forward their copy of the same email to everyone on your subscription list.  Trust me, it gets less interesting the more times you get a new copy of the same thing.

3.  When I subscribe to your email newsletter, it is because I want to hear what you have to say.  I did not subscribe to newsletters written by the 15 top administrative assistants at your organization, nor did I subscribe to newsletters written by 300 other people around the world whom you think I might find interesting.  If you have nothing new to say, don’t give your voice to someone else.

4.  We need an immediate total ban on the practice of automatically signing people up for newsletters on the basis of signing a petition.  When I sign a petition, it is because I care about THAT ONE concern – not the 40 other things you care to stick your noses in.  There is one particular organization (feminist oriented) that I signed a petition supporting the position they liked about the Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan over marrying a non-Muslim.  The next thing I knew, they sent me emails about abortion, gun control,  birth control, US Supreme Court cases they were interested in . . . . and I agreed with NONE of the positions they took on those other issues.