too relevant.

Whenever I get unwanted emails, I try to unsubscribe from whatever list sent me the email in the first place. It's an exercise in futility, like crushing individual ants. It's not even as satisfying as crushing ants. But I do it, because it feels like fighting the good fight.

I especially do it whenever the email is from a big, well-known company, because I trust big, well-known companies to have policies about spam and working websites. With smaller companies, sometimes you have to unsubscribe several times. Sometimes, after realizing that the automated unsubscribe system does not work, I will send them nasty emails. NASTY. That is reasonably effective, and is every bit as satisfying as crushing ants.

Staples is a big company, so I did not expect trouble when unsubscribing from their list. Indeed, I did not get any. But I did get a survey, asking me why I was unsubscribing. I'm always a little amused by these surveys. Sometimes they have options like "I receive too many emails," which makes me picture someone harried and frustrated, unable to ever get any work done because they keep getting emails, that friendly "You've Got Mail" mocking them every five seconds. Once, I saw one that said "I do not remember signing up to receive emails," which pissed me off. They did not leave room for the possibility that I actually didn't sign up, only that I had forgotten about it. Jerks.

Anyway, Staples has a question I'd never seen before.

Did you catch it? Aside from the understandable option "Staples emails are not relevant to me," they have "Staples emails are too relevant (feel watched)." Apparently, Staples is concerned that its customers will think that an office supply store is stalking them.

You know, I feel like I have a little insight into this one. You know how some people are crazy or even idiots? And sometimes those people get to make decisions? Some higher-up at Staples is convinced that the internet is spooky, and every time he gets a targeted ad on his Google search, he tries to call Google and complain. Or maybe his first idea is to call Google, but then he thinks better of it because then they'll tap his phone line. So he insisted that the developers put this option on the unsubscribe survey. They tried to tell him that it was colossally stupid (they used nicer, smaller words), but in the end, he's the boss. Being the boss in software means that other people have to implement your whims.

Not that I know anything about that.

Or maybe I'm all wrong, and they added that option because so many people were picking "Other" and writing "Feel watched" (although my guess is that they would type it "fEEL wATCHED"). In which case, we could all band together and get our own option added. We just subscribe to Staples emails, then when we unsubscribe, we all put down the same answer under "Other." Now we just need to think of a good line for our write-in candidate. Some ideas:
  • Staples emails contain inappropriate/offensive content.

  • I am illiterate.

  • Staples emails remind me of my dead husband.

Other ideas?

No comments: