Email anxiety

It wasn’t necessarily being served in English that sealed the deal but it didn’t hurt. Deb and I had been considering changing our phone and Internet provider for some time, so when a representative from a company we’ll call Cabletron phoned out of the blue on Saturday, I didn’t react the way I normally do when a telemarketer calls:

“No. No thanks. Six months free? Nope. Nope. Go away. Nope. Dancing antelopes? Still no. Goodbye.”

The Cabletron woman was polite, clear, spoke English, and most of all laughed at my jokes. This is why customer service people should always call me in English: so they can delight in my wonderful, side-splitting, tech-related banter.

She offered us a great deal, which I accepted, breaking my own rule of never taking a deal without first seeing it on paper and never taking a deal on paper without first dithering about it for weeks.

“We’ll take care of everything,” the lovely-accented Cabeltron woman told me.

Sure enough, within hours, I had an email from my current provider (let’s call it Smell) saying it was not too late to explore other options, although I have to wonder where those options were when my children were sucking all the juice out of our Internet account, and the company’s only solution to me was, “You should purchase more bandwidth.”

The Smell email provided me with an exclusive phone number to call for further begging. This was all in French, by the way, even though every time I log onto my Smell account I do so in English. Shouldn’t they know that? If you can’t count on your own phone company to invade your privacy, who can you count on?

But this wasn’t about language, honestly.

I ignored the email. The next day, I got another phone call. “Est-ce que je peux parler à Rose Murray?”

It was Smell, trying to convince me to come back, calling me Rose. Once again, I sincerely must reiterate, this really didn’t have anything to do with language, even though I am clearly English, and the Smell rep was difficult to understand and got irritated when she had to repeat herself, and the line quality was poor, and there were no opportunities for witticisms, and, seriously, make more of an effort before your customers abandon ship, Smell!

So maybe it’s a little about language. But mostly about my need to be pandered to.

But none of this is the point.

The point is I now have to come up with a new email address, which is a lot of pressure. I mentioned this to Deb, and she said, “Pick whatever you want.” Clearly, she doesn’t understand the serious nature of this decision. Clearly, one of us doesn’t have the right attitude towards email and the need to obsessively check it all day long. Doesn’t she realize that this is our opportunity to become “”?

“You want something that’s going to make it easy for people to find you,” she suggested. What, like “ross_and_deb@”? How boring. And probably already taken. “ross_and_deb_majestic@” on the other hand…

But then I read somewhere that spouses shouldn’t share email accounts because it looks unprofessional. Well, we’ve been amateur spousing for years and have yet to graduate to the professional spousing circuit, so I think we’ll be okay.

Nonetheless, maybe we want something that speaks to the household and its inhabitants. Something like “” comes to mind. Or “dont_look_under_the_seat_cushions@.” Or how about “Leftover_Capital_of_Canada@”? “Home-is-where-the-wine-is@” might do the trick.

What about something that reflects society’s attitude towards email, once the most amazing of technologies, now reviled as deliverer of spam and tedious workplace discussions? I like “may_not_reply_nothing_personal@”

An email handle like “not-a-terrorist@” might make life interesting.

Given all my ranting about the importance of being served in English just before Quebec’s nationalist holiday, maybe I should go with “insensitive.anglo@” or more accurately “”.

Or could I simply go with “’s.still.married@.”

You know what? Just text me. Any language will do.


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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25 Responses to Email anxiety

  1. Paul says:

    Bwahaha! Love your interaction with Smell. Bastards – take that why don’t ya? As far as e-mail addresses are concerned – major self-identification label these days. I’ve been known to choose a supplier from whose e-mail address most intrigued me.

    When I was a youngster, I bought a $100,000 tractor from Kenworth. It was already built (I chose from inventory to reduce waiting time) and it was a top-of-the-line model designed to celebrate the dealer’s anniversary. To do this they had copied (with a few changes) the Kenworth 200th US celebration series – a beauty featuring red/white/blue. The truck was in Richmond at Kenworth’s factory and had to be transported to the dealer in Moncton for pre-delivery and billing. 2/l.jpg

    To do this they typically decked 3 or 4 tractors and sent them to various local dealers needing inventory or that were ordered. It was a slow time and although they had promised one week delivery, after a month there was still no truck. I called the dealer a few times a week and they begged off saying it wasn’t their fault as the factory did not have enough units coming this way to make it feasible. Not my problem and I had a $20,000 deposit in their bank and no truck to make revenue. I was lying in bed one morning pondering this and getting pissed off when the phone rang. It was the competition – Petebilt. The salesman said he knew about the delay in my new truck and could give me an even better equipped new Peterbilt for the same price and although it too was in B.C.,they would fly me out to get it this \afternoon and pay all my expenses to drive it across Canada. I thanked him and told him I would call him right back. I called the Kenworth dealer and spoke to the manager. I told him my lawyer would be in touch to return my deposit as they had violated the delivery agreement and that I was flying to BC this afternoon to pick up my new Peterbilt. As I was saying good-bye, he interrupted and said That he had tickets for me to fly put this afternoon to get my new Kenworth and could I please give them another chance. I agreed and said I was on my way to his office to get the tickets and then wanted a ride to the airport. He agreed and 45 minutes later I was on my way to BC. Ahhh, I love competition!

  2. pinklightsabre says:

    I like the bad line detail. How is it with these schmucks their connection is bad when they’re trying to sell you on more, or making you wait, or whatever. It’s like they really have the clout to mistreat you, speak bad language, whatever, because they know above all else you really need them more than they you, vous. All for the internet, which can now be lower-case, mister (at least in the States, in standard English). There was an announcement. Unless you write for The New Yorker, in which case I think they still umlaut the second ‘o’ in cooperate.

  3. The company I dumped three years ago still stalks me. They send me mail that looks like letters from real people with addresses written in cursive script. I gave them a chance before I dumped them, “You can give me a better offer or I’m never coming back,” and just like every woman who had this same offer before my wife came along, they opted out. Who’s sorry now?

  4. ksbeth says:

    it is an ongoing battle of the senseless. i am constantly treading water with tech provider and we each feel we are winning.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I’ve been with my company so long. Haven’t even changed my voicemail. If I ever wanted to hear what I sounded like 22 years ago, I just had to call myself. But no more.

  5. freebutfun says:

    Haha, love the last one!

    Years ago working with youth that needed some support I put together a fantastic list on email addresses that should not be used when applying for jobs. They were so creative. Stuff like “oldpeopledie@…, somedayyoullrot@…”

  6. Sheila Moss says:

    I cast my vote for . I used to think Comcast was bad until I got ATT. I can’t stay connected long enough to complai……..

  7. Elyse says:

    Drinkingtips@ …. Or you can have individual ones: and

    You’re welcome.

  8. Karen says:

    I’m reading this post, and I’m thinking “How surreal it must be to live in Canada, where you pick up the phone and someone is talking to you in French.” It’s practically Kafka-esque!

    Anyway loved the post–that bit about amateur spousing. You should run with it. It deserves a post of its own.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      You’re right, eh? There’s something there.
      The non-mother-tongue conversations really only happen in Quebec and some of New Brunswick. Otherwise your guarantee of English in Canada is fairly ironclad.

  9. Isn’t it sweet to have your ass smooched by a cable provider? Admit it. It’s a turn-on. It makes you feel powerful and appreciated.

    An email address is nothing to joke about or take lightly. It’s your umbilical cord to the planet.

  10. AMATEUR spousing? Have you told the kids or are you waiting until they’re all out of the house before you drop that bomb?

    How about It implies a level of badassery that no one in serial blue plaid shirts will ever possess. So, security.

  11. Paul says:

    As an aside Ross I did a guest post over at Cordelia’s Mom’s. If you have the time to drop by for a read I would be honored. Thank you.

Go ahead, don't be shy.

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