Friday, June 17, 2011

Mistaken Email Identity

Speaking of email, there's another post I've been meaning to write about email. Keith's email address is a Google account, and it's just his first initial and last name. He's had it since we got married almost 7 years ago.

In the past couple years, however, he's started getting emails meant for other people. Two different women with the same first initial and last name. The first woman kept incorrectly putting in her own email address. So Keith got her airline ticket reservations confirmation email, for example, and some other communications that she might want to see. He tracked her down and forwarded the emails and gently suggested she learn how to type, and I don't think he's gotten anything else from her in a while.

Now there's a new woman on the scene. And we've learned that she is the grown daughter of a very prominent, national political figure. How do we know his? Because, of course, Keith has been getting all sorts of emails meant for her. Emails about planning fundraisers and other events, asking direct questions that need answers. My understanding is that it's not so much the woman's fault as that her cohorts can't be bothered to doublecheck the email address. The first few times it happened, Keith responded to the offender and told them, "I'm not her," but this time, it hasn't gone away. He just keeps getting more emails, including a couple from the prominent political figure himself. There's a tentative fundraising event on his Google calendar, from a mistaken email.

This is so weird for many reasons. First, why are so many people getting her email address wrong? I've never gotten any misdirected, personal emails like this. Now it happens to Keith twice?!?

Plus, if this woman is working as a full-time fundraiser for her father, why is she using her Gmail for all of this official email, anyway? Why are they sending anything to her Gmail in the first place? I'm pretty sure that she's the Director of some nonprofit related to her father's career .... so why is she using Gmail? There's a lot I like about Gmail for my personal account, but I still use my work account for work-related emails.

And finally, why do these people not notice that she's never replying to them? Or sometimes, her real email is on the CC list, as well as Keith's. So now that he's been included on a certain number of emails, are people thinking he needs to be kept in the loop and are intentionally emailing him directly?!?

If you see him mentioned by pundits as a major player in the upcoming Presidential campaign, you'll know why!


cat said...

I have two gmail accounts for different purposes. One is my first name and a number. The other is my first and last name with a dot in the middle. I get emails from the same senders at both accounts that are clearly meant for other people. I am tired of the same senders doing this, so I started flagging them as SPAM and decided it's the senders' own faults for typing with their fists or not paying attention to the address. :)

Todd said...

Once, while trying to call my parents I kept getting a weird error-tone. My parents, on the other hand, got connected to a Chinese woman.

EJK said...

This email problem happens to me all the time! And my gmail is my full name, so I'm always signing my responses as The Wrong Emily Klein. I usually respond to people and try to straighten people out, and I'm totally nice and friendly about it. But there is this one older gentleman who keeps sending me emails meant for his daughter. And I have responded to him and other people on his To: list to try to get THEM to correct him as well. They all get it, but not him. THEN he forwards my email to all his friends and family! "Here's how to contact Emily. See you at 7pm!" It's madness. I'm living a double life. Tonight, I am meeting my kind, old lawyer dad at Lincoln Center for a lecture and demonstration on jazz. "So good to see you at the seder last week, sweetie. Love, Pop" Now I'm just waiting for something interesting to happen so I can be on an episode of This American Life.

M. Lubbers said...

Cat/Emily: It seems to be a trend that people who don't really pay attention to getting the email address correct are repeat offenders. They are so determined to screw it up! I think at some point you have to just stop correcting/responding because it would drive you crazy! (Also, nice to hear from you, Emily:)

Todd: That is really an odd story. Literally crossed wires?!?