Column by Kay Frances
I’ve never really gotten over the magic of computers.
I first learned to type on a manual typewriter. When you made a mistake, you’d have to paint over it. This became more complicated when carbon paper was involved. If you were a perfectionist, it could take all day to type one letter. (I do have to admit that there is nothing quite like the feeling of ripping the offending bad page out of the machine, wadding it up and throwing it into the trash can.) Still, that process was so time consuming.
So imagine my delight when I got my first computer. The time savings was absolutely amazing. And, email. EMAIL! You used to have to write out your thoughts, put them in an envelope, then wait for the letter to be delivered by the post office. With email, you can dash off your thoughts and send them in one second. Magic!
But, like all good things, email soon became an out-of-control menace. You can’t even order an item online without the store thinking you are now “pen pals.” The ensuing emails after a simple of order is total overkill. So, this is an open letter to E-stores everywhere:
Dear E-merchants, Please stop thinking up reasons to email me. Your constant communications are getting annoying:
“Your order has been received” “Your order has been boxed and taped.” “Your order is ready to be shipped.” “We are still thinking about shipping your order.” “The shipping crew just went on a lunch break.” The shipping crew is back and are slow-moving after a high-carb meal.” “The shipping crew is using your package as a makeshift blackjack table.” “Your order will be shipped soon, VERY soon!”
Just ship it already! And, there is no need to email me to tell me, “Your order has been delivered!” I’ll know it’s here when I see it on the porch!
Weary E-customers E-verywhere
And, after all that, they become really needy! Constant follow-up, wanting us to rate the transaction, the item, them and life in general. “So, what did you think? Did you like us? Did we do okay? Are you coming back? Please come back!” We entered into a one-time transaction, not a long-term relationship! Your insecurity is NOT attractive E-tailers!
And, have you ever noticed that it takes 3 seconds to join an email list, but when you go to unsubscribe they give you that ominous warning, “Whoa! Hold on now! This could take a while. In the meantime, you will continue to receive an onslaught of communications from us that we just can’t seem to stop!” You feel like writing back, “Look, it’s not you, it’s me. We can still be friends, but you really have to leave me alone.” Instead of just quietly going away, they continue to E-stalk us. You’re temped to file an E-straining order, if that were a “thing.”
They have to stop E-ventually. I guess computers aren’t really magic after all, or I could make them disappear.