7 days in email hell

The author vows to read and reply to all email for one week. Can he tame the wicked beast?

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Day four: Spam I am

Part of my new email regime is going through my spam folder to see if Gmail is flagging legit messages by mistake. About once or twice a day it does. Mostly, though, it's the most effective spam filter I've ever used. And though I know Gmail automatically deletes all spam after 30 days, I find hitting the "Delete forever" button intensely satisfying.

That's because spammers are the most stupid bipeds on the planet, exceeded only by the people who actually believe the stuff they spew. This one, however, wins the award for both most illiterate and most frequent article of spammage:

My name is Elza, im From Russia

I like to internet meeting.(i find you mail in google)

If you are interesting to chat, meet, change photos, hot webcam talk wit me

please visit my page on site:russwoman.ru

simle find "Elza"


Dear Elza:

Thanks for writing. There's nothing I like better than engaging in webcam chat with a hot gal who's dumber than paint and in reality probably looks like this guy. Regrettably, I am not interesting to chat or change photos.


Emails read: 54

Spam deleted: 116

Invitations to internet meeting from "Elza" deleted: 20  

Day five: So this is what Hell looks like

I can see the light at the end of the email tunnel. Then again, it might just be The Light, coming to spirit me away to the afterlife. At this point, I don't care which.

I am delayed getting online this morning, so by the time I check my email in the afternoon I am looking at 132 new messages. Oy gevalt. Mind you, I do find stuff I want to read. But most of it has little relationship to the work I need to get done each day.

For the first time, I end the day (at 1:22 am) without having cleared out my inbox. FAIL!

The contest for Twitter douchebag of the week, though, is getting exciting. Here's the leading contender:

Mysterysh**ter is now following you:

@mysterysh**ter: How rude! Some guy sneaks up to the restroom on our floor every day to drop a foul pipe. Haven't caught him yet. Who are you?!

Yes, this person really does tweet about what people leave behind in the office toilet. I am really sorry I checked.

Emails read: 98

Emails unread: 52

Spam deleted: 141

Twitter douchebags deleted: 1

Day six: The inexplicable relationship between excrement and email continues

As a techno-journalist, I get email from strangers and near strangers all day, every day. I'd guesstimate about half the messages cluttering my inbox are press releases. Most are excruciatingly boring; the rest, exceedingly strange. This week, for example, I got releases for four-foot-tall greeting cards, pumpkin preservation products, and varicose vein cures (complete with before and after photos -- eeww).

But today's batch may contain the worst press release of all time, for a toilet bowl deodorizer called "Poo-Pourri":

You've just finished a delicious meal and moved on to talks of wedding planning with the future in-laws, when suddenly the call of nature comes a-rumbling. No need to panic. You've planned ahead and armed yourself with Poo~Pourri's line of humorously named, yet ultra effective toilet bowl deodorizers.... Just spray the bowl before going to the bathroom and let sweet, clean scents be the only things left behind.

Worse, it comes with a personal endorsement from the PR person herself.

Ok....I hate to admit it...but working in an office and drinking a lot of coffee there are times when "nature calls!" Instead of nervously hoping that no one walks in after me I use poo-pourri! I just spritz the bowl before I go..and no one EVER knows!!! Seriously...one of my new favorite everyday products....you can thank me later! :)

Well, I would thank you, if I had not already vowed to spend the rest of my life trying to avoid you. Still, through an heroic effort I manage to read all of my email for the day, as well as those I could not get to yesterday. I feel exhausted but vindicated.

Emails read: 96

Spam deleted: 89

PR persons added to blocked sender list: 1

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