“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.”—Anonymous
Years ago, I met a man (we’ll call him Fred) at a networking group. We exchanged business cards and soon afterwards, he started sending me a lot of internet joke emails. That’s fine – I can’t read all of them, but some of them give me a good laugh and perk up my day. So I put Fred on my email list, too, and returned the favor, forwarding things I thought were particularly amusing.
Then one day, I sent out an announcement about my upcoming workshop to my list. immediately, I received an irate email from Fred, all in capital letters, which in email etiquette means “yelling”:
“HOW DARE YOU SENT ME THIS !(%$^$##%! SPAM!!! TAKE ME OFF YOUR EMAIL LIST IMMEDIATELY OR I WILL TURN YOU IN AS A SPAMMER!!! DON’T EVER SEND ME ANY MORE SPAM!!!!!!”
I was completely shocked at his vehemence, especially since he sent me about 5 joke emails a day.
But okay, I got it, so I wrote him back:
“Dear Fred, you have been permanently removed from all lists and my life forever. Have a great life! Love, Chellie”
Apparently I hit a nerve, because back came a sheepish email:
“Uh, I didn’t mean I never wanted to hear from you – I still want the jokes and stuff. I just don’t want any ads or business email trying to sell me stuff. Don’t send me any more of that SPAM!”
Oh, Fred, you’re being way too difficult, I thought. I wrote him back:
“Sorry, Fred, I can’t go through all 5,000 of my email pals and try to figure out who wants which emails. The bottom line here is: Love me, love my spam.”
Back came the word from Fred:
“You drive a hard bargain. Okay, keep me on your list.”
Heheheheheh. That exchange still makes me giggle. And Fred is still on my list—aren’t you, Fred?