My Doppelgänger is an Unemployed Racist Canadian Construction Worker

I’ve been having this issue for years where I’ve been getting somebody else’s email. I know why it’s happening; I’ve just been at a loss to solve it.

One of my email addys is “shawnritchie@gmail.com”. I’ve had this since the day Gmail launched back in 2004.

Somebody keeps shopping and using “shawn.ritchie@gmail.com” as THEIR addy. This is a feature Gmail allows that lets you track which shithead corporation sold out your email to spammers. You sign up for their shit using your email address, but you insert a period somewhere in the first part of the address so that, when you start getting spam addressed to that address, you know which asshole company done sold you out.

Some dipshit either thinks this is their actual address (it’s not) or is just giving it out as a fake address whenever a store asks them for one. But they’re not smart enough to actually gin up a REAL fake address, or to not use it for shit that will actually result in their personal info going to a total stranger.

So, for years, I’ve been getting the occasional receipt for various purchases this dumbass has made, sign-up info emails for accounts he’s setup at various forums and websites (including some weird preacher shit, and some weird cheerleader shit, neither of which I looked into too deeply).

One time a few years ago, I got an email from some web forum that seemed like a small community so I emailed their admin to say “hey, can you hit up username whatever and ask him to stop using my email address ‘cuz I’m getting all of his shit from your forum and do not want it?”.

No answer, nothing worked, so I’d just occasionally unsubscribe him from these things, grit my teeth, and carry on with my day.

Mind you, this isn’t an incessant daily flood. It’s a few emails every couple of months. But the incessant… STUPIDITY of it all really bugs the shit out of me. It looks perfectly legit to Gmail (because it basically is) so it doesn’t get caught by their spam filters; it gets delivered as legit, to me.

A few weekends ago, though, I got a couple in a row from some hotel rewards program and it just got under my skin, so I went digging.

Stupid easy password reset for that site? Yep.

Log in, hey, got a home addy, credit card info and… thank fuck, a phone number. Let’s see if it’s legit…

ring ring

“Hallo?”

“Hi, is this Shawn?”

“Ay-yuh. Who is this?”

“This is also Shawn. This will be a bit weird, so hear me out…”

I explain the situation.

It’s quickly made clear that I’m talking to a blue-collar Canadian guy (squares with the Ontario address I got from logging into one of his accounts) who knows fuck-all about the Internet. He does, however, like to chat with strangers.

I do not.

I explain the situation. He’s obviously not getting it. So I explain it again. Soon after, I explain it a third time (my wife overheard the whole thing and can validate what she refers to as my “amazing patience” with this guy, “amazing patience” NOT being something I’m ever accused of having).

He clearly has no idea what’s going on, he “only uses email to apply for construction jobs” from some province-run website up there, but his wife does the shopping and his kids use his card so maybe they did it, he’s not sure…

… and I don’t care. I explain that I just want to stop getting this guy’s personal info. I’m a generally moral person; many people who would get this access to a stranger’s accounts, would not be. I explain that I need these emails to go away, so whether he’s skating the truth with me, or if he needs to talk to his wife and kids about it, whatever, I’ve told you what to do, just do it already.

After the third walkthrough, hoping against hope that what’s going on here and, more importantly, what the fix is, will sink in, he comes back at me with:

“Y’know what it could be? We got these fucking Pakis up here who do computer scams…”

hard stop

“Dude, we’re done here. I’ve explained what you or your family members are doing wrong. I’ve explained the fix. I’ve spent WAY more time on explaining this to you than I should have to, and my reward is apparently two barrels of Canadian racism right to the face. Fix your shit, or I’ll just start cancelling accounts for you or maybe buying me some treats on your dime. Your call. Good day”.

Sigh.

Obviously, my faith in humanity has been at a low ebb for some time now, but this one sucked the wind outta me. I can’t imagine having a conversation with a helpful, friendly stranger who went out of their way to try and help ME with a problem of my own devising, and deciding that dropping some cask-strength racism would be the appropriate return volley.

And, in that way of entitled white shitheads the world over, he obviously had no inkling that dropping the Canadian equivalent of an n-bomb on a total stranger might not be appreciated. Like, he expected me to just take it in stride because I’m sure he only deals with white people in general and has that weird suburban expectation that everybody else is Exactly Like Me.

I haven’t gotten any more emails on his behalf, but I also haven’t gotten any warnings about the donations to various bail bond funds I’ve been making on his card, either, so c’est la vie.

I’m Just Not That Into You

So, some asshole at our Ohio office blind-forwarded a call to me this morning so I answered it, thinking it was a co-worker. It was, instead, a sales person. My first “not interested” was polite, but accurate to the situation and the product she is selling. The next two “not interested”s before finally hanging up on her were increasingly less polite. Just now, I get this email:
 
Shawn,
 
Thanks for speaking with me this morning. I know you did not have time for my call this morning, so maybe email works better for you. I know you currently do not have any hiring needs about your team. That’s great, and I am glad to hear you are all staffed up. I would love to swing by either way, just to quickly introduce myself to you and learn about what skillsets you usually hire for. Are you free sometime this week?
Thanks in advance! Hope you have a great week. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Sigh.

Now, mind you: I’ve never been in Sales. I have a conscience and a morality system, so that employment track has never appealed to me in the slightest. That said, I sympathize with what must be the grinding, “what have you done for me lately?” millstone nature of their jobs, in which they’re not allowed to coast on that one cool major outage-ending hack they came up with on the fly three years ago like, um, some of us.

But, fuckin’ c’mon. This isn’t a torrid college romance or something. I’m not that into you. Fuck off, accept the left swipe, and move on before you trigger my incredibly petty revenge instincts and I start hunting you down on LinkedIn and telling every single connection you have what a clingy, unethical shitrag you are.

Peter Thiel Is A Modern-Day Mengele

Peter Thiel Argues That The Poor Should Be Fodder For His Risky, Careless Quality-of-Life Medical Experimentation

We are rightfully horrified today that the US government used to do this to minorities (think the Syphillis tests on black guys in Alabama, among countless others). Thiel and these other Valley fuckheads think those days were fine, and are actually angry that they’re not allowed to just toss some cash at some poor people and then run hilariously under-secured vaccine trials on them, because who cares if a few browns suffer and/or die if the end result is a safe vaccine for rich white people, right?

This is why the wealthy should be imprisoned and their wealth appropriated and redistributed. It has taken ages to get our government to where it even somewhat-responsibly regulates health and food procedures, and it fails at that, often, not due to some inherent evil or caprice of “gubbmint workers”, but because greedy, capable shitheads like Thiel see the profit in doing it unsafely, and are willing and have the capital to influence media and elections to make sure the people exercise their “free will” and only elect their hand-picked mandarins who will gut protections and regulations as they see fit.

Of course, people are egregiously stupid, so they blame the government for this instead of the actually-evil wealthy fuckers who have the ability and means to to bend the government to their will to the detriment of the rest of us.

People. Please wake up. What you hate, what is ruining your life, is NOT the government. It’s rich people. And a government fully funded and empowered by the people to prevent rich people from fucking with your life is your only hope you have of things ever getting better.

Taking A Knee

I was in the shower a few mornings ago when I recalled a memory of something I did as a teenager that was so awkward, embarrassing, and downright humiliating that even the decades-old faded echo of the actual moment caused me to grip the door of the shower and, without thinking about, actually sing a wordless melody at a very loud volume to drown out the memory itself inside of my head.

So, to all you awkward teenagers out there, I’m sorry to say… it never goes away. The mere memory of the dumb things you’re doing right this instant will be powerful enough to bring you to your knees twenty, thirty years from now.

That shit’s FOREVER.

Anyway, great talk, smell ya later.