Helping someone realize a mistake: twenty minutes. Recriminations: priceless.


Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to inform someone that they are accidentally bleeding personal information all over the internet.

For the past several months, I’ve been receiving e-mails from sporting goods stores, schools, random people, and most recently a junior hockey website, all aimed at Jason Thibeault, but all of them from a geographical area I’ve never been anywhere near. Despite unsubscribing from all these lists and e-mailing their owners to inform them that they had not reached their intended recipient, this personal information bleed continued.

Rather than assuming that I was being intentionally spammed, I figured maybe I should find this person and inform them that they did not, in fact, own the e-mail address they thought they owned. So every time I got a new one, the thought recurred, but I didn’t expend any actual effort into finding the person to fix the issue.

The most recent event, the e-mail from a hockey website, actually included a profile that I could use to very quickly track down the person and let them know their mistake. After a short exchange with a woman named Denise who was looking to sign her son up with the house hockey league, I realized the website in fact included another “email me” link for Jessica Thibeault. I sent her the following message:

Hi,

My name is Jason Thibeault, and I’m from Nova Scotia, Canada. Your co-captain Jason Thibeault (whom I’m assuming to be related to you by blood or by marriage) believes he owns jthibeault@gmail.com and has evidently been registering me for a number of things including scholastic events and this (REDACTED hockey league name) website. Could you kindly inform him that he does not, in fact, own jthibeault@gmail.com?

Thanks very much!

A few hours later, I received this response. And oh it’s a doozy.

Dear Mr. Thibeault,

I received an email earlier from my wife apparently from you reaching out regarding emails you are receiving for Jason Thibeault. I must say that your deductive skills are truly inspiring.

Did you stop to consider that I might, in fact, have a very similar email address such as veryclosetomyemail@gmail.com? Did you stop and consider that, perhaps, someone else could have registered me for the website you provided a link to and made a typo? Did you stop and consider, before sending an email to my wife with accusatory language of “has evidently been registering me for a number of things,” that I had more important things to do than to register you erroneously for websites?

I think the answer to the last question is perhaps the most pertinent because apparently you did think that. Apparently the world revolves around you.

When I first received this email I must admit I was flabbergasted. How could someone pen something so asinine without doing anyresearch and actually send it to someone they only presumed was somehow related? Did you not do any Google searches for Jason Thibeault? You would have come across me numerous times, my email, and even my location, (REDACTED) (which, with a little more help from Google Maps, would have helped you puttwo-and-two together). But after reflecting on what you had sent and the way that you wrote it (even going so far as to be disgustingly, patronizingly cutesy with “your co-captain” reference) I felt the need to respond in an equally retarded fashion.

So since you opened the floodgate of stupidity and preposterousness with your email to my wife, I am going to make an equal assumption that no, you didn’t do any research. No, you didn’t take the time to think through what you were writing at all.

And, no, quite bluntly, you can’t put two and two together.

I will speak to the rink that put together that page and inform them that there is a typo and that they should correct it. What’s more, I’ll inform them why—that someone with a similar email address to mine, rather than deleting the emails that come through, doing a little research to find the right person, or sending an email to the rink itself rather than to me, wasted precious moments of their life penning a rather accusatory email to me. Which, by the way, I am going to gladly post on my blog (with my response) as a representation of how the digital age has eroded common sense despite the vast amount of resources and information we have at our fingertips.

In closing, please do not email my wife or I again regarding this matter. If you receive a sign-up from a website that you did not sign-up for, do like other, normal people do. Email them. Tell them that you didn’t sign up for their service or website or whatever. Don’t make wild, unfounded, and ungrounded assumptions that you email to people you don’t know, couched in accusatory language.

Good day and good riddance.

——————————
Jason Thibeault

Good riddance!? My first thought was, “doesn’t this guy realize I’m the President of the Internet?” Then I remembered that I was actually ousted in a coup a few years ago and have been hiding in a digital spiderhole since then.

He had me cold on not caring enough to actually seek him out until after a few chunks of his personal life had gotten misdirected to Canada. I thought I was doing the guy a favour in letting him know what was going on with all the email he was probably expecting but never receiving, but apparently I was doing nothing of the sort!

Naturally, I replied despite his warning that he was going to put it on his blog. I’m not particularly afraid of being put on other people’s blogs — you know, cause that’s how the internet works. Especially not when the blogger’s vocabulary is anything like this guy’s. Despite all the ten dollar words, I’m fairly sure there isn’t a sentence in his screed that would get away without a red mark. At least not by any teacher I’ve ever had.

My reply:

Hello Jason and Jessica,

I realize that you asked me not to e-mail you about this, but I wanted to thank you for your e-mail.

I sincerely apologize that you find it such an affront that I have sent your wife an e-mail (since I couldn’t click on YOUR email address — since it was, of course, mine), to indicate that you’ve been signing up for things online under my e-mail address. I did not realize what kind of aggrievement it would cause you. If you’d like, I could forward you the several e-mails from (REDACTED) Sporting Goods Store and (REDACTED school name), which have been misdirected to me by this mysterious third-party, which is unusual in that there might be a second Jason Thibeault in (REDACTED area). I thought our shared name was rare enough as it stood! So rare that most of the hits for my name led, strangely enough, to things about me. It could be because Google tends to localize for people, and I’m in Canada, so I’m about as famous in Canada as you are in (REDACTED area). Which is certainly not saying much about my own fame, since I do not run a hockey team.

Additionally, I apologize for implying that Jessica was your co-captain, rather than the team manager for (REDACTED potentially slightly pornographic hockey league team name). I didn’t notice the actual titles, and didn’t realize that would be considered “cute”. I do hope that it hasn’t emasculated you to be called related to your wife. I hope your team has an excellent year! You might also want to send an e-mail to Denise (REDACTED) (REDACTED@gmail.com), who attempted to sign up for your team, which is in fact how I learned your wife’s e-mail address.

At any rate, I thank you for correcting the oversight, and commend you on your recent purchase of a thesaurus. I hope it continues to prove a valuable resource in smiting people who attempt to correct oversights that might lead to your personal information being misdirected by your own omission of a letter from your e-mail address.

Have a nice day!

I just got a reply a few minutes ago from him:

Hey thanks for following up and adding more to my blog.

And yes, my thesaurus is working out really well.

In fact, I’m trying to look up some synonyms for “don’t respond to this email” and “good riddance.”

I’ll let you know when I find some.

Until then…

——————————
Jason Thibeault

I do in fact look forward to this blog post! I bet it’ll increaserize my verbiageness.

Comments

  1. chaosagent23 says

    Wow. Try to do a guy a favor. Maybe you could start responding to the emails, acting like the smug asshole that he appears to be. It could be minutes of fun.

  2. Mechelle says

    That sort of thing happens with snail mail, too. I kept getting mail addressed to a person with same first two initials as mine, last name the same except theirs was spelled with only one ‘t’. Assumed it was a typo. It was petty stuff like “your membership” and assumed it to be junk mail. I clued in that this was a different person, after I received a hospital bill giving me the balance for what an insurance company didn’t pay for “my” vasectomy.

  3. Erin says

    You know, you’ve got his e-mail and probably enough of his other information by now…have you considered signing HIM up for stuff? Maybe even be courteous and start signing him up for the stuff he originally used your e-mail address for.

    When this blog goes up, can you link to it? I’d love to read it. Based on his attitude in a simple letter, I’m sure he’ll be great entertainment when I need to read some self-aggrandizing idiocy.

    Really though, you shouldn’t need a thesaurus to come up with, “further communication is not required,” or “your opinions are irrelevant.” I just never realized it had so many alternatives for “I’m a dumbass.”

    P.S. I know how to spell my own e-mail address.

  4. Clifton says

    HA! This is awesomeness. You should totally forward him everything you’ve got, since your internet relationship has ended and you don’t feel comfortable keeping his stuff.

  5. says

    Here’s the guy’s blog entry on the subject. Incidentally, when I google your name from my outpost in Oregon country, at least three people come up–you, this guy, and a fellow in Vancouver BC. There’s also a photographer who could be one of you guys or yet another of the tribe; my curiosity didn’t extend that far.

    I looked at the guy’s blog a bit; he certainly seems to have a high opinion of himself (but don’t we all, on our own blogs at least); I didn’t see what justification he had for it however.

  6. Rich Wilson says

    Wow. That’s one heck of a Canadian Softwood chip on his shoulder. Dude should learn to chill and not sweat the small stuff!

  7. says

    I strongly recommend you mindless sheep not go over and comment on his blog, because he seems to be pretty butt-hurt that I’m more popular than him. And that I actually know the meanings of all the “grandiose” words that I use.

    *snerk*

  8. says

    Does he know you’re a nerd? Most people on the internet are usually smart enough to leave nerds the fuck alone. If not, it shouldn’t take long to show him the error of his ways. Besides, you’re Canadian; by birthright alone you can probably wheel in socks better than half his hockey team in sharpened skates.
    Anyways, I added another 25% to his blog traffic by reading his post (looks like he gets about as much traffic as I do), and man, talk about a clueless prick. He whines that the internet is destroying “common sense” because he assumed you didn’t bother to research his name at all, then he got offended because he felt you were being accusatory in your email to his woman. He then follows this up by replying to you with all the tact and diplomacy of some drunken meathead at a bar threatening a random guy for “eyeballing” his girlfriend.
    Apparently lack of common sense on the internet is a crime, but issuing vague threats to someone across the continent is the height of good manners.

  9. says

    Do you not realize Jason, as one of your doppelganger’s benevolent compatriots has elucidated, you have been remiss in furnishing any germane evidence that the particular Mr. Thibeault in question has lackadaisically proffered your electronic mail address in any wonton or erroneous fashion.
    Your imputative and accusatory tone belies the fact that you have a dearth of salient evidence that might impel someone to believe that it was this particular Mr. Thibeault who made manifest your conundrum.

    Certainly one might commence, before lunging headlong into a misguided cacophony of insinuations and implied inculpation, by aggregating a sufficient assemblage of facts that attest to the blameworthiness of the respondent. Evidence such as, but not limited to, common themes among the misdirected correspondence, multiple offending firms operating in a well defined geographical area, repetition of occurrences over a long span of time, et cetera.

    Without compelling evidence such as this, there is no grounds with which to assess the culpability of Mr. Thibeault. I should say you should be…wait just a sweet fucking minute…you did all that shit. And the asshole still acted like this? What a giant fucking douchebag. Seriously.
    My bad. And by bad, I mean it to be said as a bleating, like baaaaad.

  10. says

    I’m sorry George, was there anything in your comment past “wonton”? I wandered off for Chinese food when I saw that.

    ;)

    Also: yes, I am a giant fucking douchebag.

  11. says

    Not surprisingly, the douche-y Jason has comment moderation. That should make perfectly clear what kind of person he really is. I also don’t imagine that my response to “Julia” will find its way to the “approved comments” section.
    Just because I am so self-congratulatory, and love to show my superiority at witty repartee, I’ll post it here for my well deserved back-slapping:
    In response to this comment:

    You’re totally right, Julia.
    This guy is a total retard. You bring up good points.
    -Where is the common theme to the misdirected correspondence? We all know Jason is an active hockey player, for example, so why did the retarded Jason not get e-mails that were specifically targeted at hockey players? Seriously! Yet he offers not a shred of evidence that the correspondence he received had anything whatsoever to do with Jason from AZ.

    -If Arizona Jason was registering with the wrong e-mail on multiple sites, we ought to see more than one company or organization sending Canadian Jason misdirected e-mails- and all or most of them would be from in and around Chandler, Arizona. You would think that ignoramus would have checked something like that before jumping to conclusions! What an idiot!
    -As far as it being Arizona Jason’s fault for the mix-up, if that were the case then you would expect a pattern of e-mails from more than one source- not just a single e-mail from one person who obviously misplaced one letter. There would be several (at least 3 or 4) different companies or organizations that all made the exact same mistake, proving that the only single person each of them have in common is Arizona Jason. Yet, Canadian Jason insists that the mistake is widespread and specifically related to Jason with absolutely no evidence!
    RETARD!!

  12. says

    I just realized why USA Jason is so lacking in self-awareness: it’s a defense mechanism. I mean, could you imagine living in Arizona with the last name “Thibeault”?

    “Real Americans” consider the French one tiny half-step above those dirty brown Mexicans, which means JNT is a hair’s breadth away from having to carry his identification proving he’s allowed to be in the United States wherever he goes, in case a cop spots him enjoying some wine and a nice brie and determines the way JNT is holding that glass is just a little bit too en Francais.

    What a horrible way to live.

  13. says

    George: you may want to read his reply. It’s fairly evident his reading comprehension skills are lacking. Even moreso now that he’s completely missed the point of your comment, never mind that he completely misread my original email to imply some sort of malice on his part that I was certainly not implying.

    Sinned: yeah, I can barely get away with wine and brie here in NS, not 100 kilometers from an Acadian settlement. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a foreigner / probable terrorist down in Arizona.

  14. says

    I just realized that this Jason Thibeault is the same guy that does BoxWorks Toys, a website that will sell you for a nominal fee plans for how to cut up a cardboard box and glue it back together so that it kinda sorta looks like other things, like jet planes or race cars. In other words, taking advantage of a kid’s propensity for pretending that a cardboard box is a rocket ship in order to sell parents a way to make it look like a rocket ship. As though the kid needs anything other than a black marker and a hole on one side.

    This is, I shit you not, one of the very first things I had a good long laugh about on the internet. Clifton can attest to this — I’m pretty sure he was present at the time. He’s been the owner of the domain jasonthibeault.com since 2000, and once upon a time, was actually the first hit when you searched for my name, which was how I discovered and laughed about his other business venture. No wonder he believes himself to be a mover and/or shaker. He’s a totes bigtime venture capitalist!

  15. says

    I read the response already Jason. I attributed it to clever sarcasm, but perhaps I’m giving credit where none is due.
    At least he concedes at the end of the response that perhaps not responding to your e-mail was the more intelligent choice.

  16. says

    jthibeault:
    I’m sorry George, was there anything in your comment past “wonton”? I wandered off for Chinese food when I saw that.

    Also: yes, I am a giant fucking douchebag.

    Damn it! “wanton” not “wonton”, why does my spell checker not flag Chinese food dishes? Apparently I have a huge vocabulary and no ability to spell. I am proud to say that apart from “lackadaisically”, no thesaurus was harmed in the authoring of that comment.
    And, yes, yes you are.

  17. says

    Oh, the poor guy…

    AhHaHaHaHaHa!

    Dat’s teh funneh!

    He reminds me of a fringer I ran across on the Web in early 2009, who used words like “seppuku,” “erudition,” and “disparage” without any clue what they actually meant.

    I wonder if he’s related to this guy, though I’ll never find out since he was apparently using a fake name and seems to have vanished from the internet since then.

    Silly people.

  18. says

    I love the way he just digs himself in deeper:

    It is much harder for someone to mistype jthibeault by adding an extra letter.

    In other words, it was done on purpose. No wonder he’s so defensive, he’s been caught red-handed.

  19. says

    For the record, I just received another e-mail aimed at him regarding his hockey league. I have forwarded it to him with the addendum “PLEASE DON’T YELL AT ME”. I hope he doesn’t yell at me again as a result!

  20. says

    Jason, you’re starting to exhibit the signs of battered spouse syndrome. At this point, I think you have little choice but to cut off the relationship with this Jason Thibeault guy and seek counseling. If you need assistance, we can try to get you into a local French Canadian Persons shelter.

    If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your children!

    We’re all praying for you!

  21. jolo5309 says

    There is some guy in Texas trying to move his Delorean from Louisiana to Texas that has the same name as me. Apparently he thinks he has the same email address as me too…

    I have not emailed him (no idea what his address is) but I have sent an email to someone that was interested in employing him, asking who he was.

    Is getting an email address correct so fucking hard?

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