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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org? 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.
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.
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.
I do in fact look forward to this blog post! I bet it’ll increaserize my verbiageness.