I wrote this awhile back as an article on my website, but I really like it, and the point I make is very valid, so I wanted it here, too:
My mom, bless her, tried using e-mail a few years ago. Despite the fact that teaching her to double click was a three month ordeal, she wanted to get online and see what this whole internet thing was all about.
My mom’s interest in the internet and e-mail was short lived, however. After an enthusiastic beginning where she would e-mail everyone in the family awkward two line ALL CAPS messages (“I LEARNED WEBPAGES TODAY SEE YOU SUNDAY LOVE YOU BYE”), her e-mail output started to wane as time went on.
I think perhaps this is because she felt intimidated by technology and the “fast pace” of the internet. Also, the “internet-speak” baffled her. For example, LOL (laughing out loud) is most certainly “loll” to my mom (this is a woman who, for thirty years, thought the Beatles were “working like a dove” in A Hard Days Night.)
By the way, I do not mean to imply that Doves don’t work hard. I’m sure they do. In fact, between posing for the Woodstock logo and crying on Prince’s Purple Rain album, the dove has been positively tireless, and a shining example for all avians. Don’t shit on my truck, ok?
Anyway, to continue with my story, my mom never mastered e-mail, and stopped using it. This was several years ago. Her e-mail inbox currently has several thousand unread messages.
Simple – I see many many companies, both large and small, have hired my mom to handle their e-mail communications.
Are they insane?
Really, my mom does lots of things well: She can drive a school bus; she’s a champion shopper; she keeps a great house; and she buys the best presents for people. But trust me – she’s abysmal at e-mail. Why some companies hired her is beyond me.
To further demonstrate this, let me give you a real life example of what happens:
Your Customer writes in an e-mail: Please help – the gruddy rod broke off the extra coarse kippey pad, causing an odd vinegar-type smell… What should I do?
My mom reads the e-mail and thinks: “I wonder if Dan wears a large or an extra large shirt? Will the one I bought fit him? And does he like zippers?”
And the e-mail goes unanswered. This happens *all* the time.
WHY ARE YOU TRUSTING MY MOM TO HANDLE YOUR E-MAIL?? SHE’S TERRIBLE AT IT. PLEASE, HIRE SOMEONE ELSE WHO WILL ACTUALLY ANSWER.
Ok, I think I made my point. By the way, it’s XL, and no, I don’t like zippers all that much.