|And so begins Halloween
||[Sep. 5th, 2007|09:06 am]
Finished up the invite for the annual Scary Perry kick-off picnic -- which is mostly to let the new folks in the neighborhood meet the rest of us BEFORE they start getting bizarre notices asking for donations of paint, filmy nightgowns and working fan motors. Plus, it's the only way I seem to be able to get folks to update their e-mail addresses. |
Because really -- isn't the whole point of e-mail to make it easier to communicate? The old-fashioned way: I create a newsletter, making visually interesting (well, sort of) and somewhat amusing (again with the sort of), print off a bunch of copies and haul my tired ol' butt, crippled knee and aching toes up and down the street, trying not to violate postal regulations, yet still try to ensure that the residents actually get the damn thing.
Gee, wouldn't it be easier to pass on this information via e-mail? Sure enough. So, first newsletter of the season, I ask for everyone's e-mail address. And I'm a manager by trade, so I already know that simply asking folks to e-mail me (which is of course, the most efficient) and ask to be put on the list is not going to work for some people. Why? I don't f***ing know. (And yes, that's a very big expletive to use so early in this rant, but clearly this is something that really chaps my...twists my...you get the point, if not the cliche.)
So, anyway, wiping the spittle of indignation from my keyboard -- I KNOW that most folks will not be able to manage this simple task. So, I give them a smorgasboard of options -- not only can they simply just send me an e-mail, I give them my phone number. I give them a form, for chrissakes, on which they can write their e-mail address and drop it off in my mailbox. (THAT, Ms. Morrisette, would actually be ironic. A black fly in your Chardonnay is just unfortunate. And anyway, it's just protein, so drink it down and stop causing high school English teachers to tear out their hair as they try to fix the damage you've done.)
Out of 24 houses...several have made sure I already have their e-mail address for other reasons, one or two actually sends me an e-mail. One usually fills out the form. And of the rest, some won't care but three will piss and moan because they didn't get invites to the meetings, activities and parties. Even after I continue to do sporadic newsletters reminding folks that if you haven't been getting the e-mails, it's because I don't have your address, hint, hint. (And y'all know how SUBTLE I am...)
So, after near a decade of this
(Sorry, but I had to sit down a while and let the dizzy spell fade -- decade? When the hell did that happen?)
Sigh, after near a decade of this, I have arrived at the only way I can possibly collect e-mail addresses. Food. Offer food and when they show up, have them write down the e-mail address on a pad of paper. Whereby I then take it upstairs and enter it into the computer.
(And if you're currently beginning a fine sulk because you haven't been invited...it's neighborhood only.)
So, really, when I think about the effort made to put on the picnic, collect the addresses, put them in manually...I would actually SAVE time, hauling my butt up and down the street each week with a hard copy newsletter, wouldn't I? And I suspect that I get a higher rate of information delivery, as well -- if nothing else, the newsletter can follow you into the bathroom. And several people have commented that they wish I'd do more newsletters because they're so much fun!
(Which could also be a sad commentary on the intellect, since really -- as I risk revealing how I can get all of this stuff done with my busy schedule -- they are the SAME newsletters from year to year. I really just go in and change the dates and tweak some of the information. But then again, I'm pretty sure the Post is doing the same thing...)
So, wish me luck, as I exchange hot dogs for e-mail addresses, and feel secure that all of those horrible futures envisioned where everyone's wired by the government will never, EVER come true. Really, think about it.
Sure, the government could offer hot dogs in exchange for chipping you. But then they'd have to deal with the vegetarians. And the vegetarians who will eat Smart Dogs, but not Tofu Pups. And their kids, who will only eat veggie dogs if they have been cooked a certain way, that only their parents know how to do. And the kosher contingent. The kids who won't eat hot dogs at all, the people who will only eat Nathan's or Grote & Weigel dogs. The guy who, in trying to get the ketchup to flow, manages to fling a dollop right into the port of the man next to him, shorting the damn thing out. (I have seen ALL of this happen. Okay, it didn't short out a port -- my parties are often interesting, but so far, no surgery)
Plus it's the government, so they'll run out of chips/wires, won't have enough technicians, will run out of hot dogs, will fail to plan for rain and ruin half the equipment. A quarter of the chips will be defective, another quarter will come packed with instructions written in Cantonese, the rest will be Cantonese instructions that have been run though Babelfish (and we all know how funny, yet useless THAT is.) and there will always be the contingent who refuses, the contingent that will never get around to reading the instructions, the contingent who will immediately begin hacking it so they can play retro-Pong on it....