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Archive for the 'Email Etiquette' Category

Is That You God?

Sunday, October 3rd, 2004

Yet another asinine and absolutely aggravating email from someone at work. There are those that forward stupid things, and those, like this guy, that take the time to type up and send religious lectures. I thought I'd have a little fun with this one; my comments in pink - the original email in bold.

Have you ever been just sitting there and all of a sudden you feel like doing something nice for someone you care for. . THAT'S GOD.
No, that's your CONSCIOUS reminding you that you have to do something nice to make up for driving people insane with all the pointless drivel you send them.

Have you ever been down and out and nobody seems to be around for you to talk to.... THAT'S GOD .. . . He wants you to talk to Him.
No, that's because you're a SOCIAL PARIAH whom everyone hates because you keep junking up their Inbox with dumb jokes, pointless forwards and sickeningly pious devotions.

Have you ever known someone who would do anything to help you through difficult times.... THAT'S GOD .. . . He wants you to not have to face situations alone.
No, those are called FRIENDS. You keep them by not sending stupid things to them via email.

Have you ever been thinking about somebody that you haven't seen in a long time and then next thing you know you see them or receive a phone call from them. . . THAT'S GOD ... there is no such thing as coincidence.
No, those are OLD FRIENDS calling to ask that you remove them from your email's address book because they can't take it anymore.

Have you ever received something wonderful that you didn't even ask for, like money in the mail, a debt that had mysteriously been cleared, or a coupon to a department store where you had just seen something you wanted, but couldn't afford...... THAT'S GOD. .. He knows the desires of your heart.
No, that was just GAS.

Have you ever been in a situation and you had no clue how it is going to get better, but you didn’t give up . . . THAT'S GOD. . ........ He passes us through tribulation to see a brighter day.
No, that's BLIND HOPE causing you to forward that email promising a $200 gift certificate for every forward to everyone you've ever known. Because it could happen, right?

Do you think it's an accident that even some of this means something to you? NOPE!
Well, yeah, like I said, it was the gas.

I was thinking of You! In all that we do, let's totally give HIM thanks and our blessings will continue to multiply. This message was sent to me by a close friend so please pass it on to all of your good friends.
So they can hate you, too. Isn't it GOD GAS great?!

Greedy Pastor

Monday, April 19th, 2004

So I get this email at work last week entitled "Innovative Pastor":

There is the story of a pastor who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation, "I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program................ The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets."

The sender had appended this under the short sentence:

Commenting on the obvious may sometimes be appropriate!

Is that supposed to be cute? This is a glowing example of the reason I have such a distaste for organized religion. I see churches that are massive - huge edifices, a great deal of them boasting their own gymnasium and a parking lot that is matched in size only by ones at malls. I see schools in various states of disrepair, I see homeless people sleeping on benches across the street from these huge churches, I see children graduating from school who cannot read and write. But the churches are raising money to build bigger churches??

Christianity is supposedly based on the teachings of the man known as Jesus Christ, correct me if I'm wrong, a man who purportedly stated that doing for others was the only way to live.

The Bible states it pretty clearly:

Then will the King say to those on his right, Come, you who have the blessing of my Father, into the kingdom made ready for you before the world was:  For I was in need of food, and you gave it to me:  I was in need of drink, and you gave it to me: I was wandering, and you took me in; I had no clothing, and you gave it to me: when I was ill, or in prison, you came to me. Then will the upright make answer to him, saying, Lord, when did we see you in need of food, and give it to you? or in need of drink, and give it to you? And when did we see you wandering, and take you in? or without clothing, and give it to you? And when did we see you ill, or in prison, and come to you? And the King will make answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Because you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.

- Matthew 25:34-40

The preachings of Jesus, and the supposed basis of Christianity, is to "do unto others" not "glorify thyself with riches". Jesus nor God seem to give a toss that you worship them in the biggest, prettiest church on the block but, rather, that you help those less fortunate in their name. I'm no Christian, but I can read. And from what I've read, that seems to be the message. Again, correct me if I'm wrong...

I could not possibly have any faith in a religion or a church that is interested, mainly, in lining its own pockets. What need does deity have for dollar signs? How can you proudly waltz into an immense and exquisitely decorated church every Sunday and then turn around and feel good about dropping your kid off at their dilapidated school Monday morning? How can you so easily drop your money into the collection plate every Sunday to further an organization that doesn't need it, yet hold tight your purse strings when you see a homeless person sitting on the side of the street who does need it? Do you believe that giving to the church, in God's eyes, is the same as giving to the poor? You are wrong. Is it that you think the church is going to take your funds and put them to the appropriately weak and down-trodden? Wrong again. Someone has to pay for the new gym or the three 20' tall crosses going up along the side of the Interstate.

Why does everyone think it is okay for Christians to be so hypocritical? What would Jesus say if he came down to Earth today and saw all of the glorious, colossal churches dotting the countryside? I believe he'd shake his head in dismay.

"This is what you use your money for?" he'd probably ask.

If you honestly think he'd be doing cartwheels in excitement and awe while exclaiming, "You worship me in that? I RULE!" then perhaps you'd better put a little more effort into learning about the man you supposedly worship.

Greed is a terrible thing.

God Has a Positive Answer, but Shanna Has a Better One

Tuesday, April 13th, 2004

Two posts in one day? What's the occasion? Well, Shanna found something new to bitch about naturally. Duh.

So I get this email with phrases that people say and (supposedly) God's answer to them. I found God's answers a little...lame. I mean, he offered lots of nice sentiments but gave no good direction or advice and, as far as I know, still hasn't backed up any of his claims. "I love you" sounds nice, but is it a good answer to an honest "What should I do?" question. That's kind of a cop out.

Imagine going to your mother and saying, "Mom, I'm having trouble deciding on a college major" or "Mom, I was raped by a gang of aliens and am not sure if I should abort the hideous creature growing inside of me or not" and her answer is, "Well, I love you." Big help, Mom, thanks.

So I have taken the liberty of answering these oh-so burning questions that (apparently and according to this email) most of us ask. God may love you, but Shanna is going to give it to you straight and give you some damn direction.

The email was entitled "God Has a Positive Answer". I would like to amend that to:

God Has a Positive Answer, but Shanna Has a Better One

You Say:
"It's impossible."

God Says:
All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

Shanna Says:
All things are possible if you get off your ass and work hard enough for them.

You Say:
"I'm too tired."

God Says:
I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

Shanna Says:
As long as you are alive you won't get enough rest, get up and get over it.

You Say:
"Nobody really loves me."

God Says:
I love you (John 3:16 & John 3:34)

Shanna Says:
This is true.

You Say:
"I can't go on."

God Says:
My grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

Shanna Says:
Go ahead and off yourself, then. The world is over-populated with greedy, whiny, lazy fucks anyway.

You Say:
"I can't figure things out."

God Says:
I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Shanna Says:
This is not surprising. Have you ever really tried to figure anything out with begging someone else to give you all of the answers? I didn't think so.

You Say:
"I can't do it."

God Says:
You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

Shanna Says:
You're probably right. Please see #4.

You Say:
"I'm not able."

God Says:
I am able (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Shanna Says:
"I'm not able"? Who talks like that? You disgust me - grow a backbone and quit whining you damn loser.

You Say:
"It's not worth it."

God Says:
It will be worth it (Roman 8:28)

Shanna Says:
Nothing in this life is really worth anything. Live for the moment and do what makes you happy and proud - that's all you have to do. Remember, no matter *what* you do, you're going to die. Make sure you have fun at whatever it is you choose to do.

You Say:
"I can't forgive myself."

God Says:
I Forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

Shanna Says:
It's the past and you really should let it go - did you hear what I said about dying? Yes, it happens to everyone, so live for *now* and fuck the rest of it.

You Say:
"I can't manage."

God Says:
I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

Shanna Says:
Stop whining, stop trying and *do* - it's really as simple as that.

You Say:
"I'm afraid."

God Says:
I have not given you a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7)

Shanna Says:
Use your fear as a stepping stone to tackle new challenges. That, or get a big gun and a mean dog.

You Say:
"I'm always worried and frustrated."

God Says:
Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

Shanna Says:
There's medication for that. I suggest you get on some...quick.

You Say:
"I don't have enough faith."

God Says:
I've given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)

Shanna Says:
Faith is for the weak. The only thing you need to have faith in is YOU. Then again, judging from all this whining, maybe not.

You Say:
"I'm not smart enough."

God Says:
I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

Shanna Says:
I don't doubt that. If you feel you lack in some areas, do something about it. There are things called libraries, and schools and encyclopedias. Use them.

You Say:
"I feel all alone."

God Says:
I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

Shanna Says:
You are and you always will be - you need to get over that too. I suggest investing in a good imaginary friend. Or a vibrator.

Reality Sucks

Monday, March 15th, 2004

So what can they come up with next? Just when you think reality TV has spewed forth every possible pseudo-reality idea that could exist, they come up with another. Fuck American Idol - now we're goin' for American President.

What started with throwing a whole bunch of people on an island and watching their true colors shine through has grown into quite the monster. I mean, really, at some point they have to run out of ideas. Let's get this chick to pretend she's marrying this big, horrible slob of a guy and fool her whole family. Let's take this girl looking for love and throw her in a house with gay and straight guys and have her to try to guess which is which. Let's film Donald Trump trying to hire a new employee. Let's stick a bunch of has-been celebrities in a house and watch what unfolds. Let's take a bunch of people and see just how far they're willing to go for money. Let's stick the most outrageous group of obscure people we can conjure up in a house together! I mean, when will it end?

So we have this guy at work that has gone from irritating Christian-oriented-joke emailer to full-blown e-minister. While he still sends out the annoying-brimming-with-Christian-goodness-and-nonsense emails, he also sends out these "Daily Devotions". These things are numbered - such as "Day 12 of 24 - Jesus and You". They have parts of the Bible in them and then a little "sermon" underneath each. It's like having a daily e-church right here at the agency! And it sucks.

It's not as if I don't get enough non-work-related junk in my Inbox. From the 30+ virus emails we get daily now (the attachments are removed, thankfully, b/c every idiot in the office keeps trying to open them even after I've sent out two emails telling them not to), to the 10-20 daily please-forward-this-to-20-people-DON'T-DELETE-IT bullshit, I have enough shit I don't need in my Inbox. The last thing I want to add to the aggravating list of crap is religious solicitation.

This guy doesn't see anything wrong with what he's doing - most people on his list enjoy his daily preaching, and he truly feels he is only spreading the love of the Lord around. But, frankly, it's annoying - and I don't even see how it can be legal. Not everyone here is a devoted Christian. And even if I am the only Pagan, I know I'm not the only one who really has no interest in dealing with their faith at work or who doesn't care for Christianity anymore than they care for any religion.

And before I go I have to bitch about Jefferson Hwy. It's a fairly large highway here in Baton Rouge - one of the most traffic-congested come the evening rush hour. A four-lane monstrosity with a huge center turning lane. Sounds like, other than during rush hour, things should move along swimmingly on it.

Far from it.

The speed limit on Jefferson Hwy. is 45. Forty-five mph - so someone please tell me why the asshats I get behind every day feel the need to drive 40 & under? A lot of the time it's old people, and even more of the time it's people paying more attention to gabbing into the phone stuck to their ear than driving. But many times it's just a regular person tooting down the highway under the speed limit. I don't get it. And the thing is, it's such a rampant problem on this particular highway, that you can't move into the other lane and go around the non-driving shits because the people in the passing lane are doing 40 & under as well. For those of us that actually drive when we get in our cars, it's the biggest damn headache.

Happy Monday everyone.

Jesus vs Islam

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

This is one of the dumbest fucking emails I've ever gotten. Perhaps what makes it even more aggravating was what the person wrote that sent it out:

"The reason I am forwarding this e-mail is that it contains some "basics" I feel everyone should be aware of."

When you read the email, you might understand why this makes me so ticked.

The (stupid) email:

Allah or Jesus?
By Rick Mathes

Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths who explained their belief systems.

I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say.

The Imam gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video. After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.

When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and asked: "Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of
the world. And, that by killing an infidel, which is a command to all Muslims, they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?"

There was no disagreement with my statements and without hesitation he replied, "Non-believers!"

I responded, "So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can go to Heaven. Is that correct?"

The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He sheepishly replied, "Yes."

I then stated, "Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Pat Robertson or Dr. Stanley ordering Protestants to do the same in order to go to Heaven!"

The Imam was speechless.

I continued, "I also have problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me. Let me ask you a question. Would you rather have your Allah who tells you to kill me in order to go to Heaven or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to Heaven and wants you to be with me?"

You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame.

Chuck Colson once told me something that has sustained me these 20 years of prison ministry.

He said to me, "Rick, remember that the truth will prevail."

And it will!

The truth will certainly prevail, Rick. And the truth is, I doubt seriously that you stood up at some religious convention and with your pearls of wisdom and bright-burning truth made someone suddenly hang their head in shame of a religion that they have not only been practicing all of their life, but that is also a religious leader of such religion. I'm surprised you didn't write into the story that you got a standing ovation.

And what kind of crap is this anyway - Jesus vs. Allah? I didn't know there was such a competition. What is this? Jesus 2, Allah 0?

And before we get all haughty over "killing non-believers",mister, realize that you're treading pretty damn close to hypocrisy here. It wasn't that long ago that Christians burned supposed witches at the stake, and put to death thousands that chose to worship other than their own belief system.

This email just pissed me off! What kind of an idiot do you think I am that 1.) I actually would believe such bilge truly took place and 2.) there is anything valuable or important or even basic that I must learn from this crap! All I see is another big-headed Jesus freak that is actually making a mockery of Christ and being the shining epitome of the hypocritical Christian. No, not all Christians are this way, and I hope that my Christian friends realize that I know this. But it is ones like these that threaten to burn down New Age bookshops, that propagate hate and judgement against others, and create websites with URL's like godhatesfags.com. And that, my friends, gets me mighty pissed off.

On a non-religious note, I have another i.t. pet peeve. I think I need to make a list of these "The Top Ten Things That Piss I.T. Tech's Off". Today I would like to add to the list the people that call me, or come to me, and say, simply, "My computer is broken." Stop - end of sentence. No explaining what the problem is, no telling me even what part of the computer is malfunctioning. It's as if they think I am some sort of pyschic pc-guru who can magically read their minds. I always have to prompt them with, "Okay. What's it doing?" Shouldn't this be the first thing they tell me anyway? Do you bring your car to the mechanic and say, "It's broken" and leave it there? Or do you give him some sort of explanation, "It's making this weird clicking noise everytime I change gears". Do you go to the doctor and say, "I'm broken"? Or do you give him a list of your symptoms so he can make a good diagnosis? Same thing with computers, people. I cannot touch the machine in front of me and suddenly know what ails it.

And I would just like to say that I feel oh-so sorry for all of those living up north right now. You couldn't pay me a million dollars to exist in such a climate. Not that it's exactly a picnic living in a state where it can go from 30 degrees to 70 degrees in one day (no, I'm not making that up), but there's no way I could live in a place where it's cold - freezing-ass, mind-numbing, teeth-chattering, even-my-damn-asshole-is-cold cold! Uh-uh, no thank you. So, to all those that do, you have my condolences (and warmest wishes).

Until later...

What You Need to Know About Spam & Email Forwards

Thursday, January 8th, 2004

...or, simply put, why I hate them so much!

You wouldn't believe the asinine emails I get! The spam stuff is bad enough - but when it's just dumb people fowarding shit because they're too dumb to realize it's a scam, that makes you want to pull your hair out.

I've learned that the reason emails like this go around is for the purpose of "email farming". See, let's say I have a message (a joke, maybe) and I forward it to Jack, Tom, Jill, Harry and Habib. Jack sends it to 14 people. Tom sends it 2, Harry sends it 45 and Habib doesn't send it to anyone because his modem dies. Already my email has been circulated to 61 people who are also forwarding it to their friends, family and online pals. You can see how you can sometimes get a message in your Inbox that has already been forwarded to hundreds of people. Now let's say I'm a spammer who is farming for emails - in other words, looking for email addresses that I can send my spam to. From this one dumb email that I sent out, I am going to get back hundreds of email addresses that I can now send spam to - which, if you don't know, is a million-dollar a year industry.

So, when I get the dumb emails that are obviously concocted so gullible fools will send them on to everyone they know, I want to slap someone. There are the ones, like the one posted Monday, that say Bill Gates or some other lucrative figure is sending a certain amount of money to everyone that forwards their message on. If you really stopped and let common logic kick in, you would know this is completely unlikely, and really stupid. But, for some reason - and studies have proven this - if people see it on the computer screen, they believe it. For all the retarded shit that comes through in email, it is proven that people are more likely to believe it if read in this medium. Go figure. You get the ones with a ridiculously silly poem or limerick about friends & love - and it tells you to pass it on to everyone to remind them how much you love them. Again, email farming at its worst. This is also effective with "God" ones - "If you love God you'll forward this to as many people as you can!" It sounds silly, but it works. I'd guess that 98% of people that get such things do, indeed, forward them to mass amounts of people. There are the ones that tell a joke with no punch line - telling you that if you send it to umpteen number of people and hit certain keys on your keyboard, the punch line or some silly cartoon character will dance across the screen on your monitor. This ploy is also disguised as saying some department store is offering coupons for preposterous dollar amounts - and forwarding to blank number of people and hitting certain keys will make the coupon appear on your screen. People don't realize, or seem to forget, that it is impossible for sending an email to make anything appear on your computer or your screen. So that one works well, too. People, thinking they'll get something good or funny, start sending the thing to everyone they know.

And deep down, I believe these people do have common sense, and do know that they are complete idiots for flooding their friends' Inboxes with such crap. Because, 9 x's out of 10, they write at the top of the email, "I'm sorry, I just had to try this" or "Better safe than sorry" or "I don't usually send stuff like this, but what have I got to lose?" They're apologizing in advance for being dim-witted and irritating - so it's really hard to not want to throttle them. They know better, they're just hoping, that just maybe, Bill Gates will send them a check for $24,000, that $0.03 will be donated to some dying child for every person they forward to, that Macy's really is issuing hundreds of $125 coupons, or that God really will give two damn rat shits that they forwarded an email professing their adoration of him.

Did you say vulgar??

Finally, I'd like to leave you with a sweet, little, tongue-in-cheek note I sent my close friend who, referring to the fact that it was hard to keep his New Year's resolution to stop cursing around me, called me "vulgar".

No, no, I'm only teasing you. I don't mind (too much) you're calling me vulgar. Though I can't imagine what in the hell you're referring to? I'm such a quiet and mild-mannered little creature, there's no fucking way that you'd hear any damn bitching from me in any profuse displays of cursing or damning. Me, curse? For fuck's sake, whatever are you talking about? I don't jive with all that shit, and I'll damn the bastard that accuses me of using any fucking profanity. Fuck that fucking shit. I'd really hate to make an ass of myself or act like a sonofabitch by uttering such goddamn filth. You should know better. This bitch is too polite to be spewing forth profanities like some kind of dumb-fucking asshat! What the fuck? As far as I'm concerned, you can kiss my mother-fucking vulgar ass!!

Shower Mom…With Flowers

Wednesday, January 7th, 2004

So I'm flipping through some ecards after just sending one to a friend who's had a run of bad luck, and I decide to look at the "Mom" ones. Maybe I can send one to my Mom who I haven't talked to in a few days and who I missing hanging out with. But they only offered one free "Mom-ecard" (sorry, Ma, your daughter's cheap) and it truly disturbed me. It said, upon clicking:

"All Mom's Should Be Showered With Flowers".

Sweet enough, right? After clicking again, however, it read:

"Mom, let me shower you!"

Somehow that just seems wrong.

I keep getting these amazing (amazingly stupid and irritating) emails at work.

One yesterday was a collection of art prints done by some woman of Jesus smiling and doing various things.

The email read "There's a new concept, Jesus smiling!! Isn't it beautiful?"

As I scrolled through the pictures, wondering how this huge email made it through the mail server, I was struck by the same thought that always appears when viewing pictures of "Jesus": Hi, Leonardo!

My little joke refers to the beliefs that Leonardo da Vinci is the one who faked the Turin Shroud, imparting his own image onto it. Since this seems to be one of the main sources of "this is how Jesus looked", I always make that joke. I don't know if the da Vinci story is true, but I've read some very credible findings that could back it. Whoever the white-skinned, soft brown-haired, baby blue-eyed man whose image is referred to as "Christ" is, he isn't Jesus.

Jesus was a dark-skinned Jew, not a pale-skinned European. I doubt his hair was fair, flowing and soft or that he ever wore white robes (not really conducive to the nomad lifestyle 'ole J.C. supposedly lived). So why do Christians hold so fervently to this iconography?

Worshippers of Pagan religions are considered polytheistic - as in they worship more than one god. In actuality, Pagans understand that All That Is can be worshipped in any form, as It is part of and in everything. The different iconic gods and goddess are all merely representations and different facets of the one, great power that is God & Goddess (the male and female energy of All That Is). The reason for this explanation is to wonder, then, if Christians worship an obviously false concept and image of Jesus Christ, and he is simply an extension of their one, great God - is this not the same? They know this isn't the true face of Christ (unless they're really stupid), yet they believe that it is a perfectly acceptable thing to worship as a representation of him. It is quite astounding, if you've never looked into it before, the blurring of the lines between Christianity and Paganism. They aren't as far removed as most Christians would like you to believe.

With that, I'm out for today. Have a good one.