It's Funny What the Web Can Do

Ever since I set up this site, somewhere in September 2003, and added my resume, I have received quite a lot of messages from recruitement agencies. Today I received another, enjoyable, offer for a job.
It started with a blanket e-mail from Marieke (I'll leave out her last name to protect the innocent) from Michael Bailey Associates with a message along these lines:

<quote type="exaggerating">
Hi Imar,

Hope all is well with you! I ran into your profile in the database, and was wondering if you were interested in a lousy, underpaid job for which you'll have to travel throughout the country all day long.
Well, this may not be her exact words, and I might be exaggerating about the job description and wages, but that's how I felt when I read the message anyway.

I politely replied her and asked her in what database she found my profile, and more importantly, how on earth did it end up there in the first place (other than posting my resume out in the open on the Web, I am pretty protective when it comes to my privacy).

Within a pico second I received an answer that she hadn't found my profile in "the database" but on the Internet.

I had seen and heard enough and again replied her, this time asking if I could be removed from her mailing list as I wasn't interested in job offers from her company. That was the last thing I ever heard from her or her company.

Now, there are a couple of things wrong with this whole conversation. First of all, she's sending me unsolicited mail, also known as spam. OK, it was a personal message, she was really interested in me (I guess) and she took the time to visit my site and send the e-mail, but still; spam is spam.

Secondly, she started her e-mail with a lie. I have been wondering for some time why that was. (Sure, for the purists among us, you can see the Internet as a large database, so technically she was right). But why would she want to do that? What business is she in that the first communication she sends out to a potential customer is a lie? Why not just say: "Hey, I saw your site. Do you want to work for us?". IMO, honesty is the best thing to do; especially in personal communication.

But what's irritating me most, and what brought me to writing this Blog entry, is the fact she never answered my last reply. She was very quick with an answer when she still thought I was interested, but as soon as I showed my disinterest, she completely forgot about me. Why? Why didn't she have the decency to send me an e-mail like this:

<quote type="fictitious">
Hi Imar,

Sorry for bothering you. You know, the business we're in is a bit tricky at the moment. We try to do whatever we can to attract new people that can work for us and our clients, to make the world a better programming place.
I understand you're not interested and want to be taken off our list. I will see to it that that happens ASAP.

Sorry for the trouble I may have caused you.

Take care,

Now, that would have been a solid ending for our short, but firm relationship, don't you think?

Again, I just don't understand why things go like this. If you're willing to waste someone else's time with a job offer, why not have the decency to finish it politely?

Oh well, just 257 other spam messages in my Junk mail box to answer today...... ;-)

Talk Back Think I am naive by answering spam personally, instead of hitting the delete button? Or do you think I am too soft on poor ol' Marieke and should have handled her much harder? Think I am worrying about nothing and seen much worse? Use the Talk Back feature to let me know what you think... (That also applies to you, Marieke; if you want you can shoot me an e-mail at my Contact page.)

Where to Next?

Wonder where to go next? You can read existing comments below or you can post a comment yourself on this article .

Consider making a donation
Please consider making a donation using PayPal. Your donation helps me to pay the bills so I can keep running Imar.Spaanjaars.Com, providing fresh content as often as possible.

Feedback by Other Visitors of Imar.Spaanjaars.Com

On Wednesday, October 27, 2004 10:55:12 AM Truff said:
I think you should have called Pipok and me in to deal with her.  I've been sharpening my claws specially...
On Friday, November 12, 2004 5:01:13 AM nik said:
I believe the old truism applies here - "Never attribute to malice what can easily be explained by stupidity."
On Wednesday, February 2, 2005 6:53:30 PM Samir said:
Hi Imar,
    Consider a situation..
     You are standing in front of your window and a stupid guy comes and throws a pile of dirt at you.
    You will have two options here.. 1. Close your window before that dirt can reach you or 2. Run out, catch the guy, collect some dirt and throw back at him!!

     In both the cases, your pleasure of standing in front of your window and seeing the world out side (may be there are some beautiful mountains or a wonderful lake out side your window!!) is LOST!!

     I am not trying to say that you should choose option 1 or 2 but I am trying to sympathise with the fact that for no reason or for no mistake on your part, your pleasure is at stack.

     Do you get my message!!

     Take care
On Wednesday, February 2, 2005 7:31:38 PM Imar Spaanjaars said:
If the fun is spoiled anyway, I might as well have some fun throwing some dirt myself.... ;-)

On Friday, April 1, 2005 2:17:12 PM Colonel Angus said:
It just proves my theory that simply being nice/polite to other people goes very far in this world.  Just a simple reply was all it would have taken.  Like you said, it doesn't take much.

If it ever happens that your paths cross again, that exchange is what you will remember.  It may be a remote chance in this case, but in general it is always beneficial to create an atmosphere where people want to help you, not have to help you.

Talk Back! Comment on Imar.Spaanjaars.Com

I am interested in what you have to say about this article. Feel free to post any comments, remarks or questions you may have about this article. The Talk Back feature is not meant for technical questions that are not directly related to this article. So, a post like "Hey, can you tell me how I can upload files to a MySQL database in PHP?" is likely to be removed. Also spam and unrealistic job offers will be deleted immediately.

When you post a comment, you have to provide your name and the comment. Your e-mail address is optional and you only need to provide it if you want me to contact you. It will not be displayed along with your comment. I got sick and tired of the comment spam I was receiving, so I have protected this page with a simple calculation exercise. This means that if you want to leave a comment, you'll need to complete the calculation before you hit the Post Comment button.

If you want to object to a comment made by another visitor, be sure to contact me and I'll look into it ASAP. Don't forget to mention the page link, or the QuickDocId of the document.

For more information about the Talk Back feature, check out this news item.