Monday, February 11, 2019

How do you tell someone you see all the time, that you don't want to give them your email address? Without sounding like a dick?  I've been sidestepping it for a while, but that might not work anymore.


  1. You don't have a spare email address? Not even an old yahoo address?

  2. No... they all point to my blog. And throwaway accounts get deleted if you don't log in from time to time. I think I'm just going to have to suck up the social awkwardness. But I'd like to say it more nicely than NO.

  3. Set up a domain for E-mail and then give everyone new E-mail addresses ... but with a catch.

    Make the address that sounds like it's your main one the lowest priority to look at, and then give that out to all of the people like this you have to deal with.

    I have a few of these that I call "dump boxes", and they're so I can dump some people who absolutely have to send me mail of some kind into mailboxes that I don't check very often, even when my mail client pulls the messages from IMAP into local folders.

    I also have "dump numbers" for calls I don't really give a crap about, and they don't receive texts. Caller ID rules take care of the important callers who know that they need to call me from numbers that I actually know about. The mild annoyances get dumped into voicemail that forwards to one of these dump boxes, while the major annoyances get a message that my number's disconnected and is no longer in service.

    So instead of giving people your real E-mail, you can give out "" or something like that, and they'll love it because it sounds totally like you even though that's the mailbox you give out to people you don't want to talk to ...

    Of course, if you actually implement this plan, you'll need to delete this comment. :-)

  4. It's pretty funny how many knots we tie ourselves into just to not utter the word NO. Instead we put them into seven levels of email purgatory. I eventually settled with "email is not the best way to get ahold of me". And that seemed to go over okay.

    That was an interesting idea though.

  5. Tell them that you are a very private and you only use your email for close family, sorry.


  6. I have an old hotmail account I use for that sort of purpose. Including sites that require an email for login but who I don't trust.

  7. I guess I didn't realize hotmail still existed. I think telling someone I'm a "private person" seems creepy. Then people all of a sudden people wonder WTF - what do you have to hide?. I just don't want to talk to you in email. And I'm the creepy one. That is how stupid the internet has become.

  8. Yes, that's why I do what I'm doing ...

    A short list of people I typically can't say no to: lower-tier customer contacts, vendors who are delivering stuff but should be talking to other people, and of course irritating people who hump the legs of friends.

    If you are the CEO of a vendor, I will always take your call, and I will always make sure I have your current contact information. The same goes for trusted friends. Everyone else, it varies depending on several things, including recent shithead levels as well as whether I need to be talking to that person or if it should be someone else in a comparable role.

    First-tier vendor support people have zero need to be calling me, for instance. If something is truly bad news, then it will get escalated to at least a VP level and those people have my direct contact details. The same level of respect is given on this end as well, and my people don't have their direct contact details either.

    And so I have a tier of E-mail and phone numbers that's just for giving out what seem to be private contacts, but all of those mailboxes are handled by other people, such as the support group that these people should be contacting first and so on.

    It's not just a thing you need to get rid of irritating people who try to hump your leg or who are humping the legs of friends ...

    But it's really, really good for that.

    Essentially I have a somewhat higher tech version of what many celebs do with burner mobile phones and burner E-mail accounts. Get to a certain point in life where you can't be seen as "the heavy" and you'll wind up doing this too.

    Looking like I'm so busy that I can't take these people's calls and deal with their E-mail is advantageous to me.

    This is how you implement being "a private person" who has a public persona.

    If other people don't like it (should they ever find out), then they need to get used to the fact that you're a somewhat rare commodity, you're busy doing the things that matter to you, and that you have a backlog of those things that needs to get done. (Naturally, you can guess what happens with people who complain loudly and insist that they be given "special" consideration that isn't deserved.)

    As for Internet stupidity, I've mostly cut it out: no personal Web site, no Instagrope, no Defacedbook, no Twittard, no social media of any kind, no IM of any kind, and only one person gets to text me because we got into the habit over a decade ago and we can't break it.

    Those texts go to a separate SMS service that isn't linked to a mobile number, and so I can't be located physically with knowledge of that number. Tracing that number leads to a company in Canada, and so anyone in the US trying to track me down has to get a Canadian court order.

    But what about the stalker? That person got information from someone not in my trusted group, but from someone in a group just outside that, which is why they had information for Miami but not for North Florida. Figuring out who it was turned out to be easy, and now there's one less person I'm dealing with because they wanted to do more than try to hump my leg.

    The bottom line: accept that one day you'll attract crazies no matter how hard you try and prepare for that ...

  9. Leg humpers. I like that expression. I call them clingons. Because they are a little like velcro.

    This thread is fascinating because of the lengths we will go to just not to go against the crowd. It just feels really uncomfortable to tell people NO. Look how complicated that all sounds! It's crazy.

    Luckily I don't give crazies to much of what they are looking for. So I think I've been pretty lucky. I get bored with crazy pretty fast.