Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Spam (not the meat) (11/03/11)
TITLE: Help Me!
By Cheryl von Drehle
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I love my job. The hours are terrific, I work from home, and I get to use my creative writing talents. What’s not to love? My problem is that other people hate me.
Well, not me personally, because no one knows what I do for a living. I haven’t even told my family or friends. Why invite derision, since I know people hate my product? But even though their venom is not directed at me personally, it still bothers me to hear people express such hatred for spam.
Yes, I am a professional spammer. What is so bad about that? I earn an honest living. I am very choosy about my clients. I do not engage in fraud or spam porn. I love helping businesses who are trying to get their message heard and don’t have a huge advertising budget.
You would be amazed at my success rate. For every one million e-mails I send out daily, I have a .0001 response rate…that’s 100 replies! Can’t beat that going door to door. Yes, just think of me as the techno era’s version of the door to door salesperson. No one trashed the Fuller Brush man or Avon lady like they demonize spammers.
The final straw was last Sunday when my pastor preached on all the distractions in our lives and actually likened it to spam! He said hundreds of messages vie for our attention all day long, and we need to filter them out, just like we filter out spam, and keep our eyes on the important things. That is just so unfair. Makes me feel like a criminal, and I’m the innocent victim here!
What should I do?
--A Lovable Spammer
Dear Lovie Spammie,
You ain’t no lambie. And your analogy is terrible: the Fuller Brush man and the Avon Lady don’t knock on my door hundreds of times a day.
Your pastor is right. Everybody hates you, um sorry, hates spam for good reason. That you hide your job from everyone is a BIG clue to what you need to do. Granted, you are not a pole dancer. But let me share a principle with you: just because it is lawful doesn’t mean it is profitable for you (and I’m not talking about your bank account.)
You are terrific at rationalizing though. And you write a great letter. You might make a good lawyer. In any event, my advice is: get another job!
Dear Problem Solver,
Remember me? I wrote to you six months ago and you told me, not very nicely, to get another job. But you and my pastor were right. I do write well, and I thought about what is important to me. I realized I like to help people so guess what? I got a job writing an advice column! I start Monday.
Not sure what will be happening to the advice columnist I am replacing, but I hope she gets a job that better suits her talents also.
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