The Slimeball Shuffle

Today I received my VIP invitation to the Women’s Financial Conference.

…uncomfortable pause…

Right now, you’re probably wondering a few things. Like, “is there something you haven’t told me?”, or, “did the operation hurt?” No, I haven’t been in for a change of equipment. But at least I know where they got my name*.

Fuckin’ marketers. I had that fishy feeling even before I opened it. Bright pink envelope hand-addressed to me** and bearing what appears at a sufficiently cursory glance to be a real stamp. (A less cursory glance reveals “presorted std. massmail blah blah” in teensy tiny print at the bottom.) Ellen Munson wants to share with me her unique wealth-creating secrets and strategies. Bleah.

Among the spoils of yesterday’s mailbox haul were a Second Notice that my highschool yearbook information urgently needs updating*** (I can’t imagine why anyone would want this information), and two, count ’em, two little blue postcards from the ever-mysterious “Awards Verification Center“. Apparently, both myself and one of my housemates are Grand Prize Winners of a New Luxury SUV xor Vacation to Somewhere Tropical xor Big Cash Prize. Two lucky winners, on the same day, in the same house. What are the odds?

(Probably about the same as my odds of travelling somewhere to hear a long annoying timeshare seminar from a shady company who’s been called out by both the FCC and BBB, with a bunch of sales douches jumping down my throat faster than Viagras at an old folks’ home zoned in a red-light district. Or devising, in the course of my top-secret work geeking involving magnets and miracles, a way to partition spacetime such that multiple individuals can timeshare a boot in the ass. This would likely require said asses to be simultaneously occupying the same time and space, which sounds downright uncomfortable.)

* There’s only one organization I know of that thinks I’m a woman, and that’s the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. About a month after I waded through all the lines and got my MA license, it was needed for some kind of paperwork at the office. When MvS was done with it, barely containing laughter, she motioned me into the mailroom and said, “Hey, do you know about this? It says here that you’re a female!” Sure enough, there it was on the license. I’m pretty sure I gave a little adjustment to make sure, and checked the correct box at the RMV. To this day however, no one except MvS (including club/pub bouncers, cops, the TSA, etc.) has ever noticed.

** where ‘hand-addressed’ == ‘TrueType handwriting font in blue with telltale inkjet dots’ … oh, and as long as you’re going to the effort of forging handwriting in your mass marketing communications for that “personal touch”, the least you can do is cobble together some basic randomization script so that all occurrences of each character that appears more than once aren’t glaringly identical. The TrueType fonts are digitized from a sample of someone’s actual handwriting, but have the limitation of being able to store only one symbol to represent each ASCII character. Take it a step further and store, say, ten samples of each character in vector files; let your script plop them down sequentially as that character is used in your malodorous disquisition. Ideally, your spiel will be short enough that you’re unlikely to run out of unique symbols, but if you do, they might be far enough apart not to have that jarringly machine-generated quality. BTW, there is my Unique Wealth-Creating Secret for the day.

*** where ‘high school’ == ‘Harris Connect, Inc., written to appear to have come from LTHS, using their name and logo’… reminds me of certain credit card offers ;-)

UPDATE: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has a few things to say about Ellen Munson and her wealth-creating secrets. This company also does business as National Training conference, LLC and Money in Training, LLC., among others.


One Response to “The Slimeball Shuffle”

  1. […] On a related note, State Farm Insurance stops talking to you if you move about 2.5 blocks. So, they send to your new address (which they have) a note that says, “you moved, so we can’t talk to you anymore, call your agentFULL STOP NO CARRIER”, and to your old address (which, judging from the you-moved note, they understand that you have moved from), your bill, policy and renewal forms (which are apparently immune to mail forwarding service, although stampless paper postcards from the Awards Verification Center still are not). I found all this out after Googling for their phone number today, as it was not on the letter that told me to call it (nor, for that matter, any information concerning the identity of my mysterious Agent). I actually got this letter sometime the week before, but wanted to schedule this hold-music hell for a time when I would be chained to my desk like a good code monkey anyway, with only the occasional frequent pee break (Decaf? My world knows no such thing :P) to influence my odds of having to restart the whole phone tree from the beginning, and be able to set the phone on handsfree and get something half productive done while sitting on hold. […]

Leave a Reply