Come home from a hard day of battling spam at the office. The war
is not going
well. Every time I open a spam message instead of instantly discarding it,
another brain cell dies. I feel like I'm playing my own reality show — Last
Neuron Standing. It's not funny.
But there is no way for me to avoid opening messages with subject lines like,
"Here are the configuration details" when they come to an address we ask people
to write to with their hardware configuration details.
This is a recent phenomenon — spam subject lines are no longer all stupid or
m1sspelled. They are now somehow context-sensitive based on the address they
I tighten the filter down from 4.0 to 3.0 and hope for a better day tomorrow.
Head home, get the mail out of the box, look at the first noncatalog piece. No
company name or logo on the envelope. In big print, Important Message Notice....
Let's see. No identifying marks, and large print claiming to be important.
Also, bad grammar — wtf is a "Message Notice"? And dots. My internalized
Bayesian tests tell me that this must be junk mail. E-mail spammers may be
getting smarter, but junk mail spammers are still ordering extra noobsauce.
However, it's on the threshold, because junk mail tends to repeat, and I've
never seen this one before. Granted, my system for handling postal mail — in
total contrast with email, which I sort and score neurotically — is to pile it
all on my bench, and to blindly reach into the pile occasionally and pull
something out (bobbing for bills?) whenever I intuit that something important
is coming due.
No advice please, the system works fine.
Though ever since my shredder exploded, thunderously (you think I jest), the
junk mail situation has been difficult.
So I open it up. It's my bank card.
Accompanying the card is a letter. According to the letter, I was notified on
October 13th about a "card compromise incident". Say what?
Here is my new card. I have to call to activate it. If I don't call to activate
it, one will be appointed for me. Er, the old card will be cancelled. On November 15.
So if I hadn't opened this junk mail, my ATM card would have stopped working. I
would have had no idea why. Undoubtedly, I would have first learned of the
matter while stranded somewhere after T o'clock trying to withdraw the 2 billion dollars it takes to fund a taxi in Boston.
I understand the concept. Make the envelope appear nondescript to avoid future
card compromise incidents. However, I also understand the concept of a bank
card, which is that it gives me back my money when I want it.
I wonder what else I might have missed. Time to tie the hair back and go