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An ex-coworker's unwanted e-mail
Old 04-08-2008, 08:43 PM   #1
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An ex-coworker's unwanted e-mail

When I ER'd six years ago I kept in touch with a few coworkers. One of them, now 65, just retired and is still settling into his new lifestyle.

While he was working I'd get a few e-mails a week on workplace events, jokes, and whatever else piqued his interest. He shotguns a list and doesn't expect replies. Most of his e-mails weren't worth reading any longer than it took to click on the "Delete" button, but every 10th or 20th one I enjoyed seeing his family pictures or reading about growing up in territorial Hawaii.

Then he started e-mailing urban legends, so I pointed him to Snopes.com and suggested that he didn't have to keep me on his group list. He got a bit huffy, said that he was just talking story, and that he'd be happy to hear from me once in a while. I'm still on his list.

Now that he's retired, what used to be "a few a week" has become "several times a day". He's still propagating urban legends but they've escalated to computer scams, terrorist conspiracies, and pictures of ugly rat tumors. I'm also getting old-phart jokes, dozens of YouTube videos, and plenty of political diatribes. Most of his subject lines resemble the topic titles used by a couple members of this board who repetitively post alarmist rants.

I still hit the "Delete" button, although now I hardly even open the e-mails. But I'm tired of the perpetual assault and I feel ambushed whenever I open one of them. The signal/noise ratio has dropped well below 1/100, I've about used up my "just ignore it" patience, and I'm ready to politely ask him to drop me from his group e-mail address list. He's a nice guy who only lives 20 miles away but we haven't bothered to even phone each other in nearly six years, let alone get together. He's just an old co-worker who happened to stay in touch, and that's no longer a good thing. He doesn't appear willing to change, and it seems to be time to move on.

Anyone had to deal with a similar situation? Any other ideas?
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:45 PM   #2
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No, and I be interested in any advice too . Cripes I have relatives that do the same thing with the email worthless crap bombardment.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post

Anyone had to deal with a similar situation? Any other ideas?
Yep. I put my old friends email address on my spam filter and never looked back. If by some accident I run into him and get asked about his emails, I can always tell him the truth: "For some reason I'm not getting them."
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:47 PM   #4
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Be firm and ask to be removed from his list.

If it gets worse, tell his e-mail/ ISP provider.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:48 PM   #5
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Don't you have a "this is spam" option in your email?
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
When I ER'd six years ago I kept in touch with a few coworkers. One of them, now 65, just retired and is still settling into his new lifestyle.

While he was working I'd get a few e-mails a week on workplace events, jokes, and whatever else piqued his interest. He shotguns a list and doesn't expect replies. Most of his e-mails weren't worth reading any longer than it took to click on the "Delete" button, but every 10th or 20th one I enjoyed seeing his family pictures or reading about growing up in territorial Hawaii.

Then he started e-mailing urban legends, so I pointed him to Snopes.com and suggested that he didn't have to keep me on his group list. He got a bit huffy, said that he was just talking story, and that he'd be happy to hear from me once in a while. I'm still on his list.

Now that he's retired, what used to be "a few a week" has become "several times a day". He's still propagating urban legends but they've escalated to computer scams, terrorist conspiracies, and pictures of ugly rat tumors. I'm also getting old-phart jokes, dozens of YouTube videos, and plenty of political diatribes. Most of his subject lines resemble the topic titles used by a couple members of this board who repetitively post alarmist rants.

I still hit the "Delete" button, although now I hardly even open the e-mails. But I'm tired of the perpetual assault and I feel ambushed whenever I open one of them. The signal/noise ratio has dropped well below 1/100, I've about used up my "just ignore it" patience, and I'm ready to politely ask him to drop me from his group e-mail address list. He's a nice guy who only lives 20 miles away but we haven't bothered to even phone each other in nearly six years, let alone get together. He's just an old co-worker who happened to stay in touch, and that's no longer a good thing. He doesn't appear willing to change, and it seems to be time to move on.

Anyone had to deal with a similar situation? Any other ideas?
Personally, I would put him on the spam list.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:49 PM   #7
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Some mail servers have auto-reply. If that can be applied to certain "From" contents, you would use it to say, "The number you have dialed is no longer in service. Please hang up and try again" then filter his email to the junk folder.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:50 PM   #8
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Some emails have spam filters or ignore lists. If you are certain you don't want to see any email from him anymore, check your email options to see if you can put his email in the "ignore" list.

Good luck!
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:57 PM   #9
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Tell him, firmly and politely. Once.

I think if you're firm enough, he'll stop. If not, block him. You don't phone, visit, surf or otherwise socialize? Not much lost, even if he gets huffy.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:06 PM   #10
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No problem. Put his/her name on the do not receive list and put his/her email on junk mailing lists.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Most of his subject lines resemble the topic titles used by a couple members of this board who repetitively post alarmist rants.
I was thinking just that as I read your post......
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:11 PM   #12
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I vote for the spam filter. I have done this to people when they won't stop sending me junk e-mails like that, if I have already politely asked them to remove me and it didn't work.

I have no idea what possesses some people but I do know that unwanted e-mail is spam.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:22 PM   #13
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I would send him a nice but firm email asking him to stop because you have seen it all before and you don't have the time to weed out your in box all day. If he continues I would put him on your spam filter and be done with him. Enough is enough.

My FIL does the same thing. I just never respond this his urban legends and other stuff and he has slowed down a lot. I guess it is no fun sending these out if nobody comments on all your hard work.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:56 PM   #14
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I'd just block his e-mail address. I'm probably a little too quick to "cut people out," but someone annoying who you haven't gotten together with in six years? Definitely time for the heave-ho.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:00 PM   #15
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My first reaction was just to block him, as has been suggested.

On further consideration, I think you could ask him nicely but firmly, and THEN block him.

There are a million of these guys out these folks out there -- maybe letting them know how you feel will do the rest of his vict... er... long-suffering friends a favor.

Probably not, but hope springs eternal.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:04 PM   #16
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Since he's not someone you want to keep as a friend, I wouldn't even bother to ask him to stop sending the unwanted emails. Like others have said, either block his e-mail address and/or mark his messages as "spam".

Kinda like standing at the trash basket while going thru the mail, huh?
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:07 PM   #17
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Since you've already mentioned it, I wouldn't bother writing again; that obviously won't work.. just conduct his mail automatically to the junk folder (or to a folder with his name on it that you can open if you choose, then skim and bulk delete).
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:36 PM   #18
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I had an old friend that used to send me a half ton of worthless email everyday! I hinted several times that I'd prefer that he'd skip sending that crapola sort of thing to me, but it did NO good at all. In fact, if anything, he started sending MORE junk. Then I set up my email program to send an 'auto-reply' that read something like "Due to security issues, these type email messages are know longer accepted by this recipient.".....I also set up the email program to auto-delete his email. He phoned me a few days after I set things up that way, and proceeded to cuss me out express his disapproval of my actions....he was very p*ssed off and offended, and let me know about it in no uncertain terms.

I told him that I enjoyed getting normal, personal email from him (or anyone), but I didn't like being the recipient of anyone's junk mail or spam list. He said "Fine! You'll never hear from me again!"....and he slammed down the phone! That was about 10 years ago........and he's kept his word! I called him a couple of times, and was told by his family members that he refused to come to the phone to talk to me. Oh well......life goes on!

As for email from former co-workers......I never hear from them! That may be due to the fact that they send stuff to one of my now-defunct email addresses!
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:42 AM   #19
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Mailwasher link

I use this free program and am quite pleased. List of my emails without opening outlook express. I can block, delete, bounce or blacklist senders.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:20 AM   #20
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Another idea- spam the spammer-

make a rule within your e-mail program to reply to him when he sends you something. In the auto reply, run a script which puts some off topic comment in the body of the e-mail. Then when he e-mails you to stop, he gets an autoresponse.

One guy at work does this with his signature (a script changes every signature in his e-mail with a different joke). I am sure things like this are available, otr you could pay a college student 2 cases of beer to do it for you.
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