What’s up with these people who go for a month long cruise and set their email’s autoresponder to return fire to every E-mail with a notice that they’ve become inaccessible? The concept of the E-mail autoresponder made sense on the drawing board (perhaps), but in real life it’s a pain in the ass. If you are in the corporate world where rote emails about practice fire drills, and complimentary muffins and rescheduled meetings are routinely spit out to a ‘designated group’ it means that every one of the people in that group gets to enjoy Mr. Cruising Autoresponder’s E-mail machine gun ack acking away.
“I’m out of the office from now until the nuclear winter sets in. I’ll be checking my emails from time to time (to see if any high-priority targets have been hit by my auto-responder). If you need immediate assistance, call the Auto-Responder Crisis Hotline at….”
Everytime I see these auto-responders in action I think: What happens if two people each set their auto-responders after they have sent an E-mail to each other? Will the two programs mindlessly return fire until one machine burns up? I don’t think about it much; only when I’m doing my tantric meditations.
Okay, so enough about annoyances. Now, to the ‘ponderances.’ The other day I went to the grocery store to buy a box of Total cereal (because I’m trying to be healthy these days). Whereas previous purchases of said box of Total have been purchases of a mundane box of cereal, this time the box was different. It came with a DVD attached to the face of the box. Apprehensively, I studied the DVD. Fortunately it quickly became apparent that it was not a “1,000 free hours of AOL” disk. It was actually something more bizarre: a DVD of old episodes of the Barney Miller show. Huh?
What is the marketing tie-in between a health cereal and the Barney Miller show? Now that’s something to ponder deeply. I took the cereal home with me and went to bed. I checked my temperature and it was supposedly normal. I took an aspirin just in case. The next day when I woke up the box of Total still had the Barney Miller DVD. I’m telling you something really strange is going on out there.