I doubt one man’s junk email is treasure to anyone else

Trail Times editor discusses the bombardment of junk mail in our inboxes.

I checked my “real” mail box at home today and found only a couple of flyers and a bill. It remains mostly junk mail but gone are the days that half my recycling was dedicated to unwanted mail.

Now, most of that unwanted mail needs only a hit on the delete button to rid myself of the endless array of self-help, dire warning, government promises or life-changing deals that filter in to my work “in box” daily.

No doubt the Trail Times is part of a huge database that has contact information for every media outlet in Canada, if not the world.  I get bombarded with so many emails from south of the border covering everything from the dire consequences of gay marriage or Obamacare to the latest happenings at a bar in Miami or what the Kardashian girls are up to.

And if you think that’s all a bunch of junk, I agree. But it gets much worse.

The Internet has allowed us to respond to any comment from anyone, anywhere in the world. And whether you’re sitting in your parent’s basement, in an airport terminal or the Prime Minister’s office, all you have to do is hit “send” and that message gets sprayed far and wide, dare I say, like manure in a farmer’s field.

Not all emails are from political parties, global companies or public relations firms.

I get regular ones from a fellow in Gander, Newfoundland, he sends them to every media outlet on his list. He always takes a strong stand supporting veterans, questioning government policies and taking to task the usual photo ops and speaking points ruling politicians use to make it look like they’re at the forefront of a national concern and helping Canadians.

There’s also a fellow in Summerland as well who usually writes at long lengths about provincial government and its misuse of funds or patronage appointments or cover-ups.

Politicians, or rather their staffers, are always quick to send out emails pointing out what’s wrong with what an opposing politician has said.

I get emails from the “Harper Government,” which I once replied to asking “isn’t it called the federal government?” I never got a reply but I certainly got more emails.

Now when I get an email from the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) I can’t help but snicker and think of Senator Mike Duffy’s comment about “kids in short pants” down the hall referring to Harper’s handlers.

The B.C. government must have an office full of writers working 24/7 to keep up with our Premier’s acknowledgement of special events.

A quick search found our premier sending out emails celebrating the birth of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (the founder of the Sikh religion), Diwali (the Festival of Lights), Remembrance Day, We Day all in the last 30 days.

On Monday, the B.C. government sent me emails informing me this was “Bullying Awareness Week,” “Multiculturalism Week,” “International Education Week,”

Ironically nothing on Movember. Maybe Christy’s “kids in short pants,” can’t grow moustaches yet.

Oh well I’m sure they’ll send out emails reminding B.C. people that our Premier is on the job celebrating Christmas, Boxing Day and even Groundhog Day. I think she must has one of those calendars that lists something to celebrate every day of the year from grandparents to pets to flags.

Guaranteed the moment the federal government makes an announcement, every organization against that decision will send out emails detailing why the decision is a death knell for Canada and Canadians.

I get emails with tips on everything from winter driving to storing Halloween candy to buying Christmas presents for people you don’t like. (which begs the question “Why buy a present for someone you don’t like?”)

That said, today I got one extolling the virtues of Canada’s first chain of dog spas. “We adore our dogs and want to give them the best care,” claimed the email. That’s why dog spas are opening up across Canada. I looked at my dog laying on her own chair with a great view out the front window while I was filling her water dish and food bowl and thought “she already lives in a dog spa.”

There are emails from every person in the world who knows the secret to success. They’ll share it with me if I’m willing to drive to Vancouver, fork over a couple of hundred dollars and sit through their presentation. Or perhaps send away for their video or buy their book. I think I figured out what the secret to their success is.

I get emails warning me of everything from impending environmental disasters, a coming plague, massive unemployment, selling our water, tainted food and Y2K (I guess I should empty that junk folder).

Finally I’m still getting emails from people on the other side of the world kindly offering millions of dollars simply in exchange for my account information and other details. Unfortunately when I reply and ask them to send a $10,000 cheque up front I never hear from them again.

Too bad, with that amount of money I could hire someone to go through my emails.

Guy Bertrand is the managing editor of the Trail Times.

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