Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why Hotmail Rocks

When I order things or make queries online, I always give my address and my landline phone number because it's reached the point where online and sales companies buy and sell your information left and right.  With my landline, calls go straight to voicemail and nine times out of ten, sales callers hang up.  With Hotmail, unless you're okay'd by me you go straight to junk, and I clear it out every couple of days.  Just now, I got rid of 240 offers to make money or get free Subway sandwiches for a week or meet single girls (obviously not much research going on there) or buy cheaper insurance.  Then all I have to do is click one box and "delete" and they vanish 35 at a time.

SBCGlobal is almost as easy to get rid of crap, but they're impossible to get hold of.  I got an e-mail from someone saying they were a friend of mine claiming they were trapped in Edinburgh due to a robbery and needed cash to get home.  They'd hacked a e-mail address but then switched two letters around in the name to open a new account.  If you just glance at it, everything looks fine, so I have to wonder how many people thinking a friend was in trouble wired cash off to some scum in God knows where before learning it was a scam?

Fortunately for me, the first time it happened to me was on Hotmail using someone whose phone number I had, so I called them and, sure enough, he was still at home and was warning people his account had been hacked.  He'd notified Hotmail, so I tried to notify SBCGlobal...and do you think I could find any way to get hold of anyone?  I finally found a phone number and got caught in this recording where they would not pass me along unless I had an AT&T phone number to reference.  I gave in and let them know about it through their "feedback" system...which no one will pay attention to.  Especially since the little feedback choices I made on the site were VERY negative.

Technology's no good if you can't deal with the nonsense that comes up, and some of these companies go out of their way to see to it that you cannot contact anyone human anywhere near them.

Today was get the car serviced day and groceries and such.  I had my laptop so reread the script for "Dair's Window" as I waited, and I actually do think I'm going to work on that.  I want to see if I can add some real humor to it; right now it's got some okay moments of lightness but it'll help the story immeasurably if I can balance the darkness even more.

I don't know how Brendan feels about this, and Dair is hesitant about stepping in...but I feel it's right for me to do.  Apparently I'm still a bit spooked, deep down, by the comment someone from NI said about me not being able to truly capture the place for any but an audience that knows little about it, and I need to let that settle down more and rebuild my confidence. 

Again.  I am crazy; I keep doing the same crap over and over and achieve little more than baby steps in my movement forward.  Of course, that's better than going backwards.  Isn't it?


Brad Rushing said...

I am very disappointed that you are getting distracted from POS. I think what you have so far is wonderful, some of your best work, and I have been looking forward to reading the completed book.

JamTheCat said...

It's not distraction, Brad. It's a deep-rooted fear that I'm not the right person to do this story...a funk which I get into every now and then and back away from it and then, after I've been away for a little while get back to my senses and return to the project because, whether I'm the right guy or the wrong guy to do the writing, I'm the guy Brendan chose. Which says a lot about him, don't it?