Mistaken Identity

My parents weren’t terribly creative in the naming department. In our global connected world there are a lot of Tom (Thomas, Tommy etc.) Murphys.

In hindsight, I made a classical error rushing to get the obvious Tom Murphy email address on many of the major email services as they launched. 

You see, my fellow Tom Murphys share a characteristic, email address amnesia.  Each day my inbox is deluged with emails for someone else. 

I try and do the right thing.  If it’s personal correspondence I let the sender know, but if it’s newsletters, or sign-ups for services I just unsubscribe.

I was once pulled into a bitter divorce battle where the partners in question would apparently only communicate via email. The estranged wife refused to believe that I was not in fact her (soon to be ex-) husband.

The variety is mind boggling. And for the record, we’re a diverse bunch that buys a lot of new items during December:

  • Retail store loyalty cards
  • Parent/Teacher associations
  • Sports clubs
  • Telephone (especially mobile) subscriptions
  • Social networks
  • Dating sites – including sites whose name (and I imagine but I never checked) and purpose would make your eyes water
  • Warranties for every kind of product you can think of
  • Business communications
  • Random friend and family emails

It reached it’s peak this week. I received a ‘test’ email from a Tom Murphy with a different address.  As per policy I replied and let him know that this wasn’t his email address. Then he replied.

“Oh yeah I know it’s not my email address but I think I used it to sign up for X about three months ago, can you search through your folders and find my password?”

So I have become an email research service for errant Tom Murphys and their correspondence. Serves me right. Smile