The Mostest Clever Stupid Messages

Posted: September 24, 2014 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , ,

I work in the little global village of the universe that is considered to be ‘IT’. For those of you are not familiar with the term, ‘IT’ stands for the Information Technology field which supposedly is composed of brilliant thinkers and innovative ideas. For those of you ARE familiar with the term ‘IT’ you’ll know that it actually stands for Imaginary Trickery. All of us in the IT field are just flying by with our fingers pressed into the keyboard hoping against hope that no one will actually figure out that all we are doing is copying the guy who came before us and making a few changes and improvements to make it our own. You can scoff at that if you will – but you know the truth.

While I’m sure there are some brilliant people in IT, there are also some people that literally don’t have a clue about how to tie their Velcro shoe laces. The good news about that is it guarantees that there is always something to blog about. While not necessarily wrong, the below examples are just a few examples of how ‘we brilliant IT’ people don’t think about much except for where their next Diet Coke or Moon Pie is coming from.

Example 1

I get random emails all the time and approximately every 2 years I get a bug up my butt and attempt to unsubscribe from them. So here’s a result of my unsubscribing action from Sports Authority:

Example1Note Option 2 – “On second thought, please keep my name on The Sports Authority e-mail list”

Who would ever check that option?? You’ve gone to all of the trouble to even FIND the unsubscribe link in the email (which is normally an adventure), you’ve clicked it and you are asked to check a box to see if you were wrong in the first place? How about just closing the window? I would LOVE to know how many people have second thoughts, and then actually hit that option and press ‘SUBMIT’. And what does Sports Authority do with those people? My bet is that they automatically check a box on that person saying “Hopelessly still looking for a clue – flood them with emails”

Example 2

I don’t have a screen shot of this one, but recently I was upgrading an Adobe product (a daily occurrence as those in IT kExample2now). This is the message that I got:

“Press the ‘Update Now’ button to begin the Update automatically.”

In my mind, it’s not automatic if you have to press the update button in the first place, right? And why is Update capitalized? The whole thing is a menagerie of word issues and logic issues. It’s like the M.C. Escher of update messages. Congratulations Adobe for hiring a typical IT guy.

Example 3

Back to the unsubscribing adventures. This company not only buries their unsubscribe link, but when you finally find it they present you with this screen:


The GOOD thing is that they just unsubscribe you. However, they then go on to craft a beautiful story about how this crazy ‘unsubscribe’ link could have been hit. Maybe you forwarded the email to a friend? They clicked unsubscribe? Holy crap – how could this have even happened??? ABORT! ABORT! You better SUBSCRIBE right now and rectify the mistake immediately. This particular example can’t happen that much to make them want to call it out, can it?

I’m sure there are a thousand other examples of IT stupid messages out there – feel free to share in the comments and it will make absolutely no difference to making it better. Because there will always be stupid IT people and stupid messages.

Which is fantastic news for a word-starved blogger.

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Trying to unsubscribe from something should be an Olympic sport. I get loads of medical product and information emails, most of it unasked for. But it seems once I go through the process of unsubscribing (which, as you point out, is not necessarily a quick event), the emails disappear for a bit only to reappear a week or two later. I suppose my name is on lists and these lists get passed around endlessly. It’s enough to give a person seizures.


    • If it’s a reputable company I’ve had good luck with unsubscribing – EXCEPT for a few which will state ‘will remove within 10 days’ and then nothing ever happens. I don’t buy from them any longer.


  2. Great posting! I really took heart that a person in IT has problems unsubscribing from lists as well. I think those of us outside the IT world believe all of you never have any issues, and just spend your days making fun of us and our clueless phone calls and questions,

    I do enjoy the rather creative approach displayed on Example 3. Ever hopeful that yes, you, in fact, do want to remain on their list.


  3. And then there’s spam that starts arriving all by itself, and if you try to unsubscribe the goblins back at home base go, “Woo Hoo! A real person!” and start inundating you…:(


  4. Linda says:

    I read somewhere, that when one “unsubscribes”, one gets more spam emails. So I usually just “junk” the emails I no longer want to receive.


    • Very smart. That’s exactly what you should do. I just think if it’s a reputable company that it should be a little easier to cancel. I guess it’s like a Cable TV company – you can’t cancel service with them without an act of Congress.


  5. Imaginary Trickery… how funny! I respect your IT…..


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