Last week the following email managed to leap over my spam filter and land among my various fan emails (my friends simply refer to them as ‘notes’, Philistines! But they know they’re fans deep down):
I came across bigbluemess.com and thought there would be a good fit for a partnership with our network of local landing pages in various verticals. Our users are looking for informative articles, and advice, and your perspective stood out as a fit.
I’m looking to set up a call for my director to learn more about bigbluemess.com as well as have her bring the right person up to speed on how we work with our partners. Would you be the best person for this conversation? If so, would either this afternoon at 3:00 PM EST or tomorrow at 11 AM EST work better for an intro call?”
After tearing apart the sender’s email address, determining the email’s source by sifting through header information and finally cyberstalking the sender through LinkedIn (as well as a few other sites), it appeared that it was legitimate. Being legitimate gave me permission to laugh. Well, once I finished translating it and determined what was meant by the term “vertical”. I’m a pro at “horizontal” eight to nine hours out of any given day; however, vertical has always been challenging especially on Mondays. Apparently this “vertical” is a different beast. I’d share the definition, but I think it’s important we all embark on our own personal Odysseys (that and I think deep-down, you may not care).
I must say I was a bit offended. The note implies that:
- I write articles. No self-respecting journalist would ever look at my posts and award them the title of “article” unless they were stoned or half-heartedly making an attempt at stand-up. I’m almost positive all of my past English teachers/professors were overcome with a strong compulsion to roll their eyes in unison as soon as the guy typed the line. We won’t even talk about the “informative” part. (Well, unless we’re talking CCL surgery and physical therapy for beagles in Austin, TX. I have steered a few readers in the right direction that one time.)
- I give advice. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! AH HAHAHAHAHAHA! My advice in a nutshell: Don’t assume a slow southern/Texas drawl is indicative of a a slow mind. Trust your gut. Don’t randomly kick things, especially around hospitals or fire ant mounds. Let me just send up a huge apology to my grandmother, Grandbuddi; I hope I didn’t cause you much discomfort, but I couldn’t for the life of me tell what that was underneath your covers. Please understand I was still a teenager, which means my brain was half formed and I was still somewhat of a sociopath, like most youth. I’ve stopped kicking most things now. You’d be quite proud.
- I offer a sought after perspective. Wow. I should display my reader count to shake them back into reality. How desperate must a company be for partners if they skim my site and think we’d make a good match? Sure, I can offer a bit of perspective when it comes to improv or how my whining both plagues and confounds my sketch writing teacher, but real, thoughtful, and introspective insight where I bestow my pearls of perspective on a regular basis? I don’t have it in me. My friends refer to me as the “token blonde”. That’s a strong indication that there’s probably not a lot of insight rattling around upstairs. Insight scares me. People might make pilgrimages to my house or find my face on their toast. Then there’s the whole problem with what do you do to feed the masses. Should we build a balcony on which I can stroll out at noon and wave? Will the Home Owners Association allow for a shrine in my yard when we can’t even display tasteful yard gnomes? And what if my new found minions ask me questions? Let’s face it, at best I’d end up being the embodiment of Peter Seller’s character in “Being There” and no one wants to see that sequel. See, this is a slippery slope.
Needless to say, I didn’t respond or set-up a call. I’m pretty sure my advice, perspective and “informative articles” were not quite what they would be looking for in a “partner” and their verticals would become diagonals – sloping in entirely the wrong direction. Plus, to be quite honest those call times would be right in the middle of my work day, meaning the call would have to be made from my desk where all of my co-workers/cube-farm mates would learn how truly important I am. Do they have a vertical? I bet they don’t even have a decent bar graph. I couldn’t do that to them. It would be like finding out that Clark Kent was actually Superman. I prefer my workplace anonymity where no one is sure if I can work the copier. Finding out I write compound sentences would blow their minds.
Has anyone else received a solicitation like this and did you respond?