My real name, while not traditional, isn’t exactly unique. This means that I remember when Gmail first dropped, and I did a mad dash (did you have to be invited back then? I can’t remember) to get my FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME@gmail.com account. And I did. I’ve had that email account for well over a decade now, and professionally, it’s served me well.
Oh, by the way, my real name isn’t Panama Jackson, if you’re new here.
Anyway, this email account and I have been through some things. There was the great hack of 2009 where an article I wrote here on VerySmartBrothas.com pissed off somebody enough for them to hack into my Gmail accounts (three of them), two Yahoo accounts and my MySpace page. It was a whole bitch to get it all sorted out but I did, eventually. Thankfully, Liz Burr (our third VSB co-founder) knew somebody at Google who was able to help me retrieve my accounts. Without that they’d have all been lost to Black History.
Anyway, what I have also noticed over time is that I started getting emails that were clearly not for me but were absolutely sent to my email account. See, my email is FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME but they were all coming to FIRSTNAMELASTNAME. While I know that dot is cute, it doesn’t count as a real character; it was purely for aesthetics. Betcha by golly, wow.
My main curiosity is this: does this person who shares an email with me put that email address down on applications or do companies use a dummy email that just so happens to be my email address? These things keep me up at night.
For instance, last night, my email doppelganger got a whole ass job offer. That shit sounds important. The email, from a recruiter, is asking “us” about starting tomorrow if the job is ready, which it sounds like it is. I get weekly pay stubs from a staffing company in Atlanta called Preferred Personnel. My email doppelganger uses Sprint and e-billing, which is odd because, well, I don’t use Sprint at all. But I get all of the emails. So I have all of the phone numbers. I know about the switch from Verizon to Sprint (who does that?). I’ve got addresses.
Hell, I’ve gotten so many emails I can track all the moves UNLESS multiple people with my same name are using my email account.
Let’s be clear, lest you all think I’m irresponsible: I change my email account password, for this account in particular, frequently because of this situation. And nobody has tried to reset my password, as far as I can tell. I check the IP address frequently as well; it’s always me. So I don’t actually think somebody is in my emails going through my personal life, etc. But it is also for this reason that, over time, I have also moved most of my important emails to another email account. I don’t know these people and I have no idea why they, the same people, continue to add this non-accessible email account to their bills, resumes and important documents.
I tried to email them but it turns out I was just emailing myself. I was going to text but I thought that might be opening me up to unwanted further conversation. I did email one of the companies that the email address for the employee was wrong and they should follow up with them to get a more accurate email address. I’ve yet to hear back.
Anyway, I hope buddy who is also using my email for his important personal shit also got a phone call from the company trying to get him some employment. Lots of folks are employment-insecure right now; it would be a shame he’s missing an opportunity because he doesn’t actually use the internet.
In the meantime, I’m going to change my email passwords again.
Is anybody else having this issue?