Saturday, April 2, 2011

Name Change

When I got my Gmail account, Google was only offering their e-mail service as a beta test run; one was invited to use Gmail if one was already using a Google product. I happened to be using Blogger extensively at the time as my sole blogging platform, and since Blogger had been bought by Google, I took advantage of being a beta user and grabbed msolomon at gmail.

Then Gmail became huge.

It only happened occasionally at first. Then it began happening monthly. Not it's happening several times a week, often multiple times a day: I get e-mails addressed and meant for other users, users who were not fortunate enough to get the "msolomon" handle.

Sometimes people sign up for Web-based accounts or news; sometimes they attempt to establish msolomon at gmail as a login, or as an e-mail address to send shipping confirmations. Not much I can do about that except "mark as spam" and delete. It's becoming more frequent that the same user attempts to use my e-mail address, so I'm getting more e-mails for Mhel/Mark/Melissa/another Michelle/Michele Solomon.

Sometimes actual people send e-mails, thinking it's a friend/relative/colleague, etc., they're e-mailing, but in reality the sender is missing an extra letter or number. I usually reply to tell the sender that they've got the wrong person. It's irritating, but I learned that I don't reply, they keep sending me e-mails asking their friend/relative/colleague, etc., why I don't respond. Most of the time the sender is apologetic, and I don't hear from them again.

A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from a nice young man - a college student - who wanted to know if I'd give him my e-mail address. Apparently he's getting close to graduation (if I'm remembering correctly), and thought it would prudent to get a professional e-mail address, instead of whatever previous e-mail address he'd been using. I said no, if for no other reason than it would take me weeks, possibly months, to go through all my various online accounts to switch to a new e-mail address I hadn't even registered yet. I should have offered to sell him my e-mail address, or put at least put in another stipulation in there. He was accepting of my answer - really, what else was he going to do if I said no - and I haven't heard from him again.

Also last month, I got an e-mail from someone named Howard, who had cc'd me regarding work he wanted done. I replied, saying that I was not the person he was looking for. Instead of that being the end of it, I got argued with. I don't remember the specifics anymore, but he did try to tell me he had the correct e-mail address; he added, "Michelle, it's Howard" (emphasis mine), as though I hadn't noticed the name of the sender. I replied noting that this last e-mail he got from me would, in fact, be the last e-mail he got from me; I also pointed out that often many folks added an extra number or letter to their e-mail address. (The only Howard I know is a cousin of an ex-boyfriend; in all the years Chris and I were dating, I never once got an e-mail from cousin Howard, whose last name was the same as Chris'; it's certainly a name I would recognize.)

Howard sent me another e-mail after that, continuing with the presumption that I was the person he was looking for, the person from whom he could expect work. I added his e-mail address to Gmail's filter and haven't heard from him since. Thank goodness for e-mail filters.

I was going to wait until after the wedding, after I'd officially changed my name, until I actually became Michelle Szetela, to start changing logins, but I've begun doing so now. I registered (I need to stop using the old website Chris had registered for me and paid for); I got a new e-mail address. I'm associating everything with my new name - calendars, Picasa, anything I come across.

I deleted my Flickr account - the URL was long and difficult to remember and had nothing to do with my current frame of mind; I want everything under a variation of "michelleszetela" or "mszetela." I decided I would start using Picasa, since it gives me more space than I need for less money; not only that, but I already had an account associated with my Gmail addresses, so the URL would include a more professional user name. (When everything you own online is under a variant of your first and last name, "fleurdesoleil" makes no sense.) I then deleted photos from my Picasa account associated with "msolomon" and uploaded said pictures to the Picasa account associated with my new e-mail address.

It's been busy. It'll take a few more months before I really finish updating my contact info. Websites that I peruse will need me to update my contact info, but I'm not going to go nuts trying to do all that in one day; I'll do that as necessity dictates.

No comments:

Post a Comment