I have never been real big on New Year's resolutions--maybe because in my "sober life" I have strived for everything in moderation (food, buying too much material crap, or whatever). It goes without saying that I no longer have booze and drugs to swear off. But there are one or two things I am finally going to rectify after the first of the year . . . the things that perhaps plague us all: junk e-mail and sales calls.
In addition to his Thursday column, Duff McKagan answers reader questions throughout the week. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find all of Duff's posts here.
I don't have the most public of phone numbers, but I have tried to hang onto the same cell number for quite some time now. I suppose I must have used it at some point when I bought something, because these days--and every business day--I get sales calls at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. You know the ones . . . a robotic voice comes on and says "This call is intended for MICHAEL MCKAGAN. If this is not MICHAEL MCKAGAN, please disregard." I emphasize the "Michael McKagan" part because that is the part of the sentence where the robotic voice inexplicably gets somehow more robotic.The e-mails, on the other hand, are indeed from things that I have over the years used, or people I have given my e-mail to. I would think that the nursery school Grace went to some NINE YEARS AGO! would get the fact that Grace and I would no longer be interested in the different programs they offer. Sorry, I guess that is just me using common sense.
Also, although I am a Seattle resident, I DO spend a lot of my time in L.A., and have given my e-mail address to a few managers and tour managers and promoters and what-not. What I have gotten in return from some of these sorts (but not all of them, by any means), is a maddening cavalcade of invites to this "club opening" or that "birthday bash" for still more people who I have no idea who they might be. I'm not trying to paint myself as some sort of fancy-pants scenester, and I am glad that people think I am somehow "cool" enough to invite to some of these events. I just still think it is a little gauche to just use my e-mail for this onslaught without asking me if it is OK first.
I have learned not to give out my e-mail address when I go to stores, though. That is a whole other conundrum in itself. I know that neither of these two above-mentioned things are all that bad in the whole scope of things--and they are indeed not--but I have made a promise to myself to "unsubscribe" to the sales e-mails, send a note back to the club promoters to take me off the list (probably a D list, anyway), and call back these 800 numbers and have a supervisor take me off the call list!
My Blackberry is basically attached to my hip, and with all the international traveling I do, just think of the money I'll save from these international text-charges that I accrue because of the e-pimping that is all up in my grill. In the old days, I would have said to you all "Just think how many cocktails I could've bought with that dough." These days, however, I suppose it is more like "Just look at how many more nerdy books I can buy!"
God, how things have changed.
Happy New Year's, All!