calling it off

Dear Dell,

This may be difficult for you to take, but I need to convince you that there is nothing between us. There will never be anything between us. I am in a deep, serious long-term relationship with another. I have never been interested in you, not even as a friend. I know that sounds harsh. But I need you understand that this must stop. You need to stop sending me pictures of yourself, and other details about you. It’s creeping me out.

I never even open what you send me, just toss it right in the recycling bag. Over and over again. But recently I realized that I’m just ignoring the problem. The real problem is you. You need to leave me alone.

So I made that call. I thought it would be simple, straightforward, if a little awkward. I’ve had to end other relationships like this not too long ago. And those others took things in stride, agreed right away to stop sending me things, even though it made them sad. But you. I had trouble even reaching a live human body. I got tossed around voice menus. In desperation, I had to pretend to want something from you that I really didn’t want. A fiction to try to get through to you. I felt dirty, teasing you like that. I selected the menu options for “purchase a desktop computer,” just so I could speak to a live person. “I’d like to get off your mailing list,” I said.

What followed was more run-around. The person I spoke to said I could make this request on your website, but she could still help. She tried to find the page. She put me on hold. She passed me off. I held some more, and was eventually disconnected. Meanwhile, I went to your website. Hunted for this page that the voice on the phone alluded to, but couldn’t find. There were links leading nowhere, and everywhere, more creepy pictures of you. Finally, I found the form I needed, deeply, deeply hidden, only revealed through keyword searches. You really have made it hard for people to break things off with you. But I’m strong, persistent. I’m tired of you and your kind harassing people who want nothing to do with you, and creating so much waste.

So I am writing you now to gloat over my victory, to make sure that you understand that you must leave me alone now. You can keep your damn catalog.



p.s. To spite you, I will share with the world at large how to be removed from the Dell mailing list: here is the form.

p.p.s. You should know that LL Bean and Crate & Barrel took things much better than you, and let me call their customer service number and talk to someone. Who then removed me from the mailing list, no questions asked. It took maybe a minute for each. And those were folks I’d actually had brief flings with, catalogs we’d once ordered from.

p.p.p.s. You’re not the only offender, and I realize that. I’m working on finding ways to get you all to stop.

p.p.p.p.s Here’s a paper on this topic that might be of interest: in pdf or the html version. I heartily recommend the pdf, as it has some useful diagrams that don’t come through in the html version.

3 thoughts on “calling it off

  1. This is genius! Thanks for the laugh. It would be cool if you could tag this so that your link to the Dell form would come up when people were searching for how to get off the mailing list. Come to think of it, if it doesn’t already exist, there should be a webpage with instructions for getting off various mailing lists.

    Becky (who just tossed catalogs for LL Bean and some curtain store, but thought of you and felt guilty while doing it)

  2. jen-
    It’s probably best if it comes from you. But I think there are break-up services…

    Glad I could make you laugh. All part of my evil plan. And I’ve been doing some hunting about ways to get off mailing lists, and there are some resources. I’ll hopefully learn more and share them soon.

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