Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Please, Just Make It Stop!!!

When you're in a technical field, you're occasionally offered "free" subscriptions to certain trade magazines. Since I'm in the internet/website business, as well as the Healthcare industry, I get offers from both sides.

Some of the magazines are interesting, some are way technical and some are just strange. But a couple of years ago I subscribed to the magazine, "InfoWorld." I'm not sure if it's sold on the newsstand - I've never seen it there, and it's a little thin, so I assume subscriptions are how they make their per-issue money.

Now, free subscriptions are free in that they cost no money - which is good - but they require you to fill out either a physical paper form and mail it in (how 80's), or fill one out online. They want all kinds of demographic information about you, your company, how many people work there, how much $ it makes, what kind of decision-making power you have, etc. I generally don't mind filling this out because, hey, I want professional stuff headed my way. I do, however, make sure I carefully Not check the "Do you mind if we sell your email address to slimy 3rd-party spammers pretending to be legit e-commerce vendors" box.

So anyhoo (or anywho - you make the call), I'd been getting this InfoWorld for about a year. It was a decent little publication, but it was more for the IT industry than my job gets into, so when it came time for renewal I declined. That, I thought, was that.

Not so fast, tomato!

Well, I continue getting them. And getting them. And Getting Them. Did I mention it's a weekly? Every week (and it seems like occasionally it's more often than that) they keep coming in. And I keep tossing them in the trash. I also still get email renewal reminders, which I do not fill out.

Then about 2 weeks ago, I got an issue which on the cover said:


Unless we receive your renewal application immediately, this is your Last Issue.

Your free subscription to InfoWorld will expire unless we receive your renewal application by midnight on May 11, 2004, central standard time."
And so I think, "Ok! That's it! No more annoying magazines!"

Foolish mortal.

A week later, the next issue arrived. And today, another. Next week, another will also. And it will continue, like a bad Stephen King short story, to arrive week after week after week after week until I die.

And one of these days, your children will be travelling down an old country road and see a lovely cemetary. In the middle of the cemetary will be a lone gravesite, with about a thousand magazines stacked on top. And every 52nd one will say:


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