I am (probably) not the Les Jenkins you’re looking for.

funny-quote-nice-person-meetI don’t know about you guys, but I tend to think of my name as being somewhat unique. The truth is that it really isn’t. Well, in its full form it’s somewhat unique, but I don’t tend to use that form much opting for the briefer “Les Jenkins” that you’ve all come to adore. On one level I know that it’s really not that unique, but I still tend to think it is because sometimes my brain is stupid.

So when I suddenly get emails like the following:

Good Morning,

Thank you for your offer on 309 Mignon Ave.  The seller has chosen to go with anther offer.

Thank you for your consideration.

A Random Person

It’s a little confusing. What offer? I don’t remember making an offer. I’m glad they went with a different offer because I’d hate to have bought something I don’t recall making an offer on. Just where the hell is 309 Mignon Ave anyway and what is there that I made an offer on? Did I try to buy a crackhouse in my sleep or something?

It’s at this point that I remind myself that, as much as I’d love it to be so, I’m not the only Les Jenkins in the world. So I send a reply saying something like: Dear Random Person. I don’t recall making an offer on anything. Are you sure you have the right Les Jenkins? Sincerely, A Les Jenkins. 

When I did that today I got a reply back letting me know it was for a house somewhere in Alabama that someone had submitted a bid for on my behalf and it included scans of the documents and of a check written for the sale. The documents revealed that this other Les Jenkins has an email address of LesJenkins32 and he happens to be a real estate agent down in Alabama. Yeah, that’s definitely not me. I’m not that young or attractive anymore. (As an aside, it’s very weird to stare into the face of someone else with your name.) I replied once more to let Random Person know that there’s no 32 in my email address. Because I’ve been on the Internet for a helluva long time and am often an early adopter of new services, I managed to net plain old les.jenkins as my gmail account name.

Needless to say, this isn’t the first time I’ve gotten email meant for some other Les Jenkins. A couple months back, I’m not sure if it was the same email address or not, but I suddenly found myself in the middle of a conversation about someone’s funeral arrangements. Someone was trying to contact that Les Jenkins, whoever he/she was, to let them know about a family member’s death. That’s an awkward thing to be accidentally included on. Considering the importance of the situation I replied as respectfully as I could that I wasn’t the Les Jenkins they had intended to contact.

There are a lot of us out there including a trombonist with the same name who was a part of Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra, an affiliate marketing guy, a “Goal-Setting and Achievement Guru” out of Colorado (who, coincidentally, is originally from Detroit), and a seemingly infinite array of others including a surprising number of rednecks.

So, yeah, my name isn’t all that unique. Kind of a bummer, but I’m sure I’ll forget that fact in a short while. At least until the next email for one of those other imposters shows up in my inbox.

6 comments

  1. I too am an early adopter and managed to grab nearly every major service’s “brentrasmussen” or “brent.rasmussen” username. Facebook, Twitter, GMail, domain names, etc.

    I constantly get email intended for the CEO of CareerBuilders.com – who’s name also happens to be Brent Rasmussen. It amazes me what people will put in an email without verifying the address they are sending it to.

    I mean, why would the CEO of CareerBuilders.com conduct business under a GMail address? Why wouldn’t they send it to “brent.rasmussen@careerbuilders.com” or even “ceo@careerbuilders.com” first?

    -Brent

  2. Googling my own name one day, I found out that there’s a Neil Terry who teaches economics at Texas A&M, but in America it’s not a terribly common name. Looking further, I found that in England and Australia, apparently every third or fourth person is named Neil Terry. Shitloads of ‘em. The most amusing thing I found was that somewhere in London there’s a wrecking and towing business owned by a father & son with the same names as my dad and myself.

    Luckily, since I am a nobody who does very little, nobody ever confuses me with anyone.

  3. A man came in to McDonald today asking if we are hiring. I inform him that we are and inquire his name to let managment know. He says “John, John McCain” Now I don’t know if it’s spelled the same but even sounding the same I nearly started laughing. I honestly thought he was joking. I maintained long enough to call over a manager and sit while he talked to them and left. Then I chuckled to myself.

  4. I used to not consider my Gmail account to be my primary email address. Instead I used les@stupidevilbastard.com for personal stuff and les@jenkinsonline.net for more professional minded stuff. I used to use Thunderbird for my mail client and I downloaded everything, including Gmail, into it.

    Now both of those email accounts feed into my Gmail account and I just use the web interface. Why? Because Gmail has the best damned spam filtering of anything I’ve ever used. Even after several years of training Thunderbird’s built in Bayesian spam filter I still spent more than a little time filtering out spam from my inbox. Reversing it so everything goes into Gmail has resulted in only the very rare bit of spam showing up in my inbox. I went from marking 5 to 10 bits of email a day as spam to marking 1 to 3 bits of email a month.

    If anything, Gmail is sometimes a bit overzealous as every couple of weeks I’ll sort through the spam folder and find a couple bits of mail that it shouldn’t have captured. To be fair, they are largely marketing emails which I had intentionally signed up for (sales notices from Newegg.com for example), but occasionally a bit of personal email falls into the trap. Still, I’d rather the occasional false positive over more frequent false negatives.

    There’s also the fact that I can access Gmail from anywhere compared to needing to be at my desktop for stuff in Thunderbird. The convenience is too much to ignore.

  5. Yeah, I once thought my name was unique to just me and my dad, then I learned that there is a politician in NJ with the name of Les Zalewski, as well as others scattered around the USA.. So I completely understand your feelings.. Hell, I once thought my first name was unique, but then I met you.. And now my sister’s brother in law is also named Les.. Then there is this Les Nessman character too.. Damn, guess Les never was all that unique either, mind blown. ;-)

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