Friday, September 9, 2011

Automated messages to Me-As-My-Mother

This message, followed by a LEGAL DISCLAIMER, appeared in my email box yesterday morning.  It's addressed to that entity one might call Me-As-My-Mother.  That entity has morphed into Me-As-My-Mother's-Lawyer (or is she I?), but I still get paperwork in hard and virtual forms.  This one came from her bank.  
Dear MARTHA SCHULTZ:  This is an automated alert message. Please do not reply to this email.   Our records indicate that you have not signed on to Online Banking in more than 180 days. As a security measure, we have de-activated your Online and Mobile Banking service.  In order to keep Online and Mobile Banking active, you must sign on at least once every six months.  To reactivate your service, please call us at __________.  ________ representatives are available from 6 a.m. to midnight ET, 7 days a week to assist you.  ________ Client Commitment: ________ will never send unsolicited emails asking clients to provide, update or verify their personal or account information, such as passwords, Social Security numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs), credit or Check Card numbers, or other confidential information. As always, ________ respects your privacy. To learn more, visit
Some words and phrases to ponder:
--automated alert
--sign on
--active, activate, deactivate, reactivate

Assignment: do a free write in which you use this vocabulary in writing about a recently deceased family member.

Assignment: write a paragraph in which you write about the difference between "sign" and "sign on" in your capacity as your mother's legal guardian.

Assignment: meditate on the concept of "activation."  Then add and subtract prefixes.

Assignment: write the narrative of those 180 days in which neither you nor she nor you-as-she "signed on to Online Banking."

Assignment: write an impersonal message to someone you do not know, while carefully considering which words begin with capital letters, and which with small ones.

Assignment: contemplate the automated message's respect for your privacy.

Assignment: create a website that ends with / and the abstraction of your choice.  Consider /hope; /reconciliation; /condolences; /heterodoxy; /obstreperousness.

Assignment: respond to this email.

No comments: