August 29th, 2013


Misdirected emails

I found an email from in my inbox this morning, confirming my registration and congratulating me on having joined "the most dynamic group of singles out there." This was followed in short order by several other emails:

  • We Received Your Profile Edits - What's Next?
  • teddyheartluver, Your Profile is Approved!
  • Your Photo Was Approved - Now What?

And then I started receiving notifications that people were interested!

  • She liked your photo!
  • You Have 7 New Daily Matches!
  • You caught her attention!
  • Someone emailed you

Which would all be pretty great if I'd created a account, but I didn't. According to the registration confirmation, a 48-year-old Californian did, and for whatever reason, he registered using my email address instead of his. Whoops!

You might not think mine is that common a name, but I get emails intended for other Johns Heaton pretty regularly. In fact, one of the more recent ones was intended for a John Heaton in California, possibly the very same one who accidentally typed my email address instead of his own. It would be an easy mistake to make -- our addresses only differ by one letter -- especially at 2:00 in the morning, which I know by the timestamp on the registration confirmation is when he created the account. But it could be someone else entirely -- last time I checked, there were about 220 Johns Heaton in the US -- so I sent an email to customer care asking them to contact teddyheartluver via his inbox and get him to fix his email address, so I'm hoping that I won't get any more of these unwanted emails.

My favorite story involving a misdirected email dates to when I worked for General Electric. There were, if I recall, two other Johns Heaton working for the company at the time. Because I worked for GE Capital while the others worked for Lighting and Plastics, I happened to be listed first in the company-wide Microsoft Outlook contacts list, and every so often, someone whose Outlook was configured to use the company-wide contact list as the default instead of the appropriate divisional contact list would send me an email intended for one of the other Johns. On one such occasion, in December of 1998, I received an email for the John Heaton who worked for GE Lighting. It contained an invitation to a New Year's Eve party. I replied to the invitation and explained the mistake; the sender apologized and added that I would be welcome to come to the party too. One big happy GE family!

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend. I worked in Chantilly, Virginia, and the party was going to be held in the city where the other John Heaton worked: Budapest, Hungary. It was still a nice offer, though.