So my name, as we once discussed a loooong time ago, is not uncommon.  I am not named “Moon Unit” or “Pilot Inspektor” or “Maddox/Pax/Knox/Maalox”.  I have a normal, common, everyday name.  Which is fine.  This post is not about complaining about being one of 3 Emilys in my elementary school classes or anything.  (Although that did play a role in my decision to keep my name when I got married- since I’d always been called Emilylastname all in a rush to distinguish me from the other Emilys, it was hard to imagine giving up the last name part of it.)

No, this is a post about what happens when someone confuses you for another person who shares your name.

I got in on the gmail game pretty early, as we had friends who were working for the company and doling out invites to gmail back when you still needed invites.  As a result, I was lucky enough to get MyfirstnameMylastname@gmail.com as my gmail address.  And now, as a result of that, I get email for pretty much every Myfirstname Mylastname in the universe whose friends don’t know their email address and just make a guess.

For a while I was getting emails for a Myfirstname Mylastname who was a bridesmaid in someone’s wedding, and despite my repeated attempts to tell the bride “I’m pretty sure I’m not in your wedding because I’ve never  met you, and by the way, requiring your bridesmaids to get fake nails for the occasion is TOTALLY RIDICULOUS,” I never got off that list.  (Most recent missive: “honeymoon pics for everyone!!!”)

Normally, I don’t realize it’s come to the wrong person until after I’ve opened it, so I just reply to the email briefly, saying “I think you have the wrong Myfirstname Mylastname, hope you’re able to find a correct email address for the intended recipient!”

But today was a first:  today, I got an email for Myfirstname Mylastname with the subject line: Thank you for joining [Name of Small Winery’s] Wine of the month club!  Password enclosed!

PASSWORD ENCLOSED? You mean, I could, if I wanted to, go into this person’s wine club account, change her addy, and whee, free wine!

Except obviously I’m not going to do that.  In fact, I’m so freaked out by the idea of accidentally seeing someone else’s password that I’m afraid to open the email.  I mean, I know opening someone’s U.S. Mail is a crime, and while email is perhaps not so serious it nonetheless seems ill-advised to be opening other people’s private stuff.

So which is worse: allowing the wine club to continue thinking they have the correct email address and potentially depriving the real purchaser of the wine from her online access to her wine club account, or opening the email with the password enclosed and replying back to tell the wine club people that they have the wrong person?

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