Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mailing-list Etiquette

It is the perennial question which emerges, perhaps particularly in New York City, where everyone you meet is a Go-Getter, a Self-Starter, an Odds-Beater, tirelessly and scrappily self-promoting to all and sundry in an indifferent world; the question, of course, is "Why am I still on this person's mailing list?"

For Pretty Lady understands the need to maintain extensive lists of personal contacts, when a person is a Self-Starter in New York City. One must have an invitation list for one's performance-art gigs, one's Pilates workshops, one's obscure art exhibitions off-off Chelsea; one cannot trust that one free advertisment in Time Out NY, to run three days after the event, will garner oneself an audience. And a person cannot perform to bare walls; this becomes depressing. Pretty Lady knows all about that.

But as any self-respecting New Yorker knows, Image is All. And many of these tireless mailing-list maintainers seem to Pretty Lady to have missed out on one important aspect of Image control; that indefinable line known as Tact, or, just perhaps, Class.

For if one's mailing list is made up of Personal Connections--those who can be expected to take a Special Interest in one's doings, above and beyond those of a complete stranger--one would do well to ask oneself, "Am I, in fact, Personally Connected to this person any longer?"

"Or, have I failed to return this person's phone calls, RSVP their invitations, and respond to their friendly emails, for the last year or two or five? Did they, perhaps, inform me of a death in the family, to which I failed to return condolences, or a wedding, which I failed to congratulate? Are they, perhaps, still waiting for me to make good on a promise I made, two or three years ago now, one which may have had a good deal of significance to this person, and which I did not attempt to honor, because my personal ambitions got away with me?"

"Is, there, in short, any compelling reason why this person should wish to drive out to Massachusetts and watch me rolling around onstage in yet another murky Experimental Theatre Project? Or are they more likely to be rolling their eyes at the continuing evidence of my crass, clueless, perennial self-aggrandizement, which sees Other People as merely resources to be tapped, and not individuals with personal lives and concerns of their own?"

Think on this, and purge thy mailing list.


Anonymous said...

Hear, hear! I second this. Purge, and purge ruthlessly!


Anonymous said...

For me, mailing list is not just sending an email,. It should be really requested by the one who will receive it. Most email consider it as unsolicited message and land it on junk or spam section