blunt essays with sharp points

Open letter re: Grinnell College alumni “lifetime” email address

by Scrvpvlvs
Jun 27, 2017 6:00 PM–

Date: 27 June 2017

To: Grinnell College Department of Alumni Relations
  Grinnell College Information Technology Services

Thank you, but no, I will not be registering for the alumni “lifetime” email address. About fifteen years ago, I gratefully took you up on the offer of an “lifetime” email address which you are on the point of cancelling. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

The cancellation makes no sense. On one hand, it is simple and cheap to run email service for a domain. On the other hand, the cancellation is complicated and expensive to the end users. I sympathize with anyone who has lost a supposedly “lifetime” email address. One of the benefits of such an address is providing it to other Internet services, knowing that it will always work. You have cost every such person hours in cleanup, plus the worry that no important services have been overlooked.

For four years, I was the person at Grinnell held accountable for email systems serving over 2,000 people. I would have agonized over such a discourtesy to alumni. I cannot imagine doing it. And I can imagine the uproar coming from the Alumni office if I had tried.

By the way: you have a short memory. You describe the existing service as seven years old, which is either mistaken or misleading. A quick look at archives shows I have been using it since at least April 2002.


Edward McGuire ’84
Grinnell College Computer Services staff alumnus
Fort Worth, Texas

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