Okay, so I don't know if that email address actually exists, but let's be honest. It probably does.

My point is that I have a thing against people my age and older with unprofessional email addresses. Do you fit into that category? Perhaps you do. No matter how much I love you, though, I maintain my position: Stupid email addresses are stupid.

Some people really, really are attached to the email address they created in high school. Take the following example. Recently, I organized a study group in one of my classes. I passed a sheet of paper around the class where people could write their email addresses.

I was delinquent for a couple days, so I didn't actually compose an email and send it to everyone before our next class. One girl, we'll call her R, came up to me. (Just as a note, her email address is not hoobalaboobala@hotmail.com, but it is equally ridiculous.)

R: Did you ever send that email?

Cicada: No, no. I didn't get around to it. Sorry.

R: Oh good. Because sometimes people send me emails and I don't get them, so I was just making sure that you hadn't already sent it.

C: Huh. Do you ever check in your junkmail folder?

R: It's not that. It's just that sometimes I don't get mail and I don't know why.

C: (unconvinced that she checks her junkmail folder) You know, gmail is a really good option.

R: Oh, I'd never change my email address. I've had this one for so long!

So the next day, she didn't show up to the place where I had notified everyone (by email) that the study group would be. I went and found her in the library. She hadn't gotten the email.

After the study group, I sent the notes to every member of the group. She had told me to send hers individually, please, because sometimes when people send things to groups, she simply doesn't get it. I sent it to her individually. A couple hours later, she wrote and asked me to send her the notes. I replied to her email (and confirmed that I had, in fact, been using the correct address) and attached the notes.

In class the next day, she came up to me.

R: Could you please send me the notes?

C: I did. Twice.

R: Oh well sometimes I don't get things unless they're sent to me individually.

C: I sent it to you individually. I didn't include your name in the group email.

R: Oh. Well sometimes I don't get things unless you actually respond to an email that I've sent you.

C: The second time I sent you the notes, I responded directly to your email.

R: Oh.

C: I think it's time you considered a switch to gmail.

R: Oh, no! But I love my email address!

C: Well... it's a little unprofessional, don't you think? I mean, you are a grown woman now...

R: Yes, but this is the address that I've had for years!

C: Gmail is far superior to hotmail and it looks a lot more professional, too.

R: Well, I like the email address that I have now.

C: Yes, but there comes a time when you need to change your email address. Like when you are consistently not receiving emails that other people are sending you.

R: Well, most of the time, I get the email.

C: And yet, you know that you regularly don't receive emails because you know to warn people that you may not receive their email, and you know which situations often lead to complications in receiving emails.

R: Well, maybe I'll look into getting a gmail account.

C: If you're really attached to hoobalaboobala, I can pretty much guarantee you that no one has taken it at gmail yet. But I would suggest making a more... professional address.

Of course, my suggestion that people create a more professional address has led to trouble before. For this, I feel only somewhat bad. Recently, I was coaching Brother 3 through the resume writing process. He had a stupid hotmail address with a series of initials, a last name, and a number because his name is common enough that some blokes in Ireland already had stolen it and its normal variations.

C: Brother 3, you really need to change this address. You need something more professional.

3: Yeah, but I don't have anything more professional.

C: Just create gmail account. I think that gmail is more respectable than hotmail. Plus, you'll want gmail anyway. It's just a better system.

3: Yeah, but I want to get this resume in the mail quick, so I'm just going to use the hotmail address.

C: It doesn't take any time at all to set up an email account.

3: Yeah, but I'm just going to use my hotmail account. I'm sure that they're not going to throw away my resume just because I have a hotmail account instead of a gmail account.

C: True. But it looks more professional.

3: I'll get it done in time for other resumes.

So there you have it. I love gmail, I really do. And it's not that I hate hotmail. I find my hotmail address very useful---it's the address that I use when I have to sign up for things online. It allows me to have a messenger account so that I can chat on IM. But I will say that while I was writing this post, I checked my junkmail and found an email from an old mission companion. When I tried to move the email from the junkmail folder to the inbox, it was lost forever. Gmail would never allow something like that to happen.


Cicada said...

Just to let you all know, I checked the availability of hoobalaboobala@hotmail.com, and it has not actually been taken. Feel free to take it. I will simply respect you less.

Miss Hass said...

I'm right there with you--in both the gmail camp and in the "get a professional sounding email address already" camp. You actually inspired me to post about the truth about looking at resumes.

LE said...

I just want to join the Gmail love train and the hotmail hate cruise. Hotmail totally screwed me over and stopped recognizing my password, and when I e-mailed the tech people, their respose was, "If you knew your password we could help you out." My response was, "I know my password! Your stupid system won't recognize it! I need you to reset my password." Their response: "We can only help you if you have your password." Truly stupid. I loves me some Gmail.

metamorphose said...

Bwah! So true. Hotmail is such a nasty system. I don't use gmail, but I gave up my sugarbooger345 email address years ago. It's like people that can't stop ratting their hair. They. just. can't. let. go.

Release, release!

Squirrel Boy said...

What if I have professional addresses for professional stuff and not-professional addresses for not-professional stuff? How much do you respect me now?

Also, you have Messenger and you never IM me? I feel so hurt. Of course, you would probably just disrespect me for the highly unprofessional and somewhat embarrassing email account I used for Messenger.

Cicada said...

Squirrel Boy,

I now respect you half-and-half. If you want to add me to your messenger, my address is my first name and last name at hotmail (firstlast@hotmail.com). Like that. I like my email addresses sterile. Like my men.

Savvymom said...

So are you saying I need to change my email address? I don't actually need it to be professional for anything.

Cicada said...

You may not need it to be professional for anything, but out of self respect, I would change it! You obviously have to give your address to people, and I know that when I am given an address like, say, ontariobrunette, I think, "Why doesn't this person just use some form of his or her name??" I'm just saying.

AzĂșcar said...

In the past seven years I've often been the hiring manager. Few things drive me more nuts than seeing a stupid email address on a resume. Seriously? You want me to send you a notification of the next step in your career to snugglebunny at hotmail.com? Really?

Have these people never heard of multiple email addresses? I think I have at least five accounts that I use regularly, more that I never check.

Squirrel Boy said...

Cicada: Well, I suppose that explains why it never would've worked out between us, what with my reproductive powers and all.

Brinestone said...

Wasn't I the one who gave you the invitation to gmail? I know I gave it to about six people at IS. Maybe you weren't one of them. Glad to know someone else loves gmail as much as I do.

Cicada said...

Nah---the first I heard about gmail was from Ambrosia.

ambrosia ananas said...

You'll be pleased to know that the subject of your example of trouble now checks her very professional gmail address regularly. She is a better person for it. And it's all thanks to you, Cicada.

Th. said...


Allelujah, gmail!

However, I have retained my user address. Perhaps it is unprofessional, but I think it shows just the right amount of hubris to make the consummate professional.

JB said...

My email address has always just been my name, because it's so strange and I'm so boring. But then, only recently did I realize that I would be embarassed to put a goofy email address on a resume and was glad I'm such a boring sort of person.

And Gmail rocks. Seriously, folks, best email system out there. By far.

daltongirl said...

Ah, how I love my new gmail name. It's fun, fanciful, playful, and quirky. Makes me feel younger every time I check my gmail. Thanks, Cicada. I owe you one.

christovich79 said...

Perhaps the internet aliases we give ourselves are evidence of our need to regress back to a simpler time. A time before we were forced to stare at a computer monitor and eat from the hands of the Morlock computer programmers at your stingy, asbestos-dust filled office.

We regress back to a time when buffalo were hunted and names were long and descriptive: names that would translate into our language as "he who flies sharply in the winds from the east waters" or maybe "she who has weaved 1000 blankets."