Monday, January 09, 2006

Ersatz indeed

I have been trying to start a Freecycle group in my area, which (gasp!) doesn't have one. When you apply, you get a huge chunk of text comprising requirements including the fact that you should be a good speller (and know how to figure out online stuff).

So far, so good...except, the person who is the regional coordinator (or whatever it's called) who has to approve the group before it can be activated is having even more trouble than me figuring out various aspects of the group formation.

It does not help my respect for her expertise that every single time she has sent me this one particular email address that I must add to the group, I can see that she is spelling it wrong. She's even come up with more than one way to spell it wrong: instead of "ersatz": "erstaz" and "Eresataz". (At this point I'm guessing she doesn't know the word "ersatz" exists and just sees it as a random conglomeration of letters.)

During the course of frequent email exchanges where she's trying to walk me through stuff I've already done to no avail, with vague emails that require mind-reading to understand, I finally asked outright if "they" (to make it less accusatory) were spelling the name "erstaz" instead of "ersatz". You would think at that point she would at least double-check to see if she had made a typo!

But no--she still ignored my question completely and instead went on about the necessity for adding the name and doing this and that with it. (Which I had already tried.)

Now obviously, the operation is not going to work if I'm using her imaginary misspelled email address, but it's also not working when I use the correct spelling (from the site). So I still do need her help, but I now have absolutely no faith in her ability to even understand what she's trying to lead me through. I would make a wild guess she has not set up a Yahoo group anytime recently herself, that's for sure.

Dang, least try to take spelling seriously!! If nowhere else, then at least in email addresses.

1 comment:

argotnaut said...

[eye roll with exasperated sigh]