Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Insincerely Yours, COVID

This is a message of hope, fellow COVID quarantiners, directly from my email inbox to you. If you thought you were in this alone, nothing could be further from the truth. Hundreds of thousands of people are here for you and me in these challenging times.

They work at places like your credit card company and your local auto dealership.

Why, just the other day I heard from the nice folks at Sunrun Solar, a company I ended up not buying our solar panels from, letting me know that their “top priority is the health and safety of our customers and employees,” and also that they are open for business.

Good to hear, in case I ever don’t need solar panels from them again.

Early on in the pandemic, Southwest Airlines contacted me to let me know “while many things are changing, our commitment to your Safety and providing travel flexibility has not changed.”

That’s a load off my mind, here at home, where I am required by law to stay.

TurboTax reached out to let me know their “hearts and thoughts go out to each and every one of you,” and also, “you have our commitment to continue providing you with the products and services you depend on.”

TurboTax is my rock in these taxing times.

Barclays got ahold of me to tell me that “staying in touch with you is important to us.” I’m pretty sure I don’t have a Barclays credit card. Nevertheless, they let me know that “as the situation with COVID-19 evolves, things are changing rapidly,” and wanted to be sure I had “all the information you need to manage your account as easily as possible.”

Shouldn’t be a problem.

Verizon Wireless sends me daily emails, checking in to make sure I know their commitment to me has never been stronger. They also selflessly let me know about all the money they have given to charities around the globe. We have teenagers, so I guess I should say, all of my money they’ve given to charities around the globe. To really show me they care, they’ve also been giving me free data that expires in a month.

Since none of us have left the protective umbrella of our home Wi-Fi signal since the beginning of March, free wireless data is super handy right now. For Verizon.

Our life insurance company, Legal & General America, shot an email over the other day to tell me that “as the global impact of COVID-19 evolves, we remain committed to the health and well-being of our customers.”

Umm, yes, I would assume so. You’re a life insurance company after all.

And what string of email platitudes would be complete without hearing from the fine folks at Lifetouch School Photography? Of all the emails I received, theirs was by far the most uplifting in its selflessness. “At Lifetouch, we love being a place where you can capture memories, stay connected to your loved ones, and build community. In the midst of COVID-19, and school closings, we will continue to be that place where you can share & connect.”

Yep, as soon as school closed, I immediately logged onto my Lifetouch account to maintain my sense of community connection. Their email had handy links to “some helpful articles on how to navigate this season together.”

Strangely, the links all went to Lifetouch’s own website, where the “articles” mostly encouraged me to take lots of pictures of my kids while I’m at home. Also included above and below each helpful season-navigating article were links that would allow me to purchase old school photos of my kids that I never asked Lifetouch to take in the first place, that they are conveniently keeping for me in their archives.

That was nice, but a thought kept occurring to me. I mean, I know they only sent me this email because they care deeply about my health and wellbeing, but why would a company that wants to take my kids’ pictures for me be encouraging me to do it myself?

And then I remembered… Oh, yeah, Lifetouch is owned by Shutterfly. It all makes sense now.

Like I said, this is a message of hope. We aren’t navigating these troubled waters alone. Your inbox is proof that plenty of people out there care deeply about you and your plans for your stimulus check.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2020 Marc Schmatjen

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