It happened about once every couple of months. I’d get an email in my Microsoft mailbox saying something like,
I just wanted to send you an email and say hi. . .Hi!
Eventually it became obvious that these emails were the result of meetings my brother was giving. We both left WordPerfect at the same time. We left under somewhat different circumstances (I Was A Pawn in the War With Microsoft. . .(He Got To Be A Knight.))
At WordPerfect my email address had been RODNEYB. When I got to Microsoft, I checked and that name was already taken. The system assigned me RODBL. I don’t go by Rod at work and RODBL isn’t even pronounceable. So, I picked RBLISS. My email was firstname.lastname@example.org.
My brother Richard also left to go to a new company. Eagle Systems, I think it was. He decided to also pick RBLISS. So, his email address was email@example.com.
Aside from the confusion this was our mother, it wasn’t too bad. Richard is a brilliant marketer. He quickly rose to senior marketing positions with various companies. Each company he went to he kept the email address RBLISS. As a marketing person he gave lots of public presentations; to customers, and to the press mostly.
He would end each presentation by inviting people to email him with further questions.
If you can’t remember my email just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’ll get to me.
That was his laugh line. Since he was normally speaking to groups who were using competing products to Microsoft, it went over pretty well. Unfortunately, some people just had to try it out.
When I left Microsoft I started doing private consulting and used the email rbliss at msn dot com. This is still my primary email address. I remember the first tradeshow that we both attended.
This RBLISS thing is going to cause a problem.
Not for me! You’ve been telling that joke for 10 years. Besides, I had it first!