Sigh. A particuarly large company approached us about having my software run on their technology. Actually, it already does with zero effort on my part. (Is that pleasant background music I’m hearing?) However, I really ought to know more about their offering. After a month of back and forth with their marketing person, they’ve arranged for me to visit their local office at the end of the month.
Before I can see ginormous company demo, I have to first sign up, for free, as an official “marketing partner.” Red alert, cowpoo anomaly off the starboard bow.
I’m looking at their signup sheet now. It requires I create a special login ID. Awww, ain’t that special. I could add it to the 3,792 other logins and passwords that I need to remember or, here’s a thought, I’ll give it some infinitely easy-to-guess password so, five years hence, when I need to sign up again and it says I’m already registered, I have a snowball’s chance of remembering what the hell my password was. Just to be sure, there’s a Secret Question. Here’s mine:
Secret Question: Is this process annoying you in any way – be honest! (yes)?
Secret answer: yes
I have to iterate over this form a few times because of password requirements. “Annoying” is eight characters and mixed case, but they also insist on a non-alphanumeric character. Okay: Annoying!
Now that I’m past the formalities of a special login ID, there’s the mandatory demographic sheet we marketing people seem to enjoy foisting upon people. (But really, it doesn’t have to be this stupid.) I’m having flashbacks about repeatedly requested information as I’m pondering the benefits of this: They’re not going to give me a free iPod. I won’t receive an extra drink ticket to barter away for marketing schwag (like an iPod). Secret Information on manipulating the celestial spheres in Alternate Universe C will remain off-limits. No, this is just a non-committal demo.
They have enough information to send me a very good birthday present next February, but tip their hand by showing a screen indicating the other information they will be asking for shortly: my job role (should their salesperson stop golfing long enough to return my phone call?), company demographics (to which marketing affiliates should they sell our information?), stuff of theirs I own (extended warranties and all that). I took a break to blog this. As I stepped into the next screen, I see:
“We are sorry, we are unable to process your request at this time. Please try again later.”
Jackpot, baby! Their system blinked first. Have your people call my people and we’ll set something up in, say, five years?