Caledon Travel Blog

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HTML - the language used to format modern emails as well as other things. Don't use it to format a cheese sandwich, it doesn't work.
In my eagerness to find work I have diversified my skills, and broadened my job search. This has lead me to seek gainful employment through a variety of job agencies, and most recently one of these agencies sent me to an interview at a spamming company.

Only they didn’t say that’s what the company did before I went. Fortunately I did a bit of research on the company and the guy I was to have the interview with on the night before the interview. I discovered what they did and a huge number of complaints about them, along with indications of other scams that the company was involved in.

Now this left me with a bit of a dilemma, on the one hand I am pretty anxious to get some work, but on the other there are limits to what I am prepared to do.
Here is a picture of a can of Spam. yummy.
Spammers in my mind are one stage removed from virus teams, and distinctly in the category of unsavory people to work for. I didn’t want to go for the interview, but persuaded myself to give them the benefit of the doubt and go anyway on the off chance that I had got the wrong end of the stick (oh I love idioms). This way if they did turn out to be what I thought they were then I could stare the guy down, as I wanted to know what a real spammer looked like (expecting troll-like features, and beady eyes).

I merrily went off and eventually found their office, which was quite swanky complete with a pool table in the foyer and executive desk toys littering every available space.

The guy started to explain the different forms of directed marketing campaigns, gradually working his way towards email shots.
The Monty Python crew have got the right idea.
He was pretty nervous as he finally explained what the company did, still avoiding ever actually saying the word ‘spam’. I maintained a calm and collected facade, and my questioning gradually increased his confidence to the point where he revealed various interesting facts (allegedly) about their operation:

1.    They buy bunches of IP addresses from bankrupt companies in the United States, addresses that have not been black listed by major spam filters such as those operated by the large free mail providers: hotmail, google mail, yahoo etc.
2.    They re-route traffic to appear from these safe addresses by using GRE tunnelling (
3.    They have a huge number of servers concentrated on sending these ‘directed mail campaigns’, apparently running continuously.
4.    An insider at one of the major freemail providers has in the past released details of the spam filtering in place, to aid circumventing the filter.
5.    The company has been involved in scams relating to gathering email addresses for a relatively significant period of time.
6.    On occasions when mail is successfully getting past a major freemail spam filter, the entire team is set to concentrate efforts on those freemail addresses.
7.    They use cheap labour that they train with basic HTML skills so they can operate the spamming servers.
8.    Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition.

However what they do is entirely within the confines of the (ahem) law, and this blog post is not intended to slander them or be disparaging in any way. However, they are a bunch of low life scum (allegedly) and I wouldn’t work for them if you paid me a million squillion dollars.

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HTML - the language used to format…
HTML - the language used to forma…
Here is a picture of a can of Spam…
Here is a picture of a can of Spa…
The Monty Python crew have got the…
The Monty Python crew have got th…
photo by: schner