I recently wrote to the Dept of Health and Human Services about a drug and alcohol abuse website that catered to a GLBT audience. There were multiple inaccuracies on the website and I thought it could have done a better job providing information regarding STIs and the associations to drug and alcohol use. At any rate, here is the reply I received from an anonymous contractor to the DHHS:
I find it interesting that you use a higher education email account to communicate such rhetoric. Does Grove City College know that you use their email account in such a manner? You are an educator??
Of course some of the regular readers and critiquers of this blog have wondered the same thing.
I complained to the DHHS about the email and after about a week the website was taken down and is still down I believe. I learned later that the person responsible was no longer in the position and I thought the matter was settled.
A few days ago I received an email from the link on my website that came from the mystery person who sent email I printed above. I did not expect this but the person involved apologized for her rude email. She wanted her name withheld but here is the email she sent.
Hi Dr. Throckmorton, this is not exactly a question…more of an apology. My name is ___ and I used to work at NCADI (National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information). You and I traded a few emails. I would like to apologize to you for my rude emails to you regarding the LBGT site. I had no idea that such a site existed; I had not been informed by anyone at NCADI that this site was up and running AND asking for feedback. I received numerous emails regarding that site and I had no idea what everyone was talking about until I asked a requestor what site he was referring to. He sent me the link and when I went to it I was horrified-not by the site but by the fact that there was an “invitation” to leave your feedback. I was mortified when I realized that we (NCADI) were asking for feedback and that I was dismissive of it. Not that that is an excuse for my emails, I was being defensive because I thought this was a bunch of malicious people attacking my companies web site. The point is, whether or not I agree with any of it I never should have attacked the feedback that was requested. I wanted to apologize as soon as I found out but was told by my supervisor to “not contact you under any circumstances.” Since I no longer work there I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you that I am very sorry for the rude emails. It is not something I have ever done before and something I will never do again. Please accept my deepest apologies.
I wrote back and accepted her apology. It is pretty impressive for her to look me up and make the contact.