March 29th, 2006


I hate over-enthusiastic spam filters!

Grr. I am trying to write an email about a job possibility that I am regretfully turning down because the person offering it isn't going to know definitely for several months, and because I already have a job in Sweden. However, I simply can not find a way to phrase said email that will get past my correspondent's spam filters. I suspect they're aggressively blocking anything that contains keywords like job, opportunity, application and similar. Possibly growth is also a problem (it's a science job relating to studying cell growth).

And yeah, that's a dumb way to write spam filters, but really the people to blame are the evil spammers who have created a climate where it's hard to have any legitimate discussion about job prospects! When I was working at the university earlier in the year, I would have an automatic negative response to any application coming from Nigeria; my first thought would be, Nigeria, oh, probably just spam. Which is very unfair on real Nigerians who legitimately want to apply to Cambridge (happily I didn't have any say in the decisions, I was just filing stuff).

I have known spam filters to complain about an email where I used the words fantasy and adult, in the course of a discussion about fantasy novels for the young adult market. But at least those spam filters only complained, they didn't actually block my email from getting through.

So can anyone think of a way to say
Thank you for offering me a position to work with you on cell growth. Unfortunately the timing makes it impossible for me to take up this offer. I need the security of knowing I have something definite, rather than waiting for the outcome of our grant application before I can start making plans. For this reason I have decided to accept a different job, also related to cell growth as it happens. Thanks very much for all your help and support.
without confusing a stupid spam filter into thinking I am trying to fool gullible people with non-existent job opportunities?
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