Thursday, February 09, 2006

A New Winner?

Here's the game. The following message was delivered to an e-mail address that I have been using for at least six years. As internet-savvy computer users, you decide whether clicking on the links in the e-mail will lead to an employment opportunity, or to a porn site with pop-up ads for pharmaceuticals.

From: Human Resources

Dear Aviatrix,

A career opportunity matching your profile for a Pilot position is presently vacant.

If you would like to apply online and haven`t met our recruiting team in the past six months for the mentioned position, click here or click Jobs to consult the list of other positions currently available.

If you do not wish to receive further job notifications, please click here to access your profile and desactivate the check box labeled "Please advise me of similar career opportunities".

We thank you for your interest in Air Canada.

Sincerely,

Air Canada Recruitment

Replies to this message are undeliverable and will not reach the Recruitment Department. Please do not reply.

The e-mail used my real full name, including middle initial, and the "invalidemail.com" domain appears exactly as it does in my inbox. In the original, the links go to a long address not at the aircanada.com domain. There were also two attachments to the mail: "this_mail_in_html2.htm" and "this_mail_in_html3.htm". So what do you think?

Investigation reveals that this is genuine Air Canada recruitment mail. Why do I feel like they want me to stuff envelopes or be in their internet porn movie? Has Air Canada outdone WestJet in the "make your recruiting e-mail look like spam" sweepstakes? The only thing missing is a request to send money to a box office in Nigeria.

6 comments:

Anoynmous said...

A notice saying "you are receiving this email because you previously registered in our database" would probably make it look more like spam. To make it immediately obvious that it's legitimate, I think they need to include whatever ID you use to maintain your online Air Canada resume/profile.

Hmm, do either of those cryptic links include such an ID?

Aviatrix said...

No, the cryptic links lead to a login screen, asking for said ID and password. Investigation showed that the domain belonged to the company that is given on Air Canada's own website as the engine behind their resume software.

All the more reason to strive to become more than a number.

Astroprof said...

Did they actually say "desactivate"? Is that a word? This sure looks like spam to me. Of course, lately I've gotten spam that has looked pretty real. It is getting harder to tell the difference, with real email and spam converging.

Perhaps they are looking for the really careful pilots who check everything out and realize that it is not spam, so they act on it. Of course, they'd also get the ones that are dumb enought to act on any email that comes along. ;)

Aviatrix said...

"Desactivate" was actually one of my first clues that it might be real. That typo is characteristic of a bilingual (French-English) speaker momentarily confusing deactivate with d├ęsactiver. Someone working for or with Air Canada is more likely to be bilingual than a random spammer.

Apparently that is part of the reason why Nigerian spammers use such poor English. They are trying to make you think "this guy is uneducated. I could pull a fast one on him."

crazyscot said...

That Nigerian reference is chillingly close to the truth, Aviatrix - are you aware of the state of the pilot hiring market in the UK? If you apply to Easyjet's semi-sponsored ab initio pilot training scheme they expect you, the applicant, to pay GBP 140 for their assessment tests. Even appropriately type-rated pilots have to put up a GBP 6,000 bond to cover their mandatory "refresher" training in case they leave within a year, and I've heard (don't know if this is still the case) of pilot applicants being required to pay for their sim assessments with at least one of the other UK budgets, too.

Cassaundra said...

Hello Aviatrix,
I must say that I am rather computer-stupid, and do not understand much more than click and pick.I would, however, be quite annoyed by such a transmission and try to get to the bottom of it.As a fellow pro-pilot, i understand your journey.
We are all on alittle adventure, and few would understand it unless they also were on the same one.
Happy Landings,
Cassaundra