You can’t get there from here.

Mar 27, 2023 | 2 comments

Washington State Historical Society

Does it bother anyone else that we are getting inundated with “stuff” on the internet — like membership cards to things we don’t want to belong to or accounts in our name that we didn’t set up — and when you respond with carefully controlled language and as immediately as possible you are told that this is an “intermediary” company and you will have to contact the actual organization with your complaint?

Sorry for the overly long sentence.  But it was an overly distressing situation.  The venerable Washington State Historical Society (to which I have donated more than 100 bankers’ boxes of correspondence and documents from the Espy family going back to the early 1800s) sent Nyel an online membership card the other day.  I wrote back, explained that he was deceased, and asked if they would please delete him from our membership card.  (I didn’t tell them that I would prefer a real-put-it-in-my-wallet-style-card for myself.  Didn’t think I should confuse issues.)

That was yesterday.  Today I got this response from Jorge Bautista:  Hello Sydney, 
This is Cuseum Support. We’d love to help but we don’t have information about this. In this case, we strongly suggest you contact the issuing organization directly. They manage your membership and will be happy to assist.

I am ignoring it.  (And if WSHS manages my membership, how did Jorge and Cuseum get into the act when I responded to the membership renewal by “replying” to the WSHS address of the sender?)  If I get billed for the membership (which wasn’t mentioned) I will call my credit card company and stop payment. There is no doubt in my mind that I am being old and crotchety, but how impersonal can they get?  They want my money, they want my donations, they want my dead husband’s membership but they don’t have the decency to make their appeals in person?  They are turning such mundane matters over to intermediaries?

Well, I’d tell their people to contact my people, but I really don’t have any people.  (Thank goodness. I think.)  I wish I had millions that I could now not give them.  They undoubtedly know that I don’t have those sorts of resources, and that’s probably a good deal of what explains their attitude.  Old age explains mine.



  1. Robert O Gwinn

    Dear Cousin Sydney,
    We must be your people because we are receiving the same type of correspondence from several organizations that we’ve donated to over the years. But, please don’t connect their people to your people. Ha.
    Best regards,
    Cousin Bob Gwinn

    • sydney

      Cousin Bob — The scary part is that I think they are all in cahoots with one another anyway!


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