Monday, July 17, 2006

Male Fraud

We have a problem at our house with one segment of the current technology. That segment is e-mail. The problem is getting the two youngest members of the family to CHECK the e-mail.

Maybe it's a guy thing. From the time we got our first home computer and internet connection, when Elizabeth was in 7th grade, she lived for e-mail and eventually for Instant Message programs. The written word flying through cyberspace was her medium of choice for keeping up with friends, looking at college choices, comparing notes on homework assignments.

For the boys? Not so much. Nothing seemed to convince them of the necessity in today's world of checking their e-mail daily, if not even more often.

Finally, in desperation, I resorted to bribery, e-mailing them a message that said "Print this e-mail and exchange for $5". I put an expiration date on the deal, roughly 36 hours after I hit "send". Surely THAT would do the trick. Either they would check their e-mail and be $5 richer, or they would NOT check their e-mail, discover it too late and be sorry, but learn the lesson for the future. I was pleased with my apparent solution to the problem.

I didn't count on the inventive minds on the other end of the system.

Which child's sin is greater?

The child who read the notice and seriously considered adding a zero to the text and claiming FIFTY dollars in place of five?

Or the child who hit "Print 5" and presented me with a stack of printed messages, claiming to deserve a reward of 5 x 5 = $25?

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