Automated Responses Take Exactly How Long?

You remember back in February when that whacky mayor of San Francisco was lettin’ just any two humans be joined in the bonds of holy matrimony? Good times.

Well, I thought that was great and I thought there was another Californian who should know that I thought that was great. In fact, she used to be mayor of San Francisco, too.

So I joined up on the website and fired off a little letter to her about how important I thought it was and how I would hope that she would come around to the position that all folks should be allowed to shack up and create unions with whomever they damn well please.

Let me state again … this was February when I signed up and sent off that little note. Yesterday I got the following:

Subj: Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message

Date: 6/1/2004 6:16:14 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: [email protected]


June 1, 2004

Dear Ms. May:

Thank you for contacting me. I appreciate your e-mail and welcome
the opportunity to correspond with my constituents.

Unfortunately, due to the volume of mail I receive, I cannot respond
individually to messages sent from third parties or websites other than my
official Senate website. If you wish to send a personalized message via
the internet, please use the email form on my website: Please know that my staff will tally
your input today.

If you prefer to fax your concerns to me, you can send them to my
Washington office at (202) 228-3954. You can also call my Washington
office or one of my California offices to share your thoughts with me:

Washington, DC: (202) 224-3841
San Francisco: (415) 393-0707
Fresno: (559) 485-7430
Los Angeles: (310) 914-7300
San Diego: (619) 231-9712

Again, thank you for emailing me. Please know that every time you
write a letter, send an email or fax, or call my office, your concerns are
taken into account. I appreciate your understanding in this matter and hope
to hear from you again soon.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the
Nation are available at my website


I’m so glad the electronic age has sped this process up.

Really, I didn’t figure she’d look over my well-reasoned argument about the constitutionality of federal legislation, how domestic partnership builds family units and protects health benefits and how it’s just a generally nice thing to do for our neighbors and family. I thought the aide or assistant or whatever would look at the email from HRC and log it as one in that column from California.

But I’m glad to see that she has rules about who she listens to – who can have her ear and whose emails and thoughts are important to her. And it’s great that she posts those on her website. (For the record, I’m being sarcastic.)

To complete my rant I’ll say that this was the third time that I’ve written to the senator (the previous times have been old time snail mail) and those go quicker and equally unsatisfactory responses.

3 thoughts on “Automated Responses Take Exactly How Long?”

  1. Well, what Diane’s autoresponses lack in promptness, they more than make up for in frequency. I used to get four or five a week from ONE e-mail I sent! So, unless they’ve fixed that little glitch, you can look forward to more form-letter love.

  2. My job wanted her support for something and a few of us were sent to visit her office. I was excited and not just because I thought she was okay.

    After arranging our meeting, we met with an asst who may have been hired that same day. A month or so later I got a letter from her. The first paragraph demonstrated someone’d mastered mail merge, and then followed that with three paragraphs asking me for more help and telling me how marvelous she was. It was a damn egotistical solicitation letter, and I’ve had no use for her ever since.

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