I’ve been applying for jobs for about seven years, and I recently came to the conclusion that, maybe, the reason why I’m so unemployed is because of my email address.

You see, I still have the email address I first got when I received my first laptop — a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion, by the way — way back on my 24th birthday, back in 2000. I was kinda proud of my email; I named it after the original name of James Wolcott’s TV column in the Village Voice back in the ’70s. I had two previous emails: one was given me by my alma mater, Texas Southern University, and the other one I got back in the late ’90s though Hotmail, which I don’t think is active anymore.

Yeah, my email has been with me through thick and thin, which is why I still use it today. The problem is it’s an AOL email address — and if you still have an AOL email address in 2017, you’re an old fart who doesn’t know a gotdamn thing about anything.

Yes, if you are still rocking an AOL email, you’re out of the game. You’re elderly. You’re antiquated. You watch Matlock. You piss on yourself on the way to the bathroom. But, most of all, it gives people the impression that you’re out of touch. I’ve had a couple of people bust my balls about my email. I was on a radio show back in Raleigh and I blurted out that I have an AOL email. The host said that anyone who has an AOL email should not be trusted. When I asked her on the air why, she didn’t exactly have an answer. She was trying to be funny on the mic and I called her on it, something she obviously wasn’t expecting. When we got off the air, she said we didn’t have any on-air chemistry. When she said that, I thought, “No, you just say stupid shit on the air and I wasn’t gonna let you get away with it.”

In all my years of having an AOL email, it’s treated me quite well. I send out email. I get email — and it’s all for free! (I know, at some point, you had to pay for AOL, but I stopped doing that and they were OK with it.) That’s all I ever gotdamn wanted from my email. I never felt the need to make a switch. I figured if my email account did what it was supposed to do, what’s the big, freakin’ deal?

I don’t know when it happened (probably around ’06-’07), but AOL went out of vogue with the public. And if you’re associated with those muhfuckas, you’re just as played out as they are. I’ve held on for the longest, still hanging on to my AOL email for business and personal use. People I’ve done business with never had any complaints about it. I even believed I was ironically cool still having my email, since I read a Vulture piece that several celebs still had their AOL emails.

But, not too long ago, I asked myself, is my email getting in the way of obtaining steady work? I’ve gotten rejection email after rejection email — the most recent one was for a customer-service rep gig I applied for with the Houston Public Library. Then, I started asking around: does having an AOL email hinder your chances of getting a job? I went online with it, with some people telling me it doesn’t matter, while others told me it so does.

First of all, to all those who have turned me down because of my AOL email over the years, you’re the reason why the world blows and, you know, fuck you. Call me crazy, but I always thought that when it came to hiring people, you should judge people by their talent or experience, not because of superficial horseshit like what kind of email they use. It’s just a gotdamn email — it doesn’t sum up who you are as a person. I don’t know why I thought getting a job was any different from trying to get a woman to like you. Whether it’s at work or out in the dating world, it’s always what’s on the outside that counts.

I finally got the message and got a Gmail email. I gotta admit, after having it for five minutes, I felt kinda dirty. I felt like I betrayed who I was and tried to do something fresh and hip for all the youngins out there. Well, I’m gonna start using my Gmail address for trying to land work. But I’m still gonna have my AOL account up and running, because I’m still a loyal muhfucka.

Anyway, if you wanna hit me up for work, you can hit me up at unclecrizzle@gmail.com.

If you just wanna holler at a brotha and talk about whatever, you can hit me up at talkingfurniture@aol.com.