Saturday, February 23, 2008

There's no free lunch and pet peeves

My college history teacher first taught me this. This supposedly is history and life's philosophy boiled down to a nutshell. It just slapped me in the face. I clicked on a "FREE" online IQ test thinking it would be fun but instead, it frustrated me to death and I refused to finish. The stupid test kept trying to get me to sign up for surveys and paid-for subscriptions. I kept clicking "no thank you" and "pass" until finally, it wouldn't let me proceed without clicking "yes" to at least one sponsor offer. What is so "FREE" about that? It's a f---ing come on. A scam. And I HATE scams. I've not been in a good mood today in general. My editor will discover this soon enough when she reads the story I'm working on. My heroine wanted to boil her hero in oil. Really! I mean, she's totally, royally pissed. I really wonder if my editor will make me change that. The way I feel right now, I really want to boil someone in oil. And I really don't know why. Maybe it's Midol Time... I've been holding this in, but today is a perfect day for its to spill out. Someone I thought was a friend at the time (some friend!) accused me of being "Internet Needy". I think she was scared I would find www.pinktruth.com - I repeat www.pinktruth.com and get some enlightenment. Or maybe she was afraid I wouldn't work hard enough to earn her commissions. Who knows? At the same time, however, I'd just been flamed on one of my publisher's loops for NOT being online and on the loop nearly enough with my readers. How can it be both? I guess it can be both as everyone has a different perspective, different needs and priorities. As a writer, MY need is to be part of my writers' and readers' community and nowadays, a huge part of that takes place on the Internet. I'm pretty sure my author friends will concur. Then and now, I'm an author first (well, after being a mother and wife, that is, and a customer service manager at the day job). My priority is not to sell stuff to make money for other people - except for my publisher's of course. But then my publisher(s) is giving me a paycheck for my work, not expecting me to spend more and more money on inventory, inventory that will be made obsolete before I can possibly unload it. I'm being obscure to most probably, but bear with me, I'm on a well-deserved rant. Oh! I'm sure at least one person will call me a sniveling whiner AGAIN. I guess I'm just funny that way. I don't like to be used and abused and taken advantage of. I don't like it when someone pretends to be a friend to get me to plunk down my very hard earned money. Honestly, I don't know many people who appreciate that, even those who don't have a big family to support. Knowing I can be sensitive, I try not to take myself too seriously. I try not to get upset or to ignore things and give people the benefit of the doubt - until they do either the same bad things over and over, or several different things that aren't kosher within a fairly close period of time. In one particular case, we belonged to a group where the group celebrated when a member became a black belt. The final straw (notice, I say final - as there were many things - this was just THE END for me) came when this group started whispering and pushing me away. I happened to have a horrendous tooth ache that day anyway, so they wouldn't have had to worry about me crashing their precious party that day anyway, but they didn't seem to pick up on that. Although in the past, the whole class had always been invited to these celebration parties or dinners. In short, I finally realized how cliquish and high-school this was and that this wasn't what I was looking for. My daughters, 23 and 16 tell me they realized this almost from the beginning and so they hadn't liked this aspect and so could never warm up to it. This time, the clique was discussing this party - I think. I tried to ask this one particular person a question, and she seemed to literally push me away. I don't think she wanted me to hear they were having this party of which I obviously wasn't invited. She came off quite callous to me. Fine. Okay. I don't have to be included - there's no law, not even a moral one, that says everybody has to be included. But I was tired of being pushed away and all the whispering when I was near as if they didn't want me specifically to hear things, when I was expected to spend every other evening with this group. I no longer had any desire to be depressed by being around this particular group and in particular the person who was literally pushing me away from the fun stuff while conversely, she wanted me to spend more and more money on stuff that was filling up my house that I couldn't sell. I'll probably get another nasty, whiny email. Oh well. Even if I am being whiny, I'm not the only one. And according to www.pinktruth.com (repeat, that's www dot pinktruth dot com) this is just another script these people use to bully and intimidate when someone tries to get away from the pink koolaid with their lives. Although I will admit, there's many reasons I stopped participating in the two things I allude to above. I am totally committed to my family, to my day job where I have a steady pay check and good benefits and respect and a boss who will honestly answer all the questions and concerns we have and who is always available to help and who is always gracious, and to my writing career. Those three things deserve and take my time and energy. I don't have enough time for this much less anything else. Okay, I'm probably rambling. I think hubby's scared. He just ran out to the store to buy me the "strongest shit he can find" to quote him. I guess Keith is right to have "Don't Fear The Reaper" as his ring tone for me.

4 comments:

Amarinda Jones said...

Well Ashley, I say fuck 'em. Do you give a rat's what these people think or say? You are not a whiner. Stay true to yourself mate

Ashley Ladd said...

Thanks, Amarinda. I keep telling myself I shouldn't care, and most of the time, I don't

Molly Daniels said...

Yeah, I clicked on that so-called 'free' site once...and after a while, I decided that the 'free' merchandise was just not worth it! I also signed up for MyPoints once, but it took me nearly 9 months to finally earn the points for the prize I wanted. And then had a hard time redeeming them! I called customer service; they helped me redeem the point, and then I kept deleting the emails until the gift card was in my hot little hand. And then I promptly unsubscribed. My inbox is a lot less cluttered these days...

Anonymous said...

Do you guys have 'free' cellphones in the US? We have them here. The companies are just SO generous, handing out free phones all over the place.

Of course, when you lose one or drop it into the bath, you find out just how 'free' they are.

I thought there were regulations to protect little old me from tricks like this.

Eric George

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