Sometimes I wonder…….

….why I bother.

One of my hundreds of (work) emails today (in toto):

Message: "Frankly speaking your 'nature' is the stangest thing on this
earth. I have been trying to communicate theory of everything but nobody
seems to bothered. Please do not take it a joke.
I almost failed to submit the manuscript through the online process of
your worthless website. Kindly communicate with me so that I could
submit the theory of everything."

Why are people like this, I wonder? This combination of insult and "begging letter" is so common, but I have given up smiling, over the years.


14 thoughts on “Sometimes I wonder…….

  1. Do we sense a hint of “Babblefish” here? The original was probably a polite enquiry about how to submit a manuscript:)

  2. Good advice, Shaz!
    Alison- that had never occurred to me – wonder how on earth the insults got there, though, if the original was polite?

  3. Like Alison I think this one smacks of worthless machine translation. Obviously it is the person behind it who has communication problems. It reminds me a bit of a spam mail I got recently (probably via Facebook) from some Asian woman who wanted to start a family together with me! Bits of it sounded genuine while others were hopelessly, ridiculously weird.

  4. It’s desperation speaking from someone with no sense as to how to ask for something, so it’s anger mixed with inability, plus lack of good grammar and use of the language.

  5. Maxine even if it is a poor translation it is still sad, and inexcusable that someone would send this without checking it properly, because it obviously upset you. Shaz is right junk it.

  6. Thank you, Norman. I get so much of this, usually it is just water off a duck’s back, but every now and again (perhaps when I’m feeling low anyway) I think “why should I put up with all this?” I think you understand that reaction!

  7. I am sorry you are subject to this sort of nonsense, Maxine. But I do know how you feel.
    Just before I retired I phoned the secretary of the local dental committee for some advice, and he was extremely rude to me for no reason. I was upset and rather shattered as I had held that particular post when I was in your neck of the woods for several years, and then I tried to help people.
    But at that time I was not very well and it hurt.
    Three years later in 2006 he went to prison for 18 months for fraud!

  8. I can certainly empathise with you Maxine. We get hundreds of letters and emails each week asking for help with some problem the writer has experienced (or thinks they have experienced) with the health system. An increasingly large number of them are insulting and abusive and there are days when it gets me down too. I understand that people are angry (they never write when things are peachy in their lives) and I understand that people don’t like politicians or public servants but I don’t understand how they think writing “you are all fat, lazy c****” (yep a direct quote from a recent missive) is going to get them what they want.
    Some of my fellow commenters here are far more forgiving than I am, I would never guess that a rude email had been generated by a translating machine. People will always be much much nastier than computers.

  9. I used to work for a nonprofit legal organization that took specific cases on civil liberties and civil rights. People would write desperate letters wanting help. Some wrote very hostile letters, some were several pages long. I learned to judge just by the length of the letter and the handwriting and would just throw objectional letters in the garbage before getting very far into the text.
    In the age of email, this is harder to monitor because emails come in all day, every day. But perhaps if you sense something angry or nasty, just delete it right away without going further, if you can. No one has to put up with this stuff. It’s not in anyone’s contract to be subjected to this behavior.

  10. Thanks, Kathy, Norman and Bernadette. We get so many of these emails and many of them are highly abusive and definitely not suitable for public consumption. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is that the person who is sending in the abuse must know that someone at the other end, who personally probably had nothing to do with whatever their problem is, is going to have to read it and deal with it – and possibly get quite upset by it.

  11. People just vent frustration. I know when my phone company shuts off my dial tone, I call up quite perturbed and have to catch myself before I vent to someone who had nothing to do with it or the decisions which harm service.
    Some people do it on the phone or in writing without thinking through who they are writing to, and often have other difficulties and frustrations. How many people (in the U.S.) who have lost jobs and are having trouble making ends meet are going to vent to those they can reach, many who have nothing to do with it–which can hit extremes, unfortunately.
    Or people are frustrated because they can’t find help for their problem. Or they feel stymied about something.
    So, just look at it quickly and press the finest of all keyboard keys: DELETE and
    forget it and move on.

  12. When I used to be a consultant for a literary consultancy I used to get 100, 000 word manuscripts from people like this outlining their theory in rich detail. Amazing how many people think they know the theory of everything…and feel all they have to do is tell everyone and they will see it too. I kept wondering if this ‘truth’ that they knew kept them going in every day life – and whether they were,in fact, quite normal-looking – the sort of person you might find sitting next to you on the bus who might suddenly turn to you and say, ‘I know, you know…’

  13. Thanks for your thoughts, Clare. Sometimes I wonder if people next to me on the train or tube, or walking down the street, are bloggers. It’s like a shared unknown secret society – and I think that most of us don’t think we have a working theory of everything 😉

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