Saturday, February 18, 2012

Peeves About Blogging and Life in General

Here are some of my peeves, in no particular order.

1. No, I am not a robot. I do, however, have a hard time confirming that when I try to leave a post on your blog (Especially if I'm doing it from my phone). I took off the anti-spam word verification thingy last April during the A-Z blogfest and, since then, have only had 1 spam (which blogspot caught all by itself). Not only does it make it more labor intensive to leave a comment, I know that there have been times when I left the comment, select "post comment" then left the page. I don't know if a robot check came up and/or if my comment posted at all.

2. People who sign up for a blogfest and don't participate. Seriously, don't even sign up unless you are ready to schedule your post. Yes, life gets busy -- but it's busy for the other bloggers who are stopping by to visit. I assume you signed up because you'd like to be a part of the online writing community. If so, don't alienate or irritate people by wasting their time.
Poltergeist Peeves in Lego Harry Potter

3. People who make a mistake, get caught, and blame the person holding them accountable. Really, if you messed up, own it. No, they did not get you in trouble - you got yourself in trouble. Be a grown up. If you happen to be a parent, help your child grow up and accept that they make mistakes that have consequences. Or, if you happen to be a child, start down the path toward being a grown up by being responsible for your own actions. As much as you want to point the finger, you have no one to blame but yourself.

4. If someone tells you to stop doing something and you care about what that person thinks about you, stop doing it! If you value their esteem and don't wish to cause hurt, take their clear communication of "STOP IT!" as the queue to stop. Anything other than that is purposeful bullying.

5. If you get a critique on your writing, don't argue with it. A critique is a gift of the other person's time. They are trying to help you, not be malicious or hurtful. If they see a problem, maybe there is a problem. And if you have to explain what you really meant, then obviously the reader didn't get it and, yes, the critique was valid. I have held back from leaving negative critiques to people I don't know (or rather, who don't know me and won't have reason to think my opinion is valid). I'm not doing them any favors by being nice. What I would do was compliment the positive aspects and just not mention the negatives. Anyone who ever got a critique from me that said they had very lyrical writing, that was my nice way of saying their prose was unreadably purple and overly verbose. I am being more forthright from now on.

This applies to self-published writers that argue with negative reviews. Seriously, just be happy that real readers (not friends and family) took the time to review your book. That means people are reading it, right?

6. If the shopping cart return is right next to your car, why didn't you put it away? You, sir or madam, are an ass.

7. Non-smokers who choose to sit outside, right next to people already smoking, and cough/complain loudly.

8. Smokers who choose to sit right next to families even though there are plenty of open seats further away, and smoke. Then they give the kids dirty looks when the kids (loudly) want to know what smells bad.

9. People who are not crystal clear with their wants/needs/etc... out of reluctance to appear confrontational. This is a problem of mine - in effort not to be offensive, I back down immediately when an aggressive personality wants to change my viewpoint. I always thought there was no point in stating my opinion at that time because they'll just take it as a challenge to change my mind. Unfortunately, my silence is often viewed as tacit agreement. IT IS NOT. Unless I state differently, I stand by what I said. I have to make myself crystal clear. If you don't like something, speak up. If you don't, you'll end up going to a Mexican restaurant when you really wanted Chinese food and then sulking. Or worse. And, yes, it can get much worse.

10. People who take a contrary opinion in an open exchange of ideas as a direct attack. For the record I am not opposed to gay marriage. I am not opposed to stem cell research given certain regulations. I think it's the parent's job to teach their children about sexuality, not the State's. I am pro-small business and anti-big government. I think McCain could have been a great president, but Sarah Palin scares me. I do not believe in government hand outs, bail outs, or that people should be entitled to unemployement because they are too unpleasant to work for anyone (this is about a specific person, not people on unemployment in general). I am not in favor of socialized health care, but do think that medical insurance needs to be re-engineered. I think voting on party lines based on being part of a party shows either ignorance of lack of conviction. I think voting for something you know nothing about is reckless. I think No Child Left Behind is the Federal Government's way of butting into Constitutionally laid out State's rights by dangling a $ carrot (and is crap). I think every child is capable of being great in different ways and that standardized testing does not account for everything.
So, now I have stated my opinions. I respect your right to disagree and will not take it as a direct attack. I am confident enough in myself. If, however, you feel the need to jump down my throat or cry, you are now meeting peeve #10. If you, however, realize I'm entitled to my opinion and not trying to change your mind or shove my beliefs down anyone's throat, we're good. For the record: I don't share my opinions on these subjects with my students. It's important to me that my students develop their own opinions, not parrot mine.

Thank you for letting me vent. To think, this all started because I was catching up on commenting on the last blogfest and got frustrated with the security checks. Then it snowballed. From the list, you could probably surmise that I've had a frustrating week (or so).

Feel free to add to the list.

BTW, it is a peeve that Peeves was not included in the Harry Potter movies. The scene where Fred and George let loose the swamp in the school and Peeves gets to go hog wild is one of my favorites from the books.


Celeste Neumann said...

As to:

1. I also dislike these things, and this has reminded me to check all of blogs to see if this thing is active or not. I think I have it turned off, but I'm not sure. Some people told me they have it on "to deter trolls". I pointed out that trolls are not robots, and can easily type these things if their intention is to be disruptive.

2 & 3: We concur.

4. I know exactly what you mean, but when I first read this, I thought what if it's something you really like doing... say like writing. Then that would be a terrible dilemma, no?

5. I react to critique as follows: First reaction - it's a slight kick in the ego, plain and simple. But I don't react. Then I wait and evaluate it objectively; looking for things like is this the typical actionism de jour (such as everyone is supposed to write in 1st person singular, or it has to be all show and absolutely no tell, or other stuff like that). Then I see how many other people are in concurrence, then I re-write the entire section, and mail 3 friends and ask them: "Do you like version A or B better?" - then I will accept the critique as valid and not an opinion. (Incidentally you were right, and I re-wrote the entire piece I submitted to the blogfest).

6. They have a trick to fix that were I live. You have to deposit a 1 Euro coin in the shopping cart to use it, and you only get it back if you bring the cart back to the cart barn and unlock it.

7&8: I am a non-smoker allergist who lives with a smoker. I don't go into smoke-filled bars for very long, and he can't smoke that much at home. Why can't everyone live like us?

9. A sad fact comes to light when you enrol in a sales psychology class. You quickly learn that most people are not very firm in the wants/needs department, and these people are schooled in manipulating these wants/needs. As self-defence I would recommend reading some sort of "how to master sales" book to develop your own "Are you trying to manipulate my opinion, and would you cut it out??" sort of strategy. It's fun - a little like learning how to win a chess game in four moves.

10. I'm a lot like you. It never ceases to surprise me how some people read aggression into statements that were written between yawns and trips to the coffee machine. I think I attribute it to my lack of "hearts & flowers" language. It seems if I don't write "sweety", "hon'" or some other such endearments in a response some people conclude I am not only angry, but also rude, pretentious, insulting, aggressive and vengeful. Maybe it's the vocabulary I use. I don't know. It baffles me. I pretty much agree with your social-political views, except that I think it's the schools place to teach kids about the biological & civil responsibility aspects of sexuality, and it's the parent's part to teach their kids about the emotional aspects of love & sexuality. And why is I get the feeling that Mitt Romney is a Barrack Obama with a "red" suit on with a dislike for national health insurance (something you would appreciate if you lived where I did)?

T.D. McFrost said...

Hi Erin!

I just had to stop by after your hilarious comment on my blog. You're crazy, in a good way.

It's so wonderful to meet you and I hope to see more of you. Well, that came out wrong but you get the idea. :D


Spanj said...

You're so right on so many of those things.

I hate that Google have changed the word verification so badly. I cannot read most of them and often end up giving up on commenting at all. Really people, do you get that much spam? TURN IT OFF!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Some humans are more human than others, and that is for sure -- flawed and confident that they are not.

The new 2 word verification is maddening -- you are right.

With the A-Z CHALLENGE coming up, if I visit a blog with it, I will not re-visit. No anger, just so little time.

Hey, come get my free gift to you. Only 52 pages.

As a courtesty only here is the link to my blog where you can get the link to my free gift and get to see my new book trailer for my WIP due out probably this spring :

May your new week be excellent, Roland

Unknown said...

I hate them word verification thingies too!

Deniz Bevan said...

Love that scene with Peeves and the swamp!
One of my other blogging peeves is non-repliers. I know I only get about ten comments per post and some people get 100, but even a blanket "thanks for all the comments guys" is a nice thing, rather than radio silence.

John Wiswell said...

I similarly loathe the captcha scheme Google has adopted. They didn't even bother to invent a new form; they just ganked an awful one that's driven me off other sites.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

oh my goodness those word verifications are so much worse now. I wish everyone would get rid of them. They are sooooo not needed.

Erin Kane Spock said...

@all thank you for letting me vent and joining in the fun.
@Deniz - thanks for telling me that. I only ever really comment back when someone asks a question. I will add that to my list of blogging etiquette and get on that.

February Grace said...

With low vision those capchas are a deal breaker. The sound thingies are never understandable either so it's pretty much unless someone is handy to read it to me (not often) then I have to skip commenting. I wish people would just give them up, already, or blogger would fix em!


Deniz Bevan said...

Oh, sorry, Erin, didn't mean to disparage you! It's just hard to tell if it's a blogger's method, or they're ignoring commenters...

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