Yesterday I received the meanest set of emails I’ve ever seen. I don’t know the guy who sent them to me. They were in response to a request to a webmaster, and my emails all consisted of “please, thank you, sorry” in varying amounts. His were filled with personal abuse and vituperation.
Now, this poor man has to live inside his own nasty mind all the time, and may have — well, perhaps not friends, but maybe a wife or relatives who have to put up with him, so my having to read and respond to his nasty emails was not the big a deal. I was doing some linkbuilding work for a client. Linkbuilding isn’t for the thin-skinned. Even if you’re very white hat about it, as I am, you have to push the envelope a little bit, and I do sometimes get emails accusing me of attempting to do marketing.
Well, what can I say? That’s exactly what I’m doing. Do people in advertising agencies have folks spit on them and accuse them of doing marketing?
Well, anyway, these emails were so nasty that they stayed with me all day. I sort of cringed a little as I sent my link requests, and felt less confident when I applied for gigs, and just sort of generally colored my day.
I had nice emails, too. I had a client telling me how much he enjoyed reading the blog posts I write for him, and asking me to remind him to hire me again in a few weeks. I had one of my developer clients IM with a plan for a new website. I had a webmaster thank me for my link request, because the resource I had pointed out to him was so useful.
None of these things stayed in my mind. The unpleasant attacks did.
The nasty man in question? I guess he probably felt satisfaction that he had told me off for daring to ask him to do something at his website. He may have felt that he was standing up for his rights, or — well, really, I don’t know what that guy felt. I’m thankful to be able to say that I can’t really imagine what goes on in the minds of such nasty people. But I am quite sure that he thought he was in the right and that I deserved his abuse.
So I guess the moral of the story is this: next time you’re tempted to send someone some horrible screed because you think you’re right, consider whether you want to spoil that stranger’s day or not. If not, then keep it to yourself. Tell some likeminded soul how right you are and how wrong they are. Put it in your xanga.
Of course, if you like to spoil people’s days, you could leave me a comment and explain your point of view. That could be interesting.
I had put these pictures in at this point with explanations and stories about them, and then I attempted to save the post and xanga ate it.
This could easily happen again.
So I’m just putting the pictures in with no stories, because I’m running out of time here. Enjoy your weekend!