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Topic: DEADLY cat allergy (RC)

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Subject: DEADLY cat allergy (RC)
Date Posted: 8/5/2008 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 102
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I just got a request for a book that said

"I am not willing to accept books that have been around cats.  I am DEATHLY allergic!"

I do not have cats, the book does not have any visible cat hair or any smell at all, but the book is not new to me so I can't guarantee it has never been near a cat.

Would you send the book or deny it?

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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It's your call.  This is a RC issue that pops up all the time, and I think a lot of people feel that when in doubt, decline the request.  The person who set the RCs may learn the hard way that by having such conditions, they will get fewer books offered to them.

If you are feeling generous, you can accept the request, then PM the person requesting the book and explain that it is a used book and you don't know it's history, and ask if they want it anyway.  If they don't, then you need to have them cancel the request so that your book goes back into its original position in the FIFO line.  Of course, then you run the risk of the person never responding to your PM, in which case you either have to cancel it yourself and go to the end of the FIFO line with your book, or send it anyway, and risk them marking it RWAP if they start sneezing when they open your package.  Like I said, it's your call, but I would bet that most people just decline the request, rather than going through all of that.  Frankly, I probably would.

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I would not send it.  If someone has an RC, I take them at thier word - literally.

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Well, actually, I've never seen this one, with the word "DEATH" attached.  Cat RC's are a regular discussion point, but the part about being "deathly" allergic is new to me.  I would decline, unless I purchased the book new myself (as we don't have cats).  That is a very serious RC.

Last Edited on: 8/7/08 8:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/5/2008 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,480
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I'd decline it also.  The requester is emphatic about her RC (which is a good thing) and you have no way of knowing if the book was around cats before it came to you. 

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Kinda risky to be deathly allergic and still order used books, just my .02

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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I absolutely would not send it.  Unless you bought it new and you don't have cats.   You can't guarantee where it's been and this person says they are "deathly" allergic.

I do find it odd that anyone who is "deathly" allergic would use PBS.  It would really bite not to be able to do so, but if I had an allergy that severe I just wouldn't take a chance.  I can't see this person getting very many requests accepted either.

Yiikes, it would be awful to have an allergy that severe.


Date Posted: 8/5/2008 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/2/2008
Posts: 199
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If someone had such an allergy, they should really not be receiving used books as there is no sure way of knowing where they came from if it's a "deathly" allergy. I mean if its that serious, they should just be purchasing new books online. Its like someone with a serious peanut allergy getting food from who knows what factory where they may also use peanut products. Now every brand you see puts that warning clause on the back of the package.

I would not accept the request and tell the user that such a request on a site like this is unrealistic and unless the book sender is the original owner and does not have or spend any time with cats, they will never get a request.

Or it could just be someone thats been burned by receiving books that smell like cat pee and they want to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Who know?

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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I recently turned down a similar condition (a family member could have a deadly reaction), because I don't know the complete history of most of my books. But aside from that, I couldn't understand why someone would want to take a chance on used books, if the allergy was indeed that serious. It just seemed like a very strange request to me.



Last Edited on: 8/5/08 9:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/5/2008 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2007
Posts: 881
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I agree with the folks that say that if someone had an allergy to cats that would cause death they would not be taking the risk of ordering a used book. Might just be easier to decline.

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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Easy for me - I have cats.  But I do get your point, and say that if I never had cats and bought the book brand new I would send it.  Otherwise, I'd decline.  Why take the chance that they actually mean it?

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
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I have no idea why this person is even swapping here - what a risk. 

Although I have known my share of people who say they're deathly allergic to cats and just mean they hate them.  :)

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2007
Posts: 881
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Date Posted: 8/5/2008 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
Posts: 26
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My instinct is that the person was using a playful figure of speech to soften the RC and make it seem less offensive (there are, after all,  many forum posts from folks who take offense at RC's).  I think you should give the person the benefit of the doubt and assume that if you PM and ask them the question you posted here, they'll be grateful you're concientious, good-natured, and they'll be happy to cancel the request themselves if necessary (you know, because of the FIFO issue).  If you do so, they may also realize that some people are taking their jest seriously and they need to re-word.  Most people want to do right by each other -- I like to think the chances you'd get burned are slim.


Date Posted: 8/5/2008 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,480
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I'm with Cas on this one, in a way.. I didn't take the RC literally, but rather thought the requester meant that she/he was very allergic to cats (not deathly).   Lots of peeps don't have cats, so perhaps the RC didn't seem that restrictive to the requester?

That said, I would still politely decline the request since you have no knowledge of the books prior history.


Date Posted: 8/6/2008 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,210
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An RC worded that way, don't send a book you don't know the history on. I am sure there are plenty of new books in non-cat households on PBS for them to get, but if you can't confirm it, don't send to an RC that spells out a serious illness.

Date Posted: 8/6/2008 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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Perhaps this is one of the few used swapping sites that has RCs, so the person thought here of all places, she could give it a try? That it would be nice to get single owner, not cat people, books at a bargain price?

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/6/2008 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Deny it.

Date Posted: 8/6/2008 4:13 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 2,549
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If it were a new book, purchased and read by me, a non cat owner-, I would send it.

If it were not new, even if it looked new, I would not send it.  I can't be responsible for anyones demise LOL!

Date Posted: 8/6/2008 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 102
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Thank you all for the advice!

I decided to decline the book. I'm not so concerned with losing out on a credit but the capitalized "DEADLY" allergy did it for me. I can't promise that a cat was never near the book so either she could die or she's overly dramatic in which case she'd probably complain about something... there were three other "no no's" in her conditions.


Date Posted: 8/7/2008 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2007
Posts: 96
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Hmmm....Depending on the severity of the allergy, I'm not sure buying it new would work.  I've been to bookstores that sell new books and have a resident cat, and there's always the risk that the employee at "Books r US" who stocked the shelves has cat fur on his/her clothing. 



Date Posted: 8/7/2008 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
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Well, she does say it's deadly, I probably would deny it--what if a cat hops in the mailbag?  I wouldn't want it to be  my book that killed her.

Date Posted: 8/7/2008 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,330
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I had someone order a book with a cat allergy, but she just posted it was ok as long as there wasn't cat hair on the book (I don't have a cat).  I sent the book even though I hadn't purchased it new.  I didn't feel her RC was that restrictive.  Pat

Date Posted: 8/16/2008 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/25/2005
Posts: 1,413
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I wouldn't send it....because even tho cat hair might not be visible on the book, cat dander is.  The dander is what causes the most distress with pet allergies and it's just tiny little white flakes that are barely visible.

Date Posted: 8/16/2008 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2005
Posts: 3,562
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Safe book swapping does dictate that you refuse such a request.

I mean, my SIL was (is?) deathly allergic to strawberries (so she says)

I kept giving her strawberry candy with artificial flavoring and her throat swelled "completely shut".

The power of the mind is a wondrous and marvelous thing.