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Topic: How to Write A Good RC

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Date Posted: 5/28/2009 11:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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This topic has such good suggestions on wording.  I'm marking it to be watched so I can find it again.  Looks like it is time to edit my RC again.

Date Posted: 5/29/2009 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
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My two cents is to eliminate the allergy excuse even if it's100% true. Everyone says that nowadays and in some circles sympathy is wearing thin. NOTE: I am not trying to be mean in saying that.

I'm sure you are not trying to be mean, but how do you know that "everyone" or some unknown percentage of "everyone" who mentions allergies is faking it?  Speaking as one without allergies myself, who also is irritated by long, unclear, or highly negative RCs. 

Date Posted: 5/29/2009 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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It's a common excuse, s'all whether it's the truth or a polite fib, and it's lost its punch (for lack of a better word). Sorry, I don't have exact statistics on allergic members and I apologize for the sweeping generalization (I think you recognized it as such) but I still recommend just leaving out one's reasons for not wanting books from a non-smoking home



Last Edited on: 5/30/09 12:06 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/30/2009 12:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
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I'm glad I read this... I pretty much copied one when I first started ( a few days ago...) have since re-written...

 

Hi There Fellow Book Junkie! I'd like books from a Smoke Free Enviornment only Please. My nose and teary eyes thank you!

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 1:23 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
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 I'm re-posting a concept I wrote about on another thread. It's very appropo in understanding why some people get into a snit about RCs and turn down reasonable ones, then send a PM saying they actually have the book in the requested condition but are not sending it becasue they didn't like the RCs.

There is a concept called "Demand Resistance." It's a resistance or rebellion to perceived demands, requests or when someone requires something from them. They feel they are thwarting that demand by denying it, even if it is a reasonable, rational demand. Ultimately it's a power struggle. It usually develops during childhood as a rebellion to a controlling parent or authority figure. Now the Demand Resistance controls them. Some people even have it when they demand or require something from themselves, (like needing to diet and setting up a disciplined routine,) and thus they sabotage themselves from getting what they want. They are saying "F*** You!" to the perceived demand or request, even though they may be only spiting themselves in the process. They feel that by denying the request, it gives them power.  

I just shake my head and shrug when I see people here boasting that they so proudly denied people credits even when their book met the RCs. (No, not all of them weren't burnt in the past. That's about being gun shy.) Later, one person posted, complaining they have no credits, they have money & situational problems in real life, and people won't buy off their bookshelves. <rolling eyes> Was it really any wonder why this person has so many problems here and off-line?

The way I look at it is, I AM going to get my book from someone. It could have been them, but they choice not. So I don't take it personally. Ultimately, their Demand Resistance or refusal is about them. I'd rather my credit go to someone who wants it, and who is happy about fulfilling my request. That their sense of power is in making people happy. That's a Win-Win. The person with the Demand Resistance may have temporary satisfaction at the thought of (momentarily) thwarting me, but they are the ones in the end without a credit.

I hope understanding this will help people phrase RCs better. It's not our job to psychoanalyse Senders, but we want to get the books! Especially if they do have it in the condition we want. How we request it may make all the difference.



Last Edited on: 5/30/09 4:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/30/2009 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Thanks EveDallas,

Just for your post alone, I wish TPTB would sticky this thread.

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 8,631
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It's a common excuse, s'all whether it's the truth or a polite fib, and it's lost its punch (for lack of a better word). Sorry, I don't have exact statistics on allergic members and I apologize for the sweeping generalization (I think you recognized it as such) but I still recommend just leaving out one's reasons for not wanting books from a non-smoking home  [edited to italicize the foregoing]

Hmm.  I see your point, it's just that allergic reactions can sometimes be so drastic, as in sudden inability to breathe, that I really understand why they would want to get that right out there.  Just so that people would know that in their case it is not a matter of "being picky."  I mention this because my stepdaughter once had a massive allergic reaction in which her throat closed up and she had to be rushed to the ER.  It had nothing to do with books, actually we never really found out what caused it.  But it was terrifying.  



Last Edited on: 5/30/09 6:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I don't care if you have allergies or not.   Just tell me what type of condition you want the book to be in.

I don't care what your weather is like.   Just tell me you want the books wrapped in plastic.

I don't care how many books you got that had underlining in them.  Just tell me NO underlining.   Yes, I know it's in the guidelines.   I don't mind you repeating the guides lines if I don't have to read a whole paragraph on WHY you repeated them. 

PLEASE OH PLEASE do not ask me to PM you.   I don't mind reading simple RC's and I don't mind checking my book to see if they fit.  But that's as far as I'm willing to go.

The simplier the better in my book.



Last Edited on: 5/30/09 9:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Whether the allergy excuse is being over-used or not, it would help to be simple and to the point because most people don't have time to care.  State your conditions simply. 

"Not from homes with animals because of severe allergies"

That would be all that was necessary.  They don't have to guess, they know why, they can or can't or won't.  Keep it simple is always better.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/31/2009 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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"allergic reactions can sometimes be so drastic, as in sudden inability to breathe, that I really understand why they would want to get that right out there."

If receiving a book can trigger such a potentially deadly reaction, then participating in the PBS program is too dangerous. Of course this is just my opinion.

"I don't care if you have allergies or not.   Just tell me what type of condition you want the book to be in."

My sentiments exactly, although I didn't want to be so brutally honest.

Whenever I read the "severe allergy" reason, I wonder why would someone risk his or her health just to get a book on the cheap. It's much safer to purchase them new.



Last Edited on: 5/31/09 2:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Anissa (WVgrrl) - ,
Date Posted: 6/1/2009 9:30 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 432
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Before reading this and a couple of other RC threads, I didn't realize that people had such strong feelings against the "I am not willing to accept..." wording. I had originally phrased mine that way because it was the way PBS was suggesting in the text above the RC box in the account Settings area. I have revised mine based on some of the suggestions. How would people feel about a request with the following RC?:

Please decline my request if any of the following apply to this book:

  • It is currently in a smoking home.
  • It is an ex-library book.
  • It is a BookCrossings book. (i.e., has stickers or stamps that say BookCrossings)

Thanks so much!

Date Posted: 6/1/2009 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I haven't commented here, as I seem to be in the minority - but I really like the "will NOT" and "am not willing to accept" phrasings.  They are clear and I don't need to parse what the person is requesting.  Please don't hurt me - but sometimes I think as the sentence constructions get more elaborate in the name of politeness, the RCs get a little more difficult to scan quickly.

Cosi - I'm with you.  I really don't need to know any background information, just what you will and/or will not accept. 

 

Date Posted: 6/1/2009 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Please don't hurt me - but sometimes I think as the sentence constructions get more elaborate in the name of politeness

Oh, that's IT! I am gonna put a hurt on you! LOL.

Nah, just kiddin'. 

My 02 cents is if you're going to use negative words, then butter people up with words like please beforehand and close with a friendly thank you.



Last Edited on: 6/1/09 6:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/1/2009 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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I received an RC today that I thought was very well-worded.  It said something like:

  • I will accept all paperbacks
  • I would like dust jackets with hardcovers, but if your hardcover is missing the dust jacket, please PM me first and I may be willing to accept it.

I liked the fact that she stated the positive right off, and since most of what we swap are paperbacks, it probably covers 90% of her transactions.  I also liked that she didn't even qualify that first bullet by saying "all paperbacks that meet PBS guidelines".  Like she trusted me to know that part myself, and I appreciated that.

 

Date Posted: 6/1/2009 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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HOW are you to PM her first??  There is no way to do that unless she puts her username in the RC.    I like the rest of the RC but I am not going to PM anyone about it.   Either you want a dust jacket or you are ok without one.  JMO

Date Posted: 6/1/2009 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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  • I will accept all paperbacks
  • I would like dust jackets with hardcovers, but if your hardcover is missing the dust jacket, please PM me first and I may be willing to accept it.
  • The last bullet is too long and most people won't go PM begging for her to accept a book w/out a DJ.

    Date Posted: 6/1/2009 6:16 PM ET
    Member Since: 2/12/2008
    Posts: 4,470
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    Last Edited on: 4/1/11 3:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
    Date Posted: 6/1/2009 7:42 PM ET
    Member Since: 1/30/2009
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    Are you aware that many wars thoughout history are begun because of a lack of a polite word like "please"...like those with the Demand Resistance I wrote about earlier, is just itching for someone to say the wrong word or phrase, to launch a bomb and prove no one has authority over them.?

    Isn't this a little overwrought whilst we're discussing dust jackets? 

    It's great that you don't have a problem with negatives being used in RCs. But many others do. This thread is for how to better handle the people that do.

    The title of this thread is "How To Write a Good RC". I clearly stated that I understood that I was in the minority.  I have a right to an opinion and I stated it politely.  Thank you so much for stating yours with such passion, but it would be greatly appreciated if you would perhaps accept that not all people posting to this forum (or even this thread!) are in complete agreement with you.  Thanks for reading!

     

    Date Posted: 6/1/2009 10:36 PM ET
    Member Since: 4/30/2009
    Posts: 2,524
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    Well I went and did a sample RC after reading this forum post over the weekend. Brought it here today to see what you thought but I'm seeing the last few posts have gotten a little heavy so... I'll admit it... I'm a little scared...

    Anyway does anyone out there have some nice constructive words for me on this sample?  Please don't hurt me!

    Hello:

    For Hardbacks only:  Please include the dustjacket.

    For School Library Bindings :  Please decline this request if the book is not a hardback copy.

    For Paperback books::   All I'm looking for is PBS posting guideline quality.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to consider these conditions. 

    Date Posted: 6/1/2009 11:07 PM ET
    Member Since: 3/27/2009
    Posts: 25,000
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    ll admit it... I'm a little scared...

    Please don't hurt me!

     

    LOL Jeannie, don't be scared.

    Your RC is fine. I wouldn't change anything. The last sentence is the best.

    Date Posted: 6/1/2009 11:19 PM ET
    Member Since: 4/30/2009
    Posts: 2,524
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    Whew!  Positive feedback, I can breath again!

    Since it was 99% compiled from others I've seen, thanks to all. 

    Anissa (WVgrrl) - ,
    Date Posted: 6/2/2009 3:28 PM ET
    Member Since: 1/16/2009
    Posts: 432
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    Are you aware that many wars thoughout history are begun because of a lack of a polite word like "please"...like those with the Demand Resistance I wrote about earlier, is just itching for someone to say the wrong word or phrase, to launch a bomb and prove no one has authority over them.?

    Isn't this a little overwrought whilst we're discussing dust jackets? 

    You made me giggle, caviglia. :-) I needed that this afternoon.

    Subject: teh extreme allergies got me once
    Date Posted: 7/23/2009 3:34 AM ET
    Member Since: 11/4/2006
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    Someone had written in their RC they had life threatening smoke allergies. I PM'd them. Book didn't smell like smoke, but, life threatening allergies? I had gotten the book used (surprise, surprise) and I told them I could nto guarantee it had never been in a smoking environment. Life threatening allergies and they are swapping USED books??? Made me uncomfortable.

    Date Posted: 7/23/2009 3:24 PM ET
    Member Since: 3/27/2009
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    Life threatening allergies and they are swapping USED books???

     

    Oooh, life threatening! Be scared and send only pretty new books just to be safe and Not kill the recipient.

    I'd turn down that request because the requestor is insulting your intelligence.

    Life threatening allergies my eye. People who have life threatening allergies would not participate in a use book swap. Too risky. After all one contaminated book can send them to the big library in the sky.

    I think they they believe if they use a dramatic term suck as life threatening, then the sender will take their request seriously.

    It's hogwash.

     

    Denied.

     

    Date Posted: 7/23/2009 4:25 PM ET
    Member Since: 4/16/2008
    Posts: 770
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    I never did an RC until I got a run of icky, nasty, soiled and water damaged books.  It was really the last straw when I got one that looked and smelled like it was peed on.

    Here's what I did:

    My request is that books meet PBS Book Condition Guidelines --(no water damage or stains, please!) 

    I'm not looking for brand new books, just ones I can repost when I'm finished.

    Thank you for your time, and thanks for swapping!

    ~Karen~ (KayCee1976)

    Since adding the RC, the number of nasty books has gone down.  I do however get a lot of snarky comments like:  "I can not guarantee a pristine book" or "What do you expect for a free book"  (Um...hello that you follow the rules?)  I'm not asking for pristine, all I'm asking for is that you don't send books that are gross.  I don't want the booger wiped on the inside cover, nor the chunks of a long forgotten dinner smooshed between the pages.  The snarky comments sometimes make me crazy.

    I'm not trying to be mean...just trying to add my snippy sense of humor.  (That often gets me in VERY hot water with DH... :P)

    I welcome any suggestions about the RC.  Change the wording?  Axe it?  Whatever you suggest--I'm open.  Just be nice :(



    Last Edited on: 7/23/09 4:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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