Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Do you ever worry about...

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Do you ever worry about...
Date Posted: 2/24/2009 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
Back To Top

Coming off as a crazy person when you send people messages? Well I do, and maybe for good reason.

I just had a book requested and their requester conditions were: "Not willing to receive books that are around smokers."

I thought about requesting and then PM'ing for awhile, I know that book doesn't smell like smoke, but it has taken so long to get to the top of the FIFO list that I don't dare risk it. Anyway, this is what I wrote as to why I was turning it down.

Nobody smokes IN my house, but I do live with someone who smokes occasionally outside. I believe the book was also bought used a number of years ago, so I can't be sure it has never been in a smoking house. You might want to make your conditions a bit more clear. I am not sure if you: a. don't want books that are currently in a smoking home, b. don't want books that have ever been in a smoking home (again, hard for people to know with used books), or c. don't want books that have ever been around anyone who smokes (this could potentially exclude new books from a book store, as anyone can come in and handle them, so you need to be more specific). I would really like to send you this book, believe me, it's been on my shelf since October 2007, but your conditions are too vague.
Sorry I can't accept!

Was I too harsh? I don't want to come off like a crazy person, I don't have a problem with RCs in general, but it really gets to me when people have such (potentially) confusing RCs. I suppose they could really mean that they don't want to recieve books that have EVER been around a smoker, but that seems like quite a tall order.

 (Edit to remove excessive and unnessisary punctuation and italics)

Last Edited on: 2/24/09 2:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 2/24/2009 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,212
Back To Top

I don't think you came off harsh, but I don't think the RCs were at all vague either. She/he says "that *are* around smokers." Sure, they could have phrased it "are currently around smokers" which is what I have in mine. But "are" means in the present, they ARE around smokers at this point. It does not mean (to me) that she cares about the book's past. So your options b and c are pretty invalid. If you read over your option a above, it's pretty much exactly what she wrote. I don't think this RC was confusing at all. I'd think "Do I smoke? Does anyone in my house smoke AT THIS TIME? No? Ok then, book mailed."

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 2:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
Back To Top

I would agree with Heather, except for the fact that Liesl stated in her response that she lives with someone who occasionally smokes.  The RC didn't say "around smoke", it said "around smokers".  A smoker, by definition, is someone who smokes, so because the book is in the same household as someone who smokes, I'd say it's around a smoker.  That's not to say that that is exactly what the requester MEANT, however- he/she probably did mean currently around smoke, but that's not what they said, so I wouldn't want to make that assumption.  I would probably have responded the same way as Liesl.

Liesl, I tend to err on the conservative side myself when it comes to RCs, so I don't think you were unreasonable, and I don't think you came off as crazy, either.  I just had to turn down an RC myself yesterday- the condition was "Will not accept books in worn condition.".  I mulled this one over for awhile, because "worn condition" is subjective and could mean anything from falling apart at the seams, to "looks like it's been read before".  My book has an inscription on the inside cover, and has several pages that have creases, so I wasn't comfortable accepting the request without knowing the requester's definition of "worn".  Perhaps it is a hard lesson for people to learn when they miss out on books that they want, but they do need to be specific, or there is too much room for interpretation.

Anyway, I believe that PBS has now set it up so that if a request is declined due to conditions, the requester can now resubmit the request and remove their RCs if they want to.  So I think that if this person really wants your book, they can still request it, if it hasn't already been passed on to the next in the FIFO line.

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
Back To Top

Liesl, I may be wrong (and someone please correct me if I am) but if you decline because your book does not meet RC's I think you retain your spot in FIFO, but that person's request gets bumped down to the next in the FIFO.

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
Back To Top

Bernhard - I think that she was saying  thats why she opted to decline the RC instead of accepting the request and then PMing to clarify what the requester wanted. Once she accepts to ask, one of them are going to have to cancel the request. 

Leisl -you could have accepted and PMed and I they didn't want it have THEM cancel and reorder, that way you retain your spot. The book just comes back to you and you can decline right away so they get moved to the next person. That is a lot of hassle and with a smoker in the current household, I think it was probably best that you declined it.

I had one like that recently too, I wanted to send the book since it was on my shelf for over a year, but the RC just made me too nervous to send it.

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
Back To Top

I see what you are saying Heather, that's what I meant at the end by "(potentially) confusing". I recognise that this person could really mean that they do not want books that have been in the presence of smokers, I just think that seems like a strange way to say that you don't want books from a smoking household. It is by no means the worst RC I have seen, but I still think it could use clarification. Especially since, even if my SO was not a smoker, I still wouldn't be sure if I could accept based on the fact that I purchased the book used.

Melanie, that is what I was thinking of doing, but I didn't want to risk them not answering me or anything, too much hassle.

Thank you all for reassuring me that I didn't sound crazy. I probably should have mulled it over a bit more though, sounds like I could have been a bit clearer.

Last Edited on: 2/24/09 6:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1