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Topic: WHY do people have to be so mean?!

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Subject: WHY do people have to be so mean?!
Date Posted: 4/21/2009 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2006
Posts: 27
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I just received a "cannot mail" message from another member.  This is exactly what she wrote to me:

"There is a smoker in my home and I have no desire to send a FREE book to anyone that puts out those stipulations."

Please, talk me down from sending this person a nasty message right back!  This is what I have for Requestor Conditions:  non-smoking home only and no water-damaged books. If she thinks those are bad, she should look at some of the ones I've gotten in the past - people rattling off pages of stipulations, right down to telling how many pieces of tape they want on the package! 

Seriously, I am totally irritated about this. She obviously needs to be "educated" about PBS, requestor conditions, and a lot of other things.  She's only got 8 books on her shelf so maybe she is new and (like a lot of people) hasn't read the help section and doesn't know what this is all about. Is it my place to tell her? 

I am generally a very nice person and I've met so many wonderful people through PBS, it frosts me when I run into one of these folks.

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well she was right to decline your RCS but she could have been nicer about it.

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I wouldn't worry about it. Smokers tend to be pretty sensitive folk (I know several). They get real uppity when someone expresses a dislike for it.

I'm not sure what you mean about educating them on PBS. They were rude, yes, but what would you tell them in regards to PBS? I don't think it's a rule to be nice, just a common courtesy.

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
Posts: 360
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Well, being new here myself, I can understand her feelings [but not her actions]. I have received several requests that are basically saying "get me a new book, or I don't want yours". If people are going to put so many stipulations on what they want, they should go buy a new book instead of bumming them off of us.

On the other hand, I can totally understand people not wanting a book from a smokers house.

But overall, if the book fits the guidelines of PBS, I think these "stipulation" people should just go buy new books.

and she was wrong to write what she did. I've felt like writing that type of thing, but that is not what I'm here for :-) Just decline

be the better person by not responding...

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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It is a rule not to be rude, but rudeness is very subjective. Don't get me wrong, when I hear people go on about how the books are free it really gets my hackels up. I'd be tempted to write a message back detailing how postage is not free, and credits have a monitary value, but why get dragged into it? Besides, if she reacts this way to a politely worded request that books not smell like smoke, who knows what she would have sent you.

Derrick, I know some RCs can seem outragous, but if I've learned one thing on this forum it's that many of them have good reason for them (such as collecting books to add to a classroom library). Not only that, but many of them understand that they are asking above and beyond the general guidelines, and know that this means they will get turned down from time to time.

I really don't understand why people get so worked up about RCs (people in general), either the book meets them or it doesn't, life goes on. It seems like too many people take it as a personal affront, or a judgement on their book collection, or something. I just don't get it, life is too short to waste enegry on such things.

Last Edited on: 4/21/09 7:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/21/2009 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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My husband is a smoker so I would have had to decline your request but there was no need for her to be so snarky about it.  And BTW, these books aren't free.  I traded a book for every credit I have, not to mention the postage I paid for to mail them.  Some people are rude and not so bright.

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 2,800
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While I may have turned you down also b/c I turn down any RC for a book that hasn't been around smoke (unless I aquired the book new, which is not the norm for my books), there is no reason to get mean about the whole thing.

I do wonder why you have an RC about water damage, because PBS already doesn't allow books with water damage of any kind to be posted. Have you had a lot of trouble with water-damaged books?

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/28/2007
Posts: 5
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Ok, I've received rude messages also about my stipulations for receiving books.  One of my biggies is a dirty book.  I'm sorry but I don't want a book that has dirt on the cover or inside.  The reason I posted my stipulations is because I received a book with dried spaghetti on it, one with crusted dirt inside and out, and a nasty smelling book that I swear had feces on it. 

You would not believe the rude comments that I have received.  I even say in my comments that I'll take books that have been read repeatedly but not dirty. 

I get comments about why don't I go out and buy my books new; why don't I quit asking for books if I won't accept used books and one that posted that she will not send any book to someone that has stipulations. 

I usually figure that people who are rude and have to make nasty comments are not worth my time or effort to reply to. 

As I have a smoker living with me, though he smokes outside on the patio, I still have some smoke oder in the house.  If I get a request for a book not to be sent from a smoking environment, I just put in the comment, "Smoker in the house." 

Hopefully, you will not get any more nasty comments, though human nature the way it is, I suspect you'll get more.  Just ignore them and go on to the next sender. :)



Date Posted: 4/21/2009 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2009
Posts: 113
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Donna, I would try and hold responding until tomorrow if at all.  When I first joined PBS , I responded irrationally to a RWAP I received and I regret it now.  I have learned so much about the rules and how to respond to people by reading these forums.  That person must not read the forums or she wouldn't have responded that way.  Since I received that cranky message, everytime i now have a pm, i get  nervous someone is mad at me and it hasn't happened since then.  Take a deep breath and just know that not all people are nice.  You'll feel better in the long run if you don't respond. 

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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Liesl - "I really don't understand why people get so worked up about RCs (people in general), either the book meets them or it doesn't, life goes on. It seems like too many people take it as a personal affront, or a judgement on their book collection, or something. I just don't get it, life is too short to waste enegry on such things "

That is exactly the way I feel.  Life is too short to get that upset over a book.   I am not speaking of the OP but people in general.   And yes, the person was rude.   I run into rude people in my life all the time.   I don't spend my time trying to reform them. I just move on.

Last Edited on: 4/21/09 8:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/21/2009 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 370
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I swear I am the luckiest person on this site.  I think I have only run into one RC.  And I only have had two minor problems.  Well, one minor and one medium problem and that lady did lie to me when I pointed it out, but really no harm was done I just got a book that had the wrong binding, but the book itself was in good shape. 

I wonder if the kind of books I request has anything to do with it.  Maybe someone should do a study to find out if rude people are prone to read certain books, authors, or genres.  ;)

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 12,021
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I wouldn't reply at all, not worth your time and, honestly, the other person isn't going to get the point anyway.

They were rude, thank goodness you only have to deal with them via a message on a computer and not in real life.  You can easily delete the message and move on.  Those that actually know this person don't have it so easy, I fear.

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,607
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I agree, I wouldn't even reply. There's no point taking things personally--her attitude is her problem, not yours! Just be glad she did decline your request rather than ignoring it and sending a smoky book. Perhaps she's new--she'll find out how "free" the books are after she's sent a few hundred of them! :-D

I get quite a few with RCs mostly related to non-smoking (which isn't a problem) and ex-library (which sometimes is as I get a fair number of ex-library books from FOL sales). I've even had some asking for like new books, and if my book IS like new, I usually go ahead and accept. I figure it's not for me to comment on someone else's RCs because they have a reason for them, although I may not understand those reasons.

The ones that bug me more than someone asking for a like new book are the ones that just repeat PBS posting guidelines or parts of them. I've had so few problem swaps it's hard for me to relate to people who feel the need to do this. I mostly grit my teeth and accept, but I admit it does depend on how they're worded, the tone of the RC, etc. And I don't even bother to read RCs that are paragraphs long and ambiguous. Decline! Next, please.

But I wouldn't be rude about declining. Your RCs are your business just as my decision to accept or decline is mine.


Date Posted: 4/22/2009 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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The best thing you can do you have done...you have come to the forums to vent!  Much better than Pm-ing that rude member.  We can all sympathize as you have noticed.   Just take lots of big breaths and move on.  You might also take note of who this was because you might not want to deal with her again. 


Subject: Thanks everybody!
Date Posted: 4/22/2009 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2006
Posts: 27
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Okay, now I know this is where the NICE people hang out!!  

Ruthy, you summed up the situation perfectly!

I ended up not sending her a note - it's just not worth it to start an argument.  I was just surprised at the venom!

And just to answer Susan V's question - unfortunately, I have received quite a few water-damaged books.  That's why the stipulation is part of my RC.  I'm surprised that people just simply don't pay attention to water damage - maybe they think water is clear, so we won't notice?! 

Date Posted: 4/22/2009 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Maybe put that you have smoke allergies in the RC. Most people are more forgiving if someone is asking for a book and have RCs if its due to allergies. I think they were rude but I would not even bother to waste my time responding.

Date Posted: 4/22/2009 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/28/2009
Posts: 441
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I like the suggestion about smoke allergies! And I'm a smoker who wouldn't be offended either way...similar to my faux allergy: I really really cannot digest broccoli, but it's not really an allergy, but I use that excuse when I special order 'no broc' at restaurants. I'm sure the waitstaff & cooks hate me/know I'm lying, but it works! I usually respond, "sorry, smoking household" when that RC comes up. And it does - frequently - and I do understand, why should a non-smoker bring my lifestyle into their home? But what's weird, I've gotten this repeatedly for a particular book: Ted Dekker, Obsessed. How strange is that? It's been offered to 4 different PBS'ers who all had that RC! So maybe only non-smokers find that book appealing? But I still have it and I won't lie about smoking to send out a book...but I also wouldn't be rude/discourteous or nasty to any RC.

That being said, I do feel an "irked" reaction when I get overly particular requests: "no dog-eared pages" (is that fold-down's to hold your place?) and "not too damaged" and "no spine damage"  (all in the same RC!). First - I buy a lot of books at Half-Priced Books and other used sellers. If they will sell them (and they don't take water damaged books either), and MANY MANY MANY people fold down pages instead of using a bookmark...second and third RCs - too subjective: what is too damaged? What is spine damaged? If I'm not the original buyer, is it too damaged? Every paperback has at least one spine crease...those are my only peeves - because I don't know what the RC person's standards are, I feel I can't comply and decline the request with the note, "Apologies, I'm not sure my book will meet your conditions." Better safe (and courteous) than sorry.

Date Posted: 4/22/2009 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've gotten my fair (or unfair) share of water-damaged books.  I also get books that are damaged by rain en route because of poor packaging.  Tonight I had to tell 2 members whose books I'd WL'd that I couldn't accept their books because of highlighting.  I can't read highighted text.  Both were new members so I tried to politely tell them the books were not to be posted unless they had been textbooks and then  they had to inform the requester about that first.  So many books in college aren't "textbooks".  One was a highly WL'd book.  Bummer!


Date Posted: 4/22/2009 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 147
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My attitude is similiar to Cheryl with a C, but I am more likely to turn down people that ask for "new books."  I don't know why exactly but that just grates on me.   I guess part of it is how perfect is "new" - it would tick me off to not get a credit because the book isn't "new enough." 

I can deal with clear, reasonable RCs - like not coming from a smoking home - I get why people would want to make that stipulation and I think it is reasonable and easy to understand whether a book meets it or not.

Even if someone's RC rubs me wrong, I certainly avoid rudeness - just say I cant guarantee the book meets their RC.

Date Posted: 4/24/2009 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 1,131
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I just turned one down that asked for a "like new" book. Well it was new when I bought it, it has been read twice and looks great but is it still like new? Did not take the chance on that one and just posted it to the next person couple hours later.

Like new makes me mad, I want to scream go get them at the store then this is a used book site.

Date Posted: 4/24/2009 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 108
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I sent a book out to someone that I purchased new from B&N online. Decided not to read it after I got it and it sat on my bookshelf for six months. I then sent it out to someone who wanted a "like new" book since besides a tiny bit of shelf wear it still looked brand new. I received a very nasty PM telling me the book did not look new and moreover had a remainder mark on the bottom(I had no idea what a remainder mark was at the time) but they were going to give me some slack for being new and not mark the book RWAP. I think I would have to turn down any RC with that stipulation, it's just not worth the worry.

To the OP, I am sorry they were so rude to you. With so many people having severe allergies I can't understand why anyone would be that insensitive. I opened a bubblewrap package yesterday that let out an awful stench, I think from dryer sheets, and caused me to have an asthma attack. I have the book sitting out on the porch airing out. Hopefully I'll be able to read it eventually.

Date Posted: 4/24/2009 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/28/2009
Posts: 441
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Oh, Debra - "they were going to give me some slack for being new and not mark the book RWAP"?! That gets a big WT-heck! and a 'how GENEROUS" of them (*sarcasm*). I'm sorry they were so rude to you! I just don't get the 'like new' stipulations...and you're right - not worth the worry if your standards are as high as the requestor's standards!

Date Posted: 4/24/2009 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/2/2008
Posts: 48
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xengab wrote Maybe put that you have smoke allergies in the RC. Most people are more forgiving if someone is asking for a book and have RCs if its due to allergies. I think they were rude but I would not even bother to waste my time responding.

This may not be a great idea. I have seen some people post on here: "Oh, they have allergies. I better not send them my book as I have a cat/dog and I do not want to bother their allergies.

Some people just go way too far in interpreting these RCs. Personally, I have no problem with them as long as they are objective. If they are subjective I will turn them down immediately. This includes "no odor", "not over-damaged", "like new", etc.... There is just too much room for interpretation there.

Last Edited on: 4/24/09 4:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/24/2009 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Well, lots of people better give me some slack old member or not, because most of my books have remainder marks!  LOL!  They read just like the new ones, too!


Subject: remainder marks
Date Posted: 4/24/2009 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 9
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Ok, I'm new & dying to know what 'remainder marks' are.  Sounds like something I don't want, lol! 

I have received a few books that were obviously older books, I ordered them & read them, but am a little leary of reposting them because they are so 'aged'.  Should I just repost,or list them as non postable?