Software

My five craziest e-mails

The old print journalists got their reader feedback through snail mail. You'd have to be a pretty ticked off reader to go to that trouble. But with the convenient Feedback buttons located on everything they write, bloggers can now feel the hate instantly.

The old print journalists got their reader feedback through snail mail. You'd have to be a pretty ticked off reader to go to that trouble. But with the convenient Feedback buttons located on everything they write, bloggers can now feel the hate instantly.

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When you write a blog for as long as I have, you learn to grow a pretty thick hide. Now that readers have only to click a button to tell you how much they hate you, you're pretty much a sitting duck when it comes to criticism. At first, I didn't think I'd ever get used to it, but I have. I have become the Teflon Blogger at this point.

Some e-mails I receive, however, still manage to shock me in that the person writing so clearly missed the point of what I was actually saying in my blog. Still other e-mails make me want to go out and buy a bulletproof vest. Here are some of my "favorites":

Toni is a sexist bully. After I referred to my husband's habit of not closing cabinet doors to illustrate a point about people who don't complete tasks in the workplace, I received this e-mail:

"I am very tired of women hating on men. Do you feel better about yourself by bashing your husband? Honestly, if you pick losers, I think that says more about you than it does your significant other. Secondly, bashing the male population does not make the world a better place; in fact it makes it a worse place to live for all involved. I don't think you see how negative comments like this work their way into the self perceptions of young people.  That negative self image rots their view of themselves. Furthermore, I am disgusted to think that I subscribe to a male bashing publication that quite honestly is most likely all male in the first place. So that leads me to wonder if you are qualified to be in the position you are in, do you not understand who your audience is? If you ever bring up the argument the same money for the same job, ask yourself if you are truly qualified for the position you are so lackingly filling."

Funny, he refers to my husband as a "loser," and yet he calls me a male basher. I thought about referring this guy to one of my past blogs, Lessons my big brothers taught me, but I'd honestly prefer that he didn't hang around anymore.

Toni spelled a word wrong! I wrote a piece about the emotional phases one goes through after a layoff, using a still-sensitive experience of my own as an example. The piece contained a typo, from which one of my readers made this leap of logic: "Apparently the company from which you were laid off  made a good choice in letting you go." Yeah, because we all know how corporations like to ferret out those who are capable of hitting the wrong letter on a keyboard. Toni's in the wrong line of work. Another reader had a problem with my advice and suggested that I seek other employment, "like being a garbage collector." I decided to do that very thing and, thus, this list was born. Toni just sucks. One e-mail came with one little question: "And you get paid to write this crap?" Not enough, my friend, not enough. And the winner is... My all-time favorite e-mail arrived a day or two after my mug shot began appearing on my blog. It read simply and eloquently, "You have an ugly face." I e-mailed the gentleman back, thanking him for his keen observation and wishing him good luck in the fourth grade. He responded with "I was just kidding." What, he couldn't have settled for a knock-knock joke?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

43 comments
captkewl
captkewl

Hi Toni! I'm glad these idiots who sent you those crazy emails haven't slowed you down on your blogging. I've been a silent reader for more than a year now and I just love the way you write stuff. Thank you! Melanie

nimd4
nimd4

Spellchecking can get tedious, sure we understand ;)

Justin James
Justin James

I've had a few myself, but they are actually quite rare. Two of my favorites: * I had one that told me that they were extremely attracted to me. Not sure if it was a joke or not (or even the gender), I never heard back from them after I responded, thanking them for the compliment and letting them know that I was already taken. * I am always getting emails like, "my application is broken when user clicks the button, please let me know what to do to fix it?" or "I need to know more about programming, how do I program?" For whatever reason, I rarely receive negative feedback either in the forum or in email. When I do, 95% of the time, it is either due to an outright error on my part, or something that I vaguely worded, and in either case, it is well deserved. :) J.Ja

Tink!
Tink!

so much closer so now we all can share in the warm fuzzies doled out by the worms which appear out of the woodwork. With all this access to infinite information and interactive experiences, isn't it wonderful how we can now experience the variety of social differences? :p

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

For the Winner, I thought I saw a post like that in one of your blogs a few months ago. Except the loser went on a bit more than that. I almost went off on the loser, but I didnt want to pull the thread down a few levels (as I can be a bit rude)

Tig2
Tig2

In general, I make a very concerted effort to spell correctly and I have a wonderful editor that doesn't let me screw up too badly but I do believe that I can match you for whacked out email. I have seen about everything from "too long" to "too short" to "do more research" to "what makes you think you can write". I have finally reached to point where I just figure that the fact that they are taking that moment of their day to email means that I am reaching them in SOME way. Just not, maybe the way I had hoped. Face it. You can't please everyone. But you CAN please yourself. I figure that if I do that, I have taken care of Job One. Don't let them get to you, Toni. You and I both know that sometimes ideas are scarce and sometimes that "sheet" of electronic "paper" can be tough to fill.

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

Where to start the commentary on excellent examples of flame email? Some men like sexist bully females. Some men pay a lot of money in those specialized brothels to have the experience. Others, just do whatever they get asked and then mosey along their way in life. Whichever works for ya there... If the President of the United States can mangle grammar, why shouldn't everyone else be so entitled? Toni, Sonja, Jason and me are all in the wrong line of work. Y'all should be royalty somewhere, I could be the court jester. We could have entertaining Fridays watching Oz and Maxwell having nerf bat combat to see who gets to be the High Chamberlain. The proper reply to being told you suck is: Yes, I do suck, just like a Hoover. Let me know their expression when you use that. And only the very menial comment on someone's appearance. Anyone every notice that Brad Pitt is really a humble guy?

.Martin.
.Martin.

just have an IQ too low for them to be able to function correctly :)

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

3 cheers for the thick skin, well done! First email, a little politically correctness gone bad, as it usually does. look at TR, when the PC police start jumping all over forums, the forums go bad. Once the fog lifts and people just speak their minds again, the insults or language is found to not actually be hurting anyone and we all get along and have a laugh about it. Misspelling: Well Toni, I've got you beat there and yet still haven't really lost a job in over 25 years. Toni just sucks: well I can agree with that one, only becuse you have a sense of humour and a thick enough skin to laugh anyway and not take such rot pesonally. Toni is in the wrong line of work: I agree, you could be working in my office, that would be a LOT more fun for me. Toni has an ugly face?: Well, I could look at you all day, if that helps (though I am sure that would be too creepy, I'd probably call myself in for that one). I manage a few website blogs and forums, I also write cd and concert reviews/news for a half dozen or so music publications. As you know from my time here, I get it from all sides and I dish it out too. The key is that I can take it as well as I dish it out though. So many people can throw out BS insults but can't take it. Recently I wrote a few notes on a touring band's concert, I've seen them at least a dozen times over the years, as they have grown and become who they are today. I was rather critical about the recent stage show, illustrating specifically where it failed the band, and that though they were cool enough to change the setlist as they go, the lighting and stage hands were not rehearsed enough to compliment them. The stage design is TERRIBLE compared to past shows etc. Needless to say, the article recieved some favourable agreement and a heap of people saying how *pseudonym here*(OzMedia) has never seen a Metallica show, must be into classical (which I am as well, as if that has ANYTHING to do with it) was a country music loving f*g etc. It went on and on, but theeditor of the publication liked it though, sells copies. Then again, I have been a huge fan of Bruce Allen (manager for Bryan Adams, Michael Buble, and god knows how many others) for decades (my hero) and he takes it on the chin for his opinions too, as they are not always sucky feel good things to say about the industry. When I asked him about an attack he got for a comment he made on a local radio station he just laughed and said that he'd been invited to do the same type of 10 minute spot by other stations since. His Wednesday morning spot is now broadcast all over the world on different stations. Because some people love his cut and dry opnion and others oppose it. We can't all be loved all of the time, but if we are loved by those that we in turn love back, that's all that matters. Take care, Toni; hope you had a nice holiday and keep up the spectacular work, we all love you here.

aesthetech
aesthetech

its a very non-professional article i've ever seen on techrepublic.

clendanielc
clendanielc

To go on MGP2 since he beat me to the punch :( Toni is a sexist bully: Sounds like this guy has relationship issues. I would comment more but don't want to go back to wearing a bullet proof vest. Hurts my image. Plus I am IT not Doctor Phil. Toni spelled a word wrong!: Ah! Another person who failed to be an English Major. To prove to themselves that they are "perfect" spellers, they look at everyone else's work and then comments on their misspellings. Wanna be English Major's, uh! Toni's in the wrong line of work: It's a good thing we have wanna be guidance counselor's out in the world. I could have never figured out that I wanted to be a security guard for Disney instead of pursuing a career in Information Technology. No offense to security guards at Disney. I do like the Mouse shaped badges. Toni just sucks: This is the best commenter. No reason at all, they just tell you that you suck. And the winner is: Thank god for shows like Top Model! I have to keep watching these shows to make sure that I don't get comments / emails like this. My response to that person would be "I'm rubber and you are glue! Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you!" Keep writing Toni!

dschrishuhn
dschrishuhn

Don't let it get you down. It's easy to hide behind email and take anonymous pot shots. As an avid reader of Tech Republic and your contributions, Keep up the good work!!

MGP2
MGP2

...still read/subscribe and, if so, recognize themselves as the writers of those emails. [b]Sexist bully writer:[/b] Looks like someone's self-image had already rotted their veiw of themeselves. [b]Spell checker writer:[/b] Lyke won werd spelt rong wil roon the intyre blog (numerous puns intended) [b]Wrong line of work writer:[/b] Good comeback, Toni! [b]Just sucks writer:[/b] Those who can, do. Those who can't just biotch about those who can. 'Nuf sed. [b]To The winner:[/b] People who write things like this don't see what they should see when they look in the mirror. Thanks for always keeping us informed, Toni. Happy Holidays!

Lizzie_B
Lizzie_B

"per asper [b]ad[/b] astra" - not "at".

Bizzo
Bizzo

Such eloquence! Wonderful critique! It's good to know that YOU don't get paid for writing. Seriously though, what was the point of your post? I never understand puerile flaming, and looking at your past posts, you do it quite often. Come back after you've gone through puberty.

toni.bowers_b
toni.bowers_b

It often doesn't help to rattle the cages of people like that. Also, my hands are a little tied with what I can and can't say on this forum--continued employment and all. That's a little frustrating since I don't usually back down from a fight. On the other hand, I hear a lot of great comments from people who make points I never thought of and give me new perspectives, like you regular posters do. All in all, it's a great gig.

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

I think Toni should just lure them up to TR's location and then the ladies could train the miscreant with the lace facial straight jacket training method. Who knows, they might become very polite and gentile afterwards.

MGP2
MGP2

"Would you rather I use my teeth?" ]:)

seanferd
seanferd

Or is this just a poor attempt at shooting for number six?

neilb
neilb

Try setting yourself on fire.

MGP2
MGP2

...so they can get over themselves. aestech, it's the start of the holiday season. Is it against the rules of professionalism to write something a little lighthearted? Actually, what I would say is totally unprofessional is to criticize the writer so pulbicly, as you've done here, when you could have clicked on Toni's bio and written to her in a private manner. I would have written to you privately to do so, but you don't have the "private message" feature enabled on your profile. Happy Holidays to you.

celt365
celt365

Hey Toni... WICKED GOOD! (the best compliment they give up here in Maine) As for the other "dissers" (is that still a word?)... GROW UP!

Snak
Snak

.... so if you don't like me, that's a problem YOU have, not me. I find this is a wonderful detractor deflator

santeewelding
santeewelding

Your reach and impact pleases all the way to China. I could have said as clearly as Big Hair has said, but coming from him, filtering as he so marvelously does through Chinese, then into English, carries much more weight. From an irregular poster.

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

There are always a few that can be found in the sheep dip....

Tig2
Tig2

Very funny response. I will remember to use that the next time someone tells me that I blog badly. With proper credit given, of course!

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

I simply cannot believe that you, of all people, just tried to increase global warming by increasing the carbon footprint!

.Martin.
.Martin.

Never. we are all (well at least most of us...) are meant to be professionals. and we all gotta keep our eyes on the prize :D

Tig2
Tig2

It's a good line. Somehow I don't think it will work for me. Maybe an edit... :D

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

My lips feel just like Brad Pitts'... I've been dying to use that line! :)

Tig2
Tig2

So many people forget that basic truth. That was a great link, BigHair! I will remember to use it the next time I am asked for a picture of myself!

toni.bowers_b
toni.bowers_b

Dude! I'm going to change my mug shot with that picture. LOL

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

You are going to bite them? Nibbling is good, biting is bad.

neilb
neilb

is carbon neutral. We derive our carbon from our food sources which originate as plant material. Burning humans is no different - from a climatological perspective, that is - than burning wood. ;\ Burning humans and mentioning God? Me? NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise. Surprise and fear. Fear and surprise. Our two weapons are fear and surprise. And ruthless efficiency. Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency. And an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope. Our *four*. No! *Amongst* our weapons. Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise... I'll come in again.

santeewelding
santeewelding

That occurred to me, too. I figured I'd leave him to his fugue from his confining reservation the one time. He has, you know, also been mentioning God.

maecuff
maecuff

on what you consider 'the prize' to be. Being lighthearted is nice. Being too serious is a downer. That's not to say that there isn't a time and a place for seriousness, but to NEVER be lighthearted? That's just sad.

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