What to even say about this one, besides that it’s happened to me TWICE?
Random person that I don’t know from Adam suddenly wants me to spend time and energy editing their work (even though I try to make it clear online that I can’t critique for people I have no relationship with). I am polite to random person and give them an idea of where they can get the help they need. Random person insults me using LOTS of swear words, displaying entitlement and claiming I’M rude for not dropping everything to edit for them just because they asked. And then . . . random person . . . tries to friend me on social media.
The more egregious of the two was someone who sent me a really awful query letter to critique, grudgingly thanked me when I gave him feedback, and then at a much later date spammed me with vulgar messages about how I’m stuck up and think I’m better than other people but am probably lying about my accomplishments, also with bizarre follow-up requests that I find the ~intentional~ errors in his e-mail. And then he tried to add me as a contact on LinkedIn (where I don’t have an account), and sent me kiss-up friendly mails many months later. I never talked to him again, so I have no idea why I’ve received over a dozen communications from this guy, with no acknowledgment that he treated me appallingly after I tried to help him.
(The other one was just some dude who hit me up for beta reading in his first message, then cussed me out because I said I wasn’t up for it, and told me how my writing was probably terrible. Then he added me to his favorite profiles list.)
So, not that any of my readers probably need this, but here’s a numbered list on how not to be that guy:
- Don’t ask for advice or services from people you don’t know or people who are not advertising said services.
- If you do ask for something and they say no, either thank them for their time or don’t reply. Do not curse them out or insult them for refusing to help you (presumably for free).
- If you do ever get frustrated and lash out at someone, do not, under any circumstances, try to befriend them later with no explanation.
- What the hell. (????)