Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FAR too much time on your hands – Giveaway Bullies

I’ve really loved discovering the world of Mommy Blog giveaways. As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I’ve had to spend SOOOO much time these last seven months hooked up to a breast pump that entering giveaways and discovering blogs has really helped me focus away from how down I felt about my son never being able to latch properly. That said, I’ve recently happened upon a very weird phenomena…. Giveaway OCD stalker/bullies.

This may be rant-like but so feel free to hit the back button now. No really, it’s ok! Back button…

People who know me IRL, know that I am an extremely trustworthy person. My word means something. Mix that with my job which involves hands one oversight of hundreds of thousands of dollars, I think it’s safe to say I’m an honest person. But do I make mistakes? ABSOLUTELY! But to call one a “cheater” or “dishonest” about a SINGLE mistake? C’mon here…what’s really going on?

I’m aware of 4 mistakes I’ve made in giveaway entries. Allow me to explain, I keep a spreadsheet of open giveaways I’m entering on to help me keep track. I have a marking/coloring system which tells me what the daily/weekly/hourly entries are allowed on that specific event. It’s not as elaborate as it sounds, but helpful in keeping track of entries, wins, etc. For three of my known mistakes, I had miscolored something in the spreadsheet causing me to do daily entries for something, One mistake was that I got a time wrong on an entry and did a second entry too soon.

Now the interesting, and moderately scary part of this matter, is that for one of the mistakes, I caught but was unable to delete the entries because only the Blog Owner could delete the entries. So I emailed the blogger, apologized for my mistake and told them to delete the entries. While waiting for an email back from the blogger I received a RANTING email from someone who had also entered calling me a cheater demanding I delete ALL entries (not just the few that were in error) accusing me of being a scammer. Well I heard back from the blog owner the next day who said it was not problem and that she would just redraw if one of my incorrect entries was pulled. I deleted the email from the other person, blocked them and just moved on. No need to flame the fire of a lunatic.

For the other two errors my spreadsheet caused, I caught one and was able to delete the incorrect entries. But I did send an email apology to the Blog Owner who was very cool about the whole thing. For the third error, I found out about it because another crazy giveaway enterer sent me a series of really mean and successively demanding tweets over the course of four hours. The final tweets even included vulgarity because I didn’t respond to their earlier tweets quick enough for them. (Hello….wasn’t even NEAR a computer!)

Then just a day or 2 after that I get a cryptic tweet from someone who again is calling me a cheat because I made an error on the time of ONE tweet. ONE. Out of many many tweets. I responded to this creature because if I didn’t who knows if they would have gone deep end like the other twitter meanie! Really to no avail because I guess no one makes mistakes but me. I emailed the Blog Owner with an apology and asked him to please remove the ONE post in which I made a timing mistake. Regardless, not wanted to add flame to the fire of yet another troll, I just walked away from entering that giveaway because real life is stressful enough, I don’t need a Giveaway Nazi making it more so.

Recently, I happened upon one of three who had approached me with such vitriol in a post. And the creature is STILL alluding to a post as being a cheater; even though I haven't posted a single entry on the giveaway in question since. I’ve also noticed them trolling after me in other giveaways I’ve entered. Given this I really think there is a Giveaway MO which has a really mean Bully aspect to it. Meaning if someone is mean enough a stranger on the net, maybe they can just scare them away from giveaways to increase the odds for themselves. I don’t know. But it feels creepy and icky when I see someone still obsessing over MY post(s).

Here’s ultimately what I don’t understand. What in the world ever happened to common courtesy? Email addresses are readily available on giveaways and many of my entry posts even tie back to this blog. So how about a nice email introducing yourself and saying “Hey, just an FYI I think you may have made a mistake…..” It’s really truly a sad state of affairs when people are so quick to think the worst of you without even communicating with you personally, rationally and reasonably. And it even saddens me more to know that these people are raising children and grandchildren. I only hope they teach manners better than they practice them.

Bottom line is this, if you are concerned about fair entries; only enter contests on site with Blog Owner Moderation. That way, you know that the entries being posted are 100% validated by the person in charge. And guess what! That person in charge isn’t you. ;)

And the final irony in this that I've notice at least 2 entry errors made by one of these creatures. Do I care? Nah...it's just makes me chuckle.

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