Category Archives: Fail

Humanity Rant: Why Coddling Children Results In Annoying Adults

Hold on tight, kids; here comes the rant machine!

Let me set the scene for you with the history:  I’m in a social work program.  Social workers, as part of their day-to-day, deal with troubled, upset, abrasive, angry and sad people.  It happens.  Clients do not always exhibit fluffy bunny kindness when telling you that the program you’ve suggested for them conflicts (as you should know) with their job, and thus, they can’t attend; sometimes, they just call you a stupid fucking bitch who doesn’t know her damn job.  Clients can be wonderful, but I digress.  The point is this:  we are entering a profession where we can and will screw up, and people may or may not be nice in pointing it out.

One of our courses is Group Facilitation – in layperson terms, it’s a class to teach us to work in pairs and present information/teach people things.  Our major assignment is, you guessed it, a 45-minute facilitation.  Instructor tells us, “This is where you can fall on your face and learn, so you do wonderfully out in the field.”  We all stare wide-eyed, wondering when she’s going to tell us how to do this foreign thing.  It’s far more complex than it sounds, because social work programs want a very specific technique and style.

As part of our presentations, we’re grading our peers.  These grades do not impact our actual grades; their sole function, really, is for us to reflect on that feedback in a big ol’ “how do I feel about this?” paper.

First warning sign: the first day, when people realized that the groups would get to see what they wrote about their presentations, people began whining about wanting to leave off their names, wanting to not see them, insisting people would retaliate on each other for harsh marks.  “This isn’t high school,” Instructor says.  I shake my head:  our class really is like high school.  We are a mix of fast-track students and two-year standard program students, and the ages range from 20-40+ within the same 27-pupil section.  It makes for divisions simply due to differing generations, maturity levels and lived experiences.  It’s also almost entirely female.  Mean Girls.  Enough said.

As someone who has worked as a teacher, and in keeping with the spirit of “fall down here and learn”, I am very honest on my forms.  These are not anonymous; everything I say, I would say to someone’s face. When I approach them, in the whopping two minutes I have at the end and in the tiny space for each category of ranking, I jot down areas where I feel the facilitators could have improved, anything I thought that misfired, any biases/isms they’ve inadvertently demonstrated, etc.  I do this because when we all enter the field, we will not be dealing with our fluffy loving classmates; we will be dealing with people from all walks of life, with all different personalities.  What I may find “kinda rude” may get you screamed at in the field, or send someone running out in tears.  Not good, right?

Apparently, I am stuck in a class full of Special Snowflakes, coddled throughout their lives and totally positive! and everybody is amazing! and deserves an A+ for effort!

Parents of the world (and teachers) please listen:  there is a difference between a strengths-based, encouraging approach and flat-out lying to a child about how perfect she is, setting her up to utterly melt down when she meets the real world and finds out she’s not perfect.  She will assume everyone is a big ol’ meanie out to get her, and be oblivious to the fact that no, maybe she is just flawed – and that’s okay and normal!

Not everyone is good at oral presentations; I tend to talk way too fact because of social phobia, and also just struggle to find a good flow a lot of the time.  In grade five, I had to do a speech for school.  My topic?  Hating speeches.  I burst through what was a proper five-minute speech at home, finished in three-minutes, and stumbled over every other sentence anyway.

My teacher did not tell me I was amazing.  She gave me a B- (and for a perfectionist getting an A+ in that class, this was devastating and hysterics-inducing) and told me I needed a stronger development of my ideas and also, I should slow the hell down so people can understand me.

My parents never coddled me.  They told me to dream big, to go after any career I wanted, and to always do my best, but they also knew I sucked at Art, Gym and Geography and told me that oh well, I just sucked at colouring maps and playing basketball.

I was furious with myself for not getting an A.  Did I melt down and call the teacher an unfair meanie, and send my mother after her?  No.  I tried to improve, so I’d never get a dreaded B- again.  I knew the speedy talking was terror, so I worked on the other stuff:  I made sure to learn how to properly present what would later be identified as a thesis.  I got better at presentations.  I still got told to slow down, but not as much.

In this class, I gave my absolute strongest performance to date.  Between 24 classmates and the teacher, no one told me I spoke too fast; I presented my ideas without tripping on my tongue; and I even jumped in to help manage a potentially contentious debate.  Our group worked really hard, consulting often with teachers, to ensure we covered all of the marking scheme requirements, watched our biases, etc.  We got 91% from a teacher doling out 77% and calling that “a really good mark”.  It was the best mark by a huge margin to that point.

We still had criticisms.  I agreed with them:  our topic was very complex, so our slides had too much text on them due to the time limit.  We should have found more time for discussion-based learning.  Live and learn.  I was pointed out for speaking less than another group member, but the class was unaware of my social phobia and how I’d done more of the prep work as a compensation to my group.  I got a nasty comment that was pure retaliation after marking four other groups, and brushed it off.  I’m a grown woman.  I cannot and will never please everyone, no matter what I do.  That’s life.

My classmates fall into two groups:  one side, mainly the older students, acts the same way.  The rest – our Snowflakes – are furious with me for daring to say bad things, won’t speak to me anymore, and one even went to our instructor and complained for ten solid minutes today about me.  How do I know this?  She did it where anyone – including me, walking into the same department office – could hear herI was so embarrassed for her that I left the whole department and gave her the privacy to complain. One of her complaints was that she didn’t mind criticism “offered nicely“.

Here are a few examples of what I’ve seen, and what I’ve said:

  1. One group consisted of two white females and a Chinese female, who is a recent newcomer.  Her English is imperfect, but very understandable if you care to pay attention.  After she delivered the content on a slide in their presentation, one of the white girls repeated everything she said over again, as if we couldn’t understand the Chinese co-facilitator.  My comment:  “X repeated everything Y said right after she said it and it came off really rude and disrespectful.  I understood Y just fine!”
  2. One group ran an exercise that involved walking around the room and having other people sign off on squares of a Bingo card if a statement was true.  The goal is to get a line – a Bingo.  This went so quickly it became getting a full card.  I am invisibly physically disabled and suffer chronic joint pain and to make things more fun, I’d sprained my ankle three days prior.  I chose not to walk around but encouraged people to come to me to have their cards signed.  Not only did the facilitator standing beside me never ask me why I wasn’t moving around (basic group maintenance), she berated me and told me, “We’re doing a full card now!”   Right after stressing the importance of being mindful of disability etc.  My comments:   “A facilitator stood beside me and never once questioned why I wasn’t participating. She instead made me feel bad for not getting up. I sprained my ankle; it hurt to move.  No one checked if anyone was invisibly disabled.”
  3. One group was setting the room up into a semicircle for their presentation.  Our group did this the week before, and managed to do it with space for people to get around the room still, and had enough spots for all.  This group didn’t plan, didn’t count spots, and had to suddenly create four more spots.  One member came to where I and another student were sitting and rammed our tables back without letting us get up, pinned us against the back wall pretty much.  When we suggested leaving a small gap so people could get through the circle and cross to the other side of the room, this member said she “didn’t fucking care” and “my fat ass can get through”.  After all this, one student still never had a spot in the circle and sat behind it.  My comments:  “Q shoved the tables around and told us she “didn’t fucking care” when pinning us to the wall, and ignored our suggestion to leave a gap for crossing the room.  Z never got a spot in the circle.  Poor planning and rude.”

I firmly own the fact I am blunt and direct and can try and temper that, but where above did I say anything untrue or unnecessarily cruel?  Because apparently, I am abrasive and rude, and “out to cut everyone down instead of supporting them” and “selfish”.  I had a classmate say that.  Okay, people aren’t talking to me:  how was this a selfish move?  My grading doesn’t affect real marks.  If it did, I would be super generous with numbers and just comment!  Since it matters not, I will give you 7/10 if you’re rude to people for group maintenance, or deduct points for diversity awareness.  Sorry.  You are not all A presenters.  I did see some A presenters and groups; I also saw B- groups, too.  To tell the B- students that everything they did was 10/10 and wonderful negates those who really were amazing and all the efforts and talent they brought to the table.

In the real world, if girl 3 above was running a group session on employment searches and cussed a client, she might get slapped, or disciplined by a superior.  Yet, she wants me to lie and tell her she was perfect?  Why?  Isn’t it better you check your attitude now, with classmates who understand that you’re still learning the ropes, than during your field placement next term?

Funnily, the one male student who was NOT in my own group came up to me after his presentation and asked how I did, specifically wanting to know what I thought of him.  I laughed, told him I didn’t get the big deal about me, but said that his group’s was the best I’d seen, that he was the strongest facilitator in their four people, and he should be happy.  I discussed my approach and reasoning when I marked and he smiled and got what I was saying.  His group, by the way, was group 3 above, so he did get negative feedback as a unit, but he’s still smiling and relaxed.

I tell ya:  Mean Girls.

I’m from a different generation than most of these students, and man, the Snowflakes are grating!  The real world will not cushion and couch criticism.  If I’d had more time and more space to write, I could have written a paragraph to couch my negative comments, but that was not what I was working with.  Either way, grow up.  Criticism happens.  Roll with it, reject or accept it, and get over it already!

Because complaining to a teacher like a child whining to Mommy that “she was MEAN to me!” in college is just pathetic, and says far more about you than me.

I fear for some of these people’s clients.

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Make Mine A Chernobyl Wedding! OMGHipsterLOLZ!

A long while back, I took singer Amanda Palmer to task in my music blog for her incredibly insensitive hipster racism/ableism, as I burned my fancard.  I posted several incredibly astute links on the subject that even educated me beyond my initial knee-jerk “what the cunting fuck, bitch?” indignation.  My inner academic was also on board with my heart, and spitting mad.

Well, here comes a new version of hipster idiocy:  a Hobo Wedding.

No, really:  this couple thought that the Great Depression and the lifestyle of hobos was so dreamy and romantic, they would theme their wedding around it.  And, because they sourced so many of their vintage items at Etsy (the site that consistently shits out faux-artsy crafters that April Winchell thankfully dissects for all our enjoyment at Regretsy), that site’s blog featured this wedding.  Because, y’know, with unemployment raging in the United States, poverty is just so charming and quaint!

First of all, I love how well-researched the bride claims this wedding was, considering that she believes in misguided fashion that the term hobo was a shortened version of ‘homeward bound’ (that meaning only applied in the 1800s, not during the 1930s era that she themed her wedding on; by then, hobo referred to ‘hoe boys’).  I also love that in all of this research, not once did it occur to her pretentious artist ass that she might offend people – guests, even! – with such a theme, and perhaps consider a close alternative.  Did she actually read of the brutality of the hobo lifestyle, or did she simply gaze upon Norman Rockwell-esque ‘clown hobos’ and swoon?

Perhaps most grating is her husband’s obnoxious Tweeting about the matter, completely unapologetic and downright disgusting at times.  Defending your wedding as frugal because the ‘average wedding’ costs $27K and theirs cost only $15K is sad enough, and shows a piss-poor understanding of mathematics (newsflash: that figure is so high because it includes $100K weddings as well as the more common $5K or less shindigs many brides discuss on The Knot).  But these comments?

Keep it classy, Faux-bo Groom.  Of course, coming from the husband of a woman who actually used the term hobo chic, I’d expect nothing less.

Look:  if you love the 1930s style, fine.  If you wanted a simple style of dress and a fun, relaxed wedding that felt more like a jamboree, all the power to you.  You could have called it a 1930s country wedding and not offended a ton of people who have actually lived in poverty or do so right now.  Are your outfits cute, if the theme was left unknown?  Well, yes; without any label, it’s obviously a down home vintage wedding, and perfectly decorated as such.  But to romanticize some of the most impoverished people of that time period is an insult to their pain.

Hipster classism.  What will they think of next?

Maybe I should rethink my own wedding.  Chernobyl style?  Special Olympics, with all of us in decorated wheelchairs and braces?  Japanese Tsunami chic?  Am I doing weddings wrong by having tact, taste and class?

The original blog for their wedding
Their privileged registry, complete with $200 self-cleaning litter box
Regretsy takes them to task for their idiocy

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Weekly Spam: Money for ‘some Africa country’

It’s been well over a week since I’ve posted one of these, but in my defense, the pickings have been very generic lately.  This one, although a typical scam, is just special in its wording though – and it broke through Yahoo’s spam filter.  Would you like a cut of $95 Billion?  Read on!

From:  George Hendrick (george@btinternet.com)
To:  Undisclosed recipients

UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION.
Address: Palais Des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland.
Webmaster@unog.ch/uncc.

AFRICA NATIONS DEBT CLEARANCE NOTICE.
Sir,
Reference to the recent meeting between the United Nations and the Africa Union to restore the dignity and Economy of the Africa.

Agreements were reached by these WORLD LEADERS, the secretary to the UNITED NATIONS and the World Bank to assistance and redeem the image of Africa by settling some Africa foreign debts.

WORLD LEADERS / UNITED NATIONS / WORLD BANK have map out the sum of US 95,000,000,000 (Ninety Five Billion United States Dollars) to be use in paying  some foreign contractors debts owed by some African countries.

I want to bring to you notice that your name was among the list submitted in my office by the UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION COMMISSION (UNCC) as among those being owed by an Africa country and that is why am contacting you.

You are advised to contact the UN / World bank officer in-charge with your contract Number / Amount for reconfirmation and payment processing.

Contact Mr. George Hendrick of the UN LOANS CREDIT BANK.  Johannesburg, South Africa offices on this email address or fax number for clearance and directive for your payment.
Contact:     Accountant Mr. George Hendrick.
UN LOANS CREDIT BANK
Email: georgehendrick@accountant.com
Johannesburg, South Africa
Webmaster@unog.ch/uncc.
Tel: +27781349646 Fax: +27862120771

These are the two mode of payment.

Payments are either through direct BANK FUND DEPOSIT into beneficiary’s new opening account with UN LOANS CREDIT BANK in order to avoid wrong crediting of funds while BENEFICIARIES will do the online transfer of their funds with a TRANSFER PIN NUMBER by themselves to any account of their choice.

Or by an ATM VISA CREDIT CARD with PIN Number which will be sent to the beneficiaries address.

ATM Credit Card Modes of payments is the United Nations New Approved Means of Payment to Foreign debts. It’s RELIABLE / FAST / SAFE / SECURED and LIMITS CASH LAUNDARY.

You are advised choose one of the options and also to reconfirm / resend your full Name, telephone number / your contact sum to Accountant Mr. George Hendrick for payment processing.

Regards,
Ms R. B. for: Mr. Ban Ki-Moon .Secretary (UNITED NATIONS).

My favourite parts? Calling it ‘the Africa’; ‘assistance and redeem the image of Africa by settling some Africa foreign debts’; oh yes, and ‘LIMITS CASH LAUNDARY.’  Bwahahahaha!  The @ accountant dot com email address for Georgie is pretty special, too, and absolutely believable – as believable as the United Nations paying random individual contractors by ATM.  *snort*

You know, spellcheck would be a huge help for these people.  It’s like they’re not even trying to fleece me!

 

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A Survey For Canada…

I’d like to ask Canadians of all shapes and sizes the following questions.  You see, I’m having trouble reconciling the country I live in at the moment, and perhaps the answers will provide insight.  You’ll help, won’t you?  You know, because Canadians are known world-wide as friendly and helpful?

1.  If your son or daughter cheated in a scholarship contest for school – to the point of breaking the law – would you still be proud of his achievement?  Or would you chastise him for his lack of honesty?

2.  If your spouse said, “All of our combined money will be kept in one account, and only I can dictate how it’s spent – and you have no right to see the statements ever again,” would you be okay with this?  Would you be okay if he bought houses, cars and boats on your dime, mostly, completely disregarding things you need like clothing, medications and improvements to the house you actually reside in?

3.  Ladies only: If your father, husband and brother decided that, regardless of your wishes, you did not need access to birth control or abortion services, because marriage should, after all, be about procreation, would you be nonchalant about this?

4.  If your boss decided that he would cut funding to every department except his son’s, then rewarded his son for having the ability to make strong presentations, would you find this fair?  Or would you be pissed off?

5. If you noticed flagrant violations of policy at work, but every time you approached your superiors, you were suspended from work for attempting to speak up while the transgressors were given promotions, would you find this fair?

6.  If hospitals began triaging cases not on need, but on gross annual income, how would you feel, sitting in an ER with your impoverished father who’s living on a pension, after being told this?

7.  You receive a past due notice from the university your child is attending, indicating none of his tuition has been paid and he has been kicked out of his program.  When you ask him what happened to the $14K you gave him for school this year (because you have saved hard for years for this child to have an education), he says, “I went to Cuba, bought a car, saw the UFC – $800 seats, Mom and Dad! – and then, you know, I had to help out my buddies,” do you shrug and say, “Oh well, it was your money”?  Or do you lose your temper, especially because you’re legally on the hook, since he’s 17?

8.  If your sister was facing 67 criminal charges for which you knew she was guilty, would you be proud?  Would you encourage her to hang out with other criminals?

These seem like pretty crazy scenarios, I grant you, but I’m truly curious.  Most people I know, parents and non-parents of all political persuasions, would be unimpressed with all of these situations.  It’s logical to assume that none of these situations would seem fair or pleasant, nor would most parents (I should hope!) reward the behaviour of the children described above.

So why did you elect a Conservative majority last night?

The Harper Conservatives are guilty of all of the above, or have indicated they will do all of the above, if given half a chance – a ‘mandate’, as they like to call it, although, as with Rob Ford, 40% does not a majority of support make.  But 40% of you elected a party with these principles at its core.

I’m flabbergasted.  I’m embarrassed.  I’m fearful for the rights I currently enjoy as a citizen, let alone a bisexual, childfree female.

Harper’s MPs are encouraging the religious right to continue to push for control of MY uterus.  Harper himself thinks I should have no right to fund the party I care about.  Of course he thinks this: only his party is backed by the rich; he doesn’t need public subsidies, like the Greens do.  Harper thinks the Canada Health Act – the very thing Obama has been pointing to as he’s worked for a more universal health care system across the border – should be scrapped.  Health care shouldn’t be a Federal bother, you see; he also thinks we should pay for it privately.  Have none of you seen what’s been going on for decades in the States?

Harper is a criminal, and his government was the first to be found in contempt of Parliament – a first among the DOZENS of Commonwealth nations and their collective political history – for hiding what he wants to do with the tax money YOU have paid into running this country.  He wants to take away your rights to see the proverbial bank statement; now that he isn’t castrated by holding a minority, he can do just that.

The saddest thing is, I’d say 25% of Harper voters last night did so just because they are ‘sick of elections’.  Meanwhile, people are dying for a chance to have a right to vote in the first place, a vote that is actually counted.  These countries are shaking their heads at you, today, as am I. Harper’s refusal to cooperate with other parties has finally paid off for him; he’s manipulated you into no longer giving a damn who runs things, as long as no one troubles you with the details.

25% of the remaining voters are ‘punishing’ Dalton McGuinty in Ontario or are afraid of the NDP 20 years later.  Ontario, do you not remember Mike Harris?  Why do you think McGuinty has raised the taxes he has?  He’s been cleaning up the disaster Harris left us, between the megacity merge, downloaded items onto the municipal budget that forced David Miller into difficult decisions, and never mind dramatic rises in tuition and a disregard for health care and the poor.  Harper wants to download even more items onto the provincial dwindling coffers; if you think he will somehow save you taxes and money, think again, because the provinces will simply increase their share of the invoice.  That $400 health tax – which, by the way, many Canadians only pay a partial amount of, as it’s scaled to income – is going to seem like pennies four years from now. All because you fear a man who was always Liberal at heart (hell, look at the riding he’s holding right now in Toronto, Ontario!).

Selfish, foolish fallacy has befallen our once great country.  When the piper comes calling in four years, remember this:  rebuilding rubble carries a far greater price than simple renovations, and either way, we pay the bill.

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Weekly Spam: the Gif-Tastic edition

So lately, my folder’s been flooded by a new set of spammers, who’ve taken to trying to evade the spam filters by making the entire contents of their message, save a sentence or so, into an image.  Too bad they’re still all ending up in Spam-land. Fail.

In any case, this one just made me LOL, so without further ado, Weekly Spam in Pictures:

Okay, what the hell is wrong with this girl’s face?  It’s stretched out like the creepy smiles in Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun video.  Yuck!  I can’t even… it’s like Mr. Ed humped a Beverly Hills housewife or something.

But beyond that, I LOVE the product name:  Bill My Parents.  *snort*  That’s just awesome.  It makes no apologies for what this is, and keeps it simple.  In fact, when I saw this, I immediately thought of this:

Yeah, you totes know all the dumb-ass spoiled teens ARK Fail Factory enlists have parents who hand out prepaid credit and debit cards to their pweshus spawn.  Now that we’ve got Mummy and Daddy’s money, you know what time it is!

And guess who’s gonna be performing at the party with Rebecca?  Only the most no-no-notorious dude in their class:

I really hope Bill My Parents Mr. Ed Progeny has better luck than Rebecca hitching a ride to this sweet party:

Oh wait; there’s the spoiled teen brigade now.  Our Bill My Parents girl has a ride to the party!  Whee!

Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!

This post brought to you by my sleep-deprived brain randomly surfing my accumlated gifs.  Now go get that prepaid debit card!

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Weekly Spam

For kicks, I’ve decided to dive into the junk folders of my email accounts once a week, plucking out my favourite, ridiculous spam mail for posterity.

I’ve seen variations of this phishing spam before, but it’s one of my favourites, mainly because of some choice quotes.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

MY DEAR FRIEND

From:  J.T. <john.travis@iraq.com>

My Dear Friend,

Good day and compliments, I know this letter will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go off a long way to determine my future and continued existence.

Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Sgt. John Travis, a US Marine Sgt. Serving in the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment that Patrols the Anbar province, Iraq. I am desperately in need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you. I am presently in Iraq one out of the 50 thousand remaning soldiers for training of Iraq forces untill end of this year. I found your contact particulars in an address journal hence i contact you.

I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of Nine Million US Dollars ($9 Million USD) to the States or any safe country, as far as I can be assured that it will be safe in your care until I complete my service here.

This is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved.

SOURCE OF MONEY:

Some money in various currencies was discovered and concealed in barrels with piles of weapons and ammunition at a location near one of Saddam Hussein’s old Presidential Palaces during a rescue operation and it was agreed by all party present that the money be shared amongst us.

Click this link http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm

This might appear as an illegal thing to do but I tell you what?

No compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in this hellhole. The above figure was given to me as my share and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a British contact working with the UN here (his office enjoys some immunity)

I was able to get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot. He does not know the real contents of the package as he believes that it belongs to an American who died in an air raid, who before giving up trusted me to hand over the package to his close relative. I have now found a secured way of getting the package out of Iraq for you to pick up. I do not know for how long I will remain here, as I have been lucky to survive 2 suicide bomb attacks by Pure Divine intervention.

This and other reasons put into consideration have prompted me to reach out for help. If it might be of interest to you then Endeavor to contact me and we would work out the necessary formalities but I pray that you are discreet about this mutually benefiting relationship. Reply via email:  johntravis8@gmail.com

Respectfully,
Sgt. John Travis

Oh my LOLZ!  Where to begin?  First off, check the @iraq.com on the header, as contrasted with the gmail account you are directed to contact at the end.  Because, ya know, the website iraq.com belongs to the Marines, right?

Now, credit where credit is due, this email begins with fairly accurate grammar and spelling, and also utilizes facts so as to be believable.  It names off the battalion, etc of this supposed Sargeant (how much you wanna bet that a John Travis did, indeed, go to Iraq and was perhaps killed?), and mentions the Anbar province.  For someone without the faintest clue about spam and scams, this may come off sincere.

But then, the grammar slides.  He found my email address in an address journal, “hence I contact you”?  Alright, which of you punks went on vacation in Iraq and lost your phone book?  *shakes head*  He then tells us of finding magical money in Saddam’s palaces and that he’s asking a complete stranger to hide nine million bucks for him, without stealing it, until his service is done.  Um…  Yeah.  I am also amused by the fake bbc link here.  But then we hit my favourite part:  “This might appear as an illegal thing to do but I tell you what?  No compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in this hellhole.”

This spammer is guilt-tripping you into providing your information!  Bwahahahaha.  I love it!  I also love the further guilting here:  “I do not know for how long I will remain here, as I have been lucky to survive 2 suicide bomb attacks by Pure Divine intervention.”

They’ve gone to a hell of a lot of trouble to make this look sincere and personalized, and mostly well-written.  But still… if you actually believe that a solider with a ton of cash would contact a stranger to smuggle it out and hold it, you deserve to be the victim of fraud.  Why can’t he pay his way out of Iraq?  Why is he contacting the British Embassy for help?  Why wouldn’t the Embassy wonder why the US Embassy wouldn’t just send home a dead soldier’s things?

Oh, spam!  You can be so creative.  I love you.

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Weekly Spam

For kicks, I’ve decided to dive into the junk folders of my email accounts once a week, plucking out my favourite, ridiculous spam mail for posterity.

I’ve had one of my email accounts for 15 years now, which both makes me feel old and, naturally, means the account is consistently flooded with spam mail.  I’ve since moved all personal correspondence to other accounts, keeping it exclusively for mailing lists and so on.  Some of the junk mail I get there is priceless in its absurdity.  Here’s one shining star:

URGENT RESPONSE

From:  “Lt. Gen Aliyu Gusau” <ashleyalmanza656187@gmail.com>

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
ASO ROCK VILLA, ABUJA(F.C.T)
PHONE: +234-708-479-9600

ATTENTION

I AM LT. GEN ALIYU GUSAU, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR TO GOODLUCK JONATHAN, PRESIDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA. I AM DELIGHTED TO INFORM YOU THAT A RESOLUTION HAVE COME INTO THIS YEAR 2011 AFTER THE CONTRACT PANEL MEETING, WHICH CONCLUDED IN ABUJA JUST RELEASED YOUR NAME AMONG OVERDUE CONTRACTORS TO BENEFIT FROM THE DIPLOMATIC PAYMENT IN YEAR 2011. NOTE THAT WE ARE GOING TO SEND YOU YOUR CONTRACT PART PAYMENT OF FIFTEEN MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY TO YOU VIA DIPLOMATIC CASH PAYMENT(USD15.5M), THIS FURTHER EXPLAINS THAT YOUR CONTRACT FUNDS WILL BE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOORSTEP.

KINDLY RE-COMFIRM ME. (1)YOUR FULL NAME:- (2)FULL HOME ADDRESS:- (3)YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER.

NOTE THAT THE MONEY WILL BE PACKAGED AS A CONSIGNMENT WHICH WILL BE SEALED WITH SYNTHETIC NYLON AND PADDED WITH MACHINE. PLEASE YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY FOR ANYTHING, AS THE TRANSACTION IS 100% RISK FREE. PLEASE RESPOND URGENTLY BECAUSE THE DIPLOMATS WOULD BE SCHEDULED TO LEAVE AS SOON AS WE HEAR FROM YOU.

LT. GEN ALIYU GUSAU.

DIRECT LINE: +234-708-479-9600

O RLY?

Let’s take a look at how failtastic this is.  First of all, I love the email address for this supposed Lieutenant…  I’m sure the general is named Ashley in private.  Hmm, you know, given all of the political scandals of late, that’s actually pretty possible.  I stand corrected.  However, I sincerely doubt anyone’s name is Goodluck Jonathan, let alone the President of the Federal Reserve.

As usual, this is a phishing scam, although they’re at least wise enough not to ask immediately for your banking info.  That will come when they get your cell phone number. *snicker*

After you ‘re-comfirm me’ the information, you too can have five hundred thousand dollars sent to your doorstep, risk-free(!), courtesy of a synthetic nylon packed with machine.  You no worry for anything!  How awesome to have money stuffed by machine into some nylon item, all for you, dear contractor!

It boggles my mind when people fall prey to phishing scams, because the emails aren’t even written well.  And in the case of this one, you’d have to be a fool to believe that without bidding for this as a contractor, you were magically selected.  Goodluck Jonathan loves you, baby.

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