The Crazy eBay Woman

Another day, another raving lunatic. I’m still not feeling very well what with the migraine having kicked in to add to my general misery, but at least I’m laughing, not least of all because of a raving madwoman called Miss Oksana Y.

Miss Oksana Y. is a person I had the great pleasure of meeting through my dealings as an eBay seller. She purchased some CARE products from me and I offered her a discount. She then asked for the cheapest shipping alternative, so I offered her ground shipping, something I usually don’t do because it can easily take 4-6 weeks (and more) for packages to arrive to destination, and buyers—the finicky lot they can be—have in the past complained that this was too long (even when they were fully cognizant of these shipping delays I might add).

Until yesterday, my last words to miss Y. were something to the effect that her package should get to her within approximately 4-6 weeks and that I hoped she would be delighted with her purchase. Then, out of the blue, I received an email from her informing me that she was opening a dispute with PayPal (an eBay merchant service) because after 4 weeks she had still not received the package, and though she was willing to wait another 2-3 weeks before elevating the dispute to a claim, she wanted to be sure she would be covered for her expenses should the package not arrive as planned. I didn’t have a chance to reply to this because the very next email was from PayPal, informing me there was a dispute claim and that the amount of 80-odd dollars was being held from my bank account until the dispute had been resolved. Needless to say, I was not happy about this and promptly wrote miss Y. to try to resolve manners amicably, explaining to her that there was no need to open a dispute since I was more than willing to communicate with her and assuring her that there was a $100 insurance on the package provided by Canada Post and she therefore had nothing to fear.

Miss Y. would hear none of it. Was I worried because I hadn’t in fact sent the package to begin with? She asked. In fact, was I not worried because ALL I had in my possession was a mere tracking number which offered no proof of delivery—indeed—would NEVER offer such proof (presumably because she intended to claim the package had not arrived, would in fact NEVER arrive?). It was clear from the onset that I was dealing with a raving lunatic, so I promptly called PayPal merchant services to try to clear up the mess this woman had created.

Perhaps it was sheer dumb luck, or perhaps (more likely) PayPal has seen other scam artists try this kind of thing, but they quickly unfroze my assets and assured me everything would be fine. I wasn’t so convinced. I sent her a short note telling her where things stood and that I was quite confident that she would receive her package in due time. Her response was the following:

it [the dispute] was opened due to “non-receipt”. i have not received this item. Do you have a delivery proof? You don’t. In fact, I am being nice to you as I said I will not escalate it to claim. Would you like me to? I would be happy to. You have no delivery proof and I have no item. These are the facts. If you have other facts, you can pursue this with your insurance. Or better yet, you can escalate my dispute to a claim yourself, if you really believe that PayPal is on your side.

As I mentioned, I was not feeling well yesterday and was quite rattled by the woman’s flagrant display of bad faith. So again, I called PayPal, and this time landed on a gem of a client service woman. I read to her some of the personal emails miss Y. had sent me in the interim and she quickly agreed with me that we were dealing with an person who was bent on causing problems. She added that there were cases she liked to keep an eye on personally a couple of times a week, and that she would add this one to the list. Furthermore, she said, if miss Y. had the bad idea to elevate the dispute to a claim, she would only do herself a disservice and clearly show that she had bad intentions from the first. She suggested I send another final note to the buyer reminding her that as she herself had started the dispute, she was to abstain from contacting me directly and was to use the moderated disputes forum provided by PayPal.

Of course, all of this might be of no interest to you, but if it is, here is the comment thread which followed after that latest message from me (during which it was confirmed that she unwisely elevated the PayPal dispute to a claim therefore closing off our ability to communicate via the dispute forum on PayPal):

Me: Dear Ms Y., please be advised that since you have started a dispute, as per PayPal procedures and standards, you are to refrain from further direct contact with me via email or otherwise and should only use the PayPal forum should you wish to enter into further communication with me.

Miss Y.: you made it so, my dear.

Smiler: You’re insane.

Miss Y.: you just made a personal attack. I will make sure to forward this to eBay and PayPal.

Smiler: By all means, be my guest. Be sure to add in your forwarded comment that I also said that I feel sorry for you that you are compelled to make problems for people where none actually exist elsewhere than in your own head. I’d also like to take the occasion to thank you for the sheer entertainment value this is providing for me. Definitely worth the 80-odd dollars you are falsely claiming. Best regards. :-)

Miss Y.: The problem is a non-receipt. Nothing more, nothing less. I would encourage you to contact your post-office as the claim will be decided in my favor, there is no doubt.

Smiler: Vous vous trompez sur toute la ligne chère dame [you are out of line dear lady]. It’s been 4 weeks. delivery standards state approx. 4-6 weeks. You are prematurely assuming the package will not arrive to you. Not the post office nor Ebay nor PayPal will go ahead with your claim until this delivery delay has been met (they will actually wait longer in case the package has been delayed). If anything, you made yourself look bad by elevating the dispute to a claim this early on in the process. If you claim the package hasn’t been delivered and stick to your guns, you will only look like what you actually are: a scam artist. Therefore you did me a favour. Again, I say thank you miss Y. Now kindly get lost.

I am sure this isn’t the end of Miss Y. as she hasn’t yet said her last word, but as far as I’m concerned, this is where the story ends. Some of you may think it unhealthy of me to give this woman so much room on my blog, but I must say that having turned her into creative fodder has made me feel much better. My migraine is miraculously dissipating. Smiler is smiling again. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.


Case in Point

Here’s what’s going through my mind as I brush my teeth, exhausted from a too-long day after a manic weekend:

I’m too self-critical. I should really stop with the self-criticism already. My life would be so much better without it. It’s probably my worst habit. Maybe if I was less self-critical I’d be happier, no? Why do I have to keep criticizing myself? It’s just silly. Yes, I must stop doing that. Then I’ll be perfect. Well not quite because lord knows I have a lot of work to do on myself but… almost perfect. Which is not great, but good enough. I guess.


Rants & Raves

I just finished expanding the “about me” page aka Hi, my name is Smiler. I found the inspiration to do so after visiting the blog of a person I will not link to for obvious reasons, who is clearly technically proficient with WordPress and volunteers on the support forum. I first noticed her because she really is ubiquitous and I was initially put off by what seemed like frequent snarky remarks and impatient replies to the newbies who usually populate help forums. I’ve come to the conclusion that she must not like people very much, and only contributes her brand of advice to gain maximum visibility for her own blog about all things WP. I was there searching for elusive answers, afraid to post a question and become her latest victim, then had to give up, “man up” (so to speak), and post my query. The answers came from various volunteers, including this person and this helped me move on, but with every step, new questions cropped up. After I’d posted a third question she said that I was “going around in circles” (i.e. wasting her time) and she wasn’t going to help me anymore. I would have left it at that but I still didn’t have my answer, so I wrote back and clearly explained why she had misunderstood my question and asking her or others for an answer. It’s been a couple of days, and response time is usually within the hour and still no reply. Because I knew I’d likely have to deal with her in future (or be actively ignored by her for all the wrong reasons) I sent her a thoughtful private message to try to reach common ground.

Before doing so, I read her “about me” page and found out that she is also dealing with a chronic condition which leaves her depleted much of the time. I deduced this might explain her terse coaching style, but was hopeful that I’d get through to her with my missive. To her credit, her profile was honest and direct, and thinking about my own whimsical, pithy resumé, decided it was time to change it to reflect my recent efforts online and in the “real” world to open up about issues that affect my life.

That’s the story behind my new profile, and methinks, an elegant way to surreptitiously post a rant about this woman who quickly sent me back my carefully crafted message with “return to sender” for a reply. Again, I should have just let it be, but “shoulds” don’t don’t do much for me lately, so my emailed response was:

At least now I know for sure my first impression was completely accurate.

What I sensibly left out and am dying to add is: and thanks for confirming you are in fact a complete bitch.

Rrrreowwww!!! ^,,^

Part Two (7:30 AM)

I couldn’t help myself. Had to get my point across so posted the following on the forum:

Dearest [screen name], I have just now posted a tribute to you on my blog. I thought you might be interested, or at least a little bit curious. Best regards.

As those who know me can attest, I can be the nicest person, but slights and unfair criticism bring out the worst in me.

Final note on the matter (7:46 AM)

After posting my rants, I just now went for a quick look at the Stumbleupon site, which I haven’t checked out in quite some time. I should have known this was coming… here is the page I landed on (from World of Inspiration):

“We should be too big to take offense
and too noble to give it” ~ Abraham Lincoln


“No one needs a smile as much as
a person who fails to give one.”

I guess I have my work cut out for me.
From Smiler, with Love. ;-)

Where Is The Love?

Lately I’ve been considering changing my blog name. I’m just not in a very loving kind of place at this juncture, and every time I post something these days, I feel my masthead glaring at me, albeit with much benevolence. Today for instance, I sent emails to two people, giving them a piece of my mind. To the first person, because I felt she had hurt my feelings and wanted to set the record straight, to the other just to reiterate how much I hate him, which made me feel really good. And also made me think maybe we should name February 15th—the day after Valentine’s Day—“On Second Though, Go Fuck Yourself You Lying Sack Of Shit” Day. I’m sure there are all kinds of possible commercial applications. Catchy eh?

Con Artist

“I hope you can rise above” the crumpled up note at the bottom of the recycling bin says. I hadn’t taken out the recycling in a couple of weeks, so the note has been sitting there for a while. I pick it up to read it again.  The words haven’t changed. They sound just as empty to me now as they did then.

Rise above what? I want to ask out loud. The fact that he took advantage of me? The fact that he made himself comfortable in my home for two months, omitted to participate financially in any way, racked up long distance charges on my phone when I specifically asked him no to, and then made me out to be “all about the money” when I brought up his financial responsibilities?

He sure did talk a lot. That’s what con artists do, they say things; they promise all kinds of things without ever actually being too explicit. The make tenuous plans in some fictitious future that they include you in, so you’ll be led to believe they intend on being your friend for a long time and that whatever is going on in the now is just a small fraction of a much larger whole. But the joke is on you, because all along,  they’ve been on the take and all along, there never was a friendship to begin with. You just happened to be there for them to step on; another stone for them to climb up to wherever it is they think they might be going to. The sad thing is, all too often, it’s creeps like that who manage to make a success of themselves. That would be because they have no principles holding them back at any stage in the elaborate little games they play on people.

Rise above what? The fact that all along I was acting in good faith? The fact that I shared my life and my things and trusted that everything would be fine in the end? That he’d do the same for me if  and when the need arose? Rise above the fact that a person who called himself my good friend used up all my emergency cash, left me with an empty fridge, depressed, alone and completely broke on the week of Christmas without so much as providing a loaf of bread or the small christmas tree he promised or god forbid a call on Christmas day (!), and then said it was no big deal that he had helped himself to my petty cash since I was spending too much money on myself anyway… Meaning what? That I didn’t deserve to be able to buy my own staples when I needed to?

I made a huge mistake (no hyperbole there!) by assuming that because I had known that person for a long time, and because we had had good laughs, and because we had remained friends over time—albeit we hardly actually ever communicated—I could somehow trust him to be a decent human being. But when push came to shove all I ended up with is a lousy note that said: “I hope you can rise above”. He just had to add insult to injury. Because somehow through it all, through his uses and abuses, I had no right to actually call him on what he was doing. Because the words and the tone I was using were too ugly and we must not ever use ugly words or raise our voices, even when all decent limits have been breached and all we are actually saying is the plain truth.

I wish I could say I’m none the worst for wear, but I’d be lying. This whole thing sure has been playing a number on me. I’m mostly angry at myself for letting myself trust someone who wasn’t worthy of that trust to begin with. Also for wasting so much energy on someone who clearly doesn’t deserve a single iota of my attention. I want this year to be about so many other much more important things!

Thanks But No Thanks

As far as Christmases go, this one is turning out to be just as crummy as the previous ones, only possibly even sadder than the others for personal reasons that I’m not inclined to describe here. Lately I haven’t been posting much because my approach to blogging has been that if I don’t have anything positive to write about then I’d rather not write at all. But tonight I must make an exception, following a Skype chat with my mum during which her only request for Christmas was that I post something. That’s the very least I can do. So I’ve brushed my hair and put on some Joe Malone Tuberose especially for the occasion and now racking my brain wondering what I could possibly post about that could have some sort of entertainment value for you, my dear readers.

I discovered a wonderful site called Etsy a while back (Your place to buy and sell all things handmade™) and think it’s a great place to find truly unique items. Having signed up for their daily mailings, I receive their usually wonderful suggestions for items that are often selected by themes (“Snug as a Bug”, “Retro Cabin Renovation”, “80 Gifts Under $25”, “A Tale of Six Cities“). Lately the offerings have all been geared towards Christmas giving of course, and though there were many tempting items on offer, I couldn’t help but notice a few items I found particularly unappealing. Here then are a few gifts I am very grateful for not receiving this year (click on the titles to view the actual listings and see if they are still available!):

Felt Food Lunch or Dinner with a hamburger, chicken leg, and ravioli
Not sure which is worse: having no food at all to eat in the house or having nothing but this plate of felt meat and carbs on hand for hard times.

TOXIC VISION metallic purple tassle studded mini dress
Wouldn’t be caught dead wearing this. The unspeakably ugly accessories are all for sale too!

Fun Multicolored Computer Keyboard To Brighten The Office
A neat idea that somehow went very wrong.

Living Dead Girl Jar
Whatever it is: Eeek!