Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Grumpy Old Man in Training

I feel like a bit of a jerk right now. But on the other hand I feel pretty good. The kind of good feeling you get when you are warming your hands in the nice, warm embers of a burning bridge. You know what I'm talking about? Let me splain.

Last year I was contacted to work a really lucrative camp and couldn't do so because I worked at Beelzebub College and they wouldn't give permission. The girl I dealt with seemed fairly nice though. We talked on the phone and chatted online about the camp. She actually sent me an email and invited me to be a teacher at the same camp this summer. With the invitation she also sent this website:
and a request that I send it to all my friends and contacts. I sent a response today. You have to read some of the website to understand my reply. Don't read too much or your brain might turn to sugar.

Earlier in the day I received an email from a friend inviting me to talk to him on a new site called Quetchup or some damn thing. In order to do that I had to join the site and while filling out the info on the form, Quetchup tried to take all the names from my yahoo address book. Well needless to say that attempt was blocked by my computer but it still pissed me off. I guess poor Linda Lafferty got the brunt of my ire. I returned her email refusing to forward her address to my friends. This is what I wrote verbatum but with a few emoticons missing:

Wow! I'm sorry, but I can't forward this site to any of my friends and am really disappointed that you asked me to do so. I am going to try to explain to you why, and be forewarned, coming from a person who believes people need honesty, sometimes BRUTAL honesty, more than soothing, positive psychological platitudes, this may harsh your mellow a bit.
Most of my friends are not intellectual infants who fall for psychobabble like, "There are no successes or failures. Only results of actions." I think any of my friends could reason that if I kicked the ball towards the goal and it went 10 feet wide, yes the miss was a result of the kick, but it was VERY obviously a failure. Failure and success ARE results of actions. To say anything like the above quote to most of my friends would be an affront to their intellects. Trying to ease somebody's pain through semantics requires that the suffering person be very suggestable. Most of my friends don't qualify.
And if there are any people on my friends list that I have overestimated and who would be fooled by cereal box psychology, they certainly won't be very receptive to this approach. Why do you think people hate Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons? It's not their theology so much. It's the in your face, magnanimous approach. Even though they might be genuinely just trying to help, it looks an awful lot like, "If you listen to what I have to say, you too can be as cool as me!" YOUR approach is even worse! It's the same only at the cost of 60 bucks an hour! At least.
A coach is someone who spends a LOT of time with his/her sport. They study the game and look at it in ways that others may not. They are masters of their sports. To call yourself a lifecoach is to say you are a master of life. Do you not see how arrogant and presumptuous this is? You are young so you haven't spent more time with life than I, or most of my friends have, so what you are effectively saying is that you have discovered things about life that we haven't and your acquisition of wisdom has been more efficient than ours. You're just saying it in words that go nicely together.
There are a lot of very suggestible people in Korea who have not been exposed to the landslides of psychology that we in the "west" have. They are also so overinstitutionalized that they have a deficiency in social training, which has kept them from developing a healthy skepticism. This is a paradise for a racket like yours. And until they are scammed a few times, Koreans probably won't learn. So it may be good for them, but I don't wish you any success and I certainly won't refer any of my friends to you. Find your own victims and keep pumping your own mind full of hyperpositive cliches so that you can live with what you are doing.

Now, don't take this too personally, Linda. You require your clients to be forthcoming. That's all I was attempting with this email. I am trying to convey my honest feelings. I don't dislike you or anything. I just don't agree with your business. This was not a failure. It was just a reaction to an action. What you have to do is find a way to recover positivity. Life is indeed an adventure! And what adventure is without its setbacks? The longest journey starts with a single step. Consider this a stutter-step. The dream is still yours to achieve!

That'll be 60 dollars please.

I dunno, do you think I was too hard on her? I suppose I won't be invited to teach at that camp. But if she lives according to her website, maybe she WILL invite me. She should be thrilled with my honesty and happy to have such a well adjusted person working with the kids. Yeah, right! And her "lifecoach training" is for real too. And those awesome testimonials on the website were written by real people too. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Oigu. Think I'll go icefishing with the putz next door.

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