A Typical Morning in my Mobile Office

mobile office

Since I now have “no fixed address” my office changes depending on where I can get the best wifi. Some may thing this would be a headache, but to me, it is rather fun. I sit here, doing my work and listen to the world around me. I have seen a lot on these mornings in my mobile office, some delightful, some funny, and some heartbreaking.

Just this morning as I sat in McDonald’s with my coffee, I heard a man cursing out his young children while they had breakfast before school, chatted with a fascinating gentleman who is starting his own business, and listened to two elderly men discuss elderly men stuff. As I said, some were heartbreaking – we reported the man with the children to the management. He threatened them using awful language several times. You can’t be too careful.

Now, as I sit listening to these men I have to chuckle. The conversations go something like this.

Man 1: How did you break your ribs?

Man 2: I fell.

Man 1: How did you fall?

Man 2: I don’t know. I just fell.

Man 1: You need to see a doctor to see why you fell.

Man 2: I did see a doctor. He gave me pain pills.

Man 1: You’re not listening to me! You need to find out why you fell! I bet it’s your ears. You need to see a doctor about your ears.

Man 2: I’m going to the doctor to see about getting hearing aids.

And this one made me laugh out loud.

Man 1: The paper here says that South Carolina is tied with Montana for having the worst drivers.

Man 2: Montana?! There’s nobody in Montana! How can there be that many bad drivers?

And then there was this exchange:

Man 1: The paper here says that this writer died – P.D. James. I ain’t ever heard of her.

Man 2: I ain’t heard of her either and I’ve read a lot of books.

Man 1: She must not be any good then.

Man 2: Must not.

As I sit in this booth I listen to them talk about being in the military, about their mothers, about how good their mothers cooked, and about their dogs.

Who needs TV when LIFE is happening all around us? It’s far more interesting.

The Professional Blogger’s Guide to Optimizing Images

Learn how to optimize your images to improve your overall on-page SEO.

We live in a visual world that is full of color, from our television shows to the glossy spreads in our favorite magazines. We are drawn to images that tell a story, make us think, make us cry, and remind us of our humanity. The professional blogger knows that giving readers some great eye candy is an outstanding way to increase readership.

Read more here:

The Professional Blogger’s Guide to Optimizing Images.

 

Warning to Writers! There is a scam afoot!

scamIIGreetings fellow writers! If you turn to CraigsList for some of your writing gigs, then you know well the animals that are out there scamming honest, hardworking writers such as yourself. Unfortunately, these unscrupulous pigs prey on a writer’s desire to work and attempt to make a living.

Well, I want to call out one such scammer. I have seen him around for a while and he seems to get around Craigslist fairly well.

He always has these short ‘ads’ for a writer. He almost always uses his email address xtietz@gmail.com.

According to his Google + account, his name is Xavier Tietz. Watch out for this scammer – here’s his game.

He posts an ad on Craigslist, looking for a writer, usually to write articles. The writer emails him back, answering the ad.

A day or so later, the writer gets an email back from someone named ‘Hannah Walker’ at hannah.walker@pandaresearch-usa.com

This is the letter I received. Interestingly enough, several friends received the SAME email. The thing is, they asked questions about the ‘job.’ One did not even apply or send in a resume, yet he still receive the exact same letter.

letter 1

But wait! It gets even more fun! A month later I received another email from someone named Allison Saynor at allison.saynor@ipsos-surveys.org. She writes:

letter 2

Hmmm…I had not written back or responded to the first letter, yet I receive this one for a completely different survey company! Not only did I receive this once, but several times to each email I had sent. If you click on the ‘Ipsos’ link, it takes you to Vindale Research.

The plot thickens!

Now, what can we learn here? Either Panda Research and Ipsos are placing fake ads on CraigsList for writers in order to get people to sign up, OR (and this is more plausible) Xavier Tietz (if that is even a real name) is placing these fake ads in order to get people to sign up under him on these sites and he is posing as a Human Resources manager for Panda Research and Ipsos in order to try to look credible.

This is low, folks. It is really, really low. But, you do have recourse.

If you respond to an ad and you receive an email like this, forward it to the email address for abuse at the company site. And if you have been hit with the Panda Research or Ipsos scams, here are their email addresses. Forward the emails to them.

Panda Research  abuse@pandaresearch.com

Ipsos  info@ipsos-na.com

Vindale  abuse@vindale.com

So, fellow writers, I do hope that this helps prevent you from being scammed. If you have a story or scam avoidance advice you would like to share, please do!

Happy writing!

Research vs. Stalking

stalker

As a writer I am naturally curious about things. As an Aspie, I am naturally curious about people. I like to watch people, observe their behaviors, listen to the things they say and read the things they write. Facebook is a plethora of information on human behavior!

One person will vent in a post, griping about mean people or rudeness. Suddenly, twenty people will respond to that post asking, “is it me you are talking about?” And that person is like, “Uh, no, it was a general post.”

I watch people in person too. I am not crazy about crowded places like malls, but if I can find a quiet corner, the mall is like a people zoo for me.

I visit blogs, read social media posts and watch people. They are just so doggone interesting! I don’t understand half of what they do but they are interesting.

It’s OK, though, most of them don’t understand me either. I am just the weird girl with Asperger’s – staring at them…