Ten Sensitive Ways to Break-Up with Another Blogger

Friend Steve over at The Brown Road Chronicles wrote a very sensitive post about breaking other bloggers’ hearts. I just had to share it here at my place too!

The Brown Road Chronicles

An unfortunate dynamic of blogging is that sometimes we have to break-up with another blogger with whom we have developed a blogging relationship. I’ve broken up with several bloggers in the last few years and many more have broken up with me. The usual technique that bloggers employ is the Vanish Method – just stop reading, stop leaving comments on posts and stop clicking the “like” button.  In extreme cases, the blogger might even spend three to four hours digging through their WordPress Dashboard trying to actually figure out how to un-follow a blogger that they are no longer interested in following. But this method is very boorish and inconsiderate and leaves the “victim” of the break-up sadly wondering where their friend has gone and if it was something that they wrote that might have caused this animosity in the relationship.

So, with that in mind, here’s ten sensitive break-up…

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when you blog, what comes first; the chicken or the egg?

In some respects, blogging transports me back in time.  It takes me back to one of the language classes in school.  The teacher is sitting (or standing) in front of the class, a small smile twitching at the corner of her mouth while we scramble in behind our school desks.

I loved my language classes.  I didn’t always get all the rules and stuff right.  But I loved … well, I loved the reading part of it – the oral classes, not so much.  I just wanted to understand what other people were saying.  I didn’t really see the need to talk to them.

Anyhoo, back to the language teach’s secretive (or was that evil?) smile.  It had to do with something she knew was not a particular favourite assignment for most students. “Today you will write an essay.  You can write about anything you like.  You have to use 350 words – no less, no more.  You have until the end of this class period to finish.”

BLANK.

Oh jeez, what will I write about?! 

BLANK.

Come on, come on.  Think of something!  She said to write about anything.  Think girl, think!!!

BLANK.  

Seriously?!  You only have 35 minutes.  Wait, no – it is now only 30 minutes.  Three hundred words and 30 minutes!  Too bad they got wise and took away line counts.  I could just write one, skip one.  Words, must be lots of words now.  Ugh!  Shouldn’t panic.

BLANK.

Everyone else is writing.  What is everyone else writing about?

 THOUGHT (fades away).  BLANK.  THOUGHT (fades in).

Okay, she wants me to write about anything?  Anything it is then.  She better not deduct points if she doesn’t like my topic!

Sometimes it is easier to write when someone gives you a topic.  I like having the chicken first.  But that only works when you have a clue about anything chicken.  Other times it really is nice to start with the egg.  You can let it grow into the chicken you want.

Yep, sometimes blogging really does transport me back in time.

Uhm… wanna guess how long it took me to write this post?  😀

number 7 – is it bad when they know you by … face?

7.             Keep it personal

A repeat customer is someone you get to know. Nurture that by keeping your relationship as personal as possible. For instance, get to know customers by name. Connecting on a personal level with customers is one of the best competitive advantages. Everyone loves it when they go into a coffee shop and the server remembers their name and their favorite beverage.  … more

I remember reading (or hearing) something along these lines some time ago.  As I’m not in the marketing or advertising industry I don’t really pay attention to these things.  The company I work for does however service the public so sometimes the odd thing about customer care is bound to catch a ride in my memory banks.  And a couple of months ago this memory decided to say hello.

Every now and again (less now than again) I crave one of my favourite junk food meals at the local Wimpy.  A few weeks ago as I approached the take-away counter the lady who was on duty looked up, smiled a little and completed the sale she was busy with.  I was looking over the posted menu and special offerings when the lady focussed her attention on me and asked “The usual?”.  She continued with: “With chippies? It’s kind of hot out, so a milkshake today? Kiddies or normal?”.  Forget the menus!

It was while I was waiting for my order that the “number 7” memory popped up and I started mulling it over.  I started wondering how I really felt about the fact that the Wimpy-lady knew me so well that she could order for me, when my best friend and even my family would be hard-pressed to.  She doesn’t even know my name!  Do I look like my favourite Wimpy-meal?  Is a picture of that meal reflected in my eyes (picture animated dollar-sign-eyes) when I have the craving?  Do I visit the eatery more regularly than I thought?  Is the meal I order so unique that it is memorable?  Maybe this meal is actually a popular choice even though I’ve never seen anyone else order it?  Oh grief!, am I really that predictable?! Or is it simply that Wimpy-lady took “Number-7” to heart and has a knack for remembering what people eat?

How come I’m not offended by the fact that I barely have to say anything whenever I want this favourite meal?  Me, who usually dreads shopping.  Me, who marches into supermarkets and alike, eyes forward and with grim determination to get this done and be gone before anyone pays too much attention?  Me, who gets chills when I think of doing an errant at shops where there are chatty (very friendly) people waiting to do my bidding?

Well, either I’m denying the (obviously subconscious) truth about Number-7 or…  I just REALLY like my junk food more than I mind my own predictability.  Okay, let’s go with that.  I don’t mind (yeah right!) my own predictability as long as it speeds up the ordering process.

a prospective property owner’s … dream?

Driving sedately through a quiet neighbourhood with a butterfly-stomach and a racing mind seems somehow at odds.

And then there is only this vague sense of knowing the destination of this trip. Rounding a corner, further up the street an assortment of vehicles are visible. Yeah, okay this is it. Climbing out of the car seems like a great effort. The heavy rhythm of a bouncing heart is not helping. Something doesn’t feel right. But… Dad’s car is here too. This must be mine. My property. My house. Finally!

Heartened by the thought I walk to the open front door with a lighter step. Wait! The feeling of doom returns. What am I missing here? Entering the house, to the right I encounter a wall. My mind scramble to try and make sense of it. There shouldn’t be a wall. The house has an open plan design. Right? I creep a little forward to look into the room. Tiles, a horrendous shade of pink, unevenly spaced, decorate the opposite wall. To the left… shouldn’t there be a kitchen? But that is an open bathroom – no walls, no doors. A tingle start at the back of my neck and render the rest of my body momentarily motionless. What is going on here?!

Finally going to explore the rest of the building I find a tiny, tiny space which seems to be the kitchen at the back of the open bathroom. No-no-no-no! This can’t be right. The rest of the place is all nooks and crannies too. Hearing voices outside I turn around and storm back out the front door. My Dad is talking with a guy. The builder?

Time seems to pick up speed as I confront the builder guy – demanding to see the house plans. BECAUSE! This is not what I wanted!! This is not… I look at the house plans and it is exactly the same as the house behind me. What?! And why isn’t the plans signed off – no signatures, no stamps? Was this even approved?! Searching frantically over the paper my eye catches the number of the plot noted on it. Hey! HEY!

It isn’t mine! IT. IS. NOT. MINE!

scary house

scary house (Photo credit: Janek Kloss)

I wake up, my heart still pounding, my mind and body weighted down with relief!

Phew!  That was a close call.

a boring tale: me and innovative appliance designs

There are a great many inventors living on this lovely planet of ours. They think up all sorts of cool things to make life easier for their fellow (wo)man. I admire and respect that, because I’m not prone to innovative bright sparks.

I really like innovations because I really, actively, dislike housework! If I should make a list of how to spend my time away from work, I promise you that housecleaning will be at the very bottom. That being said, you’ll understand why I listen to all those nice marketing people on the tele when they announce this or that new apparatus to use in the house.

Of course, most of the time the new products being advertised are not exactly on the cheap side, so one has to listen carefully to the sales pitch. If you’ve had a few experiences with new products that are just THAT good, and it turns out the other way, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Anyway, there I was, frustrated with using a vacuum cleaner (a previous invention that doesn’t use a dust bag), which picks up a lot of dirt, but also has the nice ability to displace dust and pet hair before it gets sucked up. As a result everything looks good during the cleaning process, but when I look two minutes later the floor is dusty again!

That’s when I saw this ad. It showcased a vacuum cleaner that filters the dirt through water, meaning no icky dust bag. [Going once!] It can also be used as a wet/dry vacuum without having to change anything but a fitting at the end of the pipe. [Going twice!] It was on special (of course!) and a third of the price of a bigger unit which has more of the same functionality. [SOLD!]

Decision made, I went to a store that stocks this new wonder. Even on “special” this thing wasn’t cheap so I convinced myself, while I’m buying it, that I really do need it. With a big dent in my wallet and a little less excitement I set off for home. Usually I can’t wait to open up a new “toy”, but I decided to make some coffee first. Which, as it turned out, was a good thing.

You may want to grab a coffee yourself and get comfy, this can take a while to tell. . .

You know how they show you on the side of the box what to expect inside when you unpack it? Okay, I had a general idea of what should be included and was a bit surprised when about half the fittings seemed to be missing. Seeing as I paid a lot of money for this I was starting to get a little upset, suddenly suspicious that I was sold a second-hand unit. I took a deep breath, told myself to calm down, take the little booklet thing that shipped with the vacuum cleaner and double checked. Yep! The fittings should be there.

Nothing was left in the box it came in, so the only other place they could have packed it would be inside the body of the cleaner, right? Humph! There you go! When I squinted through the tinted plastic belly of my new beast I could see some things, and when I shook it, it rattled. What a relief! Murmuring a few pardons for the wrongful thoughts I had, I started to look for ways of reaching those fittings.

I like to pretend that I’m a reasonably intelligent person, so I applied the hard-learned lesson of “Don’t assume you know how it works – Read the instructions”. Well, it turns out that the booklet thingy which came with my new toy was written by someone who assumed that I’ll be an experienced appliance-user and only need to know the basics, like:

  1. The names of the different parts that makes up the unit (with pictures)
  2. How much water to use for the filter system
  3. Use fresh water if it gets too dirty
  4. Don’t let it stand with dirty water after use, it will smell

Apparently, they didn’t think it is necessary that one knows HOW to get the water inside. Or how you are supposed to get the fittings out, which the beast seemed to have swallowed. The opening where the pipe nozzle must fit is not big enough, so they could not have fed the fittings to it that way. Logically there are only two possible ways to open the thing, the top should either twist/turn off, or clip off. The design makes it look like either is possible (see my picture). With this being a new unit, and the parts fitting so well together – seamlessly – I wasted a lot of time trying to find the answer on the Internet.  Yeah, go figure!  Even Internet didn’t have the answers.

Long story, short: I finally decided to try the clip-method, but was really scared that I would break something as it was made of the same plastic material as the rest of the body. Boy, was I glad when it worked! It’s silly when I think back on it now, it was so simple to do after all.

It left me wondering though – should I blame myself or can I blame the inventor/designer or the instruction-writer, for almost being bested by the vacuum cleaner?

24/08/10