Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mental Masturbation

No, I can't take credit for this hint of brilliance. This is a term coined by the owner of a company seeking writers to pen term papers for college students. And while I should have known the warning signals, dumb me thought they were seeking business writers. Here's the ad from Craig's List: Fast, Brilliant Part-Time Writers Needed (Comp: TBD) (telecommute)
job-234472027@craigslist.org : http://athensga.craigslist.org/wri/234472027.html
Date: 2006-11-13, 9:20PM EST Fast, brilliant writers needed for freelance work. Experts in international affairs, economics, financial management, general liberal arts studies are what we're looking for. We're a globally competitive firm with clients all around the world. We pay well and expect the best. It's freelance, so you take on as much as you can handle. The best writers may earn $2,000 per month, if they're fast and accurate. We're trying to grow the business, so ambitious writers are encouraged.

When I sent my cover letter and resume, I got a very long email explaining what this company is really up to. Being in the mood I was this morning I sent the following email to "Dave," who signed the letter. What follows are the continuing exchange until I finally blocked him from my email box just because I had real work to get to:

Me: Dave-
Why do you advertise for business writers when what you really want are writers who can't get work anyplace else except to write term papers for college students who can't write their own.
I'll tell you why. Because if you advertised your low-life business as what it really is, that is the kind of writers you would have reply.
Why don't you quit wasting real writers time and tell people exactly what you are.
Dave: LOL. why are you wasting my time replying? some people's mental masturbation never ceases to amaze me.
Me:How witty. Now I see where you got the idea to have people write idiot's term papers.
Dave:and now you can go back to rubbing the clit that floats in the air between your ears.
Me:Keep it up, you're showing your true intelligence now. And be sure to check out my blog later, please.
Dave:wow, you must be really hard up for hits to your blog.
Me: I'm sure it gets a lot more from real writers than you'll receive in reply to my ad. No need to reply, you've been added to my blocked senders list. I've got real writing deadlines.

It never ceases to amaze me that when these people who advertise for real writers have nothing to fall back on, they rely on insults and profanity. Hopefully, this will help you get started in erotica, Dave, I hear there's good money in it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, kerri, as much as i would like to, i can't take credit for coining the phrase. but i'm glad you liked it. i hereby bestow permission upon you to use it to your heart's content.


10:15 AM CST  
Blogger Wee Kay said...

Wow. This exchange sheds more light on the nature of Dave's business and level of professionalism than any description possibly could. I always assumed these kinds of businesses were scummy, but now we get a real insight into the people who run them. And, probably, the people who make use of their services.

10:30 AM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a weirdo! Let's see. He makes money by helping students cheat, he promotes plagiarism by giving you "permission" to quote something that's not his, AND he insults not only all writers but all women to boot! We all know where his brain is ... more likely hanging flaccidly between his legs than suspended in air between his ears.

10:32 AM CST  
Blogger Bloody Mary said...


I wish I had known about these people when I was writing the above article. Real life IS better than fiction!

10:59 AM CST  
Blogger Linda Saracino, The Dicta Diva said...

Way to go, Kerri!

Is he ugly or what? And sounds like he's maybe 14.

I was about to mention that he didn't coin the phrase--he merely cribbed it. Probably from Woody Allen ("Annie Hall"), who cribbed it, too. The phrase has been around a long time, but it was Woody who put it into mainstream slang, so he often gets the credit for it.

So now here's "Dave" owning up--and yet still managing to take ownership: "bestowing permission" (and don't you love that "upon you"!) implies he owns the rights to it. As if! What a cheese ball.


11:19 AM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: "We all know where his brain is ... more likely hanging flaccidly between his legs than suspended in air between his ears."

sorry, i already used this metaphor in insulting kerri. you're gonna have to work harder.



11:20 AM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Please forward Dave's idiotic reponses to Craig's List (or wherever it was initally posted). They can simply ban him.

1:27 PM CST  
Anonymous Valerie Brooks said...

Wow, Kerri, here is a huge cyber hug and a high five. I would just love to say to one of these cheap and deceitful employers: "If you had a plumber come over to fix your pipes, would you tell them you can't pay because it's a start-up toilet?"

Good work!

Valerie Brooks

1:30 PM CST  
Blogger Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell said...

And he gives himself a lot of credit for thinking anything he wrote insulted me. I got over potty insults in junior high.

1:39 PM CST  
Blogger Kristen King said...

This reminds me of what one guy said when I politely informed him that his lack of basic literacy skills made it impossible for me to hire him for a position that didn't exist, and that if the position did exist I still wouldn't be hiring him: "you sound desparate and you are not getting enough."

You can read the whole thing here if you wish: http://tinyurl.com/y3oe9l

Thanks for putting a smile on my face, Kerri!


1:48 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know all the stay-at-homes moms that frequent this blog are in dire need of having someone interesting (and male) like myself stop by to make life zippy for them. unfortunately for all you bed wetters out there, giving each other tearful cyberhugs, i have real work to do. just not enough hours in the day to manage the term paper writing biz, ya know what i mean?

1:55 PM CST  
Blogger Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell said...

I've emailed Craig's List as well as a few other freelance sites that had copied his "ads."

Funny, he doesn't have enough time in the day to manage his plagerism business, but he's been to my site at least a half dozen times today. Hmmm....

1:59 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah and here i am again to note that the word is properly spelled "plagiarism."

by the way, my company doesn't plagiarize. only 100 percent original work by great writers. unfortunately for you, you don't qualify.

hahahahaha, this whole little blog war is almost addictive. i can see why you engage in it everyday (apart from the fact that you have nothing better to be doing).

one last thing: i know you think you've done me some great harm by emailing craigslist et al, but it's no skin off my back. email away. you're just wasting your time yet again.

2:07 PM CST  
Blogger Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell said...

Well, well, he can spell. He must have gotten one of his uniquely qualified college term paper writers to do his posts today. And, yes, I've finished my deadlines today, but I guess you have a lot more important things to be doing. But post away, because as administrator, I get to delete your posts! How healing.

2:56 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: "how healing"

hahaha, i knew you were psychologically damaged by my constant pounding on your whiny-ass stay at home mom self.

good, you deserve it for starting something you can't finish.

by the way, i took a look at your blog. never any more than a comment or two for each post. how very popular you are.

nothing like a little righteous flaming to get some comments, eh? good job.

here's a cyberhug for you.


3:03 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, Kerri. Another loser nailed. If he has so much work to do, why has he responded five times?

Hang in there, Dave. Maybe someday you'll sell enough term papers to afford that online GED course! Then you'll be able to move into a single-wide and Mom can get her basement back.

5:38 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's responded five times because he's just an internet troll.

The bottom line is this: the whole "example" term papers thing holds no real water, and what few writers he does have (if he has any at all) are probably just copy/pasting papers from other term paper sites. Why? Because there's so damn many of them he has no way to verify it. It's easy to toe the moral line, but if you've ever gone to college or university, the idea of having put hours and hours of work into writing term papers, while there might be some other schmuck in the class buying them is infuriating. No truly talented writer is ever going to buy into something like this.

10:18 PM CST  
Blogger Star said...

I usually write to these tired term paper mills and say, "I hope you get operated on by a surgeon who cheated in school."

8:56 AM CST  
Blogger Serenity Now! said...

Oh boy, Dave really has no life... poor Dave. The highlight of his day is a) being a troll or b) helping college students cheat.

Gee.. they may be the same thing...

11:39 PM CST  
Blogger Kathy said...

The anonymity afforded by the internet allows even cowards to stand tall.

The fact that the guy has been back to the blog to fire further salvos just goes to show that college students aren't as stupid as he thinks they are.

I never have been a Craigslist fan. This story makes me even less of one.

2:27 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kerry....this thread is amusing. I wouldn't take it (or HIM) personally...obviously he has an issue with women..or stay-at-home moms, or something. You just happened to be his fixation for the day. (Gee how does THAT make you feel?! ) *grin*
It is sad to think such arrogance still exists in this century. So much for leaps and bounds in the area of human evolution.
Keep on writing!

3:39 PM CST  
Anonymous Xina said...

You're all amusing the shit out of me! Thanks to http://craigslistcurmudgeon.blogspot.com/ for directing me here (procrastinating on my own deadlines...spelling be damned)...

6:49 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, what sort of reply did you expect from Dave? Did you think that he'd offer up an apology for wasting your time even as you persisted in wasting more of it? Excluding Dave's sexist meltdown you both seem to be operating on the same level of, um, brilliance.

7:21 PM CST  
Blogger ranger said...

As a fellow writer, much as it pains me, I must agree with the last post.

Your initial reply was pretty aggressive and had I received it I'd have been insulted. The amazing thing is not that this exchange quickly degraded into a flame war, but more than Dave kept humor in it (and true nastiness out) most of the way.

Of course, what he does IS a very, ahem, morally questionable thing. But it's what he's chosen to do, and usually the more questionable the morality of a choice, the more vehemently one will defend that choice from questions regarding its morality.

That aside, you put him in a pretty tough position. Unless he wrote back 'You're right, I quit' or completely abandoned any defense, he wouldn't have satisfied you. Had he done either of those things, he would have ended up looking the bigger human being (deflecting an attack without responding in kind always looks big, no matter what position its done from). I don't see what all this is proving.

And the further piling on by commenters (especially for things like 'bestow permission') really isn't helping the cause. By getting uber-agressive and twisting his words from humor to hate, you've managed to almost make me feel bad for the guy.

I don't think that's what you want. And remember, I'm also a writer who's dealt with plenty of creeps in my day - if your flame war has turned a natural sympathizer like me into a neutral party (where I stand at the moment), then something has gone wrong.

10:26 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! Well, the approach was a bit aggressive, but Dave seemed quite up to the task. I don't care if he is insulted. He's a scumbag.
All I know is I sure got a kick out of reading the thread!!

10:46 PM CST  
Anonymous Jamie said...

I have to say I agree with Ranger above. Personally, if the job offer wasn't what I was seeking, I would have just moved on. You kind of baited a hook, and then acted outraged when the bait was taken.

3:14 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm procrastinating as well, and I stumbled on this. I'm with Ranger, though. I'm shocked that either Kerri or Dave would claim to be credible professionals and engage in this kind of silliness with each other. As someone who occasionally hires writers for projects, I think Kerri has been harmed far more than Dave by this. Dave runs a term paper mill, for goodness sake, so anyone doing business with him automatically expects shday behavior. But, Kerri, to claim to be a professional and then to engage in a flame war on a site that you use to promote yourself? It really doesn't say good things about your judgment. I, too, am a stay-at-home mom who makes her living by writing, and there are too many inherent challenges in the profession to make it harder.

9:09 AM CST  

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