The best insult I’ve ever been the recipient(?) of.
Away back in the day (a little over a year ago) I found myself in the midst of a heated debate about copyright, regular ‘right’, pleas for assistance, gross and not entirely unhumorous name-calling, with a wee bit of what-constitutes-good-commercial-design banter thrown in. Good times, Good times.
This altogether petty yet somehow resonant conversation was started by a colleague (wow, that word seems highfalutin for what follows) on the Fiverr.com forum. (See, what I mean?) For those of you who don’t know, Fiverr is an “international marketplace” (extra highfalutin) where all sorts of folks sell all sorts of services and in some cases, products, to really indiscriminate buyers who are usually only vaguely interested in quality, and are barely (if ever) concerned with legality.* Hence its huge success.
This particular conversation wasn’t noticeably infuriating or entertaining, but there did come a point when exasperation became the norm for myself and some of my more, uhh, how does one say… professional, ethical, associates? Unfortunately, the original thread was removed by moderators once it took on the flavor of “Yes, we all know that this site is a den of questionable business practices that are generally encouraged to ensure a steady flow of ill-gotten-gains for the owners, BUT, that doesn’t mean we all have to play along.”
In this instance, yet another seller – whom I shall call “Trumpy” for ‘her’ mindbogglingly emphatic support of her delusional perspective, that at once admitted wrongdoing and also displayed the defense of being entirely correct – was offering “100% original, custom designed logos”. For $5. With a 1-hour turnaround.
Trumpy was really something quite spectacular. She not only blatantly stole logos from the internet (with a stealth not unlike a rhinoceros leading a brass band through a Catholic mass,) she also insisted that she was being victimized because the creator of what she was using as her own logo told her to stop doing it, and some of her fellow Fiverr sellers kept trying to explain (with painstaking patience and a fair degree of tact, I might add) that stealing is wrong and that passing off the trade/servicemarked logos of multi-million-dollar, multinational companies as her own work, was stupid.
The bulk of us involved in the chat eventually came to the conclusion that Trumpy was probably several people working under the same username. (It’s a common enough practice on Fiverr, as it’s patently not allowed according to the terms of service.) There are quite a few user/groups that work 24/7 to keep their response and turnaround times unbelievably tiny – a seller is worthless to Fiverr HQ without their attention-grabbing positive ratings (regardless of work quality or moral fiber).
After a surprisingly long-lasting and intense exchange that involved numerous links to legitimate, established companies’ logos in situ, Trumpy flipped her lid. She spewed a colorful load of accusatory venom – we had no business telling her what to do or not do, and she thought we would be kind and help her get more sales – maybe even buy from her, not be mean and tell her she was committing crimes!
Now, I can be sarcastic, and I sometimes use words that are a little uncommon, outdated, or even quirky, but I do make a genuine effort to communicate in a way that works for those I’m communicating with. However, there are times (many, many times) when I get so indignantly riled that I forget my love of language; my desire to be helpful falls aside and I totally misplace any urge to give the benefit of the doubt – again. So in what was an epically weak rant, I responded with “If you don’t want people to see the stains in your underwear, stop airing your dirty laundry!”
When I signed into the forum a day or two later, Trumpy had replied with “Eeeeeeerrrr how cheap you are!” Only that. Simply, sublimely, and with what I like to imagine as not the merest hint of irony. It tickled me.
That single, enormously expressive sentence immediately projected a vision of some self-appointed, holier-than-thou, street hoodlum-cum-slum boss casting out judgments as to which of the lowly pickpockets deserved to keep a larger portion of their booty based on how clean their air-drying dainties were that day. (I should mention that Trumpy/hoodlum/boss is wearing a Hello Kitty t-shirt, dirty, furry boots and more than several spiked, leather bracelets in my inspired vision.)
It also became a running joke of sorts – a combination reminder of how self-focused and hypocritical people can be, and also how easily anger can be turned to hilarity with one good onomatopoeic spelling. I have barely seen a pair of knickers or the word “cheap” without hearing “Eeeeeeerrrr!” in my head since that fateful day. It’s like having Eliza Doolittle presiding over every load of laundry and clearance sale. Which isn’t a bad thing as long as it’s Audrey Hepburn with a bunch of violets in the hand that’s not holding the gavel. :)
NB: Here’s a link to a follow-up forum thread about presumed-to-be-Trumpy. And in case you can’t sleep without knowing, I had noted (on actual paper!) the exact quote – complete with all seven “e”s – that I found about a week later.
*Yes, there are exceptions. There are actually some high caliber sellers on Fiverr. (You can usually find them by looking for the users with the fewest sales. No-one wants to pay $15 and wait a day for original website content when they can spend $5 for a 10 minute copy & paste ‘article’ that will be full of the same attractive keywords as their competition’s content. Because it is indeed, their competition’s content. Why the buyers just don’t do their own copy & pasting, I’ll never know.) I myself still have an account there. But as one of those increasingly rare people who is unwilling to churn out utter garbage no matter how underpaid the gig is, or how rude, ignorant and demanding the buyer is, I’ve moved on to less soul-nullifying, time-consuming ways to earn a buck. There are a few good buyers there too. They seem to be people who actually work for a living themselves, instead of trying get-rich-quick schemes on the internet.
Since you read it all, enjoy the reward of watching this terrible video that seems like a perfect tribute to working via Fiverr – including the copyright infringement!: Beck – Soul Sucking Jerk
Connect on Instagram and Twitter – comment with #wipjenni. Tell your friends and family! You are a star and I want to be just like you when I grow up.