I judged you Amish.

First off – a huge “thank you!” to all my new subscribers. You Rock! You’re a star! I heart you, hard!

SHIRTS NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON ZAZZLE

Every now and again something that is considered ‘so random’ in common parlance comes down the pike and even though it’s not strictly “random” (you know, because it somehow relates to what’s going on at the time) it still feels really random. It makes you laugh. Then it makes you recollect. Then it makes you reminisce. Then it makes you hungry for the donuts that everyone in a local community Facebook group were going on and on about a few months back, but you now know you’ll never taste those praised “Amish-made” donuts because despite everyone’s absolute – obnoxious at times – devotion to those adored circles of fried dough, the shop went out of business.

Then you get back to reminiscing.

I was brought up in a family of campers. Most weekends and for several weeks out of the summer, we camped. Not roughing-it-in-a-tent (usually) camping, but roughing-it-in-a-canvas-roofed-trailer and years later, roughing-it-in-a-metal-roofed-trailer-that-actually-had-a-bathroom camping. It was fun. It was also in Somerset, PA (the canvas trailer) and in Clarks Mills, PA (the metal trailer). Both of these areas had higher populations of what I will respectfully call “Plain People” (because I’m not an expert on religious groups and I’m no more able to tell a Mennonite from an Amish by sight than I can a Presbyterian from a Methodist) than the Pittsburgh suburbs.

I was a slightly odd child (and possible odder teen), so I always enjoyed slowing down to pass (or waiting to pass) a buggy. I have an inherent appreciation for simple and straightforward things, so the orange/red warning triangle on the buggy back was always an invitation to smile at strangers – something high speed doesn’t encourage – and take a good look at a horse. I’m not a “horse person” as such, but I do think they’re beautiful and recalling that I’ve ridden in two separate countries, on two separate continents, gives me a happy, satisfied feeling to be sure.

Anywaywho, a week ago my dear family was having a get-together to celebrate my parents’ 53rd wedding anniversary. It was a lovely time – food, drink, sending my folks to Uniontown for a holiday (long story, don’t judge) and at one point there was a conversation going on – one of those charming little ‘side conversations’ that happens in kitchen doorways and on stairs – and for reasons that are lost to history (at least my memory’s version of history), one of my wonderful, lovable, hilarious nieces (I’m blessed with several) commented that she had judged someone Amish. I would love to relate the entire story, but I laughed so hard at her delivery that I just don’t remember it. I know there was some lighthearted remorse for the “judging” and a valid explanation why the judgement was made. But in true form, I’ve retained only enough of the occasion to keep chuckling about it to this day. And in true-yet-more-recent form, I’ve made a t-shirt art design thingy of it.

WIPjenni Zazzle Hardworking Hipster Henley I judged you Amish

Also on a Hardworking Hipster Henley!

Off and on for one week I’ve been chuckling (sometimes even a full-blown chortle), being nostalgic for childhood family vacations and wondering if I should feel ashamed for regretting the missed opportunity to validate my suspicion that the glorified donuts didn’t have even a passing association with anything or anyone Amish. ;)

Follow me 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.

Eeeeeeerrrr…how cheap you are! or, A long Fiverr Forum Story with Little Payoff.

The best insult I’ve ever been the recipient(?) of.

WIPjenni Eeeeeeerrrr...how cheap you are!
by WIPjenni

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

Follow me 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.

When a problem comes along, you must WIP it. WIP it good.

Leading with a 36 year-old, new wave song, you know it’s going to be a good post! OK, maybe not the best post ever, but the lyrics still stand as viable advice.

NO LONGER AVAILABLE ON ZAZZLE

Over the past few weeks there has been some adversity to overcome in the land of WIP, and after some soul-searching, a little stream-of-consciousness-profanity-prose and no small amount of coffee, the thoroughly modern panacea popped up: “MAKE A RETRO STYLE GRAPHIC T-SHIRT!” said my mind. So I listened. I banged out a mildly sarcastic little number that actually has a pretty nifty passive-aggressive vibe for anyone who makes an effort to do ‘the right thing’ and occasionally (or far, far, more often) has to walk away from an opportunity due to someone else’s wrong thing. It’s also a fun shirt if you happen to be one of those people who tends to document everything with images and words, and, oh, I don’t know, A FUNCTIONING, FACTUAL MEMORY! So yeah, it looks good too. Also available in white – for those times between Easter and Labor Day! :)

I'm recording this conversation. t shirt
I'm recording this conversation. t shirt by WIPjenni

Follow me 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.