#211 Not all cons come from prison

June 4, 2010 at 8:54 pm Leave a comment

Not every con is from prison

Its been several days since I wrote a blog, but not since I have been writing. I got a lot of emails from people who were wondering how I was doing, since I had not posted a blog in many days.

I got some cool emails from people thanking me for the blogs, and some new support from readers who have been following my works. A few members were (or are) from the Daily Strength prison group, and wondered why I have not shared anything there lately. Truth to tell, I think I am wasting my time there. Where there is far too many people talking about problems, and none commenting on positive discussions, it tells me that many there are not in the real frame of mind to help a loved one in prison.

It is a really blind way of going about this folks, if you go to any prison support site for help, you must first be LOOKING for help. If you come looking to talk about your problem, you may well often step right over a possible post that could help you, or at least point you in the right direction.

It really bugs me when people go out of their way to complain about a situation, when there may well have been posts that could give them a sense of hope. I can understand if there were NO posts there that were helpful, but I did my best to share a bunch of retro blogs there, in an effort to help if I could. But it seems to me that more people are willing to talk about posts based on a negative than one based on positive. One person has a post there called “I am leaving this site” and there were about 20 comments on it…but I had at least 5 retro blogs about staying positive, having faith and things like that, and no one made a single comment on those. To them, it just was not important…

(Don’t worry folks, I’ll get to the title in a sec)

When a person is in that frame of mind, finding help is going to be hard. Oh sure, you will find LOTS of sympathy posts, because they are a dime a dozen. Anybody can say how sorry they feel for you because it does not cost much effort. But to talk a person through a hard situation, giving them options and faith, takes a greater sense of effort…something many people are not willing to do, for fear that they might build up someone’s hope.

Then why are YOU at the site?

It kinda burns me when I see so many posts by people talking about their problems, and you can tell many of them didn’t even TRY to read some of the positive ones. If they did, they would have either made a comment in faith on that post, or looked for that person to ask for some advice or some help. When you are LOOKING for solutions, that is what you do…when you are looking to complain, you will end up ignoring solutions because the problem is greater than the solution.

So I have greatly dropped the number of blogs I share there, maybe once every 2 weeks, maybe once a month now is what I will do…why waste my time there if more of them are geared to complain than looking for solutions?

Ok, now, about the title….

The last few days I had been working on creating new prison cards, new documents and things to send when people order my books, or if they are looking for such products separately. I also got started with a project I hope to continue working on, a project about scriptures for inmates.

The idea is to take a scripture, and talk about it by making a card, encouragement certificate, short document and perhaps another document, and putting it together as a package. I worked on it and did one, using Psalms 34:4. You’d have to find out what that is, and think about what that can mean to an inmate.

I also created several new cards, such as a single document on “Doing Time”, a card on “your part in faith”, a card on “finding peace where you can”, a single document on “getting through the storms” and a card titled “key to my heart”.

These and many other things I did the last couple of days, which had me feeling pretty good. Its always good to accomplish stuff. Now I need to get it out to the readers, so maybe I can make some income from it.

Later in the day I am playing video games (yeah, that’s right, I love video games!), and I heard my mom on the phone, talking to our phone provider, CenturyLink. It seems she was very displeased at the bill she got in, which was higher than she has had in many months. I listened to her talk to one of the Century Link “agents”, trying to understand why her bill went higher when they promised to lower our bill.

Let me back up a couple of weeks and fill you in…

We have service with CenturyLink and Time Warner, both providing us with internet service, but on separate computers. A couple of weeks ago, we started getting phone calls from CenturyLink, but I have this protocol that I do when it comes to phones…if I answer the phone, and say “hello” and I hear an automated call, I hang up.

Further, if I answer the phone, and say “hello”, I expect to hear someone talk to me…after all, YOU called ME, not the other way around. But what I REALLY hate about these phone services (and others) is that they call you using the computer, and they are not necessarily on the phone. The computer calls you, and when you pick up the phone, THEN they know you are on, and might be ready to talk. To me, this is a lazy and cowardly way of doing business. If you want my business, talk to me like a HUMAN being, not a computer.

So when I get a call from CenturyLink and say “hello”, I hear a click, as if my call had been transferred to somebody, and then somebody picks up and says “hello” in that tone that I called them…so I have to respond “hello” again, as if I was secondary on the call.

I hate that folks…it shows very poor business tactics.

So I hung up when she said “hello”

Simply put, if you’re not treating me like person, don’t call me. Especially if you are calling to sell me something.

This went on for a few days, as I was more than happy to hang up if they did the same thing…and often did. But one day I figured to let them talk, and to, if given the chance, express my disapproval of how they contact prospective clients.

So one day I allowed them to talk, and the lady tried to act cordial and asked me how I was doing, I said “doing decent”. And she wanted to talk to us about how we can save money with CenturyLink. This was when I expressed to her that I am not sure if we are interested, based on how they contact us.

This allowed me to explain to her how I felt about people like CenturyLink using automated calls to solicit business, which I felt was very wrong. Again, if YOU want MY business, talk to me like a person, don’t put me on some list on the computer to automatically dial when you want to make a sale.

The lady admitted exactly what I accused her of, which is using an automated program to contact clients, it was just how they did business at CenturyLink. She apologized for that, and we talked for a minute or two, then she got into her reason for the call, which was how we were supposed to be saving lots of money if we bundled or did more with CenturyLink.

Because mom pays the phone bill, I had to delegate such authority to her, when she was able to call back to talk on the matter. So they did, and I suppose mom bought into it. I kinda tried to tell mom that those people at CenturyLink are only telling us what THEY want us to hear, and could be ignoring some of the details that we should know. The deals they were promising could easily be what Time Warner would offer as well. I just wasn’t 100% sure on it, but it seemed right to want to save money.

So we did, as mom also was talked by CenturyLink that if we dropped AT&T on our long distance, we would save a lot of money with CenturyLink…I mean it seemed a good idea. So she did.

Which takes us to today…where mom is NOT happy with the bill. We would have been better off sticking with AT&T than paying on the bill we got. Why, CenturyLink is even charging us for wireless, when we don’t have a wireless modem! I sat there in the living room, hearing how stressed mom was, and likely how CenturyLink was feeding mom a line to explain why our phone bill is MUCH higher than it was last month, when we were not as relying on CenturyLink.

It was then that the thought ran through my head that not all cons come from inmates. Society is willing to believe that 100% of every inmate that has ever done time is a con man, but we completely forget that many of these multi-million, or billion dollar companies are sometimes dishonest.

I mean, CenturyLink did exactly what many of those phone providers would do…tell you what YOU want to hear, to sucker you in to their program. They make promises of saving money and how it would be so much better than this or that. But the idea behind these calls is to get you to switch so they can get more money out of you.

This creates a very undermined idea, and wicked, sense of “help”. They are not “helping” you save money, they are trying to get more of it. And I don’t say this just for CenturyLink, this likely goes for all of them, because the bottom line is money. Now, this is not to imply that they are all evil, not at all. Even businesses that twist the truth have employees that may well be good honest people.

The problem with this is that a good person can actually talk to you in good faith about a product, but once they have done their job, the business can go a different direction with your faith, and exploit it. We know this is true because the same person you talked to in order to sign up for that plan has virtually no power to help you if you have questions with your bill. They can do nothing about it, because that was never in their power to begin with.

Think about it this way too…when they call you, they want fast access to you when it comes to getting your money…but Heaven forbid if you need to call them about a problem…how many of you tried to call those folks and get rerouted to several other places, or put on hold and things like that. They call this “customer service” but there is certainly nothing good about it.

These things made me wonder…what am I going to have to do to convince people that they can trust me when I ask for support, or to sell my books, cards and the like? The very word “trust” when it comes to business is so overrated that it is a farce. Its like the businesses that like to tell you they are family owned. It’s like, “come see us at Jones Furniture, the FAMILY store”.

What’s that got to do with anything? Well, it implies that a family owned business would never cheat you…and we buy it up. I suppose its far better than:

“come see us at Jones Furniture, the only store in town run by an ex felon”.

We all know what kinda business they’d get if they said that…NONE.

So the stigma of trust is perverted based on stereotypes. Half of Wall Street had parties from the tax dollars we gave to save them, but nobody is really crying foul about that…I mean, it wasn’t like they were ex felons….

(said a moron)

But the mere idea of an ex felon starting a business will send shockwaves throughout the town, because it just isn’t right for a criminal to have a business…

(said the same moron)

Sometimes I struggle with it, because believe me folks, I have stuff I WANT to share with you. If you have read every blog on my site to this point, we still have not even scratched the surface of what I can share. It would be no problem for me to drop another 20 or even 50 retro blogs right now, if I really thought it would help. They’re already written, and have been for quite some time.

I’d create another 20 new prison cards, or 50 more prison encouragement certificates or write 100 pages of a prison issue if I knew that I knew it would touch the heart of a bunch of folks…and also to generate some money for me so I can make a living.

But we just can’t get past the “con” of an ex felon. 100 people will read this, but maybe one or two will respond, meaning the other 99 or 98 will not be moved to do anything. Now, you don’t HAVE to do anything, it is always your choice, and I do not require anybody to send me anything to support my blogs. It has to be of your own choice, preferably after I have won you over.

But it means so much when I DO get the support, because I know I am on the right path. I can’t quite buy that yacht yet (which is odd because I can’t swim if something happens to it..), but I do want to get to a point where I can supply people with prison works that can inspire and give hope.

That was the whole idea when I originally started writing, but when I saw that I can go further with this, I tried to look at it in a more entrepreneur venue. I mean, it just seems like a win-win. I write books, cards, certificates, documents and blogs, thereby helping others deal with a loved one in prison. I earn an income, and thus can do more to enjoy life, but also to fund my prison issue projects, thus allowing me to do greater works than before. I get support and the cycle increases. It makes perfect sense. Or at least I thought it did.

I guess I am upset that I am really, really trying to do my best to help you guys, and I know there are a lot of you that have supported me, and for that I know I am on the right path. I truly, truly appreciate your help, and I will continue to blog. It just bugs me that I have to walk through fire to prove myself, but businesses like CenturyLink can intentionally mislead potential customers by withholding information that directly affects their bill, and hide behind a phone when the customer is not satisfied with the bill, ESPECAILLY when they promised a lower bill.

As the title says, not every con comes from prison.

Anyway, I better go, time for a soda. If you are interested in supporting my blogs, or want my “Grades of Honor” books, or prison cards or prison encouragement certificates, let me know. I always add a couple of freebies with every order. If you just want to support my blogs with a few dollars, trust me, I appreciate that.

Until then…


Entry filed under: girlfriends with boyfriends in prison, God and prison, inmates, jail, LostVault, mothers with sons in prison, prison, prison abuse, prison blogs, prison books, prison cards, prison food, prison jobs, prison mail, prison pen pals, prison support sites, Prison Talk Online, Prisonbid, rehabilitation, son in prison.

#211 Top 3 Prison blogs, ch3 #213 Encouraging a loved one in prison (retro)

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