Comments or Pranks? Friday Follies

I haven’t done a Friday Follies on my blog for awhile, and just thought I’d share a recent humorous experience.  A quick story, I promise.

Friday Follies, for those of you who aren’t yet regular followers, is my take off from Twitter’s Friday Follows.  We all have our follies…or I think we all do…and I certainly prefer that I’m not alone when I fall off the cliff, or mistakenly enter the wrong restroom…little things that I’ve learned to laugh at.  About myself, of course.

Sometimes I tell stories about my cats.  They certainly know how to make me look foolish.  Down on the floor on my hands and knees, scratching the carpet, making hsssing sounds through my teeth, and other ‘unseemly’, unadult behaviors simply for the purpose of ensuring they are properly entertained.  I just know they laugh about my antics, and how silly I look,  when I’m out of earshot.

Sometimes I tell other stories about the silly things I do.  I can procrastinate…believe me I know lots of ways to not get around to getting things done…or I talk about  my collections of collections on collecting, or just my myriad of rambling thoughts on weird topics.

Today, I thought I’d share a little gem about pranksters, and how easily fooled I am. 

I recently got a complimentary comment on my blog, and then the writer asked me if I would mind ‘just taking a look at their website and providing feedback.’  They had included an email address and a website.  Now I actually have a link with a form on my website, where anyone can request a free website review, but I thought the writer might have been focused on reading the blog post, and wanted to make a comment.  Then after making the comment, they thought a quick way to ask for a website review was  just to tack the request on at the end of the comment.

So, I thought no more of it and went to the website provided.  It was actually a squeeze page, and fairly well done, although there were several things I thought might better address prospects’  needs, and one thing I thought was a fairly large oversight.

So…I composed an email and did a brief critique of the site, praising the good parts…and there were quite a few…with suggested corrections, and a couple of proposed content rewrites.  Normally, I wouldn’t include any proposed content rewrites unless we both decided a contract might be a worthwhile investment, but in this case I already had the content rewrites composed in my head, and decided I’d share…a compliment in return for their nice compliment on my blog post.

I finished the email, sent it off…and…guess what?  It bounced!  Now…how foolish did I feel?  I know how important it is in email marketing to verify email addresses.  In fact, I talk about it a lot.  However, ( I thought) this was different.  This was a comment on my blog, not a request to become a subscriber.  The website provided was real.  It was professional and had a legitimate product to sell. 

Next, of course, I checked, and then double-checked the email address provided.  It simply did not exist.  Foiled…someone was playing a prank!  And..for a moment…I was quite upset.  And then I laughed. 

This incident reminds me once again that no matter how much expertise I may believe I have…no matter how professional I think I am…I can be fooled.  Easily at times…by things I should…could…know better than to fall prey to. 

I love being innocent enough to still believe that most people don’t want to fool me…most of the time.  And I love reminding myself  to take the suggestions I give to others…always verify email addresses…especially before you spend time and energy that could be better spent doing worthwhile work for someone who really wants and can benefit from your ideas.

Life is…worthwhile…worth growing…worth learning…worth loving…worth laughing at yourself…regularly.  Follies aren’t just for fools.  They’re for all of us.  They remind us of our humanity, and provide us humility. Humility is a good.  I remind myself of that often.

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