AM I THE ONLY ONE…who saw through the scam?

Get a Job Scammer
By: Donna Hale Chandler

I’m not completely stupid.  I know there are crooks out there in the big bad world, but I had no idea that there were sooooo many!

A few years ago, I moved from my comfy little one-bedroom condo into the home of my sweetheart. We did not make this decision on a whim and had discussed the pros and cons for quite a while. For Dick, the most rewarding ‘pro’ was that he would no longer be forced to make the long 10.9-mile drive to see me. Yes, I’m serious. He truly checked it and it was exactly 10.9 miles from his driveway to mine, and this very nearly was a deal-breaker when we first met.

But that is not the purpose today’s message.  Today I want to let you know that crazy, bad guys are out there walking amongst us. Scammers who spend more time and energy on their latest and greatest scam then most people do at their ordinary job. It’s a sad state of affairs that some of these people are very smart and if they’d only use a portion of that intelligence in a positive way, the world would be a much safer and happier place.

After the move into Dick’s home with a real front and back yard, I investigated the cost of listing my little condo for rent in the local newspaper. The price was amazingly expensive, so I instead listed it, complete with pictures, on Craig’s List. Ahhhh, I can see that some of you are already clicking your tongue and saying, “Silly woman, what was she thinking?” I’ll tell you exactly what I was thinking. I was thinking that Craig’s List costs exactly $0.00 for a 30-day listing and that was exactly what I was willing to spend.

I read all the instructions and warnings, but I was only offering a rental. How could that bring any unsavory characters into my life?

First my email box was immediately filled with offers to list my property here, there and everywhere else. Spam flew my way like bees to honey. I had a few inquiries that seemed legitimate, and I diligently answered each question, offering to make that 10.9-mile drive to show my condominium to anyone interested.

Then came the email that seemed almost frantic in the writer’s need to find a residence. It seems that this young man (or old, oily, deviant for all I know) was working in a foreign country.   He was employed with a major corporation of some sort and even provided me with an impressive-sounding name of the business. He stated that he was thrilled to find my ad because he was being transferred to my area within the next few days and would need a home immediately. He went on to tell a little about himself, that he was a non-smoking executive and very able to pay the amount of rent I was asking.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! This major corporation that employed him would be paying his moving expenses, the security deposit and his first month’s rent. (Now, isn’t that just wonderful?) HOWEVER, the company would be issuing him ONE check for the total amount of the cost of his move. Being the nice guy that he was and wanting to put me at ease that he was trustworthy; he was willing to send me the entire check. I could keep the security amount and first month’s rent and wire the remaining back to him. And please, Mam, keep enough to cover any wire transfer fees. 

My mamma would have been proud of her eldest daughter because I immediately saw through this ruse. Anger consumed me and steam started to creep from my ears. How dare he?!? I’m just an ordinary old lady, trying to get through each day. How dare he try to cheat me?!? The longer I stared at his slimy email the madder I became. I finally hit the Reply Key and sent my response to him: GET A REAL JOB, SCAMMER AMD STOP TRYING TO CHEAT YOUR WAY THROUGH LIFE.

 A few days later, after I’d calmed down a bit; I thought it would probably be wise to alert the local authorities of what had happened. The response from law enforcement, “I believe that Craig’s List warns against scammers.” I’m not quite sure what I expected but that callous response wasn’t quite it.

Moral of the story: Sadly, we have to be on constant alert. Complete trust needs to be earned and should be reserved for only our very best of friends.

Family, Humorous

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO …..who has ever developed a headache after dealing with telephone answering recordings.

By: Donna Hale Chandler


Wouldn’t it be nice if, when you have trouble with a particular company, you could pick up the phone, talk to ONE real person who actually has been trained to take care of you and do-it-right-the-first-time?!?

Some years ago, (maybe A few years ago) we made the decision to move from one TV/ telephone/internet provider to another. It didn’t seem to us to be a major undertaking but once on this road, there was no turning back. Unfortunately, it would take a novel to tell the full story of our nightmare so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet; actually, it’s not very sweet.   It went something like this.

Feeling that we were paying too much for TV/phone/internet service from Company C, we called Company D. After listening to their well-rehearsed sales pitch, we agreed to switch our service. This momentous decision that was to save money was made on February 7, 2012.

The first step was to send an Inside Lineman to our home to make sure we were getting a good signal from the existing wiring. As it turns out, we were NOT. That meant an Outside Lineman had to come and see what was wrong with the line coming from the pole to our home.  The line was replaced (on the second trip) and still no signal. Another Outside Lineman had to check the line from the main box to the pole behind our house.

Are you beginning to get the picture? It is now February 24 and we have, as yet, not had service. For those of you considering switching your TV/telephone/internet service to Company D, let me save you some time and tell you who you need to talk with to make the move much smoother than ours.

Call their 800 number. Be sure you have several hours to spend on hold or being transferred from person to person. Allow time for being disconnected and having to start all over again. Be prepared to have your order confused/delayed more than once and be sure to have a spare phone handy because it is unlikely that you will get through this process on one battery. You will need to talk to Rob, Vicki, Matthew, Ben, Paul, Jimmy, Brian, Ronnie, Ryan, Stephen, Jacob, Ian, Mark, Aaron, Troy, Julie, Valerie, Rosa Jena, Juliana, Cherina, Frank, Amos, and if I’ve left anyone out, I sincerely apologize. I was so silly as to believe that this would be easy and started out not bothering to write down employee names.

You know what? On second thought, if you find yourself thinking about making this kind of change, JUST SAY NO, and fix yourself a bowl of ice cream instead.

Note: In order to not sound as if Company D is a complete and total experience in incompetence. I should also list a few things that they do extremely well. Every single employee, whether on the phone, in our back yard or standing in our living room was very well trained in apologizing. The conversation would start with, “I’m so sorry you’re having a problem,” and end with, “I’m so sorry I was unable to help you.” It appears that Company D excels in training their employees to apologize. Perhaps there are even company workshops stressing this action. I may be wrong but perhaps some training in Getting It Right the First Time would be beneficial.

The second action that all employees had down pat is ‘taking your information’. Whether you talk to two or twenty employees, each one must have your complete name, phone number, address, last four of your social security number, your favorite restaurant, mother’s maiden name, how many cups of coffee you had that day and whether or not you had sex the night before. After giving your life history and promising your first born, you must start from the beginning and explain your problem to each and every person you talk with. I’m just an ordinary female with perhaps less than ordinary technical skills but it seems to me, that in this day of amazing technology, information just might be able to be stored and passed from person to person the same as passing along the phone call. Maybe not ……. That would probably be much too simple.

And on that last note, I shall retire and take my newly prescribed blood pressure medication.   Hmmmm, wonder why I suddenly have high blood pressure.

Family, Humorous

AM I THE ONLY ONE …..with children who exerience the unexplainable?

Our Valentine Daughter continues to experience amazing occurrences that are completely unexplainable
By Donna Hale Chandler

Once upon a time a baby girl was born on Valentine’s Day.  She was indeed a sweetheart with blond curly hair and big blue eyes.  As is the way with children she quickly grew, each day bringing small miracles and more questions for her young mind to try to answer.  It seemed as if strange happenings followed her wherever she went.

One of those strange happenings occurred on her birthday.  The night before her special day she was restless, tossed and turned and just couldn’t seem to find sleep.  Finally, she left her bed and decided to sit on the back patio for a few minutes.  Maybe the cool fresh air would sooth her so she could find the rest she needed.  As she walked through the kitchen to the back door and the patio beyond, she glanced at the clock.  Noticing that it was just a few minutes after midnight she silently wished herself a happy birthday. 

Once seated in a comfortable chair under the dark sky, the young girl began to make birthday wishes.  She didn’t wish for material things, she wished for happiness.  She just couldn’t seem to escape the gloom that had descended upon her a few days earlier.  She sat in the night air and thought of her father and how much she missed him.  Illness had taken his life a few months before and she wanted so much to hear him say, “Happy Birthday Valentine” as he had in years past. 

With a heavy sigh she finally stood and started toward the back door, ready to once again go to her bed and try to sleep.  However, before she reached the door, something caught her eye.  In the moonlight she could see something hovering just above the ground.  As she squinted her eyes trying to see into the darkness that blanketed the backyard, the object moved, as if the wind was pushing it toward her.  Curiosity overcame her fear and she tip-toed through the damp lawn for a better look. 

As she drew closer, she could see that it was a beautiful red balloon.  She could not imagine where in the world it had come from in the middle of the night and when she picked it up there was writing on one side.  It said, “Happy Birthday Valentine”.  She held it tightly as she returned to the house, placed it on the pillow next to her and slept the sleep of a happy birthday valentine daughter.


AM I THE ONLY ONE. . . . . . . . . . . . who remembers their first experience with alcohol

By: Donna Hale Chandler

I was just 17 years old when I married my high school sweetheart and a year later saw him off to Vietnam.  We grew up in a small town in Kentucky where we were expected to go to church twice on Sunday and every evening if there happened to be a revival in town.  The entire county where we lived was ‘dry’, meaning no alcohol was sold or served anywhere.  Beer and cocktails were not part of my life and as my personal world was so small, I had no idea that this way of life was not the norm.

When my husband was discharged from the Army and returned to the states, we immediately moved to Michigan where he had a job waiting.  We were excited to start our new married life and once our meager furnishings that consisted of a bed purchased from the Salvation Army store, a small Montgomery Ward’s TV and 2 lawn chairs were set up in our tiny three-room upstairs apartment, I ventured out to the grocery store to stock our shelves with the staples.

Much to my surprise as I explored each aisle, I found beer – all kinds and brands of beer – right out there on the grocery shelf for everyone to see and anyone to purchase.  I was amazed and rushed home to spout all the details of what I had found to my husband.  Surprisingly to me, he was not astounded by this discovery at all.

I’ve always been a quick study and it didn’t take long for me to learn that drinking beer or having a cocktail did not cause the heavens to open up and lightning come down to strike me dead, to suffer in hell for all eternity.  The opportunity for me to personally indulge came at Christmas, 1968, at a party that Ford Motor Company had for their hourly employees.  I was so excited to see how this part of the world ‘partied’ and I knew there would be ALCOHOL there.

We went with another couple, Carol and Gary, both native Michiganders and both thought my naivety quite humorous.  I remember distinctly that Carol and I both ordered a Sloe Gin Fizz.  It was a pretty red drink and went down like Kool-aide.   Soon we were both giggling like 10-year-olds and having a magnificent time.  Everything was wonderful and everything was funny.

As the evening went on and the gaiety continued, we strolled off, rather unsteadily to find the lady’s room.  As soon as we walked in, we heard a voice calling out, “I need some help.  Please.”  At first, we were frozen in our tracks.  Did we really hear someone calling for help or was this just another bit of proof that perhaps we’d better switch to drinking water?  But no, we heard the voice call out to us again.  The sound was coming from one of the bathroom stalls.  We peeked under the stall door and sure enough there were feet, although something didn’t seem quite right.

Carol was the brave one who pushed the stall door open to find a very large, very drunk young woman stuck between the toilet and the stall wall, and of course with her underwear around her knees.  She had managed to miss the toilet seat and plop down into the air, wedging herself securely.  We were both far from sober ourselves and decided that this was absolutely the funniest thing we had seen all night.  In between our bursts of laughter and trying to pull the woman up, she asked us to please go find her husband, James.

Holding our splitting sides we laughed our way back to our table, having forgotten all about the purpose of our visit to the bathroom and told our husbands what we had found.  They were evidently more sober that either of us and seemed not to see the humor in the poor woman’s situation.  They left us with Coke’s to drink and went in search of the Husband James.  When we saw our guys plus another strange man heading for the woman’s bathroom, we were quick to follow.  We wanted to see how they were going to dislodge the unfortunate woman.

There was much grunting and groaning from James and lots of crying from the young woman.  At last James dislodged is wife and much to the disappointment of Carol and me, there was no loud ‘pop’ like a cork from a champagne bottle.  Our little group turned to leave James and his wife when she suddenly passed out cold, proving that the drama of the evening was not yet over.  To his credit James laid his lady as gently as possible onto the floor, arranged her clothing more modestly, left us to guard the bathroom door and went in search of his friends.

In the blink of an eye, two more men were there to help James with his dilemma.  The three of them got her up, placed an arm over the shoulder of the two helpers and out of the bathroom they came, heading toward the entrance as James called to them that he’d run ahead and bring his car to the front door.  Sounds pretty easy, right?  Not so.

Carol and I had maintained a reasonable amount of decorum and were beginning to feel a bit ashamed at how much we had laughed at the poor woman.  That is until we saw the men start down the stairs with her.  They each had a right grip on their burden and as they began their decent the woman’s feet and shins were dragging down the stairs behind them – bump, bump, bump, with each step they took.  This sent us into another fit of laughter erasing all feeling of shame that almost invaded out conscience.

As a side note, I was the only one of our groups that had to go to work the next morning.  I awoke with a blinding headache (duh), put on the very same clothes and I wore to the party and somehow made it through the day, hoping that karma was not paying attention to my behavior the night before.