January 28, 2009

Gullible People Who Apparently Want to Get Screwed | printable version

Dear Angela,

I've been reading WritersWeekly forever and enjoy the heck out of it (I've also gotten a few jobs from it). I got a major kick out of your article, Gullible People Who Want to Be Screwed. Not the gullible people part (after all, if there were no gullible people, what would the online scammers do?), but your annoyance at people asking you to Google things for them. That happens to me frequently, and I now send them this link: http://letmegooglethatforyou.com. They usually get the hint. Hope it works for you as well.

Stay warm!

Kelly Burgess
Senior Writer
iParenting.com, Disney Family Group



Such bizarre behavior exhibited by the person you refer to can be a sign of one of many mental illnesses. Years ago, I ran into an old school mate of mine and he looked great and seemed to be pretty well off. At the time he said he was a talent scout for MGM movies. He had business cards and was driving around in a new Cadillac. He was very convincing and I did believe him at the time.

It turned out that he was not a talent scout and the car had been charged to his father's bank account. He was sufffering from what used to be referred to as delusions of grandeur. His father had him put in a psychiatric facility and he spent about a year there before he was declared to be 'normal' again. After he was discharged he approached me (we lived in the same city as did a lot of my former classmates) and asked me if I'd be interested in joining a prestigious football league. This time he had slipped back to his former mental state and was now a recruiter for the famous Football Hall of Fame. His job was to get new members.

Of course, none of this was true but he was very convincing. He had been a top student in school so was able to sound quite literate and educated. He was able to convince a lot of people to invest a large sum of money before he was again diagnosed as
illusional. He was institutionalized again and my friends and I did visit him fairly often at the hospital he was living at. He was always glad to see us, knew us all but even then he did not seem to be any better. The last afternoon we went to see him, he told us that the commissioner of football was coming to see him that afternoon.

So people do have to be very careful before doing business with anyone that seems to be eccentric.

Name Withheld


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