Saturday, July 10, 2010

I am not Antiques Roadshow

Dimitri Rotov had a wonderful post years back (apparently irretrievable by Blogger's atrocious search box, as I cannot find it) in which he gently mocked the internet surfer's all too often complete lack of compunction in intruding upon individuals they don't know, seeking their free "expert" advice.

I do not collect antique Civil War books, nor have I ever claimed any expertise or really much interest in them at all, yet many of the emails I get from individuals consist of someone wanting me to appraise (or relate "what I know" about) this or that mid to late 19th Century Civil War book. For those that know how to properly address a stranger from whom one is requesting a favor, I try to do what I can, which usually isn't much at all given my lack of knowledge. Sadly, those types of missives are the minority, with most consisting of rudely insistent and crudely written demands that just make me shake my head. I would hate to be a customer service rep. The most recent one I had lacked a salutation and just listed characteristics of some old CW book I'd never heard of. I didn't answer as no question was even asked. The next morning the same person emailed me with an all caps demand that I immediately share all I know about the book. It's quite obvious these people are not my readers, more likely clueless relatives looking to see how much grandpa's dusty old book is worth and finding me (lucky me) on Google. Even the ones I can help rarely take the time to thank me. I would send these people to Paul Taylor if I disliked him.


  1. Thanks for the reference to Paul Taylor's site. I had not seen that blog yet, but it looks interesting.


  2. AnonymousJuly 10, 2010

    Well, I for one would like to take this opportunity to thank you for what you DO do. Great blog!

  3. Hi Drew -

    I'm delighted to learn that I'm on your good side! :-) I get those emails occasionally as well, but fortunately, they seem to be in the minority.



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