If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

I Don’t Think I’m Naïve But…



My oldest son feels he has to warn me against scammers and seems to have an idea of me as one of those old folks who will wire their life savings to a Nigerian prince. Patently ridiculous. Yet the other night, I was drawn out to see a car for sale that turned out to be at an abandoned house out in the boonies and the furtive guy selling it obviously had no plates or title for it. As my son said, “Be thankful it was no worse than wasted time. He could have pulled a gun on you.”

I wrote a poem about the massacre at Mother Emanuel in Charleston and just titled it “Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church, Charleston, South Carolina 6/17/15,” thinking any breathing, literate person in this country would know to what I was referring. I read it a few nights ago at a public event and had someone come up to me afterward, not sure what that poem was about and what that title meant.

I keep thinking the ultra-conservative political clowns have gone so far off the track that they surely can’t go any further. Then, one says the first act he’ll take as president is to declare war on Iran, a second wants to fire the Supreme Court, others make it legal to fire unmarried women for getting pregnant, and another claims that ancient Native American cave drawings thousands of years old aren’t antiquities but “just bullshit,” and shouldn’t be protected.

I thought when my entire city voted for and paid taxes for years to replace our damaged, antique storm sewer system that the system was being replaced instead of what actually has happened—the wealthy sections of town getting new storm sewers while the poorer parts, which paid the same taxes, have their storm sewers “refurbished.”

I thought, after I called a medical biller and pointed out that my insurance had already paid all that was due by contract and for them to bill both Medicare (when I don’t have that coverage) and me for the amount my insurance company wouldn’t pay is illegal and they said it was just a clerical error, that would be the end of that. Instead, they’ve re-billed this fraudulent amount to both Medicare and me once again.

I don’t think I’m naïve, but sometimes I have to wonder about that.

16 comments:

James Montgomery Jackson said...

I don’t think you are naïve, but perhaps you do wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to human behavior. I think it comes from holding basically positive attitudes toward humans, which is justified by most, but not by all.

~ Jim

KM Rockwood said...

My kids think I'm going to fall victim to scams, too. And every once in a while, they're right.

I recently fell for the bum's rush by, of all places, AAA, who I thought was an organization with a stellar representation. It was the travel division, & when they gave me some information on a package deal, told me the proto-typical "Expires at five o'clock tonight." I'd been planning to get the prices, go home to check them, and come back the next day. I'm still kicking myself for not recognizing that as a sign of a rip-off. Mostly because I trusted (naive!) AAA. Then I went home & found out I'd seriously overpaid.

I do know I'm a little too trusting sometimes, but so far it's only been minor things. And sometimes it ends in humorous situations. Like the time some guy tried to scam me on a Baltimore street for gas money because "I'm out of gas and my car won't start. I forgot my wallet and I need to get home." I was carrying a gas can, so I offered to go get him a gallon or two. He was an incompetent scammer, and got confused, saying it wouldn't work. I got in his car, started it up, pointed out that the "empty" light wasn't on, so with that car, he should be able to go at least 40 miles and get home. He admitted he was trying to scam a few bucks.

Margaret Turkevich said...

tree treatment scam: I called the company that has treated my ash trees for emerald ash borer in the past, confirmed that it was time to inject them, confirmed the price, and waited for a scheduling phone call. The call came when I was making dinner, started out with the usual tiresome sales pitch "hey, how's your day going...I'll need all your contact information (why?)and then (voice speeding up) the computer prices the job at xxxx.

Startled, I dropped my spatula on the floor and replied "That figure is a hundred percent markup over the last treatment. I do not accept your price." He responded with a take it or leave it comment and hung up.

Many, many phone calls later, I pre-paid with a credit card at the agreed upon price. We'll see. If the trees don't get treated, they will die.

Shari Randall said...

You're not naive, Linda, you are an honest, intelligent, well-informed person who thinks that other people are (or should be) honest, intelligent, and well informed, too. Hah! I am grateful for the time I spent working at a newspaper - that knocked all the kumbaya out of me.

Grace Topping said...

Good post, Linda. It does make you wonder. You hate to suspect everything and everybody, but so many people have been scammed that it makes you super cautious. Sometimes you have to follow your gut instinct.

Kara Cerise said...

I think most people want to believe that others have good intentions. That's why it's especially sad and tragic when those who are supposed to be trustworthy, betray us. I recently heard about an oncologist who diagnosed his healthy patients with cancer and then treated them with chemo and radiation because he wanted the money. Just awful what those people went through.

Gloria Alden said...

I agree with Shari, Linda, in that you're honest, intelligent and well-informed. I can't believe some of the things I'm hearing from most of the conservatives running for president. And to think the Trump is in the lead. I can't remember being scammed, but one of my sisters is always giving me advice as if I'm not totally with it. She'll start with "I know you're not going to listen to me, but . . . ." Mostly it's advice on how to eat healthy, and sometimes it's when she's eating fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy at a restaurant, and I've opted for fish or grilled chickens and never gravy.My youngest daughter worries about me, too, thinking I'm too trusting of others.

Warren Bull said...

Linda, I know the feeling. You don't want to sound paranoid but at times being suspicious pays off. We had used a heating and air conditioning company for years.Then an "inspection" revealed the hidden horrors in our vents. We'd never been told of so many problems before so we got a second opinion. The inspector said the problems listed could happen...eventually. He gave us a price that we accepted for routine maintenance.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Jim, I'm usually pretty good at spotting scams and cons because my birth father was one of the world's best con men. So I'm not all that trusting. In the case of the car that turned out to be in the boonies at the edge of town, you couldn't tell that by the address and I took my husband with me. But yeah, I prefer to think the best of most people unless and until they prove otherwise.

Linda Rodriguez said...

KM, I never trust organizations or businesses without checking them out. Have seen even good ones pull some real crap. I know what you mean with the panhandler. Had a woman come up to husband and me in our driveway, asking if we could let her in the house to call a friend or give her money for a bus because she was stranded. Had a long tale of victimization and woe to go with it. I said, "I have a friend who's in community policing and this is exactly the kind of thing he can help with. I'll call him to come over and help you." Pulled out my cell phone, and she was already in the street, crying, "No, no! No need for that! Forget it!" ( I actually do have a friend in community policing, and if her story were true, he could have helped her.)

Linda Rodriguez said...

Margaret, I never pre-pay anything like that. At best, I'll make a down payment, but they must wait for the rest until they've done a satisfactory job. I've seen too many tree guys and contractors and other repair or remodeling people not finish or do a shabby job if people pay them in full in advance. Hope this works out well for you. If not, take them to small claims court. But I hope your trees get treated and saved.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Shari, I do try to expect the best of people. I think most people are pretty decent, but there's a irritatingly large number of them who aren't.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Grace, in certain areas, the ratio of scammers to decent folks goes way up, unfortunately.

Shari, that made me sick. As someone who's gone through and is still going through cancer treatment to think of healthy people being put through all of that pain and misery when it's not needed, just so some greedy doctor could make more money... I'd better not say what I think, other than he needs to be in a hardcore prison for a long time.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Gloria, with my son it's the fact that he makes high six figures per year while my husband and I have always worked in the arts or social justice where salaries are low and haven't racked up big savings or stock portfolios. He sees us as impractical artist/academics.

Warren, we had a great auto mechanic service, certified and everything. For years, they were honest and reliable to a fault. If we needed a repair and they found in their records that we were still on their warranty when we'd even forgotten, they would tell us and not charge us. In the last year or two, their prices went up, but well, you just expect that anymore. They wanted to do an expensive repair that we wondered about, but we trusted them because of their long, fine record and went ahead. Then they told us we needed all new tires because ours were just "shredded." We had just bought all new premium tires from them six months earlier. That's when I knew they had changed tactics from honest and professional to dishonest and fraudulent. Same owner, same employees. *sigh*

Kait said...

I don't like to think I am naive, but I do expect the best from people and businesses. Sometimes I even get it. More often...oh well, my parents should have named me Pollyanna. But I like seeing the glass half full and believe given the chance, most folks would do the right thing.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Kait, I really think you're right. EXCEPT I've had to change my opinion there when it comes to people selling used cars. :-(