I got a call at home this week from a woman who had signed up for a class I was supposed to teach. The class was cancelled (likely due to the fact that my bio was left out of the catalog; no one knew who I was or why I was qualified to teach, but that's a whole other subject).
This woman called me at home to ask if I was going to teach the class again and then asked if I would do a consultation with her. I offered her two options: I could meet her for lunch and she could ask whatever she wanted and I'd try to help her, or she could come to the writing group I host monthly and network with other writers there.
She opted for an unoffered third choice: to ask me questions right then over the phone. I had been getting ready to go out for an appointment, but stopped to spend about 20 minutes giving her some writing advice because I didn't want to be rude.
She spent half of that time asking me how she could find an editor to publish what she wanted to write, as opposed to what they wanted her to write.
At the end of the conversation, I asked if she'd gotten my home phone number from the place where the class had been scheduled, and she said no, that she'd looked my phone number up in the phone book.
Now, I suppose she gets a gold star for chutzpah, but - and I know this sounds snarky - she gets a big fat red "x" for being insensitive to my personal privacy, and two red "x"s for being too lazy to find a way to more properly approach me. Two seconds on Google and she would have had my website, with my email and business phone number.
Also this week I got one of those mass emails with a long "blog post" that came from a name I didn't recognize, with my email listed for all the world to see along with about a hundred other emails. I asked the writer to unsubscribe me, and told her that, not meaning to offend, these kinds of mass mailings aren't a great way to endear yourself to industry people. She told me that she'd gotten the email addresses from a writing group I used to belong to a long time ago, and that she wasn't trying to endear herself to editors but sharing what God had told her to say.
Now I'm all for hearing God speak, but the last thing I need are more unbidden email posts from strangers that share my private email to a hundred other strangers.
Am I the only one who thinks this kind of stuff is an invasion of privacy? That both are inappropriate ways to get what you want? That this in unnetworking rather than networking? Or am I just in a particularly snarky mood?