Always Call Them First

June 11, 2008
I never thought of myself as naïve. Better yet, I always preferred to think of myself as witty, and wise. I never fell into the deep hole of drugs, or the pressure of being popular; but I have been cheated. It’s not a pleasant feeling when you realize that you’ve been ripped off.

When I typed in “White Oak Press” into google’s search engine, a list of scam warnings popped up. My jaw dropped and I wished with all my might that it’s not true. Oh, how stupid I felt as I read each review from fellow scammed users, telling each of their stories of being cheated. My cheeks flushed red as I glared at the screen. I kept on going down the list, looking for at least one link that would lead me to a written statement that would negate the rest, but none did. As I read on, I grew desolate. I clicked on White Oak Press’ website and stared at it. How obvious did the nonofficial site looked; it stared back at me as if laughing at my humiliation. Then I thought, “What a waste of $90.”

$90 isn’t a lot of money, but the mere thought that somewhere in the United States, there is a group of people using that money and laughing about it made me itch under my skin. I resent that they cheated other people, but they used other people’s hope to achieve it. I sent White Oak Press my check with pride, thinking that I would get published, dizzy with happiness because I thought I had achieved something. I remember that glorious feeling of triumph as I read the email. The sense of accomplishment was overwhelming. Now, the feeling of anger and disappointment washes over me in strong waves, perhaps more strongly than I had felt when I thought I was getting published.

I took the news rather well; at least I didn’t throw a fit. But this experience did change my outlook on life. It seemed so silly just a couple of days ago when someone told me that it might be a scam. But now, as I look more closely, I see it all around me. The people on the streets that try to sell me fake Coach bags, or water downed Calvin Klein perfume. I laugh at myself in some amusement. I’ll learn from this; instead of rushing to pay some organization, I will do my research next time. Of course this one little incident won’t discourage me from writing, but it sure will put a caution flag on the next email I receive about being published.

Now that I’m done being angry, I have to break the news to my mother. She won’t be pleased. Remembering, she was even more please than I was when I told her the news. Maybe she’d yell at me, or maybe she’d think we were both too easily fooled, but I know she won’t think it was a waste of money. Because $90 is nothing compared to this expensive lesson I learned that will travel with me through the rest of my life: always call them first.

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relationman said...
Aug. 16, 2008 at 10:51 am
that just happened to me. funny thing huh, the world i mean.
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