Shelf snatching – The new terror

This actually happened about a week and a half ago, but I forgot to mention it. It’s not really important when it happened anyway.

Driving around a small town close to where I live, looking for a parking space so that I could park and pay some money into the bank, I spotted some shelf units outside Coopers hardware store. It turns out they were the units that Coopers used to display some of their stock and they no longer needed them.

They were just simple, plain shelf units, nothing fancy, just good enough to do their intended job. They would be ideal in my own stock room.

I decided I would go round the block after I had been to the bank and park outside Coopers so it would be easy to load the shelf units into my car.
I found a parking space, went to the bank & paid in the money and set off round the block.

When I got back to Coopers there were no parking spaces available directly outside so i parked just across the road on double yellows. Naughty I know, but I didn’t intend to be there long, besides, I was loading.

As I was getting out of the car I saw a woman standing by the units, quite close to the units in fact, almost like she was guarding them. My first thought was that she had probably already bought them and was stopping anyone else from grabbing them or whatever.
I decided to go into Coopers anyway and see if they had any more.
As I walked across the road I decided I would just check with the woman first, so I asked her “Excuse me, I noticed you guarding these units, have you bought them”?
She replied “Yes, I am about to”.

I didn’t think much of that at first, more or less assuming that her husband or someone would be inside paying for them while she stood as sentinel.

Once inside the store I walked to the counter and stood behind the only other person at the counter, an elderly gentleman, and waited my turn to be served.
I guessed this elderly bloke was either the husband or something to do with the woman outside guarding the units.
The bloke paid for whatever he had bought, received his invoice and walked out of the store, right past the sentinel woman.

My turn to be served..

I said to the woman behind the counter “Did that bloke just pay for the shelf units outside? It’s just that there is a woman out there guarding them who says she is about to buy them and I assumed he was paying for them”.

The store woman replied “No, he just had some paint brushes and a few bits & pieces. Nobody has paid for the units and nobody has been in to reserve them. If you want them and wish to pay for them now then they’re yours. First come first served.”

Great, so I said I would have two of the three they had left. Perfect for my requirements.

I paid the woman and got my receipt. She wrote out some sold tickets to put on the units and called a bloke over to get two of them and put the sold tickets on them and take them out the back for me to collect later. I was told to go round to the loading area at the back of the store when I collect them so I didn’t have to worry about parking.

As I got into my car I glanced across at the bloke putting the sold tickets on the units and the woman was speaking to him, but I thought nothing of it.

I went away and did whatever else I had to do that day and when I returned later I drove straight to the back as instructed.

I rang the bell for attention and the same bloke who had put the tickets on and brought the units in for me answered the door.
A huge grin spread across his face and he said “I was expecting you to have black eyes when you got here”.

I asked why and he replied “You remember that woman who was guarding the units? Well when I went out and put the sold tickets on she went ballistic, ranting & raving about how she’d told me she was about to buy them and she wouldn’t expect that sort of thing of this area, maybe London, but not here.. etc etc”

Apparently she had gone off at some considerable pace down the road to look for me. She obviously didn’t realise that I was in a car for one thing, but more interestingly (to me at least) is the wonder at what she might have done had she actually found me. Did she intend to tell me off like some naughty little boy? Maybe she would try and reason with me and get me to apologise and maybe let her have the units after all. Who knows, but it’s a crazy thing to come running after someone (particularly someone who looks like I do) to start ranting and raving about something when they clearly have no grounds for it.
Had she found me I would most likely (depending on her attitude, but from what I can make out by what the bloke said, she was none too happy) have calmly and politely told her to piss off.

The bloke in the store mentioned that she had even asked him where I work, to which he replied “How the hell should I know”?

Quite right too!

So anyway, I loaded the units into my car and thanked the bloke for his help. He said that he should thank me on behalf of the staff and other customers for making their day.

I said to him that I wish now I’d bought all three units. He said he wished I had too.

Well, that was just a little bit of excitement in a relatively standard small town.

The whole thing about it to me is (and I still don’t know for sure what she was doing) that I assume she had spotted these units and decided she wanted them, but didn’t have enough cash on her so had stood guard over them while her husband or somebody went either home or to an ATM.
Whatever the situation though, she was in the wrong. Maybe not in the wrong exactly, but had no right to be ranting & raving about how bad I was and running down the road after me.

What she should have done was go into the shop, explain that she wanted them but didn’t have enough money on her, maybe put a small deposit on them, but I doubt they would have even been bothered about that and get them to reserve them for her. The sold tickets would have had her name on them instead of mine and she would now have the units instead of me.

I mean it’s like me being in Tesco with someone and realising I need bread, but there is only one loaf left. I know, I’ll stand and guard that loaf and tell people I’m about to buy it while my friend goes off to draw some cash for me.

Anyway, the units are great, perfect for my needs and I’m glad I got them. I do not feel guilty, nor sorry for the woman. It was her own fault for not following a correct and recognised procedure.

I just have to keep an eye out now whenever I’m in the town. I imagine she will be keeping her out for me now. She’ll no doubt want to give me a thorough ticking off. 🙂


People are strange

As some of you may know I am quite a keen photographer. It would come as no surprise then that I often visit various websites to do with photography.

I joined one site that allows me to upload my photo’s to be shared, stored, etc. Now this site has two main types of member, the free members and the ‘Pro’ members, those that pay a yearly subscription and for their money get a somewhat better service, such as more space, larger photo’s may be uploaded, access to various tools that are not available to free members and so on, I’m sure you get the idea.

So I paid the subscription and became a Pro member as I didn’t want the restrictions on uploads, sizes etc.

The site has many groups, which are basically just specific areas where people with common interests can share their art. For example if you’re interested in Macro photography you may join a Macro group (there are lots of groups for many subjects), or a landscape group, Wildlife & nature groups, Vintage camera groups, black & white photograph group and almost any other subject you can think of regarding photography there will be a group for it.

Some of the groups are ‘invite only’ which is pretty self explanatory. You can only become part of the group if someone already in the group sees one of your photo’s and is suitably impressed to invite you. Once invited, if you accept, you may then invite other people if their photo’s impress you, and so on.

So, on to the reason for starting this blog.

I’ve known (as have many others) for a long time that people are strange, which is not always a bad thing of course, but sometimes something or someone just stands out enough to inspire something like this. I wondered first if maybe this should have gone in my ‘Things that make you go hmm’ blog, but as I’m sure there will be more incidences (that are worthy of a place here at least, not just every weird thing that people do otherwise this would be the biggest blog ever recorded) in the future I decided on a dedicated blog.

Recently I uploaded some photo’s of flowers along with other nature & Wildlife
pictures, some Macro and some not.

For some time I had no comments on my pictures at all, then one day I found that I had been invited to an invite only group from somebody having noticed a macro photo of a caterpillar. I was quite pleased as you would expect, and that has been a great experience, a good group and I’ve had no problem with them.

More recently I was invited to another group that also has an exhibition and
optional competition. The person who invited me was admin for the group and I believed that my invitation was due to the fact that this person was impressed with my photo’s enough to want to invite me. I have discovered since that it was probably more likely to boost the number of members, but I’ll get to that.

Some of these groups have rules such as how many photo’s you may send to that group each week, rules regarding content, such as the group that liked my caterpillar picture, their rule is that it can be any animal as long as it is alive and not human. Fair enough, but the new group I was invited to has a rule that you must make two comments on other people’s photo’s for each one of your own that is invited and ultimately submitted. Many groups ask that you make comments, but few I’ve seen enforce them so strictly that people feel under pressure enough to want to leave the group, such as in my case.

I had five (I think) photo’s invited to the group by the previously mentioned admin which was quite nice, it makes you feel good (something else that cropped up in the following message ‘ping pong’ between myself and the group admin), but also it puts you in a situation where for those five pitures I now have to leave ten comments for other people’s pictures.

Now I’m not the sort of person to just hand out comments for the sake of it, just to make up a pre-defined quota. To me it would not be right to just make comments unless I meant them. I certainly wouldn’t hand out awards unless they were something outstanding. So many people give awards to everything, but that is their choice. If they feel that all the pictures they give awards to are worthy then good for them, but to my mind something has to really stand out to get an award, otherwise the standard is not kept high, there is nothing to strive for.

I did actually leave about 4 comments and also invited one person to the previous invite only group I mentioned. He had an amazing macro shot of a grasshopper, but he didn’t reply to the comment or take up the invitation, so it just makes the following ‘discussion’ between myself and the admin even more annoying.

There is also the subject of real life to take into consideration, not everyone sits all day & night online doing the same thing. This will all be seen in the following messages.

The admin seemed to be more interested in comments and awards, not to mention thinking she was some great healer or Guru or something. A little above her station and somewhat patronising to say the least. It’s rather quite funny when I look back now, but at the time it made me quite mad.

Right then, the following is the exchange of messages through the site between myself and the admin for the group calling themselves “First the Earth”. (h1r3z is me for those that don’t know).


From: melcir.meri
Subject: Hi …


I don’t know why you didn’t get your photos noticed.

Maybe you didn’t send them in to various places?

You are welcome to keep sending in your flowers …

I didn’t finish with your photostream as there was
a deluge of new members all at once, with yours.
I’ll come back another time ….
Plese don’t forget to spread joy – everyone gets such
a buzz when anyone adds comments to other entries
in our group!!! — It’s a requirement of membership!!!



To: melcir.meri
Subject: Re: Hi …

Hi Mel,

I am still getting used to the site and only belong to a few groups so maybe the photo’s have not been seen much. I also think I am, like a lot of ‘artists’ too self critical, so while I do belong to a few groups I only tend to send pictures that I am really pleased with and usually manage to find a fault with most so don’t bother sending them. Crazy really I guess.

Thank you again for the invitation and I shall surely send my flowers. if any are not of good enough quality or whatever then of course I understand that they may be removed.

I have had a few connection issues tonight, but I shall have a good look through the other group members photo’s and leave some comments.

I don’t get online too often due to other commitments, but I love this site and am eager to get to know it better.

Thank you again.




From: melcir.meri
Subject: Sean ~ hi …

Hi there …

See you have been gaining some good attentions!

Hope you will begin to add your own comments on other works too!!!
Best to you




To: melcir.meri
Subject: Re: Sean ~ hi …

Hi Mel,

Yes I’ve had a few comments now, very encouraging.

I have commented on a few already, and also invited one particular image to an
invite only group, which I notice they have not responded to however. Still, the offer is there if they decide to take it up. 🙂




Everything is so far so good. This is where it starts to get ‘interesting’.


From: melcir.meri
Subject: Your membership in “FIRST – THE EARTH!” Group …

Hi again

Well, how’re you going on comments + AWARDS for others entries?

Did you make any? – It’s been a week since you said you’d follow up.
You understand that the membership is conditional on doing the right thing … ?
When you do this, you will find things start to open up in your life.
It’s part of gaining good karma. Are you familiar with this philosophy?




OK so my beliefs aside, this woman knows nothing about me at all. Apparently things will start to open up in my life if I leave some comments on a photography site.


Am I familiar with the philosophy of Karma? Hmmm.


To: melcir.meri
Subject: Re: Your membership in “FIRST – THE EARTH!” Group …

Hi again,

I’m guessing you didn’t get or didn’t read my last message in reply to your last

I have made a few comments and also invited one image to an invite only group, which that person has chosen to ignore both in any form of reply and also in actually joining. It is their choice, but I HAVE made a few comments.

I have not given any awards yet (unless you count the invite to the invite only group), but I am of the opinion that awards should be given when you feel they are deserved. I do not just give out awards and comments purely for the sake of it to fulfill a requirement. That would be false praise, something which I will not do.

I am very aware of the philosophy of karma thank you.

I did say in my last message that I have left some comments etc, but maybe you didn’t get that message.

I will continue to leave messages (and awards if I feel they are deserved) when I see things I wish to comment on. I will not leave comments just because someone tells me I must.

If leaving comments is the most important thing in your group and people are under pressure to leave them to remain part of the group, then maybe I should not be part of your group.

I appreciate your kind comments on my photo’s and my entries into the group, but I cannot be worrying about how many comments I’ve made in how long a time. I have a life offline too and don’t need the added pressure.

Sorry if I don’t meet your requirements.

Please feel free to remove me from the group and my photo’s too if you wish.


Sean (h1r3z)


Aside from the fact I felt her last message to me was a little patronising I don’t
think my reply was rude in any way. I’m still thanking her for her comments and I’m being most polite.


From: melcir.meri
Subject: Hi …

You are quite right … there seems to be a letter missing …

Which means that much of what I wrote is irrelevant, and you
should take that into consideration.

My concern is to teach the value of karma, and most still do not
understand cause and effect and even forget that this is not just
a group, but a making a difference group.
I’m not on your case … but many get a lot out of being here,
while others do the drop image and run trip … even avoiding
TAGGING and commenting.
So if you are having trouble AWARDING anyone in the group
something isn’t right … most people could go beserk and just
keep awarding …
Maybe you aren’t just critical of yourself, but just don’t see beauty
when it’s before you …
I can’t help you find joy sadly … but I do know most people just
love the images here. Are you going through a divorce or something
which is jading your eye?
Hope life lifts you back up fast, sounds like you need a big hug!




Now you tell me, is this patronising or not?

Her concern is to “Teach me the value of Karma”.

“Maybe I don’t see beauty when it’s before me” (Based purely on the fact that I like to be suitably impressed to give someone an award).

She can’t help me find joy. OK, what makes her think I have no joy in my life? Where did that come from?

Am I going through a divorce or something which is jading my eye? It’s about here
that I start to think she’s not quite right in the head.

She hopes life lifts me back up fast (assuming again that she knows me well enough from 3 messages to make this statement indicating that my life needs a lift) and it sounds like I need a big hug. ROFL – No thanks, I’ll pass on that one.


To: melcir.meri
Subject: Re: Hi …

Maybe we should get onto the site owners about the mysterious missing email, that’s just not good enough. I’ve never had one go missing before and hope this isn’t the
start of a new trend.

But anyway that’s really not so important. What is important is your attitude. Who do you think you are? Seriously? I will not be bullied into leaving comments by anyone, particularly someone as patronising and downright rude as you.

Maybe some people do “Go beserk” handing out awards willy nilly, maybe that’s what they like, maybe they find that particular thing really appealing, OR, maybe they have just been hassled so much into leaving awards and comments that they just keep doing it to keep the comment obsessed admin happy for whatever group it is.

You’re right of course, I’m not just critical of myself, I admit it, I’m critical of others too, but isn’t that what it’s about with any subject? If we all liked the same things it’d be a dull old world.

I see beauty when it’s before me (patronising again), I see that there are a lot of great photographers here, but that doesn’t mean I feel that I should comment on them all or give them all awards. I see lots of people in the town with nice clothes and nice cars etc, but I don’t run up to them all and tell them. Also, if you insist on treating me like some pupil or child with al your ‘lessons’ on karma etc then remember this one – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

It is not your job to help me find joy, or teach me your views about Karma, all you had to do was be admin for a group. I don’t want religion lessons and spiritual advice from you thank you, I don’t know what that’s all about, but you have the cheek to ask if I’m going through a divorce or something just because I don’t act the way you want me to act. It seems to me that it’s you with your rude and patronising comments, religious and spiritual advice and rather blinkered outlook regarding how other people (that you don’t even know) see something, that needs the big hug.


Anyway, I withdrew the pictures and left the group. I like the idea of what your group stands for, but I don’t like you or your attitude.

No reply is necessary, unless you feel it your duty.



Maybe now I was getting a bit offish with her, what do you think? lol

Anyhow, I told her what I thought and that I had left the group and the reasons why.

That should really have been the end of it, but nooooo..


From: melcir.meri
Subject: Re: Hi …

I did see that you left.

You forget that when you got comments on your pics
you were happy!!!!
That’s what the comments are for …
The chain breaks when you get the joy
But then insult the giver and refuse to budge in your bludge!!!
Go in peace, and if you want to rejoin when you are ready
There’s no one to say you cannot.
But next time, observe the golden rule which you know.

Enjoy it out there.



Not sure I really understood all this one, unless she just missed a word or two.
The chain breaks when you get the joy?

What made me respond to this was where she has the cheek to say “But then insult the giver and refuse to budge in your bludge”. Oh, so sorry I didn’t act like a 10 year old at Sunday school. Miss.. Miss, may I be excused? I feel sick.

If I want to rejoin? Oh sure, next time I feel the need to be treated like a child
and patronised I’ll come and rejoin, thanks. I’ll be sure to observe the Golden
rule. See that’s my point, the Golden rule should be enjoy the group and the
photographs, not worry about how many comments I’ve made or if I might get bad karma because I didn’t leave enough. Instead of “First – The Earth” the group should be called “First – The Comments”. I think I may have said something like that later in another message.


To: melcir.meri
Subject: Re: Hi …

.. Yes and I did leave comments. I observed your ‘golden rule’ just apparently not

I insulted you? That’s rich, but I didn’t patronise & preach and I spoke only the truth, if that insults you then I suggest you look to yourself for the reason.

I shall enjoy it out here, thank you.



I kept it short, I am now at the point I don’t wish to receive any more messages
from her as she clearly sees herself as some Guru and nothing I say will make a
difference even it’s read and understood.


From: melcir.meri
Subject: Re: Hi …

You did ‘request’ to join, and read the rules …

I am just a volunteer!!

To keep coming back merely to be rude again
is somewhat absurd, don’t you think???
I am not asking you to do this.
It seems clear that you are looking for something.
You have to release the old self before you can self-heal …
I don’t know if you expect me to help you.
You have to help yourself!!!!
Get some Self-help books or join a group.

Good luck



See what I mean?

I’m coming back merely to be rude?

It’s clear I’m looking for something? How so, I’d love to know what was going
through her mind when she typed that.

Self-heal? This woman is priceless.

She doesn’t know if I expect her to help me? PMSL. Erm.. No.
Get myself some self help books or join a group. Well I don’t need self help books, but I think she does. As for joining a group, I’ll be more careful with that one in future.


To: melcir.meri
Subject: Re: Hi …

Oh dear, you’re priceless.

Firstly I didn’t request anything, you invited me. I subsequently chose to leave.

Secondly I do not keep coming back merely to be rude, I am REPLYING to your rude messages You think I have been rude? Strange that you can’t see your own rudeness, and yet you’re STILL patronising me.

The answer is simple, if you do not wish to read my REPLIES, don’t keep sending me something to reply to. I even said in my last message that no reply is necessary, which you chose to ignore, so don’t try and twist this.

You are rude, patronising and seem to be above your station. You are admin for a group on a photography web site, nothing more or less.

Your patronising tone and attempts to turn this into something where I am at fault because I do not subscribe to your ‘philosophies’ and demands frankly insults my intelligence. I do not need your ‘advice’ about anything, I did not request that and I do not appreciate your attempts at belittling either.

I don’t know what makes you think you know me well enough, or even where you may get the idea to assume that I’m looking for something, or that I need help. I do not expect you to help me, where did that come from? Self-heal? Are you for real? I have requested NOTHING from you, and I wish for nothing from you.

Get your own self help books, you need them more than I.

Stop patronising me, stop accusing me of insulting you when I am merely replying to your insults, and stop sending me messages. If I do not receive from you then I shall not reply.

Leave it there.



Now most people would get the point here, if anyone disagrees please feel free to
message me and say so, but I feel I made myself clear that I didn’t want to hear
from her again.

Just look at the subject title of her reply.


From: melcir.meri
Subject: new approach …

Finally you give your name!

Doesn’t that tell you the mask you’ve been wearing
Gold satin perhaps … but a mask.

Here’s something to give you an idea of potentials…
there are a zillion others … any would be fun to explore.
Being outgoing and positive, others do not take exception.
If you are raw and hurting and becoming introverted,
you find fault, and assume I am insulting …
It’s all in the inward perception of reality …
I don’t wish to keep writing, but you seem to need something ..
Hopefully the above site will redirect you from endlessly replying
to me.
It is the duty of an Admin to resolve difficulties.
You are no longer a member, so I don’t need to continue, as I
believe the site suggested IS the answer, or at least the new

Good bye …

Best of luck,




That just gets funnier every time I read it.

Finally I give my name. I signed ‘Rez’ instead of h1r3z or Sean, so that is
revealing myself is it? Maybe she thinks Rez is my real name and Sean is a nickname.

She says I assume she is insulting, look at this message alone – She says I’ve been
wearing a mask, offers me a link to a mind training web site, assumes I am raw and hurting, can’t see that she is rude and patronising, again insists that I seem to
need something, claims to try and redirect me from endlessly replying to her, even
after I told her not to reply to me twice now. I am now convinced that she is
either insane, or really thinks she is something spectacular, I’m inclined to lean
toward the former.


To: melcir.meri
Subject: Re: new approach …

Mind training now? You really are beyond a joke.

Finally I give my name? What are you on about? Do you mean because I signed Rez? LOL – oh dear. Read h1r3z.. it is Hirez, Rez for short. I wear no mask for you my dear.

That’s quite laughable.

I intend to use these messages that we have been sending back & forth as a subject on a Psychology forum, you really are something else.

Now read this carefully, I am in complete control of myself, I need no mind training, I do not need anything from you. You’re right, I am no longer a member, but the fact of this matter is that you just have to have the last word. Well OK, have the last word if you must but don’t make it a patronising one, or something offering me help. You don’t even know me, so give it up.

If you do keep offering me ridiculous links to things that you really have no business doing, and patronising me the way you seem to be unable to control, then I WILL start to insult you. I’ve had enough of your twisting and crazy ideas about help I need and that I’m looking for something. Endlessly replying to you you say.

That’s called polite, etiquette, common decency, nice try though. You’re sadly trying to turn this about so that it’s not about the fact that YOU can’t stop messaging ME, it’s now about how I keep REPLYING to YOU. That is so sad, and you have the cheek to patronise me. Wake up, you’re not talking to some schoolboy now you know. I would question your sanity if I were anything like you, which however I am not.

My turn to give YOU some advice.

Stop assuming everyone needs your help, you’re not so special and they probably
quite often don’t need you to ‘save’ them.

Read what people say to you, accept that they may know themselves better than you think you know them.

Patronising people will never earn you friends, you may think you are above everyone, but that’s just in YOUR mind.

When you can clearly see that someone can match you and has enough intelligence to see through your attempts at everything you do to get round things, accept that too, because they only see you squirm ridiculously.

Get off your high horse. You may be happy and enlightened and all that jazz, but just because someone disagrees with you on some subject or does not see things the way you do, that does not mean they are sad, or looking for something, or going through a divorce or whatever. They could well be as happy, if not happier than you.

Again, a reminder, stop patronising people.

I doubt you could to be honest. It’s just your way, and always will be.

You would do well to take some of your own advice and read some of your own help offering web sites.

As for your “New direction” I wont say that which I am tempted to say, but I shall say that the new direction is for you to move on, concentrate on your group and chasing your members up to make sure they have posted sufficient comments etc, and stop wasting your time with me. For that is what you are doing, wasting your time. I shall always reply to your messages because they always contain some patronising comment that I will never just let go. People like you get away with things like that far too often because people cannot be bothered to reply or whatever reason. I however always will, mainly because I despise the way some people like to think are al that and treat others as lesser beings. It needs some people to remind them that they are wrong.

You obviously don’t read my messages properly anyway as all you reply with is another offer of help regarding something you seem to think I’m looking for. If you actually read them you’d realise that you are wasting your time and none of your responses have had any bearing on anything I’ve said. You refuse to accept that I don’t need your help as you keep offering it every single time you reply. So if you don’t even have the decency to read my replies and realise that you are matched if not completely out of your league in these silly games you seem to enjoy, then do the honour of saving us both some time and forget about me. I’ve said countless times I don’t need anything from you, yet you INSIST I do. Read my words, do you understand them?

Read this next line carefully.






Thankfully, to my great relief I have so far heard nothing more.

Was I too harsh? Maybe, but well, I gave plenty of warning.

Any and all comments regarding this are most welcome.

There will doubtless be lots more to follow for as I say – People are strange.