My Sophie’s Universe crocheted ‘blanket’ (I’m not totally sure what she’ll be yet) is getting a touch unruly. The Crochet A-Long is just over half way so I imagine she will be a monster by the time we’re done with each other.
The pattern is extremely clear and well written with dozens of photos so I’ve really got no excuse for making mistakes…which I have…quite a few…well lots really.
Not least that my flowers look a little, shall we say, windswept.
I don’t mind that, I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to yarny stuff. It’s just everywhere else in my life that I struggle with this.
My current mistake that I’m berating myself about, like poking myself with a pointy stick is that I was taken in by a scam.
I have to use that word loosely as technically it’s not actually a scam but I certainly feel very scammed.
Last November, not long after I’d left the NHS and was settling into running a business I received a phonecall from a company saying they were following up a conversation we’d had earlier in the year. Now, as I don’t especially want to get myself into all kinds of trouble, I’m not going to name the company but I’ll outline the general gist of most of it.
As some of you may remember, I’ve experienced issues with M.E. which has affected my memory and recall so I was quite willing to believe that, yes, we had spoken before, especially when the caller told me she represented a company who produces booklets about the risks of drugs and alcohol for schools. As this is the field I used to work in, it all sounded very plausible. She told me I’d agreed to sponsor the publication of a booklet for distribution to local schools and went on to tell me all about how they went about doing this etc etc.
After a while she reminded me that my business would be prominently featured in the booklet and that I was doing a Really Good Thing by helping to keep local kids off drugs. There was just the small issue of payment. By this time, like all good scammers, she had succeeded in making me feel that they were doing me and my business a favour by featuring us and that she had spent a lot of time on this on my behalf. I felt like I owed her.
So I willingly handed over my card payment details. A few weeks later, I did receive a copy of the booklet, that I have no complaints about; it was well published, clear, well written and in the back, stuck on the last page was a sticker, just like the address labels even I can print off (most of the time), with my business name on it. I felt a little cheated but it put to rest any niggles, as there were a few, that I’d been conned. I forgot the whole thing.
Until I had another call this week, advising me I was due to make another payment as agreed. Now this time, I was very clear that this definitely hadn’t been agreed so refused and the caller hung up very very abruptly. If she hadn’t responded in such a way, I most likely would have forgotten it again, but I thought this was odd and I remembered my unease after the last interaction.
I googled them, half expecting to meet a dead end. However, top of the list was a link to an apparently genuine company donating booklets to schools. But second, and third, and so on, were posts in forums complaining of very similar conversations where people had been told they had agreed to something that they hadn’t. As I read through them I feel sicker and sicker.
It’s a very clever ploy. They are a real company doing what they say they do, it’s the way they go about it. I have no idea how much they receive in donations and how much they spend on publishing but I’d bet my crocheted blanket there’s a fair whack skimmed off the top.
I feel utterly stupid for being taken in and angry as they misled me.
But, I’m not perfect and I’m not the only person who has been taken in like this. I just have to look at my Sophie to remember I make mistakes and that it’s in those that the beauty lies.