Robbed by Probably-Not-Raccoons

Let me set the scene. Friday morning after the world's longest work week. I make my way to the kitchen, all excited by the work (Newsletter day! Best day of the month!) and what's this? A few of the doors in the kitchen are open and a drawer. Weird. I shut them and continue with my regular morning tour which normally doesn't reveal very much.

Basically, the clean place I left is slightly... not clean. And weird too. Something is wrong but I just can't place what. Just stuff is moved, a bit.

And what oh what do I think? Now this just goes to prove that I am a country gal at heart. My absolute first instinct was that a dumbass raccoon got in. They look so sneaky, ya know? How could a raccoon get in? It happens.

So what if this coon was lurking around, hiding behind the sofa or something? I really needed my dog, but before I resorted to a St Bernard slobbering up the place I figured I better find it first, at least know what I was dealing with.

So I make my way to the youth game room. The backdoor was shut but the mat in front of it (the one that I placed so nicely the day before) looked like raccoons went skiing all over the centre with it. Dumbasses. I checked the door-- out of habit, I always check doors when I walk by them-- unlocked. Weird.  I mean, what kind of smarty-pants raccoons were these? 

Yes, sad to say, that was my exact thought. What kind of raccoons were these? Talk about denial, eh?

It was at about this point where I sunk into a heap of realization. Robbed. I'd been robbed by these probably-not-raccoons! How? When? Why in all of this world would anyone break in to a non-profit building? A million emotions crept up on me as I toured the building to find out what was missing. Of course, it could have been worse and when I saw the cash box was missing, denial crept in again, and I replayed my day yesterday, hoping to heck I didn't put the cash in the safe and maybe dragged it with me to the freezer or something. No such luck. I mean, of course not, I never did that yet.

So what's a gal to do when it's not a raccoon? Well. I did the exact same thing I would have done for the raccoons. I got my St Bernard to protect me and then I called someone to show me how my probably-not-raccons got in.

Wow. I did I ever get educated. Have any of you ever toured your house or business to look at it as an intruder? Very interesting.

Best part was when the RCMP officer asked me if I noticed anyone scoping the place out. The raccoon out back came to mind with their little bandit eyes. hmm. If I see one driving around on a new scooter, I'm turning them in. But seriously, never occurred to me to be on the look out for shifty characters. My job is to help people and keep dumbass raccoons out of the community centre. Now I added probably-not-raccoons to that list with a heavy sigh.

So, have you ever been robbed? What did you learn about yourself?

Secret Identities

I had one a few years back.

No, I'm not superwoman. And I don't mean I was using a pen name, because those of us using a pen name, well, that's for different reasons and could be a post of its own.

I mean, I lurked around the Internet pretending to be someone who didn't exist. Apparently, it's called a "handle" but it still feels like a secret identity to me, even if I know that nothing is really secret once you hit the virtual world.

I did it because I had no idea what was out there, this was a new world for me and I entered it with baby steps. I was cautious, checking things out. I write enough fantasies to know demons lurk everywhere.

So who was I? I travelled writing forums as one of the secondary characters from the Notebook Chronicles and I'd tell you who, but I noticed someone else is using that all too secret identity now. Hope that works out for her.

Got me thinking about the pros and cons of using my real name. This is what I noticed;

under my secret identity
  • People didn't take my secret identity serious. It was overlooked. I had no friends. On forums my comments were ignored and I felt like I wasn't moving. Was I really that stupid or was it the name I chose that scared people off? I know it works for some people, but it didn't for me. Maybe I should have spelled it right, that might have helped, (ya think?) but I was trying to be creative.
  • When I did post something useful under my secret identity, I didn't get credit. In fact, the new gal running around under that creatively spelled name might. (I think it's funny that she chose to misspell it too. We might have something in common.)
  • When I asked questions, I got poor answers, if any.
  • You can't build a platform if you don't exist and you trust no one. You can't talk to agents and expect them to know who you are if you don't say who you are.
under my real name
  • I was bombarded with friends, emails, recommendations, advice, stalkers, questions... almost instantly.
  • Over night, my writing improved, because I have to care about what I write, how I write. This is me, baby, I can't hide or change who I am. I can only say sorry when I goof.
  • People answer my question marathons. I even receive answers from experienced people who never think I'm nuts for asking how much money they made from self-publishing. (I mean, that is a personal question, isn't it?)
  • I exist. I am easy to find, my comments easy to track and everything I've done I can be proud of it. So far.  
  • I don't ignore people using handles. In fact, I find them revealing to who they really are.
Any of you try out secret identities? How did that work out for you?

I found this link very useful in listing the pros and cons: GUCKES.NET
Another great post on handles was:

Have fun out there and be safe!