Sometimes when I'm grumpy I'm doing the right thing

Sometimes when I’m grumpy, I’m just not able to control my behavior as much as I thought I would be able to. Sometimes, though, I’m not out of line at all.

– Today the booksellers decided not to give me the book, AND not to give me the money back.
– Today the VPN service informed me that their software sometimes disconnects the computer from the internet. Yes, that’s right, an internet VPN that is not compatible with an internet connection.
– Today the website hosting service told me that they wouldn’t necessarily give me what I paid for, but that I have to pay for it because …

… as with all three of them …

their “terms of service” indicate that they can just take money for nothing.

Now, as a typical ADHDer, I would probably want to dash off an irate and irrational email about how they’re cheating me, and then I would feel bad about it, and I would think, gosh, I really tore it this time, I shouldn’t have bad-mouthed people. And yet, really, it seems to me that I’m not in the wrong on any of these. Maybe I should bad-mouth people who act like this. I gives the money for the thing, but they don’t gives the thing in exchange for the money, and they tell me to stop asking for it because I’m getting too demanding. What? The worst is the bookseller, who says I am no longer allowed to contact them because they’re not supposed to hear from me about the orders that they received from me, I’m supposed to talk to someone else. To whom, Trotsky? The Canadian Mounties? Yeesh!

A sensible thing for me to do, is to stop writing emails. I have gotten off the email machine entirely (except here I am writing a rant on the forums instead). I’m very proud of myself, I recognized a trigger and am therefore avoiding the wrongful behavior. As an ADHDer, I know that my demand for “justice” and for “getting a fair exchange” types of behavior will be much more strident than it would be for a neurotypical citizen.

But, as an ADHDer or not, should I get cheated out of $60 or so from each of three businesses just because they have a better handle on how to cheat people, than I have a handle on how to not get cheated? Not sure what a neurotypical would do in this case. (Also, I’m pretty proud of myself for not outing the particular merchants here on the boards. I’m sorely tempted to tell you all exactly who did me wrong, name them by name, give you their rank, serial number, mailing address. But I won’t. So, good for me! I resisted at least that temptation.)

OK I’m done ranting now … grr …


I hear you brother!

Unfortunately at work, I don’t use email a lot. So when I’m grumpy, I’m usually face-to-face with someone, and I can never hit the “Stop!!!” button quick enough before I blurt out some smartarse, crabby comment that has the capacity to colour other people’s judgement of me thereafter.

Nice work taking a few minutes to relax. It can be beneficial, I find, to wait a day before sending an email in that state.

Then again, sometimes the wait just gives me more time to craft the crabbiness into a finely pointed verbal dagger, aimed straight at their gall bladders. So the diplomatic approach goes out the window…

Being cheated, with no recourse to justice or fairness would definitely get my goat…


I am impressed that you’re ranting on here rather than at these people. That is definitely a useful exercise in self restraint :grin:

What to do next though? I supposes that depends on a lot of factors…

  1. Assuming you are unlikely to get your money any time soon, how serious/immediate a problem is that, financially? (You don’t have to answer that here, obviously, but in your own mind you need to know the answer).
    If it’s urgent, try and find a temporary solution to the finance issue, so that you can separate the two issues (money and justice) and focus more calmly on these three suppliers/service providers.

  2. Have you actually checked their small print and are they genuinely acting within that? If they are not, you should definitely have another go at writing to them, pointing out exactly why, according to their own rules, they owe you (goods/services/refund).

If they ARE acting within their own crazy rules, I would write to them calmly explaining why this is something reasonable people would not expect from a company, and while you realise you are not entitled to your goods/services/refund, you think it’s your moral and civic duty to help raise awareness of this small print. You hope they will be more upfront themselves in future, but meanwhile you will be doing your bit by explaining how this works, on various online review sites. They might react favourably at last. Unlikely, by the sounds of it, but they probably will pull their finger out once you start leaving the bad reviews.

  1. Try to make your reviews as sane-sounding as possible, as those are more likely to be taken seriously by other customers. Try to put facts in rather than a lot of emotion. You might find that you get a begging letter offering you a refund and asking you to remove the review…

All very good ideas.

But it all resolved itselves. The VPN gave me the money back very nicely, and said the person who had refused the refund was really not following company policy. The bookseller was simply incompetent at communication, while they had already refunded the money which should soon clear back to my credit card. The website host hasn’t yet responded but everything is working adequately, so as long as I suffer the fact that it isn’t exactly what I have a self-imagined right to expect, nevertheless it is certainly something they could charge in the range of that amount of money for and it isn’t broken, it works properly. So, am I a-OK? Dunno, other business problems lurk, I’m sure I can find another letter to the editor or a complaint to the customer service department to write, soon enough.

One interesting part, to me, is that all three of the businesses really tried hard to look bad. They exacerbated the problems by going out of their way to reject my suggestions and by proactively putting their foot down on the supposed moral high ground that … gosh … they weren’t occupying. “We must have things upstanding and right! We insist on upstandingness! You are crazy with your position. Therefore … oh, oops, wait, now we have to fix what we did to make it upstanding.” It was like, they all wanted to make SURE they looked as bad as possible. The bookseller was really ridiculous, let me tell you. They started by saying the “return was uncanceled” and moved on to other brilliancies, until the last phrase they used with me was that they had “obviously recanceled the return fund”. You’d think someone in the business of books would value the English language a bit more. When I asked them what the heck that meant, they told me to stop contacting them and contact “the site” instead. That’s when I started to get angry about Trotsky and the Mounties, and wrote my first post above.

But none of the developments above have much to do with ADHD.

On to the more psychological subject at hand. So, it seems to me, one problem with being an ADHDer is, that we blow all these petty squabbles out of proportion. For me, it’s not so much in my emotions – I am pretty good at not having a hugely emotional fallout about whether the bookseller speaks plain English – but in my time expenditures. Somehow, I can get started, and then I will write, re-write, delete, reconsider, write and file away, set up for distribution and then un set up, a thousand emails all about what the heck is wrong with this business or that organization, send or not send them, write them again, go on forever. Hours and hours later, and I’m still typing. I might end up with a polite letter, having excised all the nasty bits. Or, after a good long wait, I might actually end up with the opposite, an all the more evil and more carefully considered stiletto right to the jugular of the person on the other end of the line, as Smoj reports of himself. Waiting doesn’t necessarily defuse my ire, but rather waiting might just fuel and hone my anger, instead. And in either case, usually, “waiting” means spending the whole interim time writing and deleting rough drafts, losing hours at the pointless task of waiting to do something, by acting like I’m doing all the other things that I shouldn’t do, even if I only act like it and don’t entirely do them.

It comes down to a sense of “being cheated” (again Smoj’s term). I’ve been told that ADHDers have an “overly keen” sense of justice, although I don’t really know what that is … Either you DO, or you DON’T, have a sense of justice, right? Well sure, there are some issues that hit on a middle ground, such that some people might dislike one resolution while others dislike another resolution, but in general, there’s a common sense among most people that you shouldn’t do wrong to others. (Certain politicians seem to lack this common opinion. We call them “unjust,” among other adjectives.) So, essentially, there’s no such thing (in my admittedly ADHD estimation) as having MORE or LESS keen a sense of justice. Justice is. It’s kind of like being in a “keen state of pregnancy.” Either she is or she isn’t, there’s no in between. I nevertheless have been told I have a keen sense of justice and injustice. I take this to mean, not that my sense of the just is keen, but that my ire at perceived injustices is greater than the ire experienced by most people. I’m not more keenly sure of what is just, but rather, I’m more angry at any little thing that I think is unjust.

Seems like merely a small semantic distinction. It’s a big difference, actually. As with many ADHD things, I think, it comes down to emotional control. The anger gets started, the snowball begins to roll down the hill, and it gets bigger and bigger. If I were still wheedling about “what do people mean, when they say, ‘keen sense of justice’?” then I think I’d never have noticed the more important issue. Not that I’ve solved that issue, but at least posts and threads like this help me notice it: emotional balance and control.

Next is my bank overseas, which I haven’t heard from in a decade … literally … wish me luck! I will not write angry emails. I will not write angry emails. I will not …


Glad it came good for you.

Regarding whether something is just, or not just… Well, there can be elements of “justicular flexibility” (to coin a phrase which will never be used again by humanity).

It’s akin to “good” and “evil”. What is good for somebody, can potentially be evil for somebody else.

A serial rapist, for example, might find that justice is having their dangly bits physically separated, and super glued to their forehead. But, if you tried, that on someone, you would end up in prison, which would also be just based on the law of the land.

If something really bugs me, but doesn’t seem to bug anybody else, is it just for me to eliminate the thing which is bugging me? Or is it more just to allow for the wishes of the majority?

It’s a whole can of esoteric worms, which can depend entirely on perspective.


I know this is kinda off-topic, but did you ever figure out why that happened? I think I’m having the same issue and it drives me nuts

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