Friday, October 21, 2011

Things I know: About Trolls...

Okay, the title of this post is a little misleading because I don't actually know much about trolls. My mum knows a lot about trolls - she wrote a thesis about them - but me, I'm fairly clueless about them. I have seen a few internet trolls in my times but can't for the life of me figure out what would cause someone to anonymously and without proper knowledge attack another person. I'm tipping there will be a personality disorder coined for this sort of behaviour in the not-to-distant future.

One thing I know about internet trolls is that you're not supposed to feed them. I've never heard that you can't use them as muses for a new blog post though!

So, I thought I'd consider some of the accusations lobbed at me in the comments for my post yesterday by one (or possibly two using the same computer). These are the things I know about me as a reflection of what the trolls said about me.

  • I know I have considered getting a paid job. I have trained. I have done some casual paid work. I have applied for permanent part time or full time work. I also know potential employers have baulked as soon as I mentioned I am legally blind. I know I have seriously considered not disclosing my vision impairment in order to get a job, but I also know that if anything went awry on the job and it was discovered that I am legally blind, my vision impairment would be seen as the cause of the issue - even if it was not the cause.
  • I know that I have bought a lot of expensive gadgets this year. I know the computer was absolutely necessary for me as I attempt to earn money because writing is what I do, and hopefully, one day I will be able to teach writing or even sell my writing. I know I need a reliable computer to undertake a PhD. I know I need a large screen so I can read what is on the screen. I know that I need the voice facility on my computer to read longer pieces of research. I know legally blind people need expensive technology even more than fully sighted people - the cost and storage of such equipment is part of the reason so many employers aren't keen to employ people with a vision impairment.
  • I know I can do telemarketing work and receptionist work - in fact I have done both of these in the past. I also know it doesn't matter to employers what I can do. Employers are only interested in what I can't do as a result of my vision impairment. I can't read very quickly. In fact, because I have to be methodical, I do most things more slowly than your average sighted person. It doesn't matter what I can do if an employer isn't willing to give me a chance. 
  • I know I wrote here that I was embarrassed that my husband had changed careers to a job that carries less prestige in our society. I also know that I wrote that as a confession because I knew I should be proud of whatever job he does. I know that since I wrote that I have gotten over my shallow impulse and I know I am very proud that my husband is the caring, humble person that he is who is more than happy to care for the personal needs of the elderly and infirm. I am proud that he puts the needs of his family before his own need for admiration or social status. I know I have changed my perception of my husbands job. I know I had to take a long, hard look at my own issues in that regard and I have grown through making that confession and acknowledging that I am not perfect.
  • I know I have a fat arse. In fact, if I could only describe my arse with one world it would be fat! I know someone else calling my arse fat is just that person stating the obvious because they couldn't think of a more effective way to insult me - and I'm not even insulted by being told I have a fat arse... I love my fat arse!
  • I know I have judged other people on my blog. I think it's a bit of a stretch to say I've judged every other person on my blog though. I know I haven't judged everyone else on my blog. I know I am constantly working on not judging other people. I know I'm a work in progress in that regard. 
  • I know I have never bragged about how much social benefits our family receives. Bragging implies I'm proud of living off Government payments. Pride is not how I'd describe my feelings about living entirely off Government payments. I am thankful we live in a country that provides a safety net for many people who are not able to support themselves - despite their best efforts - like my husband and myself. I know I would much rather we earned out own money which was the point of my post yesterday. I was thankful that the Grumpy Old Man finally had a job! Sadly, that joy didn't last very long.
  • I have absolutely never bragged about 'living off an old lady'. I have mentioned several times that we would not have managed without regular help from the GOM's mother. We try not to ask for help, but inevitably we end up needing her assistance regularly. I am in no way proud of this. I am indescribably grateful that she is willing and able to help us.
  • I am not money hungry. I would like for us to be able to support our own family on our own. That is not the same as being money hungry. I do daydream about buying things I like - last time I checked daydreaming doesn't cost anything or harm anyone.
  • I know there have been times I wasted money. This is absolutely true. There have been times when things were looking very hopeful, and I've thrown caution to the wind (like when I bought the boys their iPods, because my boys have never had any kind of technology before and I thought it would also help keep them quiet in the car when the GOM gets his licence) and the following week something really shitty has happened to dash all hope and I've regretted being so frivolous. File that under 'Nostradamus and I share the same birth, but not the capacity for predicting the future.'
  • We have never not been able to feed the children. There have been many times when I've laid awake wondering how we would feed them. Somehow though, it always works out, for which I am endlessly grateful.
  • I know that although my blog did get a lot of views yesterday, it wasn't the most I'd ever had. Yesterday's stats weren't even the highest for this week, so if the troll was hoping to help me out with stats, sadly that didn't work out. What a shame.
  • I know one thing the troll said really did cause me pause, though. The troll (or trolls) said I whinge a lot. I've been thinking about that. I don't think I whinge all the time, but I think I whinge more than I would like to. So, I will make more effort to be more positive in future because I know I am constantly growing and evolving and I can always be a better me.
  • I know I could never be a troll. When I tell someone what I think of them, I want them to know who I am. This is why I use my own name on forums, on Facebook, on Twitter. I believe strongly in personal integrity - being accountable for my words and actions and taking responsibility for my choices, even if those choices are poor or, at best, questionable.
Oh, there is one other thing I know about trolls, actually. While trolls are always full of criticism, they never seem to want to put their money where their mouth is. If my trolls were hoping to teach me something about not judging people, or challenge me to get a real job, the least they could have done was model not judging or offer me or my husband a job!

Oh, and someone told me last night that a troll on your blog is a sign that you've hit the big time. I'd love to believe that was true. Maybe then I could support my family more effectively on my fat arse!

Linking with Yay for Home! for 'Things I know'.

What do you know?


Stranger Than Fiction aka Yeran said...

I reckon it must be a sign you've hit the big time, because I've only ever heard of trolls hitting the more 'famous' blogs. I haven't had anything negative yet, so I'm a small fry lol.
And I love that you love your big arse!!!! Go girl!!

The Mother Experiment said...

Sif I absolutely love this post. I considered reading the comments from your last post to try to identify said trolls but can't really be bothered. Life runs in seasons and i hope there is a brighter clearer season ahead for you. I also have dreams of supporting my family on my fat ass. Then maybe I won't feel guilty asking my husband (who works and gets paid well but thinks that means helping around the house is optional) to get off his.

Anonymous said...

Discrimination sucks! Actually I think you are aiming too low in your work goals - you need to aim for a job that matches your education. How about a public service policy job? You don't need any experience for an entry level job, just excellent writing and research skills and an interest in social issues. You have all that in spades! I've worked in public service departments for years and worked with lots of people with disabilities - including two people who were totally blind (they used some computer-based device to turn text into sound), one man who was deaf and several in wheelchairs, including an amazing man who was a quadriplegic and typed with his mouth. In my experience (10 years) in the public service there isn't any obvious discrimination towards people with disabilities - in fact when I worked in disability services they were actively recruited. The attitude is not 'what you can't do' but 'what do we need to do to support you so you can do your job'. I think you would make an awesome policy adviser in areas like disability services, childrens services etc. You're experience as someone who has lived with these issues and has been a client of Centrelink etc gives you a very valuable perspective and knowledge that most potential employees won't have. I know because I've recruited for policy positions myself. Just a thought - I've seen lots of people get knocked back for jobs because employers thought they were over-qualified and would leave as soon as something else came up. So don't undersell yourself in the job market - you deserve a great career (if you want one!). Jen

Kelli said...

great post!

Jay said...

And what a fine fat arse it is, Sif!

Sif Dal said...

Thanks for all the support guys :).

Jen (I'm really confused now - are you one of the 'anonymous' from yesterday - I hope not), I've never considered public service because I honestly didn't think I was qualified. I don't know what sort of qualifications they look for (I certainly have plenty, but are they the right one?). I'd be more than happy to be a policy advisor for disability! Where would I start looking into this avenue?

Anonymous said...

DEFINITELY not a troll - just a fan!

Re g'ment policy jobs - the Vic gov has a specific recruitment program for graduates (of any age) without any g'ment experience. Graduates rotate around different areas in a 1 year training program and then get a permanent position. This is the website:

You could also look at current vacancies in departments that interest you - disability issues come under the dept of human services. Here is the general career site for the vic gov with links to current vacancies.

You also might be interested in the section on the g'ment's policy on people with disabilities and what support there is available for people with disabilities looking for jobs.

You don't need specific qualifications for most jobs - just general intelligence and good writing skills. anything else you can pick up as you go!

cheers Jen

Jayne said...

I agree with Jen, (who btw I'm positive is not Trolly McTroll Troll from yesterday because she has decent written grammar and doesn't appear to have suffered from the effects of watching too much ACA/TT-oh noooes teh bludgers and boat peoples are taking ovaaaaah etc)
Anyway-I think you'd rock at policy writing, it's an area I'm thinking about for me too.

I love m fat arse too! Ok Well I am trying. And I agree people only troll those who they find threatening in some way.

Sif Dal said...

Oh wow, thanks for the links, Jen! I'm just looking on a Government site now, actually but wasn't really sure which department to look at - do they often look for people with desk top publishing skills, too (asking for the GOM)?

I'll check out the links you've provided!

Jayne, oh noes! LOL.

Lee said...

All I am feeling is love. Have a great day Sif.

Anonymous said...

I came here looking for facts on trolls (as a current story I'm working on involves a troll - the monster kind, not the internet kind). Wrong kind of troll!

I actually had read your post yesterday and the follow up comments, and I thought at the time you responded to anon with a lot of class. You were polite and explained yourself without being snarky. I don't think you needed to explain yourself to those people (person?) anymore than you did. It's a shame some people find it necessary to go around being nasty for no other reason than to provoke a reaction. They don't seem to care that the person on the other end of the computer is a person with feelings. All I can say is their lives must be pretty sad. (But obviously they enjoy reading your posts, despite the fact they think you whinge too much!)

I really hope things go well with your husband on the job front.

Anonymous said...

Unf most graphic design work/desk top publishing is contracted out these days to private sector companies. If there are any jobs in this area they would generally be in the communications/public affairs areas of larger departments and usually combined with other public relations-type roles (developing campaigns, managing media etc). There may be some purely DTP jobs left in the public service but I haven't come across one for a while - always worth looking though, you never know! Jen

Sif Dal said...

Oh, hey, Jo, what do you want to know about real trolls (hmmm, real trolls - is that an oxymoron)? I may have some articles/research on folklore about trolls in my dropbox for you, if you think that might help.

Sarah said...

I really dont get it.
If someone (a troll) doesnt like what you write, then why read it.
I have better things to do with my time than to read and then comment on a blog that makes me want to critize it.

Happy hugs for you and ignore those trolls. And hope a big billy goat gruff bucks them away.
There is a good story about Trolls. We have a collection where the troll is different in each of them.

Sif Dal said...

Yeah, weird, hey - they read quite a few posts too.

My cousin gave me some words of wisdom to live by...

"Troll dung at the bottom of the garden indicates a healthy garden!"

Anonymous said...

Yep we have been reading your blog for aggeessss right down to when you were posting about how your hubby wouldn't have sex with you!

It's something we check every day at 2pm at work, you are quite famous we always have a laugh and have plenty to talk about.

That picture should be burnt, what if your kids find it one day, they will be horrified.

Your excuses are wonderful, never heard so many, thanks for the laugh, keep it up we love it

Sif Dal said...

Excellent! An audience, what more can a writer ask for!

Jayne said...

ROFL ^^ Shouldn't you be actually *working* at 2 pm Anonymous?

Sif Dal said...

No, Jayne, don't discourage them from coming and laughing at my blog!

FCOL, nothing warms the cockles of a Saggis heart than knowing exactly when the audience is present! Knowing I have an entire office checking out my blog every single day has just made my day! I couldn't buy that kind of notoriety. If I'm amusing enough - pathetic enough? - they will tell all their friends about me. Then those friends will tell their friends... I could really make something out of this!

(Of course, I suspect 'the entire office' consists of this chick and her boyfriend, and maybe her kids)

Anonymous said...

Nope, 2pm is Sif'o'clock, also known as BFB :) Anyway off to bed, thanks for the dedicated post, glad i inspired you :)

Jayne said...

Her imaginary friends perhaps?

Had an interesting discussion at dinner about trolls-nobody could quite comprehend why anyone would bother. We came to the conclusion it must be due to an extremely disturbed mental state. Probably borderline personality disorder is most likely-characterised by impulsivity, aggression and lack of a strong sense of self. Got to feel sympathy really :-(

Sif Dal said...

You might like to throw a hefty scoop of narcissism into that mix, Jayne.

Rhianna said...

Great post Sif, though I am sorry to hear you got a troll. I didn't read yesterday's post but I am off to now lol, love a bit of drama. So glad to hear of GOM job as well, hopefully it is the start of a wonderful new cycle for you xx

Oh and I love that your mum has written a thesis on trolls that sounds super interesting

Veronica @ Mixed Gems said...

Hi Sif. Sorry about the dragging through the mud but you seem to have taken it in your stride. I just thought I'd suggest, after all Jen's good ideas, that you might want to see if there are any openings in the tertiary sector. They should all have disability services and may be able to offer or suggest something even part-time. They may even offer something in another department. They are EEO employers. It's quite like the government sector. And you know universities are full of people with qualifications!

Sif Dal said...

Rhianna, LOL, yes mum and I often have a giggle that we essentially did our theses on trolls and elves respectively - the legacy of our Icelandic heritage, bwahaha!

Veronica, I'd LOVE to work at a University - that's exactly what mum does, actually - she started out marking tutorial papers, then did some tutoring, then lecturing and now she's head of her department (lots of long hours went into that rise up the ladder). I'm sort of hoping to make contacts once I get started on my PhD. Problem is I'm struggling with confidence, but I'm getting there slowly...

Yr Ham said...

Hi dearest!

One of the most outstanding characteristics of 'real' trolls, apart from their extremely well-developed behinds, is their low intelligence.

Trolls are by nature nasty creatures, slow-witted and unfriendly. They are forever engaging in pointless acts of aggression, always ready to fight but NEVER come out as victors. They tend to sculk in dark places, as daylight turns them to stone.

Looks to me as if you have caught a couple of 'real' ones!
Well done! Just remember that anyone who is assailed by trolls WILL win the fight, and that a great reward inevitably falls to the victor!

I am extremely proud of you! I have known you all your life, and have seen how you approach life with courrage, integrity, and that strong fighting spirit of our Viking

Not the first time our family has had to battle trolls! LOL

Much love, Mum

Good Job!