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How To NOT Ask For Help

Please Help, Ottawa, 2012
Please Help, Ottawa, 2012

As a blogger, I believe in interaction—this is why I always enable comments on articles and why I have a dedicated “contact” page. Most of the emails I received are from prospective immigrants who have questions about the visa process or life in Canada. I make a point of answering every comment and every query.

But sometime I can’t help thinking “seriously people, what the fuck?”

Guillermo recently wrote two interesting articles on a similar topic: How to write an effective email that brings you to Canada and Stop feeling sorry for yourself and start doing something!

I get his point. Some days, I’m that close to hit the “delete” or “spam” button because I can’t believe how rude or strange some people can be.

I have received what I call “WTF questions” before, including the ever-popular “please send me a copy of your old completed immigration forms so that I can fill my own forms easily”. Because of course, I’m dying to share personal information, including extensive background info, work and family history, with random strangers on the web.

So this is how to NOT ask for help for help when contacting a blogger:

Don’t bother saying “hi”, “please” or “thank you”. These words are way overrated and you don’t have time for that shit—you need your answer fast.

However, do stress that you need me to reply right away, preferably before the end of the day. Otherwise, it might jeopardize your entire existence since you are about to board the plane and have lost your passport/haven’t decided where to land/just realized you lied on your visa application.

Be as vague as possible—I have a good crystal ball. As in “How long will it take to get to Ottawa?” (from where?) and “Please recommend a good airline” (again, to fly from where to where?).

Don’t do research, that’s what I am here for! I love when you ask “I need to immigrate to Canada, provide detail steps re. the process”. And if I suggest you to check the comprehensive website of Citizenship and Immigration, simply restate the original query: “I need detailed steps”, just in case I didn’t get it the first time.

If you are about to do something illegal or at the very least questionable, do ask for my help. As in “I am married to a woman in Canada and I need to bring my second wife to Canada, can I divorce my first wife after I get the visa?”

Please, do use me! “I am a 22 yrs old male, single, I want to live in Canada. I want to get a marriage visa. Are you interested?” I can’t get enough of these sincere declarations of love. I mean, it’s not like I’m married and just had a kid. I’d love to sponsor you—I am a romantic at heart and I think marrying someone for a visa is exciting.

Threaten me, it makes me reply faster. Like this guy recently who explained that if I wasn’t willing to help him get to Canada, it would encourage him to join Al Qaeda.

Do not read this blog. What’s the point? I know everything anyway. I mean, glancing at the header, my profile or the FAQ may give you a clue that I live in Canada but you have a question about immigrating to the United Kingdom or the US and I can very well do research for you. Immigration—different country, same shit, right?

Do not follow up. Ever. You got your reply, why saying “thank you”? I am not really a human being behind the computer, merely a somewhat sophisticated computer program who deals with questions. Beep.

Punctuation and grammar are overrated, make me decipher your question. And no, I am not making fun of people who make mistakes in French or English but those who “text” me as in “u no hw long process is? Mths? Yrs. Y so slow?”

Do blame me. I designed the entire immigration system. It’s entirely my fault if your application is stuck in processing limbo or if you can’t get a job as a brain surgeon in Toronto.

Don’t be realistic. Recently, I had two emails of very angry applicants who wanted to sue Citizenship and Immigration because their visa was denied. I wrote that I was sorry to hear that but unfortunately, visas are a privilege and not a right (I did provide a link to appeal and all though). Guess they weren’t happy with my reply—they wanted to sue me for providing wrong info in this blog. Oh well.

How about you? Do you get strange questions from strange people too?

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