Readers Cause Trouble

Why I had to take a post offline.

About two weeks ago, I wrote one of my typical flying posts, where I described an unusual flying gig. In the post, I described how I was hired by a company to help them find some lost items in a remote area.

Do I sound vague? It’s because I apparently have to be.

The post was read about 330 times. That’s all. It was Dugg twice.

Yet that was enough for at least three people to track down my client in their remote location, trespass on their private property, cause a nuisance for workers, and put themselves at risk of harm in a work zone. One of these people actually showed up twice.

Why? That’s what I want to know. Apparently they thought they could get some kind of reward if they found the missing items — which aren’t even missing anymore!

One of the trespassers told my client he heard about the lost items on this blog. My client found the post, read it, and then called me, asking me to remove it.

This is my client. I’ve worked for them on three occasions and would like to work for them again. Obviously, I did as they wished. I was ashamed and embarrassed that they had to call me about it.

And that’s why other pilots won’t be able to read about this unusual flying gig.

Is this going to happen again? Am I going to have to remove something I wrote about because readers thought my coverage was an open invitation to be a nuisance to someone else?

Do you know how many things I haven’t written about because I was worried that something like this would happen?

Or how many times I purposely kept details vague — or even lied about them — to prevent people from doing something I would have to regret?

I don’t know who caused this problem — other than me, of course — and I don’t want to know. But I hope the people who bothered my clients are reading this and I hope they have enough sense to stay away from my client’s private property in the future.

7 thoughts on “Readers Cause Trouble

  1. Without wanting to put you in a bad mood by making you think about this whole situation again…

    That’s just appalling – I find it remarkable that anyone would monitor your blog (or anyone’s) looking to go find stuff. It really sucks, and I’m sorry to hear that you have to be so careful. Not the kind of thing that any writer wants to have to consider when framing posts… and of course the rest of your readers suffer as we don’t get to read your stories so freely.

    Some people. Gah.

    Andy Piper’s last blog post..SOA in Vegas, Lotus in London

  2. It’s always the minority that ruin things for the rest. I’m quite mad that these gold diggers went in like that without regard for the ramifications of their actions. I’m really sad for you that it may have hurt your business. As a budding heli CFI, I always enjoy reading your flying stories. I hope you continue to right your blogs about this topic, and perhaps use a disclaimer in each one? I know people only read what they want to hear. All the best to you.

  3. You could take revenge too, send the minority who for their own peculiar reasons mine your posts for potential clues, off on some wild goose chase.

    One upside to your tale is that 330 was a sufficient number of times for a post to be read for ‘something to happen’. That’s quite impressive. Is there any way to tell your client that unintentionally they got a lot of free advertising? Or that ‘all publicity is good publicity’?

    Sorry to hear that it’ll necessarily cramp your style, that’s a shame but I suppose an unavoidable cost of the C21st web.

  4. Prospero, I actually thought about that, although the word “revenge” didn’t come to mind. More like a good practical joke.

    GPS coordinates can go a long way in torturing some off-road junkie. And there are plenty of stories of hidden treasure out in the desert to lure them in.

    I’m seeing that you used the word “peculiar” in your comment. If you meant “particular,” I’m amused by the slip. If you meant “peculiar,” I appreciate your choice of words.

    As for my client, I don’t think they want any press that doesn’t originate from the home office. Some companies are just like that. This company certainly isn’t the first like that that I’ve dealt with.

  5. Well yes, I did mean “peculiar”, as in strange, odd and uniquely related to this particular group. I suppose it does have an additional meaning of uniquely chosen too which seems to me apt since they did ‘choose’ to use the information you provided for a purpose you didn’t foresee or intend.

    I don’t suppose this what you meant but just in case, I didn’t mean to imply anything pejorative about either ‘Peculiars’ or ‘Queer Folk’ as I’ve always liked and quite admired these independent minded Christians who use the terms ‘peculiar’ and ‘queer’ in a positive and biblical sense of ‘uniquely chosen’. They are welcoming towards strangers which says a lot for their religious conviction that I happen not to share.

What do you think?