Ok, so we’ve all been that awkward newbie at some point in life, the one that just doesn’t really get whats going on around them..yea? It’s happened to me on a fairly frequent basis in life and normally I’m fine with it, but over a month a go, I discovered swap-bot, loved the idea and created an account. What should have taken mere days to get started has now turned into over a month. Sadly, it’s not even because I don’t get it, I figured that part quickly, it’s pretty straight forward. Nope, the reason I’ve been struggling is because it feels like I walked into a group of elitist snail mailers!
For those of you who don’t know what swap-bot is, it’s a site where snail mailers can sign up for fun mailing swaps, ranging from letters to full blown boxes of goodies and where there is a firm rating system to avoid flakes and drama. It’s pretty great..
However, every interesting swap I came across required a high rating, even some of the crappy swaps required high ratings! Including internet swaps( whats up with that!?). Don’t get me wrong, I totally get why everybody wants to avoid the people who flake out of send crappy swap items, I get why nobody wants to swap with someone who has a bad rating, but what about no rating? As a total newbie, I had no ratings because I was unable to join a swap to get a rating!
I was quickly becoming overwhelmed with a feelings of frustration, disappointment and a tinge of childish anger.
Finally, just as I was about to just give up on it, I came across a swap that I really wanted to participate in. With nothing to lose, I messaged the coordinator asking if I could join, explained my situation and linked her up to my blog and posts from some of my pen pals so she could see that I really do love snail mail and that I put time and effort into my outgoing mail. Helas, with so many swappers counting on her, my pleas were not good enough to get me in. She was however kind enough to offer to set up a couple of private swaps with me to help me build up my ratings which I think was very sweet of her. I’m not gonna lie, I was still pretty disappointed to get turned down from the swap, but since then, she and I have been messaging back and forth and I have gotten over myself and am super excited about the swaps she set up for me! We will be swapping used postage stamps in one swap and in another, a mish-mash envelope based on our profile likes! How fun is that? 🙂
Once that was established and I had crawled out of my pouting shell, I left a comment on another swap I thought was great but couldn’t join and that coordinator set up a similar swap, this time allowing newbies with no ratings! I also found the Newbie Group where they give tips and tricks and have some swaps set up especially for us noobs, so soon enough, I should have some cool swap mail and a good enough rating to join whatever the heck swaps I want!
So, to all frustrated swap-bot newbies( or any newbie really), just hang in there! And like with pretty much any situation I have even encountered in life, it never hurts to be nice and to ask. Strangers most often turn out to be so much nicer and more helpful in real life than I ever imagine them to be in the scenarios I create in my head!