Do I Let Her Fail Upwards? Received from the U.K.

Usually, my swap-bot nerves are about the grade I may get.  This time, however, I am the one having to give a grade, and avoiding it.

Last post, I was kvetching about my nerves, and sharing the fact I actually ended up with a great grade, in the most recent swap-bot “flat envie of fun” post.  Well, that worked out–and then the envelope I was owed arrived, from somewhere within the United Kingdom:


A note card with envelope, a couple of postcards, a sticker sheet, 3 little note scraps. and a bookmark.  As I was slowly extracting the bits, in great hope of encountering a piece or two of fun, I couldn’t help to think of all the work I put in to my contribution to this trade, that is, to delighting the recipient. Having finally emptied the envelope, I had to ask myself: did the sender think any of this would be actually fun for me?

Well, I like to read, so–bookmark.  I postcross, so…postcards.  And one is cartoony.  I like the tropics, and the sea, and the scraps approach those.  Fact is, though, much of this will probably go into a donation bag, and as far as I know, those folks will send it into a landfill.  Or I could save them to send as extras in some other swap.

I went back to reread the swap requirements:


Aha, now I pinpointed part of what left me sad–well, NO, I already knew I was quite let down there was no note.  WHAT IS THE POINT… never mind, let’s slow down.  The swap requirements specify that the sender is to “write a nice note,” and after reexaming everything just to make sure I was missing nothing–no, the sender did not leave me a note of any sort.

Well, what do you think I should do?

There is a rating to be left, and I am putting it off, because I don’t want to do what I think she deserves, which is to leave a 3 on the 1-3-5 scale: “didn’t meet the posted swap requirements.”  The thing is, my personal policy is to rate as I trade, which is from a standpoint of generosity.  I almost ALWAYS give the added heart on the full 5 rating, even if I don’t necessarily consider the swap “extra special.”  Traders have had to try pretty hard, I say, to lose the automatic heart.  Well, THIS time, We’re talking not about a heart at all, but about losing that 5 to a 3.  And the note — the correspondence — is actually a big thing to me.  If it was just SHIPMENTS I wanted, I could buy things for myself online, and actually ensure I received things that would interest me.

So here are my ratings options as I see them:

  • Leave a 3 rating, and say it was because the specified note was missing.
  • Leave a 5 to be generous, but with no comment of any kind (as some have with her, but I don’t know if it’s because they were feeling like me, or they were just rude)
  • Leave a 5 to be generous, and mention that the specified note was missing

I honestly don’t know which of these would make me feel worse.  Do I cheese someone off over something she’ll probably consider inconsequential (although it’s my reason for being here), or do I let her fail upwards?

11 thoughts on “Do I Let Her Fail Upwards? Received from the U.K.

  1. This is a tough one. This is what I would do: I’d look at the senders ratings and see if she is prone to not following swap directions. If I see that she has great ratings/comments, I’d rate her a 5 & nicely mention that the note was missing. If I notice that she has 3’s or see that people write comments about her swap not meeting the criteria, I’d rate her a 3.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I sorted through her comments: one 3, but that was for a late swap. She did not reply to that. The rest are 5s, with several, as I mentioned, missing any comment at all. Thanks for your input!


  2. The only worry I’d have is a low rating can really mess up someone’s average rating and make future participation more difficult, so I think you’d have to be really sure about it to rate a 3. But it isn’t nice to feel disappointed by a swap. Also some people seem to interpret a note as a couple of lines, whereas I think of a short letter, so it sometimes doesn’t match up to expectations… I hope you enjoy future swaps more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for weighing in! As far as interpretation of what makes a “note,” there was absolutely nothing in there–not even a “hi from across the pond,” so no interpretation to be made.

      The first part of your comment got me thinking about school grades, and how a student may complain to the teacher, “you gave me a C,” with the teacher’s response being, “no, you gave yourself that C.”


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