Agony aunt online.. the only other place we have been able to find people who claim to be proper advisors who work through the web is a new website which sprung up a year or so ago run by "mature elderly" people. They have no qualifications in advising but they claim they are good at it because they are older and mature. We have had a lot of elderly and mature people apply to work for us, most of them were rubbish at advising.
Some of them had never lived a full life, maybe got married when they were in their late teens, then made do with that husband because he pays the bills, despite being bored to tears with him. They know about dusting and hoovering, and they may have had a baby or some children and brought them up, but when it comes to the real stuff like what it is like to fall in love with a married man who does not want to leave his wife or leads you on, or not being able to pay the bills and get a job they are lost because they life has been full of safety, their husband has been their safety net. They have never had to struggle and wonder where the next penny was coming from, they left their husband to do all of that. And as they were really housewives they had no right to complain because they were not contributing anything themselves.
I have spoken by email to several of these women. They were always very sure of themselves, always quite sure they must be right in what they said, yet very often totally out of their depth in what they were saying and the three women I sent a fake problem to gave me three totally different replies and so called solutions, which means that all three were wrong or two were wrong and one was right.
You will also notice when you go to this site that it advertises that it is totally free, yet when you send in a problem it then asks you for a donation and stuffs a page under your nose that asks you to do it there and then.
IF you want to pay someone for advice why pick an unqualified person who has only recently become a self appointed advisor with no proper qualifications or experience? No fair and unbiased advisor would ever advise you to pay an amateur for advice! It would be like calling in a young lad who has just left school to build up a new brick wall to surround your garden when for the same price you can get a properly qualified builder to
do it. Can you imagine if you saw an advertisement saying you could get your hair done for free and then as soon as you set foot in the place they ask you for money! Surely the best thing to do then is leave and go to the proper hairdresser who you know will make you look good and who charges the same. Either it is free or it is not. It is not fair and a bit dodgy to say it is free and then when you warm towards them they change their mind and ask for money.
Remember that these old ladies who ofer this "free" advice are retired and many of them have never worked so they do not need the money to live on. One of the ones who wrote to me when I contacted them with a fake problem to sound them out told me that she had a stash of money tucked away and she would never live with a man or marry a man because no way would she share her savings and investments with someone or muddle her money with theirs. She had a good point here, I would agree with her, but in that case why does she need YOU to pay her for her amateur advice?
Amateur advice is easy to come by. You can go to forums all over the web and ask people what they think about whatever, forums about love, about relationships or whatever is troubling you. The catch is that you may well get no answer at all, or you may get a ridiculously stupid answer, that is the risk you take when you get it for free. But you take the same risk with the mature old ladies who are asking you to pay. They guarantee an answer but they cannot guarantee a helpful answer.
A lot of older ladies get bored, especially when their husbands have died and they are now living alone. Some of them go and work in a charity shop part time to fill the time and meet people. But to assume that because they have reached a certain age they are wise enough to give advice is rather naive and conceited. And I would imagine that if anyone younger than them asked for advice about being short of money or out of work they would be quick to advise YOU to go and work in a charity shop or do other very menial and boring tasks that they turned their nose up at.
The fake problem I sent to them was asking them for advice on this... a wealthy self made millionairess who loves living alone has been asked to live with her boyfriend who is lovely but who has no money at all. She does not want to live with anyone anyway, and she does not want to end up
paying the bills and keeping a man.
The first reply to this fake problem came from an old lady who said she totally agreed and she would never let a man get his hands on her money
(though hers had come from her husband before he died - that is very different to earning it yourself). But she went on to say that it was best to end the relationship then. The second reply came from another old lady who was out of her depth and rambled on without giving an opinion. The third came from an old man who shouted at me that I was obsessed with money and had no right to be so mean with it and should be eager to share it
with my boyfriend and should give in to him moving in. He went on to say that he had married his wife years ago and he had kept her for years and it is the same thing. It is not the same thing at all. It is quite normal for a young man in an ordinary job to get married and pay the bills. In return he had her do his housekeeping, have his children and bring them up. As he only had an ordinary job he was only just providing for her, he as not sharing a great stash of money with her. He gave her very little and in return she did a lot for him. You cannot compare that to being a much older person who has worked harder and earnt more who wants to live alone. And there is a big difference between a man keeping a woman so that they have a family together and live together for decades and older people who enjoy living alone with no children involved. He pointed out in his reply that his wife
had taken care of him when he was ill. Lovely. So he was actually sharing his tiny amount of money with her in return for a great deal, she was a companion, she gave him sex, children, housework and nursing. But if an older person who is fit and healthy and has no children takes care of a
man what does she get in return? Just company. Why would she pay so much for someone's company? But this man broke one of the first rules
of being an advisor. He was talking down to the client as though they were a stupid child when they had made a success of their life and were as mature as him. When you are a professional advisor you see things from the point of view of the client, you do not lecture them or tell them that their beliefs and values are wrong. A more sensible bit of advice may well have been that the woman should stay single until if and when she meets a man with the same assets and money as her so that it is not so costly for her if she decides to live with him or marry him.
Agony aunts online.