True story: once when I was in a sketchy part of town, a sketchy guy walked up to me and said, “Give me your bag.” I assumed the or else was implied, but it was weak as implied threats go. “No,” I said. He just stood there blinking, and I walked away.
I was reminded of this story by a sort of business proposal I received today. It was so poorly written that it was a little hard to interpret, but basically: “How about I buy one of your books for retail price and then offer it as a free download on a my company’s website?”
In other words, “Give me your stuff.”
When I declined and walked away, she made another offer, not much more attractive. Again, I tersely declined. “I don’t see what the problem is,” she wrote. (No, you don’t! And that’s why you’re talking to my back.) And then she accused me of being “unkind.” Because, as we all know, it’s compassionate to take all business offers seriously… no matter how clueless, entitled, one-sided, and murky.