Pete the Planner gets hate mail!

I love discussion. I love when people tell me that I’m wrong, and then intelligently prove why. I love saying “You’re right!” There was a point in time that I loved to win arguments, but now I’d much rather lose to someone that knows what the hell they are talking about.

I received this email today after my segment on WISH-TV. I have copied as it was received. I’ll post the clip of the segment later today. You decide.

Apparently she’s not influenced by the fourth most influential personal finance expert in America.


You Suck!

While doing my homework for my Managerial Accounting, I caught your segment regarding student loans. How much does WISH-TV pay you for your sucky segments? Please spare us all your negativity, it’s trite, narrow-minded and not relevant to the real world, with real people, trying and obtaining college degrees. I would rather be unemployed with a college degree, than employed making minimum-wage with a high-school diploma.

I respectfully disagree with you and I am glad my lazy 20year sold was not watching your segment, which would validate his non-motivation to attend school and work a part-time, minimum-wage paying job, instead of obtaining a college education with the help of student loans if that what it takes.

As an Accounting student I try to rationalize in my mind some of your advise when I see your segments on IndyStyle, but I find you very mizerly (you get the picture).

What better way for you to promote your book than to discourage people from attending college. Not every one has money to put away in 401K’s and college funds. Most of us just get by on very little. And kids should never be discourage from attending college.

What do you spend your money on? And why are so necessary for you to suck the joy out life, I will attend college as long as can to obtain the education I deserve. I get grants and loans, and I could not attend school without them.

You are a money hoard and a scrooge, I hate your segments and your advise lacks purposeful reasoning and reality. Thanks for letting me share, now go and check your bank balance, because that is probably the only joy you have in life.

From a former IndyStyle fan, that will start watching Judge Mathis

Denise M.

Here was my response.


The book doesn’t discourage going to college. It encourages going to college and graduating without debt. I welcome your difference of opinion. But you didn’t “respectfully” disagree. You rudely disagreed.
I see by your email address that you go to Ivy Tech. I’m a huge fan of Ivy Tech, and think it’s the best value for education in Indiana.
I’m sorry you reacted so negatively to a positive topic.
*****UPDATE**** This post did not go as planned for several reasons. I posted this email from the emailer for two very distinct reasons, and two reasons alone.
Reason #1: I think her sentiment is shared by many. No, not that I’m a moron (although I’m sure that sentiment is shared as well), but that debt is the only way. The crazy thing is that the emailer is attending a type of school that I highly encourage people to attend. She is living the Avoid Student Loans mission.
Reason #2: I’m sick of rude behavior by commenters and emailers.   Not just to me, but to your local media outlets and social media networks. We would get a hell of a lot more done in this country without all the hate. Now, I realize that several commenters today wanted to vilify her for her grammar. Look, my grammar really sucks. I didn’t really care about her poorly written letter. I cared about its spirit.
The emailer and I have since exchanged emails. She admitted that she took the segment wrong. I WASN’T looking for an apology from her for opinion. I honestly want her to understand the financial aspects of my assertion about student loans. She is a single mom putting herself through school to better her life. I respect the hell out of that. Here are my take aways for today. Rudeness sucks. Differing opinions are great. Always wait a day to send an email when you are pissed. The sun will come up tomorrow, and it will be a better day. Be well.

37 thoughts on “Pete the Planner gets hate mail!

  1. Exactly my sentiments. Pete, keep on with going against the grain. I’ve always enjoyed your insight, and it’s people like yourself that challenge the zombie nation we have. Keep on Keepin’ on!

  2. Spell check and re-reading before hitting send…ESPECIALLY in an email that you are wanting to argue someone, would be a GREAT idea. I’d hate to have someone be able to discredit my opinion, no matter the validity of it, because of grammar & spell check. Just my $0.02.

  3. OMG, I thought that too! This was my favorite part, “your advise lacks purposeful reasoning and reality.” Really?! Pete’s posts are filled with nothing but purposeful reasoning and reality. Once you get to a certain point with student loans, you’re only working to pay them back. I’d rather spend my money on traveling than interest.

  4. To be quite honest, I completely agree with Denise, and find it quite immature of you to whine publicly about it on your blog.

    Because my response is so long, I am just going to write an open letter to you on my blog.

  5. I agree Pete,
    Where exactly was the “respectful” disagreeing? I have always been under the impression that to “respectfully disagree”, first, you have to be polite about it, and second, you normally need to understand the subject and have some facts to “back up” your side of the argument. Perhaps this “fan” should have read your book first, then attempted to “respectfully disagree”.

    As far as being unemployed with a degree, rather than employed without one…I’m not really sure this concept works. While yes, I do know some individuals who don’t have a degree and actually make more money than I do, which makes me question why I went for a degree in the first place. However, I also know individuals with a degree, who would never agree that being unemployed with a degree is the correct choice. Which is why they still work at restaurants, car dealerships, and anywhere else that will pay them for there contribution to a company.

    *Disclaimer: I am about to say something that most will consider rude, but it is the truth.*

    According to this “fan” their son, I’m assuming is what was meant, is lazy and doesn’t want to go to college or continue his education in anyway. He is in his 20’s now, so it is his life to make those choices. No, as a parent you will not agree with his choice to not better himself, and no one expects you to be “ok” with the choice he makes. The bottom line is, the world needs garbage men and fast food employees just like it needs police officers and lawyers.

    One final piece of advice for this “fan”. Please, just as Chuck has stated above, take an English class.

  6. Amen! English 101 would do this writer a world of good. It would help her deliver her message without distracting readers with all the spelling mistakes. Since she’s already there taking accounting it shouldn’t be much of a stretch to pick up one more course before she graduates.

  7. Reading her email, I’m not sure what she’s arguing or why she’s so angry. An education is certainly a good thing to have, but not infinitely so. There are diminishing returns on them, from a future earnings standpoint. It stands to reason that reducing your debt load in obtaining that education would increase your net earnings. So your advice seems prudent, to me. I think my generation was indoctrinated with this thought that a college education was the only thing that mattered, regardless of who you were. But now I’m not so sure. I know a lot of people that don’t use their college education at all, but they still had to pay off their loans. A tech school who have served them better. My uncles never even went to college, and they own a steel fabrication company now. Their net worth is more than my father, who was a surgeon for 30 years. However, even if you don’t agree, I don’t know why you complain so bitterly. I did chuckle at the “respectfully” disagree part. Kind of a Ricky Bobby moment.

  8. Really? So she didn’t proof read. Who cares? The point is, she took the time to write the letter to Pete out of anger. Not everyone can take the time to proofread things when all they see is red.

  9. Please post a link. I’ll be glad to share it. By the way, I’m not whining. I’m asking for polite conversation. Did you see my response to someone that just called me names? I was polite. That’s all I’m asking for. I love disagreements, but only civil ones.

  10. HA! I agree with Chuck! 🙂 Bad grammar and misspellings make me wince.
    On a less snarky note, I wish more people subscribed to the adage to “be kinder than necessary.” Denise is free to her opinions, but doesn’t need to degrade others.

  11. While I do agree that many are not in a financial position to pay for college, I do believe she could have “respectfully disagreed”. Amazing what a little diplomacy will do in a disagreement or debate. Maybe it would be a good idea for her to address her communication skills along with grammar and spelling? Though, it has been in my experience that no matter how diplomatic one is in such a situation, there is nothing you can say or do when the second party is prepared for imminent battle.

  12. Meh. The point is, she took the time to write the letter. You can’t really fault her for trying to get her point across, because she’s entitled to her opinions.

  13. Well that maybe true, but sounding like a moron doesn’thelp your cause. Nobody is faultingher for stating her opinion. It’s the way she did it.

  14. […] It confused me because I thought that I had unliked it in my recent purge. The post was regarding a recent post on his blog about a piece of hate mail he had received from a viewer of his spot on IndyStyle. I went to it, […]

  15. Thanks for posting. Here’s the thing, you completely lose me on this response by all the insults at the beginning. If you can’t make your point. without tearing the other person down, then you lose. Let’s just agree to disagree.

  16. Also, those aren’t insults. They’re OPINIONS. So I’m not a fan. Your posts are sometimes annoying. That’s MY opinion. It’s not like I’m being like Denise.

  17. Completely agree Pete. Nothing is more disconcerting when insults or name calling is thrown into the mix. It is not only annoying, but completely inappropriate in any discussion.

  18. Ooh, you got her hackles up! Often when people hear a concept that goes against every fabric of their being and their belief system is challenged, they will get angry and stop listening and probably misunderstand what you are trying to say. I think that by writing this angry and critical letter, she is reaching out in a way . Pete’s quiet and thoughtful response just might be the beginning to winning her over to a better way of managing her future without putting her on the defensive. It might not be tomorrow or even next year, who knows!

  19. Negative opinions expressed actually are insults. You are still entitled to those negative opinions. But, they are, in fact, insults.

  20. Ester, there is a difference between opinion and verbal abuse. Opinion is given without the name calling; an opinion that includes name calling is abuse, plain and simple. If one truly wants to get their “opinion” across to a recipient, it would be wise to avoid the personal jabs.

  21. Pete,
    This thinking of I would rather be unemployed with a college education and student loans is so dangerous. I am sure you have talked and worked with individuals as I have in this situation. I can guarantee when he is in this situation he will be turning to people like you and I to pay his bill for him.

    Education does not always make one intelligent.

    God Bless Pete and keep up the good fight. I am with you.


  22. Nowhere, anywhere does it state that we as humans have the right not to be offended. Granted, this day and age people have gotten so hypersensitive about their feelings that it seems everything WILL offend them and that they have a right to be soothed. Um, no.

    If something offends you, stop looking at it. If you someone is acting (or sounding) like a know-it-all… hey, you can always stop reading what they say or listening to them. My poor financial decisions or lack of motivation don’t make Pete or any other person a bad person.

    Pete keep telling it like it is. Those who are interested in turning things around and are teachable will listen. Those who are unteachable and are sitting around waiting to be offended will just have to get over themselves and get over it.

  23. Indeed. I just watched the video clip and nowhere does he say “Don’t go to college.”

    He also is not negative or gloating. If anything he explains why it is wise to PLAN ahead and start doing the footwork early.

    It would surprise if she is so angry because is in the middle of a financial reality that she is not happy about and is not sure how to remedy other than saying “I’m in college, I expect my child to go to college and doing so will change this current situation for both of us.”

  24. I’m sorry, but I still fail to see where I am name calling. My blog, my right to say what I want, just like Pete has every right to say what he wants on his blog.

  25. Pete,

    You might have been more successful by keeping that email to yourself, and writing a blog post that said something like “I am fortunate to have received notice that one of my viewers, while viewing this video, thought I am discouraging getting an education. In fact I am encouraging getting an education that will lead to a productive career, while taking on the least amount of debt possible. My book details common sense ways that anyone, regardless of current financial status, can minimize the amount they will need to borrow to achieve their educational goals. I’m sorry I didn’t communicate that properly, I’ll try harder next time.”

    Then show the video, end of story.

    That way, you could have reinforced your original message, encouraged positive comments, and boosted your credibility.

  26. Greg, excellent point. I weighed that. I still don’t know if I made the best choice. However, more people were able to see my point because of the “PT Barnum” way that I made it with the hate email post. That doesn’t mean that I made the right decision. Frankly, beating the emailer up over grammar doesn’t really interest me. As you know as a reader of this blog, my spelling and grammar often leave something to be desired.

    I guess the other point I wanted to make is that it’s okay to disagree with me. I know it may not seem that way, but it’s true. Just like your comment, you disagreed with something, and I’m glad you did. I honestly will think twice the next time I consider posting an email like this because of you. I sincerely appreciate that.

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