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  #1  
Old 11-13-2013, 08:33 PM
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Default Rant - Another Provider Copies EVERYTHING I Do!

I have been keeping this to myself but I just noticed ANOTHER thing that she copied from me and I just want to rant here if I can.

Everything that I place on my ads, this one particular provider copies and starts offering at her daycare within about 2 weeks! I got a daycare sign for my front yard, and in about 2 weeks, she got one as well! She used to call me ( we were 'friends' or at least I thought we were until I realized that she was copying me all the time) and within a couple of sentences of the conversation, she'd ask me things about how I operate my business, what curriculum I use, etc. and I started realizing that she was copying all of my ideas and ways of operating my business! I told her which curriculum I was using and then noticed in about 2 weeks that she was advertising that exact curriculum in her ads. I recently started advertising that I teach sign language and Spanish. I just noticed that she is now advertising that she teaches sign language and Spanish! She doesn't have one original thought of her own! I just don't understand why she copies EVERYTHING that I do!
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:27 PM
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Ok, I'm real tired so this may sound a bit foolish, but tell her you feed potato chips & popcorn while the kids watch tv all day, cause its just easier.... Maybe she will advertise it and put herself out of business.
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by permanentvacation View Post
I just don't understand why she copies EVERYTHING that I do!
Because you are awesome! I'm sure it will reflect that you are original and sincere when you interview-she may be copying what you offer but it will be harder to show those things when it comes down to it! Sorry you have that happening, but just try to take it as a compliment that you are worthy of someone trying to imitate you
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:35 PM
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Ok, I'm real tired so this may sound a bit foolish, but tell her you feed potato chips & popcorn while the kids watch tv all day, cause its just easier.... Maybe she will advertise it and put herself out of business.
Oh! I've got one! How about advertising a "No Nap" daycare to allow for an endless day of creativity and adventure!

I think I may need some sleep, too.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:17 PM
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I'm so tired I just snored ...see I'm not even funny. While I'm sure it's annoying look at the bright side, she thinks you're worth copying. If she does do the things you do and does them well it will benefit the children in her care. You rock!
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:22 PM
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Ok, I'm real tired so this may sound a bit foolish, but tell her you feed potato chips & popcorn while the kids watch tv all day, cause its just easier.... Maybe she will advertise it and put herself out of business.
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2013, 04:38 AM
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For a while, I did take it as a compliment and didn't mind helping her and answering her questions about how I do things. Honestly, I completely organized her entire daycare for her! She called me once and said that she had received a good bit of money from her homeowner's insurance and she wanted to put that into her daycare, but had no clue what to buy. So I told her the physical location and website of an educational store that I use all the time. She said that she wouldn't know what to get, so I pulled their website up at my house and told her to get on her computer and pull it up. I literally told her EVERY piece of furniture to buy and then she asked me what type of toys, so I picked out a selection of toys and told her about needing charts for the walls. Then, after her items were delivered, she called me and invited me over for the 1st time in the TEN YEARS that I have known her - so I could help her arrange the furniture and help her decide where to put the charts and things on her walls. I didn't mind doing that. I actually enjoyed hanging out with her - even though I did acknowledge to myself that that was the ONLY time she invited me over! - Well, other than the time she told me she wanted to sell some items in her basement to get the room to prepare daycare in the basement. She invited my nephew and me over to buy a bookshelf from her.

Many people over the years have called me and asked how to get into daycare, so I helped them through the process. I don't mind helping other providers. BUT DANG! Don't boldface COPY everything I do! I just can't get over her doing that. The last time we spoke over the phone, I called her out on copying me. She got defensive and that's the last time we have talked to each other.

She lives near me and every time I drive past her house, I have a huge belly laugh at her sign (because she copied me) and I wonder or sometimes even say out loud "You got the sign on your porch, when are you going to get your daycare name on your back car window like mine is?" I know that is childish, but her copying me is just so irritating!
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:39 AM
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Thank you guys for the support.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:12 AM
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I have a woman who does this with our kijiji ads. She literally copies sentences from my ad. Word. for. word. I switch mine up every week or so, and she will update hers with the new wording.

I know for you it is a little different and a little more obvious but maybe you could just look at it as these are your ideas and people will pick up on whether or not it is genuine when they come to visit with you. Someone who is copying will not be able to convey that as well, I don't think.

Maybe when she wants ideas or calls for advice you could charge her a consulting fee? Could be a side business venture!
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2013, 05:25 AM
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On Craigslist, I have seen ads where a provider is yelling at another provider to stop copying their ad. I guess those who can, do and those that can't, copy!
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:42 AM
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Thievery is the highest form of flattery!
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2013, 05:52 AM
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You know, you really have nothing to lose by simply calling her up and calling her out on this.

Say "Janice, I am flattered that you admire my ideas and thoughts but I am having a hard time with you outright copying everything I do. I'm going to have to insist that from now on you need to ask my permission before you use my ideas."


Maybe the simple act of letting her know you know will be enough to get her to stop.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:55 AM
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I can totally relate to your frustration! When I was teaching, there was this teacher that taught preschool when I was teaching k that would do this. She would come in my class asking for help, and literally the next day she had copied everything..every single thing I did. Other teachers didn't ever come in my class to know what I was up to, so they all thought she was so creative and challenged her students. It drove me insane, but I really couldn't complain because I would have been seen as immature or picking on her. After I left, I've seen pictures of her on the Internet still carrying on with my ideas to the t with fundraisers, activities, curriculum....like they are her original ideas. All I think about is that eventually she will run out of ideas since I'm no longer there, and will be seen for the copy cat she is
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:09 AM
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Blackcat,

I did finally tell her over the phone that I have noticed that 'some' providers (meaning her ) were copying every new idea that I came up with. She just got defensive and yelled at me asking why I think others want to copy me. I said, "I don't know" and we haven't spoken to each other since.

Now that we aren't talking over the phone for her to get ideas from me verbally, she's just copying what I advertise. I have thought about calling her since I saw her last ad, but I'm sure it will just start an argument. So I don't plan to call her.

I fully understand that it's not like a have sole rights to my ideas, and yes, I have asked other providers for ideas and have incorporated some of the ideas they gave me. But this person is literally duplicating every new thing I do.

I just removed all the details about my curriculum, activities, etc. on my website and will not provide details on my upcoming ads. That way she won't know what I offer - of course, neither will the parents.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:17 AM
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There is another provider that I have a relationship with. She runs off with my ideas. And then sometimes regurgitates my idea to me as if she came up with it. I politely remind her, “It’s a great idea. Remember when I mentioned it to you?” She always replies, “Oh yeah!”

I take it as a compliment. If it enriches her business and children in her care, I am happy for her.

I am not a competitive person in a versus sense. I am competitive in trying to improve & excel. So, I just stay true to me and move forward.

She’s seen somethings I’ve done and asked if I can make one for her. I do happily. I want her to succeed. We live in & serve the same community. Often the same parents interview us.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:20 AM
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Mrsmichelle,

That's why I haven't said anything to anyone else, I didn't want to seem immature. But enough is enough. The part that irritates me so much is that for years throughout our conversations, I would willingly offer her help and ideas here and there, but then it got to the point that she would call me for the sole purpose of getting information and then get off the phone with me. It became obvious that she was just using me and copying me.

Her running out of 'new' ideas is my thought as well. I won't talk to her anymore and I have just removed all the details about the way I do things from my website and ads. At least if she gets any 'new' ideas, it won't be from me!

Like I said though, I truly don't mind helping other providers with ideas. And tossing around ideas and advise. I just don't appreciate her literally copying me.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:01 AM
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I just put the details BACK on my website and ad. I thought, why should I not inform parents of the great services that I offer just because she copies them. I have had them on my website and ad for a while. I'm sure she has memorized them by now! However, I will not add any new details to my website or ad. So she will not be able to get any of my new ideas.
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2013, 07:08 AM
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If she is copying an add word for word then here's what I would do. From now on whenever you post an ad of any kind, anywhere, make/keep a copy of it and put it in a folder. Keep checking her advertisements on Craigslist, her website (if you both have one), etc. and start making a copy of hers and keep track of how many advertisements she copies. Go through and read every part and highlight complete sentences and phrases of things that come up on your advertisements. If there is a lot then send her a cease and desist letter. Those are fairly easy to write out and there are a lot of examples online. If she argues that she is not copying you send her copies of your advertisements vs hers with the copied phrases highlighted (keep your copies for yourself, give her her own copies). This usually stops it without having to go further (I once had a woman copy my entire website word for word and had a letter ready but another provider wanted to call her first to tell her that it's copyright infringement and the site was pulled down within the hour).

The hardest part about this however is that advertisements tend to be a lot of brief points and bullets and it's hard to call those copying. Also if they offer the same things but word it differently then not much you can do . For example:

Can be Called Copying
YOU: I am a state licensed family child care provider. I offer Blankety-Blank an award winning curriculum. As a part of our daily curriculum we teach Spanish and simple Sign Language. We have convenient hours of Monday through Friday from 7am to 6pm and offer extended hours and weekend care on an occasional basis. Healthy meals are served throughout the day at no extra charge ....

HER: Copies everything word for word or many parts of it word for word.

Can't be called copying
HER: I am licensed by the state of _______. I provide Blankety-Blank curriculum and teach Spanish and Sign Language. My hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and occasionally before/after hours and on weekends. All meals are provided at no extra charge.

or

HER:
  • Licensed Childcare
  • Blankety-Blank Curriculum
  • Spanish & Sign Language Lessons
  • Healthy Meals Provided at No Additional Charge
  • Convenient Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-6pm

It's super annoying, I get it. And it sucks more because you help other people and now it seems to be biting you in the butt and making her an exact replica and direct competition. I've been there, done that. Maybe it's time to revamp your advertisements to make yourself stand out again, like maybe adding/changing your photos of your space on your ads, adding a colorful flyer to your Craigslist posts, making a web-site if you don't already have one and if you do maybe it's time to re-word it. And plus you have something that she doesn't have ... you're established and have experience. Make sure that you put that in your ads somewhere. I'd add it something like "XX years experience working with children of which XX of those years I have been licensed. Mentor of several other daycare providers in my immediate area to help them set up their child care program. Can be imitated but not duplicated"

And for next time maybe when you help someone else out instead of giving them all of your ideas why not give them a list of options to choose from instead and maybe some articles to give them ideas. That's what I do now. Instead of giving out all of my secrets I have a small packet with a list of options for curriculum, supply companies, furniture companies, books they should buy and read, Care Courses they can take and articles to read. If they ask me to come and help them organize once they buy everything then I'll help them but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot again KWIM?
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:40 AM
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She doesn't copy my ad word for word. She copies the things I do/offer/things I teach. Basically copies my new ideas of operating.

For example...

I have used Home Preschool Program off and on for 25 years. One day, she asked me what curriculum I use. I told her I have tried a couple of things and named a couple of boxed curriculum as well as a couple of curriculum that are planning/idea books for teachers to get ideas from then make their own lessons. But I did stress the Preschool Program more. Next thing I know, she advertises that she uses the Preschool Program.

My father has Alzheimer's disease. So I started wondering if I could help myself not get Alzheimer's. I researched for days! Then decided to do some things for myself and also incorporate Spanish, Sign Language, and Computers into my daycare curriculum. I told her this story about my dad and my research and deciding to add those things to my curriculum. Now she's offering the same things.

I was talking to my ex-husband about needing to get my daycare name out there more. He had previously brought a large board - almost like plywood- to my house to block the rain from the basement door during a huge storm we had. I asked him if I could get some paint from him so I could make a sign out of that board. He chuckled at that idea and told me that if I want a sign, he'll buy a sign for me. I told her about how he got me a sign, where he bought it from and all - just in conversation as friends. Next thing I know, she has a sign similar to mine!

There are more things that she's copied. These are the more recent though.

So, I don't think I can legally do anything about this. It's just unbelievable that she does this.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:42 AM
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Oh, the photos in my ad, yeah, she copied that too!!!
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:48 AM
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Blackcat,

I did finally tell her over the phone that I have noticed that 'some' providers (meaning her ) were copying every new idea that I came up with. She just got defensive and yelled at me asking why I think others want to copy me. I said, "I don't know" and we haven't spoken to each other since.

Now that we aren't talking over the phone for her to get ideas from me verbally, she's just copying what I advertise. I have thought about calling her since I saw her last ad, but I'm sure it will just start an argument. So I don't plan to call her.

I fully understand that it's not like a have sole rights to my ideas, and yes, I have asked other providers for ideas and have incorporated some of the ideas they gave me. But this person is literally duplicating every new thing I do.

I just removed all the details about my curriculum, activities, etc. on my website and will not provide details on my upcoming ads. That way she won't know what I offer - of course, neither will the parents.
I'm sorry that she was so rude. Some people show their guilt by becoming defensive.

I also DO think you have sole rights to your ideas and words.

Maybe at the bottom of all your advertisements you can put something in reference to that.

What she is doing is considered plagiarism...

"According to U.S. law, the answer is yes. The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions"

http://www.plagiarism.org/plagiarism...-is-plagiarism
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:50 AM
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MarinaVenessa,

"XX years experience working with children of which XX of those years I have been licensed. Mentor of several other daycare providers in my immediate area to help them set up their child care program. Can be imitated but not duplicated"


I Like that!! All morning, I have been trying to think of how to word it in my ad something to let people know that I am the one with the original ideas. But couldn't come up with how to word it. I was planning to call my sister later and ask her to help me word it.

So, since we are on the topic of copying... can I use your lines in my ad?
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:05 AM
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Ah, yes, plagiarism. Hmm. Maybe this is something along those lines. You are right. MarinaVenessa suggested that I keep a record of my ads and hers to prove she is copying me. I might just do that.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:56 AM
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Blackcat,

I did finally tell her over the phone that I have noticed that 'some' providers (meaning her ) were copying every new idea that I came up with. She just got defensive and yelled at me asking why I think others want to copy me. I said, "I don't know" and we haven't spoken to each other since.

Now that we aren't talking over the phone for her to get ideas from me verbally, she's just copying what I advertise. I have thought about calling her since I saw her last ad, but I'm sure it will just start an argument. So I don't plan to call her.

I fully understand that it's not like a have sole rights to my ideas, and yes, I have asked other providers for ideas and have incorporated some of the ideas they gave me. But this person is literally duplicating every new thing I do.

I just removed all the details about my curriculum, activities, etc. on my website and will not provide details on my upcoming ads. That way she won't know what I offer - of course, neither will the parents.
I would call her up and give her a different curriculum name, different lunch schedule, basically the opposite of what you do. I had a copycat a long time ago, EXCEPT she copied all but the rates. She'd DELIBERATELY go $10 lower a week and was, in effect, stealing business. Because people here are all about price, they'd call her first no matter what. I had no chance unless I also lowered. But the ONE time I did that, she dropped $10 more. So it was just silly to play that game with her.

eventually, her unreliable nature came out (she'd call off, etc) and it bit her in the butt.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:16 AM
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She copied your photos? That,I believe, is definitely a cease & desist thing, especially if there's kids in the pics. You may have legal authority to disseminate the pictures, but she didn't have Timmy & Natasha's parents sign forms for her to post their pics...She could be in trouble for that. Or, do yu mean she copied the staging & style of your pics?
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:18 AM
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MarinaVenessa,

"XX years experience working with children of which XX of those years I have been licensed. Mentor of several other daycare providers in my immediate area to help them set up their child care program. Can be imitated but not duplicated"


I Like that!! All morning, I have been trying to think of how to word it in my ad something to let people know that I am the one with the original ideas. But couldn't come up with how to word it. I was planning to call my sister later and ask her to help me word it.

So, since we are on the topic of copying... can I use your lines in my ad?
Of course. Steal away!!
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:28 AM
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Ah, yes, plagiarism. Hmm. Maybe this is something along those lines. You are right. MarinaVenessa suggested that I keep a record of my ads and hers to prove she is copying me. I might just do that.
I think keeping a record of them is a great idea that MarinaVanessa had. I'm not so sure about the line about being a mentor and you can be copied but not imitated though. At first I thought it was a great idea and then I got to thinking about it. Couldn't she just copy that? No one knows who had the ideas first.

Maybe you could put something at the end of your ad like "Ask us about our special offer!" Then you could make up an offer. Maybe something like the last week of care is free if you've been with us a year or maybe one free parent's night out every 6 months or a free t-shirt with your childcare's name on it (double bonus with that one). I bet if you made up a logo for the shirt or your sign that may be able to be a copyrighted thing. Business names are copyrighted also as I looked that up once. I looked it up as my daughter and I were considering starting a side business.

When I was a child we had a neighbor that copied everything from my dad and the mom copied things my mom did. My dad was very handy and creative and finished our unfinished basement with built in seats/storage, etc. He also helped this guy and he did his basement the same. My dad didn't get upset though but, then again, it wasn't business related. My dad kind of thought of it as a challenge. He just enjoyed making things for the house and yard. So one day he was in our basement making bricks. Yes, his own bricks that were white. Then he imbedded some little tiles in them. His little wall thingy went around the bushes. I remember him saying "Now, let's see Len copy this!" Well Len never did.

Laurel

P.S. Oh and if you do a special offer of some sort I wouldn't tell anyone on the phone. Make it contingent with signing up. Once you have their deposit/paperwork or however you do it then tell them. It will probably drive your neighbor crazy!!!
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:34 AM
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Couldn't she just copy that? No one knows who had the ideas first.
The wonderful thing about CL is that when you go into an add you see "posted on [date]" in teeny tiny letters in the upper right hand. Hit print and VOILÀ. You now have proof that you posted yours before she did
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:41 AM
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Because you are awesome! I'm sure it will reflect that you are original and sincere when you interview-she may be copying what you offer but it will be harder to show those things when it comes down to it! Sorry you have that happening, but just try to take it as a compliment that you are worthy of someone trying to imitate you
I was going to say something similar to this!..lol
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
The wonderful thing about CL is that when you go into an add you see "posted on [date]" in teeny tiny letters in the upper right hand. Hit print and VOILÀ. You now have proof that you posted yours before she did
Oh okay. I did a Craigslist once a long time ago but am not that familiar with the ins and outs of it.

Laurel
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:46 AM
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Like Mama2bella said, she's doing it because you are awesome! I'm sorry that she is stealing your ideas and I would take it as a compliment, but if she is copying everything from you, that's a different story. I can't believe that she is even copying pictures!

It just goes to show that she has no idea what she is doing or is not confident in her dc and how she runs it. I wonder how she runs her program? Just because she copies what you do doesn't mean she can successfully implement it into her program. And you know that she knows exactly what she's doing, especially if she hasn't talked to you since.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by permanentvacation View Post
MarinaVenessa,


So, since we are on the topic of copying... can I use your lines in my ad?
I always ask if people mind if I copy something they have shared with me, whether it's something online or something someone has told me in person. I wouldn't feel right using it if I didn't ask!
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  #33  
Old 11-14-2013, 10:12 AM
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permanentvacation permanentvacation is offline
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No, no, no, she did not copy my exact pictures. I'm sorry, I didn't explain that well. She placed on her ad the same type of pictures that I placed on my ad. I put a pic of my daycare sign, so she put a pic of her sign. She put her own pics of her daycare, but they were the same content of the pics that I put up of my daycare.

Basically copied the idea of what to take pics of to put in your ad.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:01 AM
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MotherNature MotherNature is offline
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Ah! Yeah, that sucks still.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:54 AM
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permanentvacation permanentvacation is offline
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MarinaVenessa,

Thank you!
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  #36  
Old 11-14-2013, 12:03 PM
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permanentvacation permanentvacation is offline
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I would be upset if I were your dad too. I don't care if it's business or personal, I don't think someone should consistently copy someone else's ideas. If you are chatting with someone and ask for advice/opinions/ideas on occasion, that's okay. We all bounce ideas off each other and give ideas/advise to each other. But you should not constantly obviously copy someone else's every move.

Thank you all for your support and suggestions. I am not going to advertise any of my new ideas.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:57 PM
MamaBear MamaBear is offline
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I so feel your pain. I had a friend that does daycare too and she copies everything I do. I helped her get her daycare started and I feel like I created a monster. She copies everything I do. My husband says imitation is flattery - but I think its just SO annoying! Why can't people think of their OWN ideas?!?!
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:22 PM
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permanentvacation permanentvacation is offline
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MamaBear,

Yeah, she and I were friends too - well, phone pals, ( I think we saw each other in person an average of twice a year) for about 10 years. Since I allowed myself to acknowledge how much she copies me and called her out on it, which lead to her becoming defensive, we don't talk at all. It really is sad that a friendship of that many years ended like this. I feel hurt, used, unappreciated, and stupidly blind to her taking advantage of our conversations.

The kicker is that I truly didn't mind helping her some and making suggestions and don't mind her doing exactly what I do on a COUPLE of things. She just went overboard and started copying every new idea I came up with.

I have heard that people typically end friendships and make new connections/friends every 10 or so years. I guess things just naturally took their place with our friendship and it's time for me to move on and make new friends. It's just sad how things wound up between the two of us.
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  #39  
Old 11-15-2013, 08:27 AM
MamaBear MamaBear is offline
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I hear ya! Its the exact same situation I went thru. I just tried to move on and not dwell on her anymore. I try not to look at her daycare ads and things like that because it just bothers me. I hope you can make a good "new" friend that respects you. I'm still looking for a good new friend. It's hard to make close women friendships like when you are working outside the home or in school. Anyway - try not to think about negative stuff and have a VERY happy Friday!!
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