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Author Topic: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?  (Read 12603 times)

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LadyL

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2016, 12:19:03 PM »

While reading the background, what rang out to me was the fact that he is making a living off of this shared hobby. Welcoming new people to the group benefits him financially (as you are potential customers to his shop.) Maybe I'm wrong and he was truly wanting to welcome you and not your cash. That said, I might treat my interactions with him as more business than personal. I would attend the events that he hosts, but think of them as advertisement for his business. I would treat him professionally, but not welcome him into some sort of inner friendship circle. At least not until he shows some other colors.

On the one hand, Paul has been an active participant in this hobby for many years and worked extensively on hobby events on a volunteer basis before opening the business recently. On the other hand, the business was opened via a crowd funding campaign and there have been some pointed comments from self identified backers on Paul's facebook posts. I got curious and looked up the campaign info and it turns out that backers were promised some inexpensive but clever and unique rewards (different combinations of hobby items worth around $20-40 a piece). The expected delivery time was 6 months; it's now nearly a year since the campaign was funded and they have not even begun production of the rewards, and some backers are unhappy. It looks to me like they massively over promised by having so many reward combinations (Get one x and one y for a $20 donation; get 1 x and 3 y for a $40 contribution, so forth and so on) and by offering unique rewards that require they work with a manufacturer (rather than finding something nice but mass produced they could order in bulk). 

Between this, his attitude towards the less fortunate, and the online rudeness I am pretty well convinced that arms length acquaintance is the way to go here.

DaDancingPsych

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2016, 02:17:50 PM »
Between this, his attitude towards the less fortunate, and the online rudeness I am pretty well convinced that arms length acquaintance is the way to go here.

Your new information makes me raise my eyebrow even higher. I think you are wise to go this route. I have read your posts on here for some time... you can make better friends, no problem!   ;)

mandycorn

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2016, 03:21:39 PM »
Based on that information, I'd be rethinking patronizing his business too. None of that screams upstanding business I want to support.
"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine" - Abraham Lincoln 

DanaJ

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2016, 03:55:53 PM »
Based on that information, I'd be rethinking patronizing his business too. None of that screams upstanding business I want to support.

Indeed. The presence of local homeless may be very challenging for him to deal with, but treating them like vermin is simply unacceptable to me. They are people, not termites.

I used to live in a neighbourhood that had a very broad spectrum of inhabitants in its community. My building required pass-keys to get into the building itself, but the occasional homeless person would get into the small entryway where the buzzer-box is for visitors to call up to residents. They'd go to sleep and residents would walk around to the back door and alert the superintendent.

It drove our superindendent a little crazy to have to wake someone up to kick them out, but he was never heartless. He would usually say "No, no. You can't stay here." (imagine a really heavy eastern European accent that belonged to a WWE wrestler, but coming from a very short, little guy) then he would hand them a styrofoam cup of coffee as he sent them on his way. The guys that would occasionally camp in the lobby knew they'd get kicked out, but since Garrick was nice to them, they never made a mess and they never damaged anything. They were treated with respect and acted respectfully.

At the neighboring building however, the super was a jerk and it was mutual warfare. He'd spray guys with hoses and ended up with people defecating in their lobby as revenge.

Twik

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2016, 04:11:04 PM »
Homelessness has been a problem in urban areas for many years. Possibly Paul's getting cheaper rent because his store isn't in the high-polish super-elegant part of town. This is the trade-off.

Whether he's compassionate to the homeless or not, he's certainly not treating his fellow participants on the board with consideration. I doubt that they *know* the solution, and they're just not telling him out of spite. Everyone has their problems, this one is his, and it's ultimately his responsibility to solve it.
"The sky's the limit. Your sky. Your limit. Now, let's dance!"

blarg314

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2016, 07:40:31 PM »


Having homeless people hanging around your business area can be annoying, particularly if there is vandalism, or they are affecting business by harassing customers. But I wouldn't be surprised if he took his current location because of cheap rent, and this is a natural consequence of it. If it's part of the neighbourhood, then moving in and regarding them as human scum is not going to help his situation - did anyone suggest building a friendly relationship with the locals?

I'm getting a vibe of very amateur businessman here. I mean, he crowd sourced funds to start a brick and mortar business, and hasn't followed through on the incentive, and he's being nasty to people who are trying to help (at his request!) on his own business's Facebook page.

With the additional information, I wouldn't boycott events he's hosting, but I would regard him as a rather flaky local business owner, not a potential friend.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2016, 02:27:21 AM »
I'd be keeping my eyes wide open around Paul. I wouldn't go out of my way to be particularly friendly to him.

As for attending events that Paul hosts, it's really up to you. On question though - are these "events" about Paul drumming up business / "guests" paying to attend or buying his stuff? Because if so, that would make me less likely to attend.

lollylegs

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2016, 03:02:51 PM »
As for attending events that Paul hosts, it's really up to you. On question though - are these "events" about Paul drumming up business / "guests" paying to attend or buying his stuff? Because if so, that would make me less likely to attend.

This is a very good point.

Winterlight

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2016, 04:35:01 PM »
I think I'd unfollow Paul and treat him as a distant acquaintance. He doesn't sound like someone I'd want to be chummy with.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

kglory

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2016, 09:07:53 PM »
I'm getting a vibe of very amateur businessman here. I mean, he crowd sourced funds to start a brick and mortar business, and hasn't followed through on the incentive, and he's being nasty to people who are trying to help (at his request!) on his own business's Facebook page.

Agreed. He strikes me as in over his head - someone who likes "hobby" but not "owning/running a business related to hobby."

For example, I love books, and love going to bookstores. I would hate to own a bookstore!  I would hate having to: decide how many books to order of each title, calculate how to price them at the best profit margin to attract customers yet cover our expenses, hire employees, manage/fire bad employees, deal with payroll and taxes, or worry about upkeep such as rent, power, heat, garbage, cleaning. 

Even worse, as a business owner I'd hate not having a guaranteed paycheck week to week like a normal employee does, and thus never be sure of whether I could pay my *own* rent, car payment, utilities, etc.

So many people say "I'd love to own a small coffee shop/bakery" or "I'd love to own a comic book shop" because they enjoy those activities. That always surprises me, because it would terrify me!  But they probably mean it in the pipe dream sense, in which all the day-to-day stresses of the job disappear, and they can spend all day sipping coffee, baking cupcakes, or reading comic books.

Paul has only had this shop open for a year.  It sounds like he is having trouble with these day-to-day realities.  For example, choosing to rent in an area with a high homeless population and where police presence is low. The rent is probably lower, but the tradeoff is the situation he's facing.  Or not being able to meet the demands of what he promised -- which goes back to not adequately calculating what he could have expected to fulfill for each contribution level at the time of the crowd funding -- a bad indication of his capabilities as a business owner.  He may be feeling bitter about it all and wishing all these things could go away and he could just go back to coffee drinking / baking / comic book reading for pleasure.

Sorry if I am projecting!  What I would do in your situation is pull back at least mentally and maintain some distance from Paul.  If you see him at hobby groups, be cordial, but not seek him out socially anymore. And when you do run into him or see him on Facebook, keep an eye on him further to figure out more about what his true character is.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 09:09:39 PM by kglory »

DanaJ

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2016, 10:23:04 AM »
I'm getting a vibe of very amateur businessman here. I mean, he crowd sourced funds to start a brick and mortar business, and hasn't followed through on the incentive, and he's being nasty to people who are trying to help (at his request!) on his own business's Facebook page.

Agreed. He strikes me as in over his head - someone who likes "hobby" but not "owning/running a business related to hobby."


I agree too. A good brick-and-mortar retailer knows that rabidly complaining about a vulnerable segment of society is just not good PR. I wouldn't shop at a place if I knew the owner was such a butthead.

The two proper way to deal with the issue is either see it as part of his normal opening chores that are just a lousy part of having a business it that location. He's certainly not the only one who has to dal with unpleasant location-based issues. Non-nightclub businesses in the clubbing district here start the day by hosing down their storefronts and sidewalks because of all the guys who leave the clubs, then pee in their recessed entryways. It's an unfortunate part of having a business in that otherwise profitable daytime location.

Or he needs to make some kind of investment to protect his property so people can't shelter there. Ask about rolling metal doors that cover his storefront or block off his entry-way to improve security and reduce vandalism.

"Homeless people suck!" is not a particularly useful approach and it won't improve his situation.

mandycorn

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2016, 11:08:26 AM »
Sounds like he also needs some lessons in interacting with customers on social media. It's tricky for businesses to get right, but invaluable when they do, because a truly outrageous misstep will go viral and spread further than any positive outreach ever could.
"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine" - Abraham Lincoln 

Jaelle

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2016, 08:38:41 PM »
Yuck, I too would be wary of someone who spoke of the homeless in such derogatory, cruel ways.  I think it makes sense to hide and ignore his posts online.  I'd probably also avoid events he hosts, but keep in touch with the group and go to the events that others hosts.  I'm not sure what percentage he hosts himself -- that might make it more difficult, if he's the main person who gets everyone together.

But yeah, people like this aren't going to respond to discussion or critique in person or online.  He clearly has a lot of hatred toward the less fortunate and it's not worth getting involved in a discussion.  You aren't going to convince him to be more kind.

POD to all of this.

Mean-spiritedness will come out one way or another. 
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

Minmom3

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2016, 10:10:02 PM »
Yes, yes it will.  It does not hide itself very well.... 
Double MIL now; not yet a Grandma.  Owner of Lard Butt Noelle, kitteh extraordinaire!

spookycatlady

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Re: How/whether to respond to friend's online rudeness?
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2016, 09:59:27 AM »

I agree that keeping the relationship casual is the way to go. I don't know if addressing the conversation would accomplish much...

It seems like he wants a bandage to take care of a pimple. Something that deals with the surface issue: immediate, and easy.  It still won't solve the problem long term, but if all he wants is a Band-aid... that's the only thing he'll take. I get the feeling from your post that he probably has an idea of what he wants to do and might be consciously or unconsciously seeking for someone to say it first (loud music playing outside, those awful spike things...)

I've had disagreements with friends when they've asked for advice and then they argue about suggested solutions. If we reach a third suggestion that gets slammed, I call them out (gently). If this is over text (email, SMS) I also provide stage direction.

<<What do you want from me, exactly? (to be read in inquiring, not sarcastic tone) I've given you a couple of options and you don't like them, so I don't know where to go now...>>

I've noticed that the person usually realizes that they didn't actually want advice and usually wanted just to vent because they had a solution already in mind.

In terms of more impersonal type relationships (web fora, comment sections), I am reminded of something that happened to me ages ago. There was a blog I used to read and I lurked in the comments forever. The blogger was active in the comments and the community was a pretty supportive and kind group. She made a particularly poignant post about her ongoing battle with depression and I stepped out of my lurker's shadow to share a bit of my own experiences and offer my empathy/sympathy.

She responded, "Please don't commiserate. It's not helpful and you know nothing of what I'm going through."

And I never went back. I wasn't the kind of reader/commenter that she wanted. I would't comment on anything of Paul's again either.