May 13, 2008

How Rude!

I've been contemplating this post for a few weeks now. The rudeness of *some* people just astonishes me sometimes. When I first started thinking about this post, I was hesitant to put it out there, because I don't want to give my customers the wrong idea. 99.9999% of my customers are incredible. It's the .0001% that send me over the edge.

I just don't understand how people can be so nasty. Do people just feel like the internet and email give them license to be a jerk? So, I throw this out here into the blogosphere hoping that my great blogging friends can help validate my feelings - or tell me I'm out of line (either way, I just needs some perspective).

Scenario #1:
I received an email reply to a promotional email. This person took the opportunity to express that they were completely dissatisfied with my company, that it takes too long to get product, there is no order confirmation and that if I'm not going to respond to emails, don't post my address on my website. WELL... this bothered me. A LOT. So I spent a considerable amount of time to write a response. I had never received an email from this person before, she selected the slowest delivery method offered by the USPS and her spam filter may have blocked the confirmation email. Her email was very harsh, and I could understand somewhat because she had been sending emails about her order (to the wrong address), but she never apologized for her hurtful comments. I'm a big girl, I can take criticism, when it is warranted, but I do take offense to someone making mean-spirited comments and not following up with an "I'm sorry" when they realize they had made a mistake.

Scenario #2 (has happened on a couple of occasions):
A customer ordered a product, received it and emailed to say there was a printing error and DEMANDED a replacement be sent immediately. Granted, I make mistakes - more often than I like, and on those occasions, I always get a replacement out quickly. But, in this situation, it was the customers who made the spelling errors, not me. So I email them back apologizing that it isn't right, but that it was printed as specified in the order and that if they wish to have it re-printed, they would need to place another order online. On every occasion... no response. Maybe I'm over-reacting, but I would at least expect a quick - I can't believe I made such a mistake. Is that too much to ask?

What finally prompted me to post about this is all the hub-bub going on over at creativity, musings and such. I just don't think people realize how powerful their words can be... in good ways and bad. It is okay to have differences of opinion, in fact it's good to have differences of opinion. It's okay to share those differences... but not in ways that are hurtful to someone else.

It just seems to me that in this electronic medium, *some people* tend to make hurtful comments that they would never make to someones face. The anonymity of the web allows us all to be a bit more open than maybe we would normally be with relative strangers, but that shouldn't give anyone the "courage (read: cowardice)" to lash out with venomous words.

The rules of common courtesy and mannerly behavior should be followed in every situation. I don't think there is ever a valid excuse for being rude or disrespectful. There is ALWAYS a better way to get your point across.



  1. ha! this totally speaks to me at this exact second in life. it's funny. because people are sitting behind a computer, somehow they feel like it's their right to be rude. on occasion i have had rude, mean & hurtful comments on my blog. always from "anonymous" people. although, i kinda expect it will happen occasion, i'm amazed at how MEAN they can be. i've even deleted some of them, because they were just plain hurtful. but also with my little shop... i don't expect everyone to love what i do. but i try to explain to my best possible ability about my product and the quality, etc. recently i had someone order something & sent me the meanest response upon receiving their jewelry. she could have nicely asked for a refund. instead she berated me saying her necklace looked like it came out of a gumball machine. i quickly emailed her telling her of course i would offer her a refund, or even rem-make the necklace. and just like you, i've never heard back.

    my mom always taught me you'll catch more bees with honey, i sure wish other mothers had taught the same.

  2. I agree with your post. And funny that the criticism is almost always posted anonymous, because they would never come out and say something like that outright. I won some calling cards from you and want you to know I love them and will be ordering more. Everyone who has taken one has commented that they are great. So thank you.

  3. totally agree with you. I work for a big customer driven company also and have talked to people in our catalog dept. who've encountered the same issues.

  4. Amen, sister. There is never a valid excuse for rudeness like that.


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