Tuesday, July 21, 2009

To Act On The Internet: Commentor Edition

How does one comment on a blog? Phrases like “safe space” “courtesy” “privilege” and so on are often thrown around, and most people just give up after a while, and conclude there’s some sort of line that you know you’ve crossed when you see it. I would like to outline how to comment (and respond to comments) appropriately on a blog. Including mine. If you do not follow these rules--NO MATTER WHAT--you are an obnoxious excuse for a human being, and a troll. Go back to your bridge.

Let me begin by saying I belong to a livejournal community called customers_suck. This community is based around how customers are EB-- Entitled Bitches/Bastards who think they are somehow *special* and deserving, and that employees are automatons meant to service them in whatever way they want, regardless of physics or their actual job.

I also belong to bad_service, another live journal community dedicated to people who are customers who have been treated like so much annoying offal, often lied to, stolen from, and abused, much like the people in customers_suck, only on the other side of the coin.

Here is the key to how not be a jerk on the internet: act like this is a store. Act how you would in a store. Do you swear and scream at cashiers? Do you tell customers that only idiots don’t know what the number seven meal is? Are you confused by menu boards, or, alternatively, are you ready to strangle the next idiot who asks you what come with a Value Meal? (protip: FRIES AND A FUCKING DRINK.)

I will now use an analogy. Please follow along.

Imagine you are a customer at a delicious burger restaurant. Unsure of what you will receive, you tiptoe to the counter, place your order, and are given a delicious burger. You take it to your table, and consume it.

It is disgusting. You hate it.

You do not run up to the counter screaming at the cashier. You do not call your friends to walk into the store and scream at the cashier. You do not even call the cashier names based on the cashier’s personal appearance, race, religion, sex, gender, partners, or country of origin or immigration. You calmly say, “I do not like this burger. X, Y, and Z, are the reasons why.”

And the cashier might be apologetic and get you a new one, she might try again. But if you do not like this one also, perhaps it is time to frequent another burger joint. Perhaps you need to stay the hell out of this restaurant, and shut the hell up about how much you hate the burgers and how THEY MESS IT UP EVERY TIME OMGWTF!!! This attitude gets you nothing. It makes you an ass. STOP COMING HERE.

The cashier might tell you, “That is how we make them here, with Special Spices!” Now, you might want to ask what are the nature of these Spices, and how did they come about getting these spices, and what evidence they have these spices are good.

If the cashier takes an attitude with you, snapping her gum and rolling her eyes, clearly not caring, and you just want to take that gum out of her mouth and STICK IN HER EYE-- maybe you should leave. Warn others the burgers suck, and so does the service. And don’t go back. Don’t taunt the cashier, don’t make assumptions about why her attitude is bad, and for gods sake, don’t try to lecture her about her attitude right there standing at the counter. It won’t work. It never works. In the history of man, has bitching out an obnoxious cashier ever made a better person? No. It reduces you to the level of a two year old. STOP IT.

The cashier might listen to you, asking questions in a pleasant eager or annoyingly over-eager way. Direct her towards other delicious burger places that have better spices. Perhaps she will tell Corporate and the burgers will get better. Perhaps she won’t. Come back once or twice to see if it better. Even ask, and if it doesn’t improve, write it off as a dead loss and go to the place down the street.

This is the customer side of How To Act On The Internet: Commentor Edition. It has clear rules, no fine lines, a simple, clear way to behave when you don’t like what you read at a blog.

How To Act On The Internet: Poster Edition, to come soon.