10 Feb 2011

Etsy Nastiness...

I was invited to join the Metaphysical Team a week or so ago and wrote back to politely decline. A few days later I was invited to join a group of sellers based in the South West of England, and as I'm proud of where I come from I thought I'd give it a go. Then I thought I might as well join the Metaphysical Team as well, as a few of them have been customers of mine and they seemed a reasonably sensible bunch, so I went through the process of applying through Etsy and was assured I'd be welcomed into their flock at the earliest possible opportunity. I was then informed that they don't really use the Etsy team forum to communicate, but have groups on Yahoo amongst others... for gossip presumeably, or state secrets, but apparently they say things to each other that can't be made public... So I tried to sign up to Yahoo groups and got a glitch that kept sending me round in circles ending up back at the sign in page. At that point I gave up, thinking to myself that it was more trouble than it was worth to join up with several social networking sites just to be able to waste time talking to a group I didn't really want to be a part of anyway. I told the team captain Ande (aka lefthandedgoth) about the sign-in problem, and as I thought they deserved an explanation, I described more fully my reasons for deciding not to go ahead with the application in my usual rambling style. However, instead of sympathising with the hassle I'd had with Yahoo and offering help and support (which he/she/it/they had already said was the aim and purpose of the group) they just sent back a message telling me what a nasty piece of work I must be (their words), how sorry they were for whatever had happened in my life to make me this way and how lucky they were that they hadn't "let me loose on the rest of the group". Then, I admit, I got ever so slightly pissed off and put Group Captain Ande firmly back in their box, basically telling them to save their sympathy & psychobabble for someone who gives a shit ... and probably losing for ever the chance to be a member of their little club that they had asked me to join! :-) The funniest thing was that while all this was going on between us, the other group leader was sending me a nice little welcome message and I was actually officially a member for about 2 hours! LOL Although, when I told this to Ande they must have immediately asserted their influence with the other group leader, because shortly afterwards I got a rather stiff message telling me that my removal from the group had been requested, not at all like the previous friendly one.

I didn't deserve to be treated like that, especially by any kind of spokesperson for a group who should be aware of their responsibilities to the others. Forthright in my opinions I may be, and I'm perfectly aware that I can sound abrasive and arrogant, which is why I try to tone down my messages, especially to foreigners, and always add lots of smilies, etc, so people know I'm only half serious. But I don't expect a frank discussion to be turned into a personal attack or a slanging match. I'm trying hard to put it down to a translation problem (Americans quite often don't understand dry English humour and anyone with a name like Ande quite possibly doesn't have English as their first language, although they should be able to speak it pretty well as they live in Oklahoma) but really I think it's the old problem of groups becoming personality cults full of adoring groupies sitting about telling each other how wonderful they are instead of doing anything useful, like making and selling their craft. I would imagine that almost anyone who starts a group then retains the right to accept or reject membership is on some kind of ego trip, and as I obviously didn't hold the belief that lefthandedgoth was the be-all and end-all of esoteric knowledge and kow-tow to him/her/it/them with the respect they obviously imagine they deserve, I was put down as "incompatible" with the rest of the group! Which is (thankfully) probably true. :-) I think I had a lucky escape. I'm half expecting them to put the boot in if they get the chance, and I expect there's been a biased view of the proceedings spread round the group on their secret Yahoo page, but I can't say I'm particularly worried or upset about it. Actually, it makes me snigger every time I think about it...

I have to say it's my first experience of nastiness on Etsy and I wasn't expecting it so it came as somewhat of a surprise. I'm trying not to think badly of the humble group members (who were denied any say in my membership one way or the other and probably didn't even know what was going on) but anyone who's willing to let a person like Ande take the lead must be lacking in something as far as I can tell. It's a shame, as the members of the Metaphysical Team that I had already met online seemed to be nice enough. But people are people the world over, and after dealing with so many online over the last 8 years I suppose I had to find someone like lefthandedgoth sooner or later. Generally speaking though, I've found Americans to be more polite than English people, more tolerant, slower to take offence and more cautious in case they upset anyone... but I suppose Ande must be the exception that proves the rule. I should have listened to the warning bells that went off when they informed me they'd copied some of the info in my list of magical properties, to make up a page for a Book of Shadows they sold to some unsuspecting person, instead of asking my permission to use it first...

Oh, and if anyone's interested, you're more than welcome to view the entire transcripts of the conversations that passed between us. I would have posted it all here, but it would have taken up too much room.

1 comment:

  1. ROFLMAO! You're well out of that mess, if you ask me!

    There is a peculiar combination of paganism and "new age thought" that happens in the U.S. It wants to believe that anyone wise or knowledgeable must also be infinitely kind and perfectly gentle, and gets distressed if anything is said in a straightforward (defined as "unkind" or "ungentle") way. I myself don't agree with it - I've known plenty of cranky old folks who know one hell of a lot, if you can tolerate them long enough to get them to tell you, lol. I generally prefer not to have to work my way through multiple "kind" vaguenesses and obfuscations in order to understand what people are trying to say to me - it always feels to me like manipulation when something is presented that way. :shudder: I suspect these folks would not like me much, either. XD

    BTW, my favorite wand came from you via eBay several years ago, and I am delighted to have come across you again. :) Merry meet!

    Morgan in the U.S.


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