Auntie Google: Well-intentioned old lady, or nasty old bat?


My “Auntie Google” is who I run to whenever I have a question or need advice. I’ve tried to ask my Uncle Bing or Aunt Yahoo, but I always seem to prefer to ask my quirky Auntie Google.

Auntie Google knows everything!

Auntie Google will always provide me with a myriad of information but, in her usual misguided and protective way, she is also a forum for the naysayers.

Last week, I called upon my favorite aunt for the phone number of a store I wanted to go to today. As I dialed the number, my eye wandered down to one of two reviews written about them. In order to protect the identity of the store, I have slightly modified the comment below (but the grammar and lack of punctuation belongs completely to the reviewer):

“I bought a [product]. After using for a few days, it started [negative bodily reaction to product] so I decided to return it. As I was explaining to the staff that I think this product is not good for my [body part] and that I would like to return it, the lady rolled her eyes and demonstrated lack of patience. Then she raised her voice (there are other customers at the line up) saying “[condition] don’t develop right away but few weeks after using the wrong product, but I can still take your return” as if I was lying to her or trying to take advantage. I am not a [doctor] but I can definitely tell discomfort on my [body part] after using this product. This lady trying to outsmart and being rude makes me feel disrespect. I will never go back to this store!”

Freedom of speech vs. nasty bitching

The reviewer has every right to be upset if the above situation occurred as they stated, but..

BUT…

  1. I have shopped at that store many times, and have always been treated with the utmost respect and professionalism.
  2. I have also returned a product, and the staff bent over backwards to ensure that my experience was a positive one despite my disappointment at the performance of the product.
  3. Had I been treated like reviewer claims to have been, I would have asked for the name of the manager or regional supervisor, and spoke to them directly about the employee in question.

The Internet: The bathroom wall of society

The reviewer, in my eyes, is a bully and a moron.

Was that a little judgmental? Damn-straight it was!

That reviewer’s comment made me get “this close” to firing back at him/her for their ignorance and poor judgment in dealing with a negative situation.

“You should do it Veronica. You have every right to express how you feel!”

Yes I do, but put down your cyber-boxing gloves and think about it for a minute. Even though I could rip the blithering idiot a new one, why would I want to put that negative energy out there? The raving simpleton probably won’t ever see the comment, and I doubt the store is going to contact Kitty von Scratchington (yes, that would be the screen name I’d use) to hail her a hero for standing up for their honor.

Let’s be real. I’d just be lowering myself to the same level of ignorance.

Hissing Toulouse

Cyber-balls castration

I can picture negative reviewers sitting in front of their computers, wearing a stained undershirt, surrounded by plates of old food and pizza boxes, and a kitty litter box in the corner that hasn’t been scooped in weeks. It’s time the cyber-superheroes man-up and fight their battles in an appropriate way, rather than hiding behind their fictional screen names.

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Take them out of their protective surroundings, and I guarantee they won’t be so feisty.

I am the victim of one such experience. I wrote a guest blog a few months back and received 61 positive comments, 782 “likes,” and 285 shares (yes, I just looked it up… I don’t actually memorize my stats). As I worked my way down the comments (I do my best to read and reply to all of them), there was one negative bite waiting for me. It didn’t sting me the way I thought it would, but before I replied, I went to the strongly opinionated woman’s social media page to see what “super-heroine” I was dealing with.

“No wonder you’re still single,” was my honest thought when I saw her photos and posts on her own social media page. It was filled with over-sexualized photos of herself, racial slurs, and negative comments linked to various articles or videos.

After seeing the character of non-fan, I let the comment roll off my back and simply said, “Unfortunately, we can’t please everyone, but I appreciate your feedback.”

Did it bother me? A little at first, as it tried to get a negative stronghold on me, but I just took a step back and reminded myself that cyber-balls are a global phenomenon that I will not be able to eliminate in my lifetime.

 

How can we help Auntie Google refrain from tossing more poison in the well?

I respect everyone’s right to free speech, but before you type those acid words, maybe you can think for a moment about what your true intentions are.

Could you resolve it privately and then give the same review above, but with a different spin on it? Something like:

Blah, blah, blah negative crap… But in the end, after speaking with the manager, they fired that employee because I was not the first to complain about her. I really appreciate their positive action, and will continue shopping there despite my negative experience.”

If your comment will not add value (whether it’s negative or positive), then don’t write it. Do us all a favor and just tuck your cyber-balls back into your pants and step away from the computer.

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