This writing is probably a result of my age and the fact there are more working and living years behind me than in front. This tends to make a man cranky sometimes.
As the 26-year owner of Good’s Candy Shop in Anderson, I have received comments ranging from self-appointed critics to straightforward unpleasant complaints -- and everything in between. Luckily, these happen very rarely. Nearly all of the comments we receive are kind, positive and helpful.
I am comfortable in saying all businesses have some form of policy in place for complaints. I’m also comfortable in saying the avenue for which to complain is easily found.
Many posting on social media today complain without seeking resolution first. This is public shaming, business assassination and bullying. A target of bullying feels helpless. I am helpless as the complainer isn’t seeking satisfaction; instead, they want to damage the business and the people who work in it.
This type of attack is different for me than most businesses because Good’s Candy Shop is mine. Nearly every thought I have and a large number of hours I’ve lived have been spent on my business. Personally, I can deal with criticism; however, when it comes to my product and people, I take great offense from those who wish to do them harm.
We read and hear about suicide being at epidemic proportions, as well as school and business shootings. Everyone is pointing fingers.
Meanwhile, adults practice negativity on social media in a manner with no end. They are teaching the next generation how to publicly humiliate, shame and cyber bully. How can we expect our most vulnerable to be good stewards of our communities when adults practice this type of behavior?
Finding the negative is incredibly easy for people and, from my perspective, low brow. There is no honor, nor is it witty or a sign of intelligence in publicly pointing out the error of a business. There is nothing to be gained other than keeping in practice with the poor behavior.
This activity isn’t performed without consequence. Just because it can be done from the comfort of your phone or computer, doesn’t make it harmless.
We have the gun and mental illness debate, while some habitually post dumb, perceived grievances for all to see.
I’ve been the target of these attacks maybe 10 times, if that; however, it sticks like a knife in my back. It’s my back because it’s never to my face.
These clueless adults are unknowingly perpetuating a social ill and spreading the virus of hate via social media. It has to stem from self-hate or some other disorder, because I am unable to see the payoff.
Payoff is what we look for in everything we do. Payoff can be many things: money, time, self-fulfillment or simply a good feeling. Do people really receive satisfaction from these posts?
I’ve even heard the saboteur’s claim that “I’m just trying to help.” That is the mating call of an oppressor.
There was a time when people performed quiet complaining or dissatisfaction by telling a couple of friends and simply stopped patronizing the business. That is no longer enough.
It would be more productive and better for businesses if a person would seek satisfaction before attacking publicly. It would actually be helpful if the person would post the complaint along with the outcome before the bullying.
Every business wants to satisfy their customers. At the minimum, give them a chance before typing the unfiltered stupidity.
Be a good citizen of your community. Be helpful instead of harmful. Be part of the solution, not the problem.
And most of all, be good to the other guy.