Friday, August 11, 2006

But I'm a *nice* person????

It must be the absolute desolation that exists in some part of our hearts, as grieving parents, that causes outbursts in blog comments. Or is it the relative anonymity of the internet that allows us to type things that we would never, ever say. Or is it just the nature of blogs?

I have recently commented on a few posts that I felt were important for me in my journey of grief. I honestly make every attempt to maintain a non-hostile tone in any comment that I make. But I know that it is so easy to misread and misunderstand TONE in anything that is written. The reader just doesn't know me, so I guess it can be pretty easy to feel like I am attacking them or their principles, when really I promise that I would almost *never* do that.

I did once, and promptly went back and apologized. It isn't my place to write offensive attack comments on someone else's blog. So trust me, my comments are always meant with the utmost of respect for the initial blog writer and for other commenters.

There is something about anonymity that bothers me (very hypocritical, I know, since I have made every attempt to keep my true identity secret for this blog). Here is one of the reasons why:

When I first began my career, I was working sometimes 16 hour days. I was in a blur of trying to understand the scope of my job, trying to see where I fit with the organization, and trying not to fall flat on my face. In the midst of all of this, I know that I wasn't doing my job perfectly - I had only worked there 4 months. But lordy, I was trying.

I was starting to develop about an iota of self-confidence when, one morning, my manager comes into my office and says "don't worry about the email - I don't believe any of it". I hadn't had time to check my email yet that day (working too hard), so I looked. I had received an anonymous email from someone that I had done some work for in the company. It was cc:'d to my manager and basically said that I was incapable of doing my job and that I should either be fired or I should be assigned someone to oversee everything that I did.

Looking back now, I know that it was all crap. Honestly, though I made mistakes, I was doing my job with just the same amount of proficiency as anyone would have, given 4 months experience. And, I would say that I was doing better than many would have in my position. I am still angered that the person who sent the email didn't have the guts to talk to me or my manager personally. Cowardly.

I guess that comments on blogs don't quite fall into the same category. And I guess that we all leave the comment section on our blogs active for one reason - it allows us to gain valuable insight and advice from people that are in the (relatively) same position that we are. And I need to remember that simply having buried a baby does not make any of our collective life circumstances identical beyond that one fact.

But, honestly, I am a nice person. Honest.


kate said...

Ok, you realize that now i *have* to go back through every blog i can find just to see what it was that you *said*...and i am supposed to be working too!

Catherine said...

geez...this post is worthless unless you tell us what it was you said! :o)

Don't worry about it. That's why there is a magical delete button in the comments.

kate said...

Hey, i found it pretty darned quick! ;)

No, you said nothing wrong, that person (whoever they are) has a heck of a chip on her shoulder. Imagine that. Personally, if she posted that kind of crap on my blog, i would have raked her over the coals big time. So i am glad that others are apparently much more mature than i am...

Catherine said...

oy! And THAT is why I don't accept anonymous comments anymore. :o)

MB said...

I think you're nice. What the hell promted THAT post??

Julian's Mom said...

Can I assume you're talking about the anonymous comment on my blog? I cannot tell you how anxiety provoking and upset the whole thing has made me. My first instinct was to delete it, but somehow that goes against something I believe in.

Since I had to respond, I tried to remain as calm and tactful as possible, since my identity, unlike that of the author of the comment, is right out there for anyone to see. I wasn't dishonest in my response, but I probably would have come off a lot angrier and used foul language if it weren't for the fact that my mom, some of my co-workers, and probably a whole bunch of people I know but don't even know read it are watching.

I cannot believe the level of hostility that was shown, and I agree with you, it upset me more that it was anonymous. Everyone else who posts has been pretty up front about their identity, and has always been so supportive. While you and other regular readers may not fully disclose your identities, at least I have a sense of who you are and what's been going on in your lives. I consider you friends.

I have no idea who this person is, and it makes me feel vulnerable, as though I had received an anonymous and threatening letter in the mail--not cool. Anyway, thanks for always being there for me. I hope you are doing well and promise to be more in contact once I get a little more organized!

delphi said...

Yes, the particular impetus for this post was the comments on Alysse's blog by someone anonymous. However, this isn't the first (or sadly, the last) comment-war that has sparked reaction on the blogs that I read. It is something that upset me - can't we all just get along?? - but then, I realize that beyond supporting the original poster (the absolutely amazing Alysse), that I should never get "into it" with those angry people whose only form of grief-expression seems to be writing inflammatory comments on other people's blogs. Am I saying this right???

Thanks for the support - I sometimes lose confidence in my attempts at remaining non-hostile.

Cheek said...

I feel exceptionally crappy about it, since I came out of nowhere and poked the anonymous bear.

I've read Alysse's blog for months, but found this whole community by way of Catherine's blog. None of you know me (I don't think), but because of how eloquently and openly you all write, I feel like I know you. I've laughed and cried and rejoiced to all of your posts this summer.

When I read Anonymous's original comment to Alysse, I felt like I had to stand up for my friend. It just made me mad, and I let that anger bubble up in a way that I probably never would in a face-to-face encounter. I still feel justified in my opinion of her post, but I should have expressed myself in a better way out of respect for Alysse's space.

delphi, you handled yourself so much better that I did in that situation - what I've seen and read from you has been unequivocally nice.