Thursday, January 16, 2014

I'm a Top Ten Firepole Marketing Contest Entry!

I placed in the top ten this time in the Firepole Marketing Ultimate Guides contest! Any likes, comments, RT's, shares, etc. on the article are much appreciated. You guys are what makes it possible for me to succeed and what makes me keep on going when I get tired of dealing with people.

How to Play Well with Others (Even if You Don’t Feel Like It): The Ultimate Guide to Why, When, and How to Deal With People

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When Facebook Attacks, Do You Bite Back?

I love Facebook. I love it more than Twitter, more than LinkedIn, and more than corn. That said, there are good things and bad things about being a Facebooker. Facebookist? Facebabbler?

I try not to let a few bad apples spoil the bag of juicy goodness, but wow... sometimes, you just bite into a worm!

Here are a few highlights of the lowlights in my Facebook year:

If you've never eaten at Denny's Diner, you are missing out. It's good food, family atmosphere, and affordable. As an added bonus, you might get lucky enough to get the waitress with the blue glitter eye shadow who calls you "Sugar." It's open all night, so no matter what time your cravings hit, they're there for you, baby. They're there for you night and day, with pancakes.

I was thrilled to become a Brand Ambassador for Denny's in September '13 and excitedly cruised their Facebook feed to grab a link to help promote their BYO (Build Your Own) Omelette promotion. I thought it was awesome that they were doing something to fight hunger. What I found on their thread shocked me. Look at the comments!

I was truly appalled that people were not only against this promotion, but that the would come to Denny's page to slam them in the very thread promoting their charitable act. How dare these people slam my Denny's!

I felt sorry for Denny's and hated that they were attacked in this way. I bit my tongue and didn't say what was on my mind on the Facebook page, went to our local Denny's, and sampled the omelette. I was perfectly satisfied and happy. It was a good experience, just as I anticipated.

I just hope I didn't kill any innocent children by participating in the campaign. WTF, indeed! Since when do eggs kill children? I must have missed something on the evening news.

Denny's, don't worry. I've got your back, baby. I'll be back for some Moons Over My Hammy real soon, Sugar!

Not once, but twice in 2013, I became involved in doggie drama. Who knew raising dogs could be so much like raising kids? I thought I'd have to fight about my kids on Facebook, but no, it turns out that dogs are a hot-button issue.

On Mother's Day, my Great Pyrenees, Buddy, was shot in the head. It was literally a drive-by shooting. It was traumatizing because unbeknownst to the perpetrators, I was standing right outside and saw their truck. After ensuring my dog was indeed going to live, I did two things. 1) I called the police and filed a report. 2) I got on Facebook and put out an APB on the truck. My post was shared almost 300 times and a local dog related business with a Facebook page championed my cause.

Within 12 hours, thanks to a private message via Facebook, I had the name of the driver and in just 8 more, the teenage boys responsible came to my door to confess. They had their parents with them. I knew one of the boys. They were minors and had made a stupid mistake based on a dog fight I hadn't even known had taken place with my Buddy and a neighborhood dog.

Long story short, we worked it out ourselves and my husband and I decided not to press charges. The boys were severely punished by their parents and worked for my husband for free all summer, as much as he needed them.

We were at peace with the outcome and told the police we had taken care of the situation to our satisfaction. However, Facebook dog fanatics were furious! I finally asked the dog Facebook page I mentioned earlier to take down my post because people were getting so heated and hateful toward those boys and our decision not to press charges.

They were cursing, name-calling, threatening, saying these boys would kill a person if they'd do that to a dog, etc. It got to the point where I almost feared for the boys' lives. I didn't dare tell anyone their names for fear of what might happen to them. I had tried to explain to everyone that we had taken care of the situation satisfactorily and were happy with the result, but people were angry about our mercy. They wanted these boys to go to prison.

What happened to the days of handling things yourself? Why do we have this "make them pay" mentality? We did not want to ruin these boys' lives. We wanted to help them learn from their mistake. Where have we gone wrong in society? It felt very much like a lynch mob and I didn't like it, not one little bit. People honestly could not understand how we could be so forgiving and kind. They did not want us to love our fellow man. They wanted vengeance! They wanted blood. They could taste it. It left a sickening taste in my mouth.

I raise Great Pyrenees dogs and love to post pictures of them on Facebook and see pictures of others' Pyrs. I joined a couple of Facebook groups for Great Pyrenees lovers. I posted a picture of my beloved Maxi talking about how sad I would be to sell her (I'd never kept one of my pups that long before) and put up a post with pics of Buddy and Penny, the parents, talking about how much I love them also. I adore my Pyrs. They adore their Pyrs. What a perfect match, right?

My "baby" Buddy

Sweet baby Maxi

All it took was that one post about Maxi and the attack began. In the span of one post, I was labeled a backyard breeder and was being harassed by a couple of group members in the thread. They pelted me with accusatory questions. One in particular was very nasty and not shy about letting the world know. They misconstrued all sorts of things from the pictures I posted and twisted any response I provided to explain myself into an unrecognizable shape.

I am a reputable breeder. I do everything right and my dogs are not puppy mill dogs by any stretch of the imagination. If you know me, you know that. My dogs are registered purebreds and are meticulously cared for and raised in the best and most loving environment a dog could hope to find. They are like children to me. I was thinking about becoming a certified breeder with CKC and further improving my operation.

In just one post, the people in that group attacked me to the point that I no longer felt I had the drive to continue raising dogs. They took the wind out of my sails. They humiliated me, and for no good reason. They made me look like an awful person. They didn't even know one thing about me or my operation. Nothing. Yet, the phrase, "People like you," being directed at me was enough to show me I was not welcome in their elite group.

I contemplated about a hundred responses. I was angry. I was hurt. I wanted to fight them off with growling and teeth bared. Again, I was shocked at the senseless Facebook attack. I was being attacked this time. The knife had been inserted and it was painful. This wound would require surgery.

In the end, I decided it was best to just delete the "controversial" post, leave the group without responding to the comments, and continue living my life just as I had been before joining the group. I did just that, without a word, and never looked back.

I'm sure they think I tucked tail and ran like a scared pooch, but they are wrong. I simply chose not to bring more negativity and stress into my days. It wasn't worth it. It isn't worth it.

I chose not to bite back. Would you?