Saturday, July 26, 2014

Whoa Mama! The Mystery of Going Viral...

Let me start with:  No, Mama Roberto’s did not pay me to defend them.  As a matter of fact, I stated quite clearly that the behavior of the cashier was inexcusable.  That was one person.  That is not the whole restaurant.  Do I think she should get a free pass?  Absolutely not.  Do I think that the amount of negative publicity vastly exceeds the crime?  Yes I do.
Was my blog an attack on Mrs. Basiger?  No it was not.  Was she partially to blame for the situation?  Yes she was.  She failed to read her own Groupon rules.  She ignored or was distracted from reading prominently displayed signs.  Is this a capital offense?  No.  Did she deserve a beat down from the cashier?  No.  Does she deserve an apology?  Yes she does.
Am I as “heartless as that cashier?”  No, I am not.  I don’t pick on sick people.  However, I think everyone should be treated the same, and everyone has to take responsibility for their actions, or inactions, whether they are sick or not.  The cashier was acting irrationally.  Anyone ever think that perhaps that might be the symptom of a medical condition as well?  Not all medical conditions have outward signs.  None of us know what lies behind that irrational behavior.  Everyone needs to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before they condemn.

I am sorry that Mrs. Basiger was subjected to that behavior.  I am sorry that she was upset and embarrassed.  I would have been, too.  Being upset and embarrassed by someone else in a public situation is something I’ve experienced many times in my life…people can be thoughtless and cruel, or they can have some other reason for their behavior…who knows.  But I have always been a believer in not sinking to the level of the perpetrator.  I say nothing and walk away.  I’m not saying I was not horribly upset by those situations, I was.  But even if I blog about it, I always attempt to present both sides.  No one-sided story is a complete one.
For those who feel the need to attack me personally, I say only this.  You don’t know me.  You don’t know who I am, or what I do.  You don’t know my thoughts or my motivations.  I can’t stop you from misinterpreting my writing as an attack on your friend.  Defending your friend is an admirable thing to do.  But think about what that cashier said to your friend, then think about what your comments on my blog were and ask yourself, do I really want to sound as vitriolic and irrational as that cashier?

In my writers group last week, we were discussing what makes a post, a book, a video go viral.  I hate to think that only negative things are shared and discussed.  So I’ll post this one more time.  This is how I really pick on sick people.  The Interview.  Somehow, I don’t think I’ll get the 5000 page views I had yesterday!