Archive for May 20th, 2008

Offline World Lesson #1 – People Are Assholes

May 20, 2008

For me, the last couple of days feel like the online and offline world are violently colliding in misunderstandings of how the two operate. For me, it’s the realization that FTW doesn’t mean “Fuck the World” but something far, far less hardkore. For the owner of Beso Mexican Grill and Cantina, it’s that being an asshole to someone who’s online can only make you look like a super-dick both offline and on.

Case in point – this article about how Beso’s owner threatens a gal after a horrible Yelp review that our very own Baby Momma of Content Miss Melanie called out on the Twitter. Basically, this gal has a horrible experience at some Mexican restaurant in St. Louis, wrote up a review more or less saying, “This place is horrible and likely to be featured on COPS” and now she’s being threatened and shit. The amazing part is this guy doesn’t know when to shut the hell up and he’s getting all sorts of bad press.

Even more interesting is that these people have a fucking website! I don’t know what the point of the site is – there’s no menu or restaurant hours – but there is one. Which makes me think these people really didn’t think much further ahead than “Hey man, we needs to get on that interweb!” Speaking of the site, if I were them, I’d lose the lipstick kiss over the Italian flag. I understand that their name means “kiss” in Spanish, but it reminds me of getting dirty glassware. Next, what the fuck does the Italian flag have to do with Mexican food? Put that goddamm eagle and cactus back on that damn thing! Jeez! You have an online reputation you’re trying to wreck here!

Anyways, the point here is that while in the offline world you can have some success bullying and intimidating people, it’s not so easy to do that in the online world. All that happens is that you look like a bigger asshole than you initially looked like. A better response would have been to offer the writer of the review some apologies and a free dinner. Unless she found pubes in her salad, she probably would have taken that guy up on that and maybe changed her review. And while I’m an advocate of being an asshole if you want to, you have to realize there’s risk involved and to pick your battles better. If the person went on the interweb and posted a bad review of your crappy eatery, if you put ten seconds of thought into it you realize she probably has friends online to share her story with. So, not only do you look like an asshole, you look like a stupid asshole for leaving threatening messages and all that. She’s the victim, you’re the stupid ass bully who doesn’t know there’s an internet thingy. At that point the “shut the fuck up” strategy might be a good play.

In summary, the world is full of assholes. Some of these assholes are stupid. Hope you’re dealing with stupid assholes, but not violent stupid assholes. And if it turns out you’re an asshole, whatever you do offline is going to be magnified 10x online. In turn, whatever you do online will also make you look like an asshole 10x in the offline world.  Being an asshole is a bitch like that.