Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Facebook wining...

Recently, I started a wine lovers Facebook group for our local English speaking community.  I did so because I recognized that a lot of people love their wine.  We have a local beer group that was established a long time ago, so I thought it made sense to start a wine group.  I opened it up and quickly got over 250 members.

Most people joined and didn't post much, just lurked.  That's pretty normal.  A lot of people join groups and don't contribute.  One now former member joined and immediately sent me a private message thanking me for adding him.  Then he wrote something to the effect that he'd noticed that I'd also added a woman I'll call Liz (not her real name).  Liz runs tours in our community.  She recently moved back to the States, but still continues to offer tours in the area where she lived and in other places.  She's been advertising her wine related tours in my group.

I really don't know Liz well.  She's been nice to me in the times we have interacted.  I recognize that she's selling tours.  Many people have said they enjoy her product.  I haven't tried it yet myself and I don't know that I ever will.  I'm not one who enjoys tours that much.  But she's pretty popular in our local community and since many of her tours are wine related, I think they're relevant.  She also was nice enough to send me a private message asking me if I was okay with her links.  I was, and I appreciated that she was considerate enough to ask.

Anyway, the now former member-- I'll call him Abe-- sent me a private message letting me know that he'd not had good experiences with Liz.  He informed me that she'd left Germany and sort of implied that I should kick her out of the group.  Then he added that he collects wine and is somewhat of an expert.  I welcomed him to the group and said I hoped he'd have a lot to say.  That was that.

Yesterday, there wasn't a lot of posting going on.  I posted a link to blog posts I wrote about our night in Riquewihr, France, which is an area where lots of wine grapes are grown and finished wines are sold.  I thought it was very relevant.  Also, because a lot of people had expressed an interest in spas using beer and wine, I linked to a series I did last year.  It was called the Beer and Fucking Tour because it involved beer spas and visiting places in Austria with profane place names.  Liz was also posting, but not many other people were.

Next thing I know, Abe leaves the following comment and then drops out of the group.

So this FB page went to trash too I guess. I thought it had potential. Sorry guys.

I must admit, I was a bit taken aback and exasperated by this comment.  First off, Abe, the self-described wine expert, never so much as posted a hello to the group.  He simply lurked.  So I had no way of knowing that he was dissatisfied with the activity within the group or what would or would not offend him.  I only know that immediately upon being added to the group, he privately criticized a fellow member and then was pretty silent.  That's pretty dickish behavior, in my view.

Secondly, it's a wine group.  That means it's for adults.  Adults in our community run the gamut of maturity levels.  Some people are very serious.  Some are very laid back.  Most people are any combination of personality traits.  What irritates one person may not bother the next person at all.  I can't possibly know what's going to annoy any given person and wouldn't want to be responsible for trying to please everybody.  I'm not going to cater to one or two people's preferences.  That would be impossible to do and unfair to everyone else.  Moreover, your offense is your problem, not mine.  

Anyway, I wasn't going to make a big thing of this, but then I got a private message from Abe.  He said he'd had to leave my group because it was too much like the other local FB groups.  However, I observed that he'd never posted anything to make the group less like other groups.  He was a lurker.  So there he was, complaining that my wine group was like other FB groups, but he'd done nothing to be the change he wanted to see.  And he didn't tell me until after he'd left the group in a huff, so there was nothing I could do.

I sat there and pondered the private message he sent me.  He said the group was too much like other groups, then wished me luck.  What was the purpose of that?  I wondered if he was expecting me to apologize and invite him to come back.  I suppose some people would have done that, but my days of ass kissing are long over.  What I ended up doing was thanking him. I simply typed "Thanks." and left it at that.  Thanks for wishing me luck, and thanks for leaving the group.  You gotta do what you gotta do.  Go in peace.  Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you...


  1. He sounds like a bit of a tool. Leave the group quietly or try in an appropriate manner to improve it. What he did was obnoxious.

    1. I agree. But he did prompt me to write a post addressing the issue, which turned into an entertaining thread about Fucking.


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