Jul 10, 2008

The Second Installment in the "I'm an Idiot" Series

I had a bad day again...I love that song.... What I don't love is being an idiot and being wrong. Pride is some nasty, awful medicine to swallow. I have come up to the computer to post several times in the past few days, I've even opened up the new post page and just stared at it, wondering what to say. I get mad writer's block when I am depressed. Has anyone ever made a huge fool of themselves publicly and in a way that you couldn't take back? I'll start from the top.

I started Hot Garlic as a way to keep track of my own recipes and so I wouldn't have to email my recipes out to a few of my friends and family that had requested I do so. It has been so fun and is really growing, which has been really exciting. I decided I wanted to get involved in more things food, and I heard that recipe forums were a great place to start. It wasn't like I wanted to just plaster myself and my blog all over the place like some ink cartridge toner refill place. But I had never participated in a forum, and only realize now how confused I was as to what it was. I thought it was more like a digital advertisement or message board kind of a thing where you just post whatever you want that you think people might be interested in, and ask questions too of course.

So I went to the forum on a site recipezaar.com, and introduced myself and my blog. I had been involved on a few other sites before, and the reception had been warm and welcoming. I usually get great feedback back, with the occasional constructive criticism, all of which have really helped me to shape my blog into more of what I want it to be. Either way it has been fun to put myself out there and connect with people on a positive level.

So I introduced myself and Hot Garlic on the newcommers forum and met some great people who were welcoming as I had expected. I was encouraged, and the next day I thought I would post in some other categories. I found a recipe request forum. I saw that someone had done a shameless plug for their new recipe she was asking for other shameless plugs, so I listed my blog. I was then inspired to do a new thread of my own, and went and made a post about my blog, thinking this was the kind of thing that was perfectly expected and welcomed. I thought I was on a site full of hungry foodies looking for more, looking for what else is out there, looking for new ideas. It was really exciting.

Or, at least until I got my first email that said one of my posts on the forum had received a response. I quickly and excitedly clicked to open and see what had been said. I couldn't wait! I wasn't prepared to see the forum host calling me out, chiding me publicly for my shameless self-promotion. There it was, undeletable, in full view of everybody, and staring me in the face. It was like a kick in the teeth and a punch in the gut all at once.

Now that I realize what forums are and how they are used, I see things so clearly from her perspective. They must get this kind of thing all of the time, I think it can be a common misconception for many people. But isn't there a better way to handle these people than to humiliate them? I wrote back and it was smoothed over a bit, but I still was so sad that what I thought was this great idea turned out to be major drama. The next day there was another host calling me out as well, she even wrote "no thanks" to my blog at the end of her reply with a cute little winking emoticon next to it. It was so snide {she may have not meant it that way} and it was again like a personal attack.

It has been hard these past 2 days to realize how much I was in the wrong, despite my not knowing any better. I was completely ignorant to the protocol and broke the rules, but I didn't mean to or even know I was! Like I said, not only did I not think I was doing anything wrong, I thought my little advertisements would be welcome and people would be glad to find another outlet for their passion for food. To be so wrong, and be called on it, it's been completely humiliating. Especially where these are complete strangers and this is their first impression of me. They aren't like my friends or people who know me who can give me the benefit of the doubt.

I have been moping around the house for two days. But today it's done. I've allowed myself to grieve, and now I am purging myself of this. I once again can't believe how supportive Ben has been. He listened and validated me in a way no one else can. Instead of ranting about what idiots they are for getting on my case and being "rude" to me, which is not what I wanted to hear, he reitterated how easy a trap that was to fall into. He could plainly see where I was coming from, and that was all I needed. It is so great to have such a level-headed sounding board who doesn't get all riled up in drama. He is a great diffuser.

Anyway, it's been painful to say the least. Please tell me some one else out there has had to swallow their pride and claim defeat at some point in their life. Isn't harsh criticism combined with having to realize you were wrong almost the worst feeling in the world. We all just want to be loved and accepted for who we are. We want people to think the things we do and say are great. To hear that someone thinks otherwise is really, really hurtful. Any thoughts or stories? I'd love to wallow with someone else besides myself.

29 comments:

Andrea said...

Forums are funny places. Who is supposed to know all the unstated rules. Sometimes I have felt like I'm at recess in some cyber-junior high. Oh Brother! I think that rather than calling someone out, even if they are in the wrong, there should be a private message sent rather than a public slandering. I have participated in some running forums and some are great and some aren't. I hate feeling called out though and feel like there should be a better way. So are you going to continue participating or are you done?

James and Heather English said...

Sorry Nat. That is the worst feeling ever! Here's a story to help cheer you up: I think the most embarrassed/humiliated I have ever been is at Utah State. We had to do a group project and our group decided to make a home video. At the time we thought it was clever, funny, and told the subject we were assigned.Mind you, it was at about midnight the night before the project was due (that is how I work-procrastinator that I am). We get to class and start the video and my teacher is watching it with disgust and I am getting more and more panicky by the minute watching us making fools of ourselves. We finally decide to turn off the video early and try to smooth over what was already in ruins. I thought the entire group was getting up with me but oh no, it was just me up there doing the job solo. After muttering a few sentences of some nonsense my teacher finally stopped me mid sentence and told me to sit down. We got a D on the project and I have never been so humiliated. Just writing this out is giving me anxiety! It may not sound that horrible but believe me, my roommate and I still talk about it. People in my class even came up to me afterward and said they felt sorry for me up there. Oh thanks! Your making me feel much better! Hope it made you feel better though!!

Rachel H. said...

Hi--I feel kind of silly writing this--but I just HAD to comment on this post. (p.s. Caysie and Jesse Riley are friends of ours/neighbors and in our ward...she told me about all your funny stories and I had to check out your blog...so I am an official blog stalker of yours for a long time now...not a crazy one though. Promise!)

I TOTALLY understand where you are coming from on this post. It's so hard when things are taken the wrong way. When it wasn't intentional but it gets taken that way. Someone wrote me an email yesterday and I totally misread it and felt like they were getting down on me for how I felt about something. So, I wrote an email back (keep in mind that I have never met this person face to face or talked to them in person) and was friendly--at the end I asked if my previous email had upset them or made them grumpy--because she has seemed on edge when she wrote back.

WOW...explosion! She wrote back about how I judged her and that I had no right since we have never talked, etc. I felt completely stupid. I never meant to come across that way at ALL. But looking back, I can see where I was wrong. Especially because she never wrote her email in a mean way. I just took it as that.

I know it doesn't completely relate to your story, but I feel like you did...moping too...

Stinks,huh?

Well, now that this is probably the longest comment EVER, I hope you know you are SO funny. I look so forward to every post--my husband even gathers round the computer to read them (and that's saying a LOT!) So, thanks a bunch for brightening my day! You are great!

Karen From Colorado said...

I am so sorry I made you feel bad! Please accept my most humble apologies. I guess my stupid little wink was not as friendly as I intended it to be. I am so sorry that I hurt your feelings. You are not an idiot in any way. When I typed my comment to you, I didn't hear it in my head in a snarky way, but you apparently did and I didn't mean for it to sound that way. It is hard to "hear" intent when you are online. Please forgive me. I honestly didn't mean cause you unhappiness in any way.

P.S. I edited my thoughtless comment in the forum you spoke about and replied to you once again there.

Stacey Lau said...

By the way, love the new template, looks great. I'm sorry that happened, but I really wouldn't beat yourself up about it..in the grand scope of things it really isn't a major offense and you didn't do anything intentionally wrong. I wouldn't have known any of those "rules" either. Also, do you remember my cousin Heather from Taiwan? She loves your recipes on the blog, she told me at the reunion in Idaho.

Hannah AKA Buster! said...

Oh man I am so sorry! Thad had to be so dissappointing! But who cares what they said! we all know you are an amazing cook! Besides they are probably just jelous because they cant cook themselves! Anyways sorry you have been having a rough time! Hope things get better for you! Love and miss all of you!

Nicole said...

These forums are hard to figure out. I had the same experience, but not in an embarrassing way. Someone posted saying that they wished more people blogged about deals at a store. I just so happened to have blogged about that store. So I wrote a reply saying "I blogged that, check it out, blah, blah, blah."

They didn't reply in a snide and snotty way, instead they just didn't post my comment. I think that is just a better way of handling thing. I got the point, and no body had to feel embarassed. How are you supposed to know what is allowed and what isn't? The rules page is a thousand pages long, I don't have time to read that all.

I did see that you have gotten some hits from recipezaar, so, hopefully you will have some positive experiences with them as well. Don't worry about it. You didn't do anything wrong on purpose. They were just being snotty and rude.

I have seen many forums that are full of snotty comments when someone says something wrong, and I just avoid those places. I get my information from places that are uplifting and helpful to each other. If someone posts incorrect information, it is really easy to just say, "uh, not allowed here," or "I don't believe that you are right." There is no need to smash someone's ego into the ground!

Gaengy said...

Hey Nat so sorry about your ordeal. Sounds like you are doing well to let go. Sorry you had a rough couple of days. Its tough getting this stuff out the ground, but I am really proud of you and Nicole and all the effort you are putting into this. Its a ton of work and you do have a lot of fans that appreciate you for all you are doing. Love you! MOM

Dani V said...

Nat - Here's one for you. Only.. It's actually Kurt's but I enjoy telling it.

http://vestlife.blogspot.com/2008/03/heres-this.html

Allison & Noah Riley said...

Oh my goodness - if I had a dollar for every "learning experience" I've had since moving into this position. I was seriously on the brink of tears over something yesterday and I had to email Noah to vent... quickly! If it didn't come out my fingers, it would have come pouring out my eyes. I realized a little while later how NOT big of a deal it was, but sometimes it's hard to swallow in the moment. Hope you're feeling better about it all. I think it's great how much time you put into sharing your talents - I know we've eaten a better meal here and there thanks to you!

Amanda said...

Hi, I have come to your great blog via Recipezaar and I am so sorry that you feel so embarrassed. I know that they are wary of commercial promotions on the site and maybe a private email to you may have been a little more appropriate, but I am sure that no-one meant to humiliate you.
As you have seen, there is a very active and friendly Oz and NZ site and I hope that you will feel comfortable enough to join in. We can always use some fresh input!!
By the way - love your blog!
Cheers, Amanda in Adelaide

hot garlic said...

Thanks for all of the support, I feel much better!

I hope everyone notices Karen from Colorado's post. I can't believe what an amazing woman. She read my post and realized how personally I'd taken it and she apologized and rewrote her comment to me on the site.

I am so impressed with her. I am weak, and a post like this would have made me feel defensive. But she was the bigger person. Thanks!

AnneMarie said...

The Colorado lady is really nice to straighten it out. Sometimes the written word does not convey the tone we intend and with all the cyber communication going on there are many toes stepped on. Who could keep track of all the various rules for each forum anyway?!

Karen from colorado said...

Honestly, I am not amazing. What I am, is human, and I make mistake too, just like everyone else. Unfortunately, my mistake this time caused you to be hurt and embarrassed. Those kind of mistakes are the worst of all. Thank you for accepting my apology and for extending your hand in friendship and understanding.

Kate Gildea said...

Karen, thanks for being so nice to my sister. That really means a lot. That takes A LOT to do somehting like that. Kudos to you!

And don't worry Sissy...I don't think you are an idiot.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry too much about what one person says in a forum. Sometimes those forum hosts let the power go to their heads. There's been more than one occasion where someone has posted a link to a recipe on another site. A few links to other food sites is not going to hurt Recipe Zaar. Now if you're trying to sell stuff that's a different story. You should feel free to voice your thoughts without having someone come down on you. Of course as in many forums messages of hate and vulgarity are not welcomed.

Anonymous said...

Ignore Molly53, we all do. :) She is a self-appointed Warden and has been warned a few times herself. Hosts at the site are not paid and volunteer their time. Unfortunately, they are not very well restrained.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Karen is good people.

BBB said...

Natalie, I think you are a great addition to Recipezaar. You have amazing recipes, lovely photos, and a GREAT attitude! I'm sorry your initial welcome wasn't very nice, but there are some truly wonderful people there (including Karen!) Please don't think Molly speaks for all of us.

Hannah said...

Hi Hotgarlic! Please don't stop visiting RZ. There have been times when Molly53 has been rude to me too and I've reported her. She takes her "job" way too seriously and I'm sorry you've been so hurt by her comments. I wonder how many other people have felt the same over the years...

Please come back. You're lovely and your contributions are very valuable. We would also love to see you in Community Cafe, which is a forum that's kinda hidden but it's good fun. They don't like to advertise it because it's unrelated to food and can sometimes get a little heated! Your funny stories would fit in perfectly ;-)

p.s - Love your food blog!

Melodie Starr* said...

you are hilarious... i love the blog revamp... however... did we get booted from the ags list!??! what?!?!?! is it because i technically graduated from weber??

Mike & Nicole said...

So, I still don't get what a forum is! I obviously would have done the same thing...

Ashleigh said...

so i'm feeling your pain. you'll remember my mistaken post last december that was interupted the worng way leading to a nasty comment that hurt me to the core and almost ruined my christmas until ryan got me all fired up about what an idiot the commentor was. i can handle critism, but not when it's such a personal, heartless attack. good luck and feel better.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to let you know not to feel too badly. As some have already said, the forum hosts at R.Zaar seem to take the "Czar" part personally and see to squelching anyone who may use or promote a site other than RZ.

You didn't do anything wrong, and you are not an idiot.

The Wells Family said...

I really think in my next life, I am going to ask to become a part of the Gildea family. Seriously? Your clan is one of a kind and more hilarious than I can even say. I cherish your stories and I think you really are one of the most amazing people I have ever met!

PS...I still sing in my head "It too late...to go to the park" by Timbaland/One-Republic and think of Laine. Another "Gildea' in the making...

Dani V said...

Challenge accepted! I'll try to get a pic of the "kid" :)

Also, the blog tally is really embarassing but I've been working on a new layout and needed some blank blogs to practice on.

Keep the stories coming Natalie! I love your blog!

Jeanine said...

Those things happen to me all the time! I was recently in back of the line to get on a plane, with my crying 2 year old. Someone in line told me that they are doing family boarding, go to the front of the line. So I took Ellery, the stroller, carry on and car seat to the front of the line. I extended my hand and try to give my boarding pass to the flight attendant. Which in reply she barked at me, "You will have to wait over there, we aren't doing family boarding until after section A." So I just went and sat down. Section A got on board. So I went up and once again tried to board. She then gave me a look, and said," Sorry, give me one more minute." I looked at my ticket, and it was B. So I was not happy at this point, and embarrassed. But now, lost my place in line. What good is "family boarding" then? Finally she gave me the hand wave to come over. I was so bugged, my face was bright red, and I was sweating at this point! I just felt like a total moron, because 200 people just watched me, and I just didn't understand the whole boarding process obviously! Thanks...I feel better now I have vented!

Dina said...

Shame on them for making you feel that way.

I understand rules, but they could have done it in a nice way.

I really don't see the harm in advertising a blog.

For Pete's sake. It's not like you're trying to sell something!!!

hot garlic said...

Thanks so much everyone for all of your support! That was so great of you all to make me feel better and tell me I am OKAY! I really appreciate it.

 
Blog Design By: Sherbet Blossom Designs