Saturday, August 21, 2010

Don't Feed the Quilt Meanies

Last night I decided to take a little cruise around the internet, and came across some quilt forums I hadn't looked at before.   OMG!  The viciousness of some of those people was so unbelievable.  I was shocked, and for someone who calls herself "the Cranky Quilter" that's saying something.

I couldn't believe how nasty this one particular poster was.  I happened to know a little bit about what she was discussing and she had it all wrong and was going off on people who are actually very nice and just trying to do their jobs.  She also had the nerve to have her picture with her post, she looked as mean as I thought she would.

The part that really disturbed me was her groupies, people who went blindly along with whatever she had to say and were commiserating with her over her imagined slights.  These people seemed to follow this poster from forum to forum, it was very disturbing.

I was reminded of an office I once worked in where we had a very toxic employee.  She'd been there forever and had been stirring up trouble forever as well.  However, she was the owner's pet and she'd successfully ran people who threatened her out of their jobs, they either quit or got fired as a result of her shenanigans.  I watched as she'd use the people around her to do her dirty work.  These people were perfectly nice when she wasn't around but they were so terrified of how she'd treat them if they didn't cooperate, that they went along with her.  They helped her victimize other people so they wouldn't become her victims.

I left that job when I had my son and never went back.  I hated being helpless to do anything about this person, and yet I was stubborn enough to avoid being caught in her web.  She tried to bring me down on several occasions but I'd worked with people like her before and was always one step ahead of her.  It saved my job, but it was exhausting and soul murdering.  I didn't want to deal with it anymore.

I've dealt with Quilt Meanies before too, which is one of the reasons I don't belong to a guild or hang out as one of the "special" customers at the local quilt shop.  These people will do what they can to bring other quilters down, particularly if they feel threatened.  If you don't do what they think you should do, if you're an independent thinker, don't care about what they think, or horror of horrors, might actually be more talented than them, watch out!  The talons are about to come out!

I'm old enough now where these people don't affect me like they used to.  I'm confident enough in who I am as an artist that I really don't care what they think.  However, I don't feel like dealing with them either.  I've become a lot more outspoken in my dotage and don't resist my compulsion to bring them down a peg or two if given the opportunity.  So, I avoid being where that opportunity may present itself.  It's easier on my peace of mind.

However, I've encountered many quilters who have been abused by these folks and it just makes my blood boil.  Those of you who are in groups or guilds need to stand up to these Quilt Meanies and stand up for those they abuse.  I know they're frightening but if you all got together you could put them in their place.  It's never OK for someone to denigrate someone else.  Take a good look at yourself.  Are you a meanie groupie?  Do you find it easier to go along to get along, not realizing that you're contributing to creating a monster?  If so, back off and let the meanie stand on her own.  Most of them are the same bullies we knew in school, fight back and they crumble.

I was so tempted to post a scathing rebuke to the online meanie but decided that I didn't want to feed her.  It would only stir up the pot and start something that I really didn't want to get involved in.  Besides, she's online so I can easily avoid her.  Now, if she was in my face it might be another story.  I didn't call this blog "the Cranky Quilter" for nothing!

Now that I've got my rant out I'm going to go through the package of stuff I got from CT Publishing.  I'm part of their "Creative Troupe" and am supposed to be putting together a sample using some medium I've never used before.  It'll be interesting and challenging, and I'm feeling up to it. 

In the meantime, Don't Feed the Quilt Meanies! and.....

Happy Stitching!



Roberta said...

Nicely put! I have worked with people like that, too, and quilted (briefly) with some. Best to avoide them entirely.

Pam said...

Well said!

Sweet Pea Quilter said...

I love a rant that's for a good cause! Well done.

Michele said...

Quilt meanies ruin it for everyone. Don't get me wrong, most of the quilters I've met in blogland or forum land are very encouraging and helpful. Absolutely wonderful and inspiring people. I do know I was terrified of joining a guild after hearing all the horror stories. I don't need negativity in a hobby I adore. Forget quilt police, maybe there should be a quilt parliamentary that reminds people of good manners. I eventually found a quilt guild that welcomed and encouraged everyone. It's small, but we have fun. And I'm not skeered any more!

Susan, you would have been my choice to take the nasty quilter aside and set her straight! You know some people just enjoy being ugly. I don't get it, but I bet they'd have more fun being inspiring.

Nancy said...

WOW! Great post and so true! I have worked with folks like that, however, I never knew that anyone but me felt this way about some in the quilt world. My local quilt store feels so exclusive that I no longer will shop there. As a beginner with not a lot of time, money, or connections to the 'in crowd', I feel very awkward when I go in to browse and/or shop. In the handful+ of times I've been in there, I have only felt welcomed once. My money is hard to come by, so I'll spend it elsewhere! Thank you for this post and a chance to vocalize about something that has always been hurtful to me.

Littlebook said...

Thank you for this post! When I first started, I was amazed at how some people would react (negatively, condescendingly) to my basic questions. It seemed like they were willing to go out of their way to not let me into their club. Now I make sure that I only encourage others on-line and I really wonder how happy those quilt meanies are.

West Michigan Quilter said...

I guess I'm shocked. I've always thought of quilters as such a nice group of people. Everyone has always been so nice and welcoming to me. I have seen a couple rude comments on other's blogs. It always disappoints me when people act like this. Why can't everyone just be nice?