Rant Thread

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Re: Rant Thread

Postby Maraschino Larry » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:31 pm

What the hell is wrong with people??????

We sent out a "Happy Holidays" email thanking our customers for their support and wishing them well in the new year. Multiple people have replied either passive or normal aggressively wishing us a MERRY CHRISTMAS.

We are not a bloody church we're an ISP. Regardless our personal beliefs why wouldn't we extend well wishes that would be applicable to ALL of our customers? And is Christmas not a holiday? Are Christians the only ones allowed to exist? Holy Hannah this kind of thing gets me fuming.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby professor science » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:04 pm

It's funny how some people advocate for tolerance and then vilify those who do not share their beliefs.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby Maraschino Larry » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:14 pm

Yeah the irony is unbearable. If it were any other setting I wouldn't be able to refrain pointing that out to them.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby tripwalking » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:10 pm

Do you send a happy holidays card for other stat holidays? What is it about a holiday in the winter that causes mass distribution of well wishing emails? I don't know what's wrong with calling the holiday what the holiday's called.
For the record, I also don't email people back and say "IT'S CHRISTMAS, ASSHOLE". That's not nice, doesn't matter what you believe in.

The ironic thing to me is how intolerant people can be of other peoples intolerance. You can't get out of the circle.

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A friend posted about the duck dynasty thing going on on facebook... I had no idea (no tv, rarely read the news). I can't get over the amount of people commenting that they hate him because he's a bigoted, whatever else bad name they can call someone that they know from watching a reality tv show! Flip it around - I'm reading your post saying you hate someone that you don't even know, basing your opinion of him from a media interview that you weren't even there to hear. Sounds reasonable.

Anyways, hope all you guys have a great Christmas holiday. There. I covered all the ground.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby Maraschino Larry » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:54 pm

tripwalking wrote: I don't know what's wrong with calling the holiday what the holiday's called.


There are multiple holidays people celebrate around this time of year: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or simply the coming of a new year...

The way I see it is putting the various holidays which we may all celebrate in the same bucket and acknowledging them at once. Why do people feel threatened by this?
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby tripwalking » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:39 pm

I've never received a happy Kwanzaa card but if I did I guess I'd say thanks, merry Christmas.



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Re: Rant Thread

Postby professor science » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:22 pm

There are lots of "Happy XYZ" emails I get from companies around days like Canada Day, Thanksgiving, etc. some of them are promotional, some aren't.

I think the point Rick is making is that management finds that it is an appropriate time of year to say thanks for your patronage. Since different customers will celebrate different holidays that fall during this time of year, or in some cases possibly multiple holidays within one family, why not acknowledge this with a blanket statement (Ideally it would be more personalized, but I also don't know what privacy risks/responsibilities lie in collecting religious preferences of customers).
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby tripwalking » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:40 am

I understand all that, and I think I agree with you. There must be a common space between "everyone should say merry Christmas because that's what I say" and "nobody should say merry Christmas because that's not what I believe". Know what I mean? And getting down to it, which group feels more threatened?


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Re: Rant Thread

Postby Maraschino Larry » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:47 am

I personally take issue because as far as I can tell, these people are going out of their way to imply that we are doing something WRONG by NOT EXCLUDING people with beliefs other than their own. To me, "Happy Holidays" is an analog for "Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever else you might celebrate this time of year". It in no way threatens or ignores Christmas, but instead includes it alongside other perfectly valid possibilities that may be applicable to the intended recipient.

If my inference is a misinterpretation of these people's goal or feelings I truly would be interested in a more accurate explanation.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby professor science » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:01 am

Yeah, DW, I get what you're saying, but there's also the possible interpretation of:

"This is what I believe and I am going to say it to everyone because I don't care about what you believe and what is important to you. I believe this so this is all that matters."

I think that's the tilt that you want to avoid at all costs.

Everyone who doesn't believe/celebrate Christmas is used to people saying Merry Christmas to them, but that doesn't make it right. To me that seems insincere.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby tripwalking » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:25 am

Maraschino Larry wrote:I personally take issue because as far as I can tell, these people are going out of their way to imply that we are doing something WRONG by NOT EXCLUDING people with beliefs other than their own. To me, "Happy Holidays" is an analog for "Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever else you might celebrate this time of year". It in no way threatens or ignores Christmas, but instead includes it alongside other perfectly valid possibilities that may be applicable to the intended recipient.

If my inference is a misinterpretation of these people's goal or feelings I truly would be interested in a more accurate explanation.


How is saying Merry Christmas excluding anyone? It's a greeting, said to someone. Nobody says "Merry Christmas to only people who celebrate Christmas, all others... no greeting for you." I would understand the offense there, but you can't exclude someone by greeting them. If I like "hi" and someone says "hello", I could get all uppity that they didn't use my preferred greeting. I know, some people think saying "Merry Christmas" is a way to proselytize but I think that's delusional.

So guys, if someone says "Happy Kwanzaa", do you say "Happy Kwanzaa" back, or "Happy Holidays"? I don't know if anyone celebrates Kwanzaa here, but I don't feel inclined to say it back because that's not what I'm celebrating. It's not offensive to me; nor should saying merry Christmas to an atheist be offensive to them. The inverse is true as well. Happy Holidays shouldn't logically be offensive to a Christian. If I launched in to a full choke hold gospel hour every time I said Merry Christmas to someone, that's a little different. The inverse is true here too.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby Maraschino Larry » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:17 pm

tripwalking wrote:How is saying Merry Christmas excluding anyone? It's a greeting, said to someone. Nobody says "Merry Christmas to only people who celebrate Christmas, all others... no greeting for you."


In a 1:1 interaction I'd agree with this. I think a greeting from a private entity to 5000+ recipients carries different implications. To say "Merry Christmas" in this context wouldn't make any sense when knowing full well it wouldn't be relevant to certain recipients. I'm not saying a Jewish person would take offense to being wished Merry Christmas, I'm more saying I'd rather wish them Happy Hannukah instead if given the choice. As Rob noted keeping a record of our customers' personal beliefs isn't really an option, so a blanket greeting is the most appropriate way to address this.

If somebody replies saying "Merry Christmas!" I think that's great, anybody taking offense to that would need their head examined. As I stated before, it's those that go out of their way to basically correct us that get me upset, becasue they're implying we did something wrong when considering those who carry beliefs different than their own.

So guys, if someone says "Happy Kwanzaa", do you say "Happy Kwanzaa" back, or "Happy Holidays"? I don't know if anyone celebrates Kwanzaa here, but I don't feel inclined to say it back because that's not what I'm celebrating.


Truthfully I 100% would feel inclined to wish them a Happy Kwanzaa instead of a Merry Christmas, since that is what THEY will be celebrating. Telling them to have a Merry Christmas is akin to me wishing you happy birthday today, it simply doesn't apply and therefore is empty. If I am extending them well wishes I would want it to apply to their situation, not mine.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby tripwalking » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:58 pm

So maybe it depends more on whether you're replying to a greeting or initiating the greeting, on a personal level?




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Re: Rant Thread

Postby professor science » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Example for the coming year (2014). I am also taking liberties by assuming the sample population is either jewish or muslim (which may not be far from the truth in some countries).

Jewish fasting day of Tisha B'Av falls during the Muslim month of Ramadan.

If a jewish person were to knowingly greet a muslim with "Happy Tisha B'Av" (or whatever may be the appropriate greeting at that time of year) aren't you essentially saying "I know you are not celebrating my holiday, but I am not going to recognize that you are different from myself so I am going to push my holiday on you. Enjoy my holiday!"

If, however, that jewish person were to greet someone that they didn't know by saying "All the best in your fasting." You can respect their beliefs without needing to know which religious belief system they adhere to. As I said before, a more personal greeting may be preferred, but is impractical/impossible.

And DW, I would have to agree that replying is much different than initiating assuming that you gain some information along the way. I think situational awareness is key. If I am at a Hanukah/Kwanzaa/Festivus celebration, saying Merry Christmas is disingenuous. If you are greeting a large batch of customers, a specific greeting may alienate customers and so a blanket greeting covers the bases without being insincere. Meeting a black person on the street and saying Happy Kwanzaa would probably have racist undertones, while doing the same to someone in a dashiki wouldn't.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby tripwalking » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:35 pm

If the one extreme is "you say Merry Christmas to someone because you don't care about his beliefs" why can't the other extreme be "You say Happy Holidays to someone because you don't care about his beliefs"? Speaking on personal greetings, do you think that after you say "happy holidays" to someone, they're thinking "boy, that was sure respectful... I'm glad he recognized my holiday tradition in that generalization"? Or if you don't do Christmas, should you instead just say "hi"?

Again, I don't think it has anything to do with pushing beliefs on someone or respecting other peoples differences. I think the paradigm has been shifted too far into everyone is offended territory, and this gets back to Rick's original rant. I disagree with them for sending the reply to your happy holidays email. Lighten up, grow some skin, make a decision. Doesn't mean they have to address every word said that they take issue with, but they could just have unoffensively replied with "Thanks for your service. We like doing business with you. Merry Christmas from bill brasky"

And Rob I don't agree with the line drawn between saying your personal greeting to someone with a different worldview and pushing your holiday on them. To use Rick's analogy, if I say happy birthday to someone on a day that's not their birthday, they can be offended and say "are you trying to make this my birthday or something? Don't disrespect me by calling this my birthday!" or they can say "sorry, my birthday is in September."

On a side note, this is very refreshing for me. I don't normally engage in debate on other public Internet places due to the impersonal nature and lack of accountability. I do respect all you guys and your opinions.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby tripwalking » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:36 pm

whoa side note... Google kwanzaa, then Christmas.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby professor science » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:44 pm

then google "festivus" :)

When you bring religion into things (which christmas/hanukkah are) it puts this argument into an ideological realm which causes trouble. For example, wish a Jehovah's Witness a happy birthday…

(We could, for all intents and purposes analyze this in terms of language. If you go to Germany and ask someone older than you "Wie heisst du?" rather than "Wie heissen Sie?" (both meaning "What's your name?" but the former is informal/for people younger than you and the latter is formal/for elders, while the reason for posing the question may be the same, one shows respect and the other doesn't).

I agree with you that the reaction to it is overblown. I don't see how anyone can respond to a non-denominational greeting that encompasses a large portion of the population with offence. If you said "Hello," to someone, they can't be offended. It is a general statement that applies to all of society. You could also say, "May God's Blessings fall upon you with grace on this Friday afternoon!" Why must you use that greeting instead of a general "Hello"? What makes your greeting better? While the sentiment behind the message is good hearted, for those who follow another religion it may have an entirely different effect. God's graces cannot fall upon me as under my own beliefs I will serve seven eternities being shit and trampled upon by goats if that were to happen*.

If everyone is deserving of respect then a correct general greeting is better than an incorrect specific one.

*I have no knowledge if this is true in any religious system.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby Maraschino Larry » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:00 pm

tripwalking wrote:If the one extreme is "you say Merry Christmas to someone because you don't care about his beliefs" why can't the other extreme be "You say Happy Holidays to someone because you don't care about his beliefs"?


I suppose for that to ring true one would have to have an interpretation of "Happy Holidays" very different to my previous definition, because the intention when I used it was "I hope you have a great holiday celebration, whatever you celebrate", or perhaps even more accurately "Happy _______".

What escapes me is how a lack of specificity somehow equates to ambivalence or disingenuousness. "Have a good night ladies and gentlemen" "I AM A GENTLEMAN :evil:"... I don't get it.


tripwalking wrote:Or if you don't do Christmas, should you instead just say "hi"?


So you only want people that celebrate Christmas to wish you a Merry Christmas? And if I were Jewish, as a Christian you wouldn't want me to have a Happy Hanukkah? Because that's what that proposition implies to me. The well-wishes should suit the recipient, not the person issuing them. I wish you happy birthday on your birthday, not mine. Maybe that's where we differ? I see Greeting X as something to apply solely to the person I'm issuing it to, perhaps you feel there's some sort of implied ownership or connection to the greeting, on the issuer's side?

By the way I hope the direct nature of my posts isn't coming across as attacking, I just don't want any clarity to be lost by walking on eggshells. I too am enjoying the civility of this discussion :heart:
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby Dreamstate » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:17 pm

On a one-on-one basis, I tend to wish people a happy Christmas unless I know or find out that they celebrate something else.
If they don't celebrate anything, I will wish them a happy Wednesday.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby tripwalking » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:14 pm

professor science wrote:If everyone is deserving of respect then a correct general greeting is better than an incorrect specific one.


That's where I think there's a disconnect. I don't understand how a greeting can be correct or incorrect, or at least incorrect enough to warrant someone being offended. Happy holidays may not even be correct in that sense if the person just received grave news. In that case, it won't be a happy holiday. I know that's stretching it, but a general greeting can be as incorrect as a specific one if you boil it down. The issue for both of us (I think) comes when that person is offended that someone said happy holidays and they should have known better than that, instead of saying thank you. Being offended is becoming a default.

I suppose for that to ring true one would have to have an interpretation of "Happy Holidays" very different to my previous definition, because the intention when I used it was "I hope you have a great holiday celebration, whatever you celebrate", or perhaps even more accurately "Happy _______".

OK, I see your point. That was aimed at a "I'm saying happy holidays because I don't care what your beliefs are and don't care to find out", which I think is worse than saying Merry Christmas or another specific greeting.

So you only want people that celebrate Christmas to wish you a Merry Christmas?
And if I were Jewish, as a Christian you wouldn't want me to have a Happy Hanukkah? Because that's what that proposition implies to me. The well-wishes should suit the recipient, not the person issuing them. I wish you happy birthday on your birthday, not mine. Maybe that's where we differ? I see Greeting X as something to apply solely to the person I'm issuing it to, perhaps you feel there's some sort of implied ownership or connection to the greeting, on the issuer's side?

You're inverting my point... I didn't say "If you're not a Christian, don't say merry christmas to me". I meant it as a contrast between the sarcastic sentence before and someone just giving up and saying "I don't celebrate any of those holidays so I'll just say hi".

You nailed it with the order of operations here. You're greeting someone on their terms, I'm giving a greeting from me to someone else.
I see Greeting X as something to apply solely to the person I'm issuing it to
But I don't see how you can apply a greeting solely to one person you're issuing it to by using a 10" brush to paint a 1" stripe. I definitely see where you're coming from now. That's why I guess I consider a greeting as something that I'm giving to someone else, not trying to predetermine what sort of greeting the other person wants to receive, then giving that greeting. I hope this explains that I don't think a lack of specificity equals ambivalence. I think it can, but it doesn't automatically.

I just did a little experiment this afternoon:
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Happy Holidays!!!

Thanks,

Eric
NRG


Thanks for your help today Eric. It’s great to know you’re willing to jump in at such short notice.

Merry Christmas
dw


No problem at all!

Merry Christmas to You and Your Family!!!

Eric
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FWIW :)
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby Maraschino Larry » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:54 pm

I can't believe it... A hot button discussion hashed out on the Internet without a single strawman fallacy or ad hominem attack! The Kartell must quality for a spot in the guiness world book for this one.

While I don't share your viewpoint I can certainly understand it. Also fwiw your experiment would have netted the same result as a reply to our email... I think for some people just reading the words "happy holidays" sets off a round of shadow boxing, and that's what spurred on the rant in the first place.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby tripwalking » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:18 pm

Agreed. And he doesn't even know I have a family lol. I should have chomped his head off for even suggesting that.
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby Maraschino Larry » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:24 pm

I literally had somebody take issue with the phrasing "for you and your family" in our literature :roll:
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby professor science » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:13 pm

I love you guys. :)

(By "family" I am assuming the guy meant you, and your friends and relatives (and possibly spouse and offspring). General "family" vs. specifically "wife and children". If you were bachelor with no friends I would expect you to beat him with a festivus pole)
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Re: Rant Thread

Postby wide_load » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:47 pm

This thread just reminds me that everyone in this world needs to lighten up a little and realize we are all different and no one is perfect, and that that is ok. Take a greeting for what it is; a happy gesture. And take people's opinions for what they are and move on. It always makes me wonder what miserable lives people must live who over analyze everything. Personally I think that's why people think I'm so relaxed and calm in life/work situations. While people are stewing over the past, I've already moved on and am enjoying the future.
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