A funny thing happened on the way to the forum

Unless you're living under a rock or a large pile of yarn (like my poor family) you've probably heard Etsy plans on 'migrating' the forums. Now, I don't know much about migration. Even though I majored in Biology, my only memories of ornithology involve studying a Purdue oven roaster to learn muscle structure. Personally, my thought with the whole migratory thing is that you often get covered in crap when it passes over.

Regardless, I figured I'd give you my opinion since I know many of you live your lives entirely by what I say. You're welcome.

The forums have been likened to a 'community', 'family', someone even used the term 'student council'. I think these are all apt terms in some way but I think the most accurate description is a large train station. Say, Grand Central Station in Manhattan. For those of you who haven't been there, trust me, it's big and often busy. And most of the staff are kept behind bars and glass. Whether this is the case at's Etsy's offices I cannot say. 

But let me tell you how the Etsy forum is like Grand Central station. Both are busy and have peak times. Both have people coming and going regularly. Some people know exactly where they're going as they've taken the same train for 20 years and head right to the track after grabbing their beer for the ride home. Some have no idea where they need to go and wander around until someone helps or robs them. A few sit in the bar and delay returning home. One or two sit on the floor up against the wall and just take it all in for some acting class they're taking in the Village. Some always arrive having to use the toilet. Why? I have no idea. They must like crapping in public places. 

When you think about it the Etsy forum is just like this. You've got the old timers. You've got the newbies. You've got Etc. Yo've got the lurkers. And you've got the bullshitters who always crap all over everyone.

I will be sad that the train station will now be closed. Not because I love train stations. Yes, they can be exciting when you're off to a new destination, or just can't wait to get home. But in general they are a bit overwhelming and scary at night. Just like Etc. 

However, I will take my train station over the alternative. What's the alternative you ask? It's like after you get on the train. You're all crammed into these little spaces and either pretend to sleep or put your headphones on because the dude next to you is shouting on his cell phone the whole ride. Or you stand for most of the trip because even though you can see empty seats plain as day, the folks next to them avoid eye contact and put their bag next to them as if to say, 'this seats taken, Forest.'

Someone mentioned yesterday it's like putting everything into small rooms behind closed doors. I don't know about you, but when I think of a long hallway with a bunch of small rooms and closed doors- only two places come to mind. A hotel and a whorehouse.

And you can bet your sweet backside that in both of those places lots of folks are getting screwed.

Original Etsy thread

Sometimes Complaints Will Be False

So the holiday season is over. You're tired. You're burnt out. And you're now starting to get the questions from holiday orders like, 'Is there any way to stop sweating underneath these latex pants? You didn't say anything in your item description about the rash I would get' or 'I thought this item was real gold. Yes, yes, I know it was only $19.95 but you didn't say it wasn't solid 24K gold so I just assumed it was.'

People can be like that. They can be difficult. They can be of questionable mental capacity. You have to remember that sometimes complaints will be false. They still exist but are based in fallacy. Without getting too philosophical about this, I'll give you an analogy. Somebody could say 'I can piss rainbows.' Yes to them it may be true but it is still utter shite. Unless they have some kind of freaky infection, but I digress. So how do you deal with these one molecule short of being a carbon based unit beings? Get on their level. Yes, you read that right. Tie a few neurons behind your back and think like they do. 

Hmm... latex pants cause you to sweat? Who would've thought that? That's shocking! See, that's thinking on their level. To the rest of humanity it is simply common sense to know a fabric which doesn't breathe will cause one's skin to emit a sheen of liquid. But to the false complainers it is a bit of knowledge that is wholly new to them. It's like the cavemen discovering fire. They dance around their latex pants the way the cavemen danced around their first bundle of ignited sticks. Probably with a lot of the same grunting, pointing and blistering.

But if you think like they do you can see their frustration and empathize. Plus, it will give you the ability to laugh off the other ways these folks affect your life. 

You know how when you go through a drive through and the order is wrong? How could they get it wrong when you only ordered a Diet Coke? Who in their right mind can't keep that straight? Why give me a Dr. Pepper you walking pile of sub-functioning cells? But after you get on their level, you see that it's all a great opportunity to make simple connections. Dr. Pepper and Diet Coke both begin with 'D' and have an 'e' somewhere. See? It's perfectly logical to substitute one for the other. In fact you were probably being quite unreasonable to expect anyone to know the difference. Other words start with 'D' too like double cheeseburger. Aren't you glad they didn't give you a cup full of double cheeseburger? Wouldn't that have been worse? 

In conclusion, your business is a reflection of who you are. Don't let the false complainers get to you. It will only bring you down and cause you to do unreasonable things like say 'Okay, okay I'll buy an institutional size container of talc and send it to you for free so you can stay dry next time you wear your latex pants.' 

Remember, get on their level. A better solution would be, 'Well, I'll make a special pair of invisible latex pants and send them to you gratis. It's alien technology that stops humans from sweating.' I guarantee they'll be satisfied with the invisible pants and you'll have much less stress. And if all else fails they'll probably be arrested for indecent exposure and I doubt you can buy things on Etsy if you're in prison. So that will be the end of their complaining.

Original Etsy thread