City Desk

When Facebook Goes Wrong

A crusty newspaper editor, let's say he's in his late 50s, is forced to take a buyout. Faced with some time on his hands, he gets on Facebook to a) post photos of his small, blond granddaughter and b) network to find a job. A first cousin, close to him in age, friends him and starts "suggesting" he friend others on the family tree. Crusty Newspaper Editor (CNE) declines to do so. Later, he updates his status with a sad tale of leaving an afternoon ballgame to go to a job fair where no one wants a crusty newspaper editor's skills.

The problem? Fixated First Cousin (FFC) is stuck on the unfriended relatives and sees this status update as an opportunity to dig at Crusty Newspaper Editor. Second problem? Both of them are old and don't know when to take it offline.

Trainwreck exchange after the jump.

Crusty Newspaper Editor's status:
sat in the sun and watched the [team] boot the ball and the game — at least three errors by time I left to go to the job fair, which in itself was an interesting experience. It was my first. To say employers (or those who were represented there) do not have need of editors and writers is an understatement. But it was fun to introduce myself and ask questions.

Fixated First Cousin: so you didn't know these people,like family you don't know, but it was fun introducing your self and asking them question....what did you ask? You must of told them about your self some, right? hummm I wonder.

CNE: Don't take me to task because I haven't made "friends" with every relative who is on Facebook. I told you yesterday that most I didn't even know existed. You give me a name, and I don't know who they are. So how could I have searched them out or even know they existed. As for having "fun" today, the "fun" came in overcoming my reluctance and forcing myself to shake hands and introduce myself, and ask if they needed someone on staff with my skills. This was a big deal to for me to overcome. So stow the veiled criticism.

FFC: I beg your pardon, I still think, if you can talk to strangers and find out things, how hard is it to talk to blood and guts family, no offense.

CNE: There is a difference between hunting down second cousin removed twice...and chatting about Great Aunt Maude, and going up to someone, shaking their hands and asking for a job. If it makes you angry that I haven't hunted down all our relatives, bath in your anger. I don't care.

FFC: I'm just a plain simple girl, only went to high school, some night classes in typing, but I don't spell well enough(thank God for spell check) I hope you are not mad at me?

CNE: I'm trying to keep a roof over our head and feed my family, and not having a lot of luck at it, and you are giving me grief for not connecting with every relative on FB. Yes, it makes me mad that you are pushing. If you have that much time, contact them all and have them ask me to be a friend. That would save me time. Right now I'm busy trying to find work. That's what is occupying my mind. Not chatting with family I don't know. First things first, in other words. And I apologize. I'm disappointed the job fair was such a bust, and I'm taking it out on you. I'm sorry. You just hit a sore spot on the wrong day. Not your fault.

FFC: I'm not angry, just can't understand why you find it so hard.
You must of did some reporting to find facts on the things you write about, and I don't see what you mean about 2nd cousin removed etc.. I got lost there.
oh man, I'm not pushing
just making a observation about the thing about how hard it is for you and family, don't me to anger you

CNE: Enough ... change the subject.

FFC: Like I said, I'm just simple and we are related, you and me, we have Dads who were brothers, we were the 1st grand kids, now you made me cry..............

CNE: Women ...

FFC: goodbye, and I'm sorry you are so sad and hurt, please forgive me, I wont talk to you anymore, in case I make you angry

Reasoned Third Party: Relax! If [he's] having a bad moment, just stop for a bit and pick it up another day. Geez!

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  • TomHandy

    Umm, what is this stuff even from?

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/author/jgardner/ Jule Banville

    Ummm... Facebook.

  • Dave

    Yikes, they both come out of this not looking good.

  • ttc

    Thought I was on the D.C. City Paper blog. Can someone post a link on how to get there? I ended up on this page, reading a really dull conversation that was cut and pasted from Facebook.

  • Brenda Teague

    Sheesh! Maybe someone should enlighten these two as to how to utilize the inbox feature on Facebook. But, then, who would entertain us?

  • http://facebook.com elisabeth

    the messages are not working , they do not want to send .

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