In a small town like Smithers, I don’t see a place for a customer review page on Facebook. But, alas, we have one. And I think a majority of people follow the page for the comments, popcorn in hand.
If someone posts a positive review of a restaurant or an interaction with someone in the community, there is always someone to point out a bad experience with the same person or place.
Or if someone writes something negative the cavalry comes out to stick up for that business or community member.
It can also be dangerous to write something horrible and be open to a defamation suit or maybe worse, retaliation from other Smithereens.
People who post are damned if they do or damned if they don’t. I’m not sure the good that can come out of this page.
But earlier this month someone posted something that blew up and I can’t help but comment.
Someone wrote that they love New to You but are now disappointed the store has raised their prices.
The thrift store on King Street is a place for people to find treasures and used goods while all the proceeds go to the local hospital.
The person who posted on the customer review site went on to write that all the supplies are donated, suggesting that she can’t understand why prices on items are going up.
The post got 46 comments with people arguing for and against the store and the original poster.
Full disclosure: I know some of the ladies that volunteer there so I see a tiny bit of what goes on behind the scenes.
I also see how hurt some of the ladies can be when they come across negative reviews.
Most of the people who volunteer there are seniors, not all, but most.
They don’t understand how to brush off social media comments and ignore key board warriors like the younger generations do.
The volunteers take pride in keeping the store clean and up to date.
The store is incredibly busy most days, keeping the volunteers on their toes. And when the store closes, these same people are cleaning and organizing the store for the next day.
Most of the volunteers are retired and could be doing anything with their time and they choose to give back to their communities.
The price of everything is going up.
Even with volunteers running the store and donated items coming in, there are still expensive overhead costs. And even if the workers aren’t paid, their time is still valuable.
If they are going through garbage to find good things for their shelves and they are only making minimal amounts for the hospital, then their time isn’t worth it. (And when I say garbage, I mean garbage. Some people drop off dirty underwear, broken objects and bloody towels once.) It costs the store a lot of money to get rid of their garbage, money that could be going to the health care.
Posting negative reviews only dampens the spirits of those that are out there working.
Next time, talk to a manager or a store owner directly with your concerns.
In these crazy times when many businesses and organizations are short staffed and charities are having a hard time finding volunteers, let’s be supportive of those that are showing up.
Even if it means paying a dollar or two more.