Sometimes the best policy is to say nothing at all, when you see a fellow member of this forum using improper, foolish or emotion-laden words. Forums and other self-generated content on the internet give people enough rope to hang themselves. Again, sometimes the best policy is to say nothing and let folks hang themselves. If no one reacted to the off-color and improper posts, then they would die on the vine. But it seems that some on this forum can't help but breathe more life into posts that didn't seem to be as malicious or sharp as they are sometimes received. I think there was a post recently by someone who was singing the praises of her New Yorker guests and how they are the best, and even made a comment about how only high-class B&Bs were good enough for New York guests. My impression was that maybe on that particular day, she had some fantastic guests from New York, was feeling proud of her inn and wanted to share it with the group. Yes, there might have been a boastful tone...but the conversation got so out of hand, I wouldn't be surprised if new forum members saw that and said, "I'm outta here!" The best thing to do would have been for no one to comment. There was no value in that particular forum posting, so ignore it and move on. If someone just HAD to comment, maybe you could have talked about how great your Ohio guests are...or your Canadian guests...and created more of a friendly competitive thing...rather than immediately questioning or trashing New Yorkers. Saying something unkind about New Yorkers was the first response, and it set off a chain reaction of unnecessary posts.
I have the benefit of communicating with many innkeepers every day of the week. I was surprised to see how emotional many emails, phone calls, letters and forum postings I saw in the first few months of my job at PAII - much more than I had seen in other industries. But, I came to realize that innkeepers have a very, very tough job, and many times there is no immediate outlet. You have to keep a hospitable attitude and smile on your face when you have guests, which is likely all the time. When you enter the context of this forum or PAII, it's the opportunity to unload and vent, and that's ok (hence the Chat, Laugh, Vent, Cry category). But sometimes that venting takes the form of terse, visceral, or biting language. When you see it, please try to take a deep breath before responding, if you feel compelled to respond. Even wait a few hours or a day. This forum loses it's value as these kind of fights keep surfacing.