The fine art of apportioning blame
I am, for example, only too well aware of how cold, miserable and frustrating it is to stand at a bus stop for forty minutes in the middle of winter when the scheduled bus has not arrived. But I do not believe that the driver of the next bus deserves to be viciously harangued on his arrival. Neither do I think there is a great deal to be gained by demanding details from him of what happened to the bus which was never seen. As he has been driving his own bus for the last several hours, I suspect he will have been unable to continue the direct lines of communication with the depot which, in his non-working hours, he no doubt maintains assiduously.
Likwise, I have never succumbed to the temptation of blaming any of Liverpool's legion of taxi-drivers for delays to my journey resulting from the city council's abject failure to keep sufficient roads open whilst tarting the place up for the 2008 European Capital of Culture celebrations. Instead, I have sympathised with them over the impact of the road-closures on their livelihood, and have tipped them to the best of my capacity.
Imagine then, my wrath, on seeing the following feedback left for this delightful jeweller on a site which isn't Etsy. (I stress that it was a different site because it is one on which the buyer is asked to give the seller a star rating out of 5. And the buyer who left this particular gem docked the seller a star.)
"beautiful product, and that is what matters, but i did not
realise i would have a £13 customs charge as it entered the UK which may have
changed my decision.. "
Mmm. Petulant, much?
In what alternate universe is the fact that goods imported into the UK are subject to duties and taxes the fault of one artisan in the US?
I can accept that someone might be sufficiently unworldly on the subject of importation procedures that the Customs charge has come as a very nasty surprise. I can even, at a push, accept that someone might be sufficiently aggrieved to mention it in passing in their feedback on the item they have purchased. But to reduce the seller's average star rating for something that could not, even by the wildest stretch of a particularly fevered imagination, be deemed to be her fault is simply not acceptable.