Sunday, May 16, 2010

"That was really dumb" and other wisdom from the Five Types of Nurse Blog Trolls

Ah, Spring. The birds are singing, the tomatoes are setting fruit, and the trolls have come out from their long winter hibernation to share their wisdom with the world.

Or, at least, with me.

Every year about this time there's an uptick in the number of silly, pointless, and just plain weird comments I get. Some years there's an uptick in the volume of abusive ones, too. Most years I get many, many more anonymous emails (both lovely and not) in the spring, as the pressure of class and graduation and job-finding Gets To Be Too Much for blog-readers.

So here, then, are the five commonest types of trolls Your Faithful Blogger encounters between, say, March and June:

1. The Okay....So? Troll.

Primary Characteristics: Harmless and pointless. Usually comments on a post that is quite old.

Primary Commenting Style: That was stupid and boring. Why did you post it?

Primary Response: Then I go back to picking my teeth.

2. The Auto-Troll.

Primary Characteristics: Posts multiple times on multiple blogs, thanks to the wonders of spidering. Includes dummy email address with each post.

Primary Commenting Style: Hello, dear Friend, I am sorry I could not find your email address to your blog, but this is a lovely blog. My late Father, the Commandant and Supreme Commander of the Backobeyondistan Home Forces, left me sixteen thousdadn dollars upon his demise, with which I have begun a small operation selling Fashionable and Quality Nursing Scrubs to fine people like yourselves. Etcetera.

Primary Response: Yes, I really do want to delete this forever, and I know it can't be undone.

3. The Concern Troll.

Primary Characteristics: Aggression and hostility disguised as concern. Multiple posts on the same or related subjects, usually going back years.

Primary Commenting Style: It seems to me that you have a lot of issues with anger directed at your patients. When I was in the hospital for the sixteenth time last year, with my Undiagnositis, I ran into a lot of nurses who seemed to have the same issues. Just because your work schedules suck and your (sic) forced to work with difficult populations doesn't mean you have the right to refuse me my pain medicine. Maybe you should get counselling.

Primary Response: .... .... .... .... ....I am. It's called a blog.

4. The Straight-Up Lunatic

Primary Characteristics: Straight-up lunacy.


Primary Response: Giggling. Then I post it if it's really funny.

5. The Hysterical Shrieking Ninny (thanks, Abilene Rob, for the name!)

Primary Characteristics: Having never read a nursing blog before, and having little to no skill in the field of reading comprehension, this commenter gets really, really abusive and angry. She (it's usually a woman unless it's political) accuses me and other nurses of crimes against humanity. Sixty percent of the time they pull out the "For the CHILDREN" card, or suggest I get a new job. Women then recruit their friends, who threaten to find me and ruin my career. Men (on political posts) merely suggest that I be raped and beaten.

Primary Commenting Style: I can't believe you'd write such a cruel post on XYZ. When my son had XYZ, it was easily the most traumatic thing we'd ever undergone as a family, and led to many psychological problems for me down the line. He recovered fine, but it's no thanks to awful, horrible people like yourself. You make me sick. I'll find you, where-ever you are, and tell your boss about this blog and you'll lose your job, which is only fair, because you ought to find a new one FOR THE CHILDREN so that you're not around these helpless people any more when you're lacking compassion and caring and oh by the way you're sort of ugly and you're probably fat and maybe you ought to be raped and beaten. And I'm going to tell all of my friends so, so that they can write in with posts that exactly correspond to my writing style and typos and misspellings.

Primary Response: I used to try to reason with them. No more. Now it's Yes, I really do want to delete this forever, and I know it can't be undone.


Penny Mitchell said...

I'm a female liberal and I'm wearing muslin. Does that count?

Is it wrong that I find great joy in the fact that Those People honestly think people can be Muslins?

Joy K. said...

If I buy those fitted sheets that have extra-deep pockets because my mattress is so damned thick, would those be Liberal Muslins?

Moose said...

Hopefully I'm not troll-y.

I just have a tendency to tell pointless stories and babble to much. It's not bEcAUsE I'M cOMplEteLy InsANe :-P

wait. now i'm troll-y! [goes off to sit in the corner and talk to a spec of dust.]

Anonymous said...


Molly said...

I also consider the "liberal muslins" part to be the funniest bit...I know a woman who is one of those conservative loons (she's a nice enough person, which is why i put up with her crap - i know politics don't make the person but she's one of those people who forwards a million emails with patently untrue information about democratic politicians and argues when you respond with places they might check their facts) and she can't get it through her head that it's "muslim." Makes it even harder to take her even semi-seriously. (and yes, she thinks muslims are sent straight from satan's anus.)

Hmm. Funny, though, the few times I've had nurses looking after me in any capacity, I've had no complaints. except with some of my dad's visiting nurses, and those were more of the "this person is a useless nimrod who probably can't tie their own shoes" variety.

And, you know, children should never be exposed to anyone who doesn't kiss their perfect little asses. Ugh. I like kids, but I really can't stand parents, at least the ones who talk like your example. Because they're the ones that seem to think that their child is so freaking wonderful that exceptions should constantly be made for them, everyone else's needs should be put aside, etc. "for the children" invariably means "for MY child, at the expense of the others if necessary."

Heidi said...

Ha! I still remember the time a troll called you a racist because of a joke you made about carnies. Reading comprehension, indeed.

Jeff said...

"for the children" - greaaaat...say no more.

i'm going to invent a new keyboard that has an "accountability" button next to the "enter" button for all postings and correspondence. it will cross-reference an intelligence database and if the submission is decreed stupid or ignorant, the moron gets a shock. (if stupid and ignorant, two shocks)

what fun!! i'm off to the patent office...

messymimi said...

Makes you wonder how these people have so much time on their hands. I barely have time to get to just a few blogs I enjoy, much less seek out and comment on those I don't.

Thanks for the laugh.

Anonymous said...

Ugh I hate trolls! They freak me out with all the thinly veiled threats and nastiness.

And its always a shock to get a comment from one because they are so intermittent, after each one I readily fall back to the assumption that only like three people read my blog (on a good day).

Then I get another random TrollGram and its like 'WTF people are actually reading this blog and they are p*ssed! Ahhh WhaddoIdo??'

Anyway, good to know how an experienced blogger deals. Thanks Jo!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Muslin. I'm just wondering how many Muslin me's G-d has to fuck up before she gets it right (that's a lot of mock-up's!), and also, what # attempt am I?

Kyndig said...

Ya know...after that you really need a good troll-bait post. Maybe something about the Arizona immigration laws affecting Mexican women's access to medical care, specifically abortion clinics...I would love too see the flames that would bring up.

snarkygurl said...

Is it sad that I wish my blog was interesting enough to attract trolls? I'm probably at a 40-50% as-fun-to-read-as-Jo level, so how high do I have to before I can start seeing my own trolls? And are there guidelines for their care and feeding, or in your case - how to thin the herds?

RehabNurse said...


Now I get it...your animal badge is not really a horned toad, it's a horned troll.

Damn trolls, go back under a bridge if you don't like it.

Now this nurse retreats to a Hefeweizen...thank you!

Anonymous said...

Jo make me laugh! Keep on doing what you do. Please.

Maha said...

Damn liberal muslins - I always knew that fabric was out to destroy the social structure I hold so dear!

Trolls if you're reading this - get a life. It maybe hard at first, but I promise it'll be more rewarding.

Great post Jo!