Fine China, as a Stabbing Device

The number of people on Tea Trade that I would LOVE to have a cup of tea with is high.

The additional number that I wouldn’t object to having a tea with can be defined by this formula:

The Total Number on Tea Trade minus the first group minus one.

Yes, just one.

I’m afraid that if I were to take tea with one member here, I’d slide a glass cutter out of my pocket, surreptitiously dissect the saucer into eight equal and oh so sharp slices, and, cheap kung fu movie style, ram one from each hand into his neck , approximately perpendicular to each other.

After the tea was finished, of course. No sense in getting blood spatter in a fine Darjeeling. Not to mention a corpse.

So, why the violence? I’m known as a mild-mannered chap, more prone to Silver Needles than shurikens. I’d rather discuss Nilgiri at noon that cross swords at sunrise.

It’s not because that person has attacked me.

I tend to ignore people who bug me. It’s when they go after others that I get on my high horse, and it’s a very high horse.

Wind back the past four years. Lady Devotea and I have resolutely faced more ups and downs than a lift mechanic could see in a lifetime.

We bought a business a few years back, and without saying anything that might impact the eventual and probable court case, we feel that we were conned.

We barely escaped that trauma, and I got a “regular” job. 5 weeks in, I was headhunted to a new firm, one where I would have a one-third ownership.

Six months later, I had performed over $200,000 worth of work for the various other companies than my new business partners owned. And they wound up their companies, leaving me high and dry.

Don’t feel sorry for me! I once read, in a cookbook “If you speak English, you’re probably amongst the richest people in the world”.

I believe this. The smallest unemployment benefit in Australia is immense richness compared to what most of the people in the world get. And while I haven’t had to live on that for over twenty years, it’s there if we need it. We live in a wonderful place

We’ve ignored the various people mentioned, and moved on with our lives. We’ve found customers for our skills, and things are back on track.  We’re actually quite enjoying life, and we have big dreams, big plans.

But in wee small hours, I dwell on the wrongs that I believe have been done to us. And I take the wider view.

There’s a guy I know who I believe is being taken for a ride the way I was. I keep trying to hint about it, but he is confident that his dodgy deal will work out – so far he’s worked over a year without pay, always believing that the big payday is a week or so away. I’d love to think he was right.

If he is right, he will get a small share of the proceeds, having done masses of the work. Still a decent amount of dollars though.

The thing is, when you’re in the middle of it all, it always seems to be kosher. Because if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t do it, right?. That what these long term conmen rely on, You convince yourself that you aren’t stupid enough to be conned, and then you start seeing what you want to see.

So, I have developed a particularly high horse when it comes to con-men (and con-women, I suppose. It’s never come up).

It came to a head when I wrote a blog here on tea trade about a scam that, on the face of it, seems pretty pathetic.

By not naming the individual, I hoped it might inspire him to pull his head in, as we say here. To stop his actions. To think about what he was doing, and consider not doing it any more.

He didn’t. Instead, he took a few other actions. Launching incoherent attacks on me. Posting comments boasting about how tea reviewers could make or break tea companies.

And, in what I think was a response to a comment I made on a tea reviewng discussion here on Tea Trade, I got a direct message that made no sense.

Then I heard that he has been spitefully, and untruthfully, attacking another tea blogger. The excuse? “He was drunk”.

A better person than me might had just blocked the silly sod. I mean, what a luxury we have here. If you find someone to be obscene or obnoxious or anything else, you never have to speak to them again. I’ve already blocked that guy on Twitter.

Instead, I flew off the handle. Made demands. Added a three-storey saddle to my already high horse.

And I shouldn’t have.

I sent a tweet that reflected poorly on Tea Trade. Why? Because it is a tea community with the highest standards, and I couldn’t understand the continuing presences of this blight on the landscape. I railed against this.

It’s a feature of Tea Trade that so many of us feel a sense of ownership. In the same way as you might say “my town” or “my state” or “my football team”.  Tea Trade is “My Tea Home”.

I let that get the better of me.

I must thank a few people for their support over the past few days. I won’t name you, because you don’t necessarily need the grief that might bring down on you, but you know who you are.

I wrote this blog entry not really knowing where it would take me. I seriously considered just getting the hell out of here.

But I won’t. I’ll stay. I’ll fight.

This is my tea home.


12 thoughts on “Fine China, as a Stabbing Device

  1. Thank-you for staying and thank-you for having the courage to say things that many of us have thought but were unwilling or unable to express.

  2. I’d like to echo Jamie in saying that I am glad you chose to stay and to thank you for saying what many of us cannot. Dare I call you the Godfather of Tea Trade? Thank you for looking out for us!

    I also must note that I found you to be one of the first (out of a few) to make me feel welcome here to Tea Trade. You’ve also been a great inspiration and mentor to me to show me where my blogging should be (and where it isn’t).

    Tea Trade is all about a community passionate about tea and sharing ideas with one another and I’m glad you reminded us of this. I’m not saying we need to all hold hands and sing kumbaya around a fire with one another, but being mindful and respectful of one another is what will keep our little corner of the web nice and welcoming to future Tea Traders.

    I hope all of this makes sense I had far too much Caramel Spice and am feeling very jittery.

  3. In the words of Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale ‘Who am I? Why am I here?’

    This place is what we make of it. I know some places on the web that’re pleasant and some that are not so pleasant. There’s no reason we can’t keep this place as agreeable as possible.

    I’m not going to get along with everyone in my daily life. Why should I expect that I’ll do so online?

    Teablogging specifically and blogging in general is still a relatively recent concept. As far as I know, there aren’t that many places one can trade tea online.

    I for one intend to make this place nicer than how I found it.

  4. Dear Sir; I am sorry for your trials. My heart is heavy. May I dare say your posts and quite a few others help me make my decision to be a tea tra.der. Your honesty and clarity of thought is greatly respected and appreciated.

  5. 😆

    It’s too bad that I seem to be your only source of inspiration nowadays.{TWO OF MY PAST SIXTY-FOUR BLOGS HAVE MADE AN UNNAMED REFERENCE TO YOU. YOU HAVE IDENTIFIED YOURSELF BOTH TIMES}

    I never have and never will engage in any scamming. You’d know this if you bothered to investigate past your own nose. {I TOOK THE TIME TO COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH THE PARTIES INVOLVED}

    Yes, we charge $10 per episode of The Tea Show to compensate us for our time. Unlike you, I spend several hours a week working on our videos. We make no claims to be reviewers, so we’re not charging for positive reviews. Also, we openly admit who’s paying us. {$2-3 PER HOUR FOR YOUR TIME MAY BE FAIR COMPENSATION FOR WHAT YOU CHURN OUT. FALSELY TWEETING ABOUT TEAS AND OFFERING TO STOP IF A TEA COMPANY SPONSORS YOUR SHOW IS ANOTHER MATTER}

    I hope your rage sends you into a fit of migranes.

    This is me – 😆 This is you – 😡 {AH, I SEE, YOU”RE ACTUALLY FOUR YEARS OLD}

    Btw, the message that I sent to @TheDevotea was – Your JEALOUSY is rather unbecoming, and I still mean that. {AND I STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND IT}

  6. I think we often feel far more compelled to defend our friends and loved ones than ourselves. Perhaps that is why so many of us are quick to comment on this post. We have come to think of those in our tea community as friends.

    Staying out of the specifics of the disagreement I want to also take a moment to thank you. I’d been tea blogging for 4 years and was losing some of my motivation. I was still writing but I wondered if I should let the blog go. Finding the bloggers here have absolutely reinspired me. The irreverent nature and completely unique styles made me realize that the blog wasn’t the problem, my format was. Because of bloggers like you, @lahikmajoe , @thepurrfectcup, and @lazy_literatus I’m excited about turning it into something new. I’m so glad you’re sticking around so I can have the chance to share it with you and continue to learn from you.

  7. I won’t try to touch on the particulars of the dispute that seems to be happening, and others have so eloquently expressed the same things I was thinking as I read this post. I would just say THANK YOU for staying and continuing to offer your point of view and wealth of knowledge with us. There are several different paths you tea gurus could choose to take – all of them perfectly legitimate in their own right. But it’s those of you who choose to share respectfully (even when being irreverent) with the rest of the rank and file who make it a pleasant place to visit, and who ultimately motivate people to go out and purchase tea and drink it intelligently.

  8. Thanks Robert! More than anything you’re right that “we” (the royal we) have a stake in and in shaping the community the way we want it to be. Your blogging is much appreciated by me at least (but by the looks of it, by a number of others too), and it would have been a shame to lose that. Nuff said!

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