Working for publications I’ve experienced a few run ins with the public. Joe Public, it turns out, is very sensitive. And it’s also because I’m an asshole. The art of pushing buttons is something I’ve perfected ever since I made my 7th grade principal lose his mind by making fun of the way he dressed. I eventually got expelled from Emerson Jr. High, but it was all worth it. Schools are dime-a-dozen; a young kid making a grown man go nuts is to be cherished.
This is an email exchange with the PR rep for a new peach tea flavored GoGirl energy drink. I wrote a little review of it and the dude got really mad. After the review goes to press the PR rep doesn’t usually respond to the writer. But when they do, which is what happened in this case, all hell breaks loose. After he saw the blurb in the paper, the PR rep called the sales guy at our work to yell at him. Our sales guy then called me to tell me I’m a complete asshole.
Here’s the original review I wrote:
By Josh Fernandez
Sometimes people send random and horrible things into the SN&R office, like books on how to light your farts on fire and Randy Travis Christmas CDs. But last week we got a box of Go Girl energy drink, not to be confused with the GoGirl piss funnel, which, from their Web site, is described as “a female urination device (sometimes called a FUD) that allows you to pee while standing up.” Two very different companies. Anyway, the energy drink—this one was a peach tea flavor—is 35 calories and uses the slogan, “Made for a woman, but guys can drink it too.” However, the very manly SN&R news editor, R.V. Scheide, just walked by clutching a Go Girl, saying, “It’s nasty man; it’s rank.” But it’s not that bad; it kind of tastes like when you throw up in your mouth after you’ve been drinking Long Islands all night.
Really not that bad, right? Well here’s what the PR rep wrote to me:
I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much we appreciate your comments on Go Girl Bliss in your latest issue of SN&R. I was always taught that if you don’t have something nice to say you don’t say anything. This should especially hold true when you are commenting about a “local” Sacramento company trying to make good in this bad economy. To bad you didn’t take the time to review our brand a little and see that we donate .50 for every case sold to breast and ovarian cancer. To date Nor Cal Beverage has donated over $200,000.00 from a brand that has yet to turn a profit.
Thanks for your support!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Director of Business & Brand Development
Go Girl Energy Drink / Nor Cal Beverage Co.
What a passive aggressive tactic! I wrote him back to express my feelings:
What does the horrible taste of your product have to do with ovarian cancer? I reviewed the vomit taste of your drink, not your charities or how local you are. Tesla, the band, is also local, and they suck too. No matter how much you donate to cancer, your drink is still disgusting.
Look, if you have a product that tastes like piss, then you have to expect it will be reviewed that way.
Gordon, god bless his soul, was persistent. And I love him for that. He got the last laugh because he CC’d Clay, our sales guy who was supposed to get me in trouble!:
Now I see the type of person I am talking to and no longer am surprised by the article. I will not waste any more time on this issue. Clay good luck selling ads for SN&R with this liability!
Obviously Gordon is a winner and I can’t compete with such a silver tongued champion. But my annoying prowess isn’t limited to taunting clueless salesmen of piss-like energy drinks. My powers can be used for good, like for squashing racism!
Take this exchange, which happened after I was looking for ethnic porn in the internet and instead stumbled across a coffee company called “Beaner’s.” I immediately wrote them a letter:
Just wanted to ask you a question about the name “Beaner’s.” Who came up with this? Are you aware that “Beaner” is a derogatory word for Mexican? Not that I care, but it’s just a really laughable name. If the company expects any kind of growth, you might think of using a different name.
As a beaner myself, I kind of want a shirt before you guys go out of business. Any chances of that?
This guy, the president of the company, responded within a matter of hours:
Thank you for contacting us. I apologize if you have taken any offense at our company name, and want to assure you that there was no harm intended in the naming of the company, which of course refers to coffee beans. Customers such as yourself have contacted us in the past, and we appreciate your concern. If you would like to further discuss this matter, please feel free to contact me at the number listed below. Thanks again for taking the time to send me your concerns.
517-482-8145 ext. 12
They never did send me a shirt, but several months ago I looked up Beaner’s to see what was going on and I found this article:
“In late 2007, the chain decided to change its name from Beaner’s to Biggby Coffee amid concern that the name, which was meant to celebrate the seed of its main product, is also is a disparaging term for Hispanics. The change in name was completed in all stores by January 31, 2008.”