Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Happy Hour


Dear Mr. XXXXXXX,
Thank you very much for reaching out to me regarding a recent comment I made on Foobooz about XXXXX.  It certainly came as a surprise considering that I changed my phone number not too long ago, but if my remarks warrant tracking me down, then yay me. Since I’m pretty sure that you and your management were the only people who actually bothered to read it, I’ll go ahead and post it here again for a bit more visibility:

“Have yet to have a positive experience there. Dirty glasses, stale nachos, always out of the one beer that I want on their draft list, and the staff is a bunch of jerks. The XXXXX boys need to keep a closer eye on this spot.”

What the rest of the world also didn’t hear was our phone conversation, which is a bit foggy to me as well considering I was in the middle of happy hour and working on beer number three (or was it four)?  In any event, my recollection is that you would have preferred that I contact you personally before making a comment in a public forum, the basis of such a statement being that I have a “personal relationship” with one of your colleagues.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but a few direct messages on Twitter and a brief phone call to discuss some free press doesn’t exactly constitute a “personal relationship.” 

I certainly understand your position here.  Being told that you suck totally sucks, but every time I’ve been to XXXXX, it’s been a huge bummer.  I’m not drawing on a singular bad experience, I’ve given the place a fair shake, and just to make double and triple sure, I even went back the day after you called and ruined my happy hour.  And guess what?  There’s a slight improvement, but it’s still way off the mark.  The service wasn’t as dismissive as previous visits, but it was painfully slow.  Nachos weren’t available during brunch, but we did get chips with the lobster roll, and they tasted and felt like somebody forgot to put the lid on the container the night before.  Clearly, your chip game needs a bit of work, and you should probably work on your lobster game, too.  For $19, I expect a lot more than a few stringy pieces of overcooked meat on a crushed bun taken from the bottom of the bin. Most people like to chew their lobster, not floss with it.  On the plus side of things, the glassware was clean and the beer list was correct, but the slow service only allowed me one for the meal, which, when all was said and done, set me back a very regrettable sixty bucks not well spent.

But this letter isn’t about the sorry state of affairs at XXXXX.  It’s about your assumption that you can control what’s written about you.  I suppose I should be flattered that you think people give a shit about my opinion, but if you check my website analytics, you’re sorely mistaken.  After backing out the webcrawlers in Eastern Europe and the number of times I check the site myself, daily traffic averages like 3 visits per day.  Are you also hunting down the negative reviewers on Yelp?  There are plenty of them to call.  And did you get in touch with Craig LaBan after his XXXXX review?

If you really do care about what I think, then I offer you one recommendation: spend less time harassing two-bit bloggers like myself and more time trying to suck less.  Also, don't ever speak to me when you see me.

Warm Regards,
Fidel Gastro


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