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Monday, December 27, 2010

Post # 157 - Wendy, There's A Hair In My Food - 4/26/2010

This is a true story.   I removed the location because I think this can happen anywhere.
Dear Wendy.

Today I tried a Black and Bleu burger at the suggestion of the drive through personality. I took my food home to enjoy it there. As I was biting and pulling the burger away from my mouth, I felt that “tug”. The burger was attached to my teeth by a thin black lasso. A hair, snagged between my upper incisors, and “where the bun meets the patty”. Probably five inches long, and black as night.

I don’t do well in these situations. I turn into the sickly barfing penguin at Sea World’s aquarium. I barely made it to the bathroom, where I heaved and hoed everything up. I felt a little gypped. I paid for dinner, and wound up giving back lunch and breakfast too!

So we’re all on the same page, my wife and daughter’s hair color is blonde, and they were never anywhere near my food. My hair is very short. This was definitely a Wendy employee. Not Wendy herself, mind you—it wasn’t fire red.

Look. I’m not trying to taddle. That’s not my way. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m looking for policy change so this never happens to any Wendy’s customer ever again. I don’t really know the dress code at Wendy’s. Maybe people wear caps? The thing is, in food prep, I believe in hair nets. Hair nets with all of the hair contained in the hair net. That’s what I would do if I worked there. I’d be all for shaving all facial hair, arm and chest hair, and eye brows. Nostril hair, eye lashes, ear hair—gone!

The thing is, if they’re letting a hair find it’s way into my food, what else am I enjoying, free of charge? MAKE IT STOP!!!!!

If you don’t have a policy that prevents long hair from dangling over my food, you should. If you don’t have a policy that prevents long hair from dangling over my food, then that was your hand down my throat.


Subject: Customer Response
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2010 16:30:51 -0400

Thank you for your interest in Wendy's and I apologize about your experience at your local store. If you would like to email me with the address of the location and your phone number, I would be more than happy to take care of this problem by filing a complaint and sending it to the regional office. If there is any thing else I can do for you, please let me know!


Consumer Relations

(800)-443-7266 x6800
Subject: RE: Customer Response
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2010 20:55:11 -0400

Dear Rachel,

You are as sweet as a Frosty for responding so quickly, and wanting to address the problem right at the source.

It sounds like your plan is to attack the problem locally (i.e. Someone didn't follow hair retention policy, whatever that may be). This means that there is, in fact, a policy in place, which you believe, was not being followed at my alleged restaurant stop.

I could give you the location. You could contact that location's manager. who would peruse his staff for someone, or more than one person, with long hair. They would get singled out, reprimanded, and maybe even let go, all because the manager, or worse yet, the company, doesn't have a good enough policy in place.

It goes deeper. Your bun and patty manufacturers. Your lettuce, tomato and onion growers. What if they let stray hair into their product? This policy, whatever it is, must span the entire Wendy's supply chain.

I can't remember ever seeing a hair net or a skin-head working at Wendy's. I think this is an overall corporate policy issue--tell me if it's not. I'd love for you to write back and tell me that you're implementing a more robust corporate policy throughout the entire organization. It's what Dave would have done.



Subject: RE: Customer Response
Date: Tue, 4 May 2010 23:19:53 -0400

Hi Rachel,

The silence is as loud as thunder over here.  Here's how I see it:

1) I presented a problem--one that's probably possible to happen at any of your 6650-or-so locations. (Tell me it's not).

2) You offered to address it locally.

3) I suggested that you dig a little deeper. Fix the problem at it's very core. Hair nets or baldness across your entire worldwide network of employees, as well as your supply chain.

You went quiet. I assume one of two things:

a) You've taken my advice, and are very busy driving procedural changes.

b) You never really planned on fixing the big problem. Your offer to address this locally was merely an appeasement.
I am hoping that you're addressing this at a global level, but I am fearful that you are not. If not, I've probably heard the last from you.

I wish you a very happy life.


Subject: I'm truly sorry about your experience at Wendy's
Date: Thu, 13 May 2010 00:27:33 +0000

Dear Jerry --

My name is Ken and I am the operating partner of the Wendy's in _________, MI. I just received a copy of your concerns today and I want to begin by apologizing for your experience at a Wendy's restaurant.

I'm not sure if it is was one of the restaurants I own and operate or if it was another location you visited. Either way you should not have had to experience the situation you did.

I understand your concerns for food safety in our restaurants and while I cannot speak for all Wendy's -- I wish to explain the steps we currently take in our franchise organization to minimize hair or other foreign objects getting into the food.

1. All manager are required to pass the national ServSafe Food Safety Managers Exam.

2. All new employees go through food safety training to include proper hand washing, personal hygiene (this includes having hair restrained under a baseball cap and not hanging in their face or extending past their shoulders in the back), how to avoid cross contamination and how to avoid time/temperature abuse.

3. We re-certify all employees on these food safety topics yearly in January and managers on the ServSafe every five years.

The above is verified by the local health departments semi-annually as well as by my leadership team and Wendy's corporate during unannounced inspections.

Again, I want to apologize for your experience. I had a similar situation happen to me at another restaurant in the past and I was very upset. I also would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention and I will be using this as an opportunity to reinforce the proper restraining of hair with my teams.

If you would like discuss this further with me personally, please feel free to contact me on my direct line at 586-555-7641 or at my email listed below.

I would also like to try offer you something whether or not it was one of my Wendy's you visited -- please let me know how I can be of service to you now or in the future.

Very truly yours,

Operating Partner
To: Ken (and someone named Keith that Ken keeps cc-ing)

Subject: RE: I'm truly sorry about your experience at Wendy's
Date: Wed, 12 May 2010 20:37:02 -0400


I appreciate the offer, and the follow-up. I didn't want this to go local, as I explained in my response to Rachel, I see this as a corporate procedure issue, rather than any one location. I see Wendy's restaruants, including your __________  location, as some of the cleanest in the industry.

It's funny--I was just at your __________ location today for my kids. It was a fine visit. I did, however notice that the various employees wear headwear, varying from cap to visor to no hat. To me, unless you go 100% hairnet, you can never avoid it.

Again, I appreciate your follow-up. I appreciate you reviewing procedures. The people at your store are great. Just keep in mind--no matter how often you review procedures, you can't stop gravity. I haven't had Wendy's since the hair, and it might be a little while longer, but I promise I'll be back.

Thanks again Ken!


PS--Hi Keith

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Post # 156 - Gillette Venus and Their Inferior Lube Strips - 7/27/2010

 My friend Theresa's daughter, "Melanie", complained about her Gillette Venus Razor.  The lube strips fell off a little too quickly.

Below is my letter, sent 7/27/2010:

Dear Gillette,

As a competitive swimmer, a hairless existence makes for faster times. Longer fingernails win tight races. Any tiny advantage helps.

I use your Gillette Fusion razor for my face. I love it’s five blades—whiskers run and hide from it! I’ll be waiting in line for the store to open when the six blade version hits the street.

For everything else, I use your Lady Gillette Venus Breeze. Follow my logic. I figure man razors are designed for facial surfaces. Since ladies shave legs, etc. a lady razor is probably my best option for those surfaces. The double moisturizer strip concept is a mind-blow. I think it could revolutionize the whole industry.

Here is my problem:

I keep both razors in my shower. As you can imagine, I run a little hot. I need my showers hot. Not center-of-the-earth hot. Just hot enough to ease the tensions that accumulate while beating punks half my age. It takes its toll. The moisturizer strips on the Venus fell off after one use. Not the case for the Fusion razor to it’s right.

This seems like a defect to me. A razor should be able to withstand more than one use. A razor should be able to withstand a little steam. I’m disappointed. What the?

What are your thoughts?

38-year-old 2012 Summer Olympic Hopeful
Gretchen from P&G replied on 7/29/2010:

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for contacting Venus Breeze.

Our goal is to produce high quality products that consistently delight our consumers and I'm sorry this wasn't your experience with your recent purchase of Venus Breeze Cartridges. Please be assured I'm sharing your comments about the gel bars falling off with the rest of our team. While I understand the convenience of storing your razors in the shower, because the gel bars on the Venus Breeze is water activated, it should be kept in an area of the shower where it is not getting constant contact with the flow of the shower head.

Your satisfaction is important to us so we’d like to send compensation with a voucher for a free pack of Venus Breeze Cartridges. Please respond with your complete name and mailing address. Once we receive your information, you can expect to hear from us within the next 2-3 weeks.

Thanks again for writing.

Venus Breeze Team
My response on 7/29/2010:

Dear Gretchen,

Thank you for the response.

My relay took second today! We’re really jazzed.

One minor note: both razors (Venus and Fusion) are contained in one of those suction cuppy containers on the shower door, well out of the way of the spray. The only moisture that they see comes from steam. They behave very differently—the Fusion can handle it, the Venus didn’t.

My address is:

XXX Maple Rd
Anytown, OH 99999

Note: Please mark the package to my au pere’s attention. I’ll be training in New Brunswick for four weeks, and I’d prefer that the postal service not forward this package. I’m only packing my swim suit and tooth brush, and really don’t want to check a bag.

My Au Pere’s name is Melanie Smith

Thanks again, Gretchen!


Note from Gretchen at P&G, on 7/30/2010

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for contacting Venus. Hearing from consumers like you helps us to provide top quality products and services worldwide. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I am unable to send fulfillment to anyone other than the primary contact. Due to privacy laws, we would need to have verbal authorization from both you and Megan in order to be able to send this in her name. I can either hold off on sending the vouchers until you are going to be back in the area, or you can contact our consumer services department by calling 1-800-445-5388 with Megan and give verbal authorization. Thank you, GretchenVenus Team
My reply, sent on 7/30/2010

Thanks for another super-speedy response. You are exemplary among your peers. I, on the other hand, am not.

During a super-slo-mo replay of our relay, I was discovered by the judges to be performing a doggy paddle derivative.

Bad news: we were disqualified. Good news: we're looking really strong for 2016.

Bottom line, I'll be home. Please send the package to my attention:

Attn: Jerry H. (2016 Olympic Hopeful)
XXX Maple Rd

Anytown, OH 99999

Thanks again,

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Post # 155 - Sun Chips and Their Biodegradable Bag

I sent this to Frito Lay on 4/10/2010.
Dear Frito Lay,

What gives with Sun Chips making all of your other brands look bad with their new, fancy biodegradeable bag.

First—let’s get something straight. I’m not a huge Sun Chip’s guy. I don’t like people trying to sneak more fiber into my diet. My wife makes me eat them so I spend less time doing THAT in THERE. The bag, however, intrigues me--I have two questions.

First, if you possess the technology to make the world a better place, one bag of Sun Chips at a time, why wouldn’t you apply this technology across the entire Yum! Brands mothership? Lays Chips, Rold Gold Pretzels, Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, Chester’s Fries, Taco Bell, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers, etc. Isn’t this your moral obligation? Otherwise, it just looks like a silly hippie gimmick.

Second, I fancy a good deal. I buy three and four bags of Sun Chips at a time. I stash them at my work station, sometimes for three to four months. My work station is at an incinerator, where the temps approach, and once-in-a-while exceed 130F. I drink a lot of ice water. Will the bag maintain it’s composition for four months at those temps?

I appreciate any information that you can provide regarding this marvelous invention.


Subject: Here's our response to your e-mail - RE: SunChips, Reference #010985215A
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 11:00:06 -0400
Here's our response to your e-mail - RE: SunChips, Reference #010985215A
Hi Jerry,
Thank you for contacting Frito-Lay to share your great comments about our compostable SunChips package.
Your feedback tells us that our effort to develop a package made from 100% renewable plant material is appreciated by our valued consumers.
Yes, we would like to replace more of our packages with this new material. Having this goal in mind, we still have a couple of obstacles to overcome, including sourcing enough of the compostable material and continuing to improve the film for the chips to stay fresh and crispy with an optimal shelf life. By the way, Jerry, we are a division of PepsiCo and not affiliated with Yum brands.
We hope you’ll visit for more information. The package will degrade in an active compost pile at temperatures above 130 degrees.
Who would have thought that eating a snack made with whole grains would help us live in a healthier, greener world? Thank you again for being part of this journey!
Best regards,
Frito-Lay Consumer Affairs
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Post # 154 - Hunts Snack Packs and the Pudding Killer - 4/3/2010

Dear Con Agra Foods,

As a well-known prosecuting attorney, I have little time to myself. I’m busy putting hardened criminals behind bars. I often tug on the heart strings of wavering juries to get my way. With a 99.3 percent conviction rate, I must know what I am doing.

How does this involve you? Please allow me to explain.

Recently, there was a spree of shootings. A serial killer—however, his calling card wasn’t a velvet glove, or a white rose. Not a clever note, nor a monogrammed handkerchief. His calling card, in all six homicides, has been a partially enjoyed Snack Pack pudding snack. His nickname, over these past months, has become “The Pudding Killer.”

Normally, other than his Snack Pack “leave-behind,” he leaves a very clean crime scene. No foot prints, DNA, or shell casings. On this last crime, a crotchety elderly iron worker, the shell casing was buried, along with a nostril hair, in the Snack Pack. What a break!

The final victim’s widow, Esther Samoa, has retained my services. She is unable to pay me—she made me a tray of cookies as a sign of her gratitude. This case will put me well over my 50 hours, but I am glad to help.

We’re going to trial two weeks from this last Monday. I’d love to work the pudding into my speech. At this point, I have an early draft entitled “The Proof Is In The Pudding.”  My plan was, to hand each of the twelve jurors a Snack Pack, while I’m reciting my final comments. I want the taste of that pudding engulfing their pallets as they listen to my inspiring words.

I want butterscotch pudding breath to permeate that room as they deliberate, and cast their final vote.

I want the very pudding that Henry Donald Thoroburger used as his “joke” to come right back and bite him in the keister.

I want little children in elementary schools to send Henry their empty pudding containers as he rots behind the very bars that Mr. Samoa crafted for over 40 years.

I want the truth! I want justice! I want the life sentence that Henry most assuredly deserves.

Since this is a pro bono case, would you be interested in helping out? We could really use three (3) four packs of pudding, pro bono. I mentioned butterscotch—tapioca or chocolate would also work.

Any assistance that you can provide is greatly appreciated.



Subject: Re: Consumer Affairs Email Response 052890408A
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 13:30:14 -0500

May 24, 2010

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for your email concerning our Snack Pack® Pudding.

Through the ConAgra Foods Foundation, we help to fight hunger year-round and are committed to this quest. Unfortunately, due to the large volume of requests we receive, we are unable to fulfill them all.

Your comments are extremely valuable, and they help us make the food you love even better.

Thanks again for your feedback. We're listening!


Consumer Affairs
Ref: 052890408A
My response, sent 5/24/2010

Dear Nancy,


The trial went as planned. The evidence was undeniable. The jury swayed back and forth.

Just as they teetered toward a verdict of “guilty,” I delivered my speech. “The Proof Is In the Pudding” was my “Stairway to Heaven.” I delivered it with passion and precision. I brought tears to the women’s eyes. I road the crest of the wave all the way to the sandy shores of justice.

With two outs and two strikes in the ninth, I was lacking that strike three pitch. The pudding would have rung Thoroburger up for life. Instead, the jury cited reasonable doubt.

A murder walks the streets once more. Cap’n Pudding Pants is laughing at our justice system now.

Thanks Con Agra.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Post # 153 - War On Spam: Will Mrs. Rita Douglas Send Me A Nude Photo? - 4/22/2010

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 04:51:59 -0700

Subject: Dear Friend compliment of the day;

Dear Friend compliment of the day;

I am MRS RITA DOUGLAS from Burkina Faso in Africa . Although you might be apprehensive about my email as we have not met before. I am in the auditing department with one of the leading bank in Burkina Faso . During our recent auditing the bank management discovered an amount of money valued $15m dollars in a foreign dormant account. (An abandoned Account with our bank)

I am writing to seek your assistance in working with me as my foreign partner, so that you can stand as the beneficiary or relation to the deceased customer also as the rightful beneficiary to the fund, hence through my personal investigation the account owner who deposited this money died accidental years ago with her wife . So the account has being dormant for over six years, Meanwhile I have trashed off the account in the audits hedger, it is only lying in the hard disc of the bank and with this system it is not possible to trace the account owner.

It is not mandatory nor will I in any manner compel you to honor against your will, please consider the value I offer. The fact hence it’s a foreigner that bears the account, there is need for a foreigner as well to stand as the beneficiary to the fund or relation the account owner, as public services in this country we are not permitted by law to run a foreign account. This operation system will be well perfected and executed without any risk and it is a hitch free business deal.

Once the funds have been transferred to your bank account we shall then share in the ratio of 70% for me, 30% for you. I want to give you 100% assurance that this transaction is risk free; all I need from you is your maximum cooperation for a smooth and hitch free processing and transfer of this funds into your account for our mutual benefit and investment in your country.

I advice you treat this deal with utmost confidentiality it deserve and your expedient response shall be appreciated. Should you be interested kindly respond and send your full contact details so I can give you an elaborate details of this deal.



Subject: RE: Dear Friend compliment of the day;
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2010 22:26:03 -0400

Dear Mrs. Rita Douglas,

I have no apprehensions whatsoever. I exude confidence and success. It is that confidence and success that has propelled me to the top of my profession. You see--I am a dermatologist. I specialize in spotting early forms of skin cancer--I can catch it before the tell-tale signs can be seen.

Typical signs are:

1) For something like Basal cell carcinoma (the most common, most easlily treated skin cancer) you might see a pearly or waxy bump on your face, ears or neck, or a flat, flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion on your chest or back.

2) For something like Squamous cell carcinoma (more likely to spread), you might see a firm, red nodule on your face, lips, ears, neck, hands or arms, or a flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface on your face, ears, neck, hands or arms.

3) For something like Melanoma (most serious type), you might see a large brownish spot with darker speckles located anywhere on your body, a simple mole located anywhere on your body that changes in color, size or feel or that bleeds, a small lesion with an irregular border and red, white, blue or blue-black spots on your trunk or limbs, or shiny, firm, dome-shaped bumps located anywhere on your body.
I also specialize in less common skin cancers such as Kaposi sarcoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and Sebaceous gland carcinoma.

I know, you're saying "Dr. Sandwich, enough about cancer--you're depressing me!" Well, my patients are often less depressed when I have helped them dodge a bullet. In your case, I explain this because we are about to become a team. We are about to work closely together, and invest ourselves in a venture for the greater good. I need to know that you are fit as a fiddle. I worry about you, Mrs. Rita Douglas. I can't afford to have you die on me. Plus, I care about you.

Before we get started on our business, I need information. I need age, height, weight, blood type, family history (have others had diseases in your family?). In addition, for cancer screening purposes, I need photos of your arms, legs, back, buttocks, bosom. If you just send one full body nude photo, that should suffice. This will allow me to check for early signs, like actinic keratosis.  The science is undeniable, and you're getting a free check-up out of the deal. Not bad, huh?

Please respond with the information, and the photo, and we can proceed.


Dr. Cuba N. Sandwich
Panera Institute
No Response

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