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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Post# 266 - Buffalo Wild Wings and the 15 Minute Scramble - 4/16/2011

I sent this after a less-than-stellar lunch visit to a local Buffalo Wild Wings, 0m 4/16/2011:

Dear BW3,

Yesterday, Franz, and I both ordered your 10 piece traditional wings lunch meal.   Stop watch starts.

Our food comes at .  Franz’s and my traditional wings came out boneless.  We politely mentioned this to our server, who checked our ticket and took them back. 

As the clock passed , we discussed how we could be eating our wings if the order hadn’t been botched.  We wondered what became of the tasty looking boneless wings.

As the clock struck , she approached.  She was either barely on time, or a second late.  I would’ve felt like a heel disputing it, especially if it affected her rating.  Many of my wings seemed hastily spun-- as if the BW3 team rallied to avoid yet another “” and the server’s rating was hanging in the balance.  Your stopwatch did me a disservice.  I ate sub par wings, and had to pay for them.

So I ask: 
1) What is done with “error” food?  Is it a crime to leave it?  Do they eat it back in the kitchen like hungry bears, donate it, or serve it to some other schlep?

2)  If the second batch only took , why do you need in the first place? 

2) When does the watch stop— is it when the plate hits the table?

3)  If a server hits , are they “marked down?”  Any God-fearing Christian won’t feel good knowing he’s trading someone’s livelihood for his free wings.

4) Given the way my wings were hastily spun, can we agree that maybe the ticking clock is a distraction, and one for which I paid the ultimate price?


Buffalo Wild Wings' Response, via mail, dated 4/22/2011
Dear Jerry,
Thank you for informing us of the problem you encountered with your most recent visit to our Buffalo Wild Wings in XXXXXXXX.  We would like to apologize about the experience you received regarding your latest visit with us; our goal at Buffalo Wild Wings is to always exceed our guests’ expectations, not fall short of them.  I do appreciate your business and want you to continue to be one of our valuable customers.  With that in mind, please accept these complimentary gift certificates and allow us another opportunity to meet and exceed your expectations.
To answer your questions from your email:
       1)      Unfortunately, any food that has reached a Guest’s table is discarded.
2)      15 minutes is our safety net.  If a meal takes 5 minutes to cook or 15 minutes depends on volume of business.
3)      The stop watch is stopped as soon as the Team Member who runs the food reaches the table and stops the watch.
4)      A onetime instance does not go on a Team Member’s file, if one particular Team Member has an on-going issue with stop watches exceeding the 15 minute mark documentation is then filled out.
5)      I agree that you did pay the ultimate price on our Marketing program for lunches.  As stated above, I have included complimentary certificates for you in this letter.
We appreciate hearing from our guests about all aspects of our business, both good and bad.  Again, thank you for your business and your time.  If you have any further comments concerning our restaurant, please don’t hesitate to contact the number listed below.


General Management
Buffalo Wild Wings
Team Location XXXXXXXX

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Post# 187 - My Proposal to Governor Snyder

I sent this to our Governor on 2/6/2011.

Dear Governor Snyder,

Somewhere, as I type this, someone is committing a felony.  Within a year, they will hopefully be sentenced to reside in one of our 40 federal prisons, along with over 50,000 others.  I didn’t ask them to choose a life of crime.  I didn’t ask for my share of the over $30,000 in taxpayer dollars per inmate that we must pay every year.

Therefore, I’d like to see a little return on my investment. 

I hate the idea of people relaxing in their cells, drinking toilet tank wine concoctions crafted from ketchup and fruit cocktail.  I’ve always been a fan of chain gangs.  When Governor Engler was in office, I suggested the “Behave or Pave” program – inmates fixing our constantly damaged roads.

Another idea that I’ve been considering involves recycling.  Many of us sort our garbage—paper, plastic, aluminum is set aside for recycling.  Not everyone does it.  Not everyone does it effectively.  Why not have the inmates sort our garbage.  There’s plenty of garbage and plenty of inmates.  Just a thought.

More importantly, I’m assuming inmates have health care.  I’m also assuming it’s costly, and probably better than what I, with my two technical degrees, am able to provide for my family.  Here are the tentposts to my idea:

  • It’s a commonly known fact that exercise improves health. 
  • Healthy inmates will require less medical attention and be more able to defend themselves in the classic “shower confrontations” that we all hear about.
  • Stationary bikes provide exercise in confined spaces (like prison cells).
  • Generators can be connected to exercise bikes, and provide resistance.
  • Power collected from stationary bike generators can be used to power society.

Here’s some quick math:

1)      There are roughly 4.5 million households in Michigan, according to 2010 census.
2)      An average household consumes 45 kWh per day.
3)      Michiganders, on average, consume 202,500,000 kWh per day.
4)      If each inmate were required to “burn” 1500 calories a day (500 before each meal), they’d collectively burn roughly 88 of these kWh per day.

Does the math make any sense?  Not in the least—they’d only power about two households.  However, once the word gets out on the street, nobody’s going to want to get sentenced to a lifetime of peddling.  And a healthy, able body doesn't require as much medical attention and can sort through our garbage more effectively.

Give it some thought!

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Post # 186 - Red Robin Only Has 12 Beers!

I sent this to Red Robin on 3/28/2011:
Dear Red Robin,

Last weekend, I was really thirsty for an icy cold beer.  I’d been craving one all day.  Every Saturday, my family picks a restaurant.  I carefully orchestrated a plan to position my fanny in one of your booths.  I mentioned bottomless fries to my twin sons, Frizzle and Frazzle.  This gave us a 3-1 vote swing over Mom’s Diner, home of the leather dog and the "biscuits-and-gravy-from-around-the-world" platter.

I knew at Red Robin, I could get myself a tasty burger, bottomless fries, and an icy cold beer.  As I stated, I’d been craving one all day.  I could feel the foam and the icy cold liquid. 

When we arrived, the restaurant was pretty crowded.  There may have been 30 or 40 families or couples.  Servers were busy, yet accommodating.  As the server took our orders, she came to me.  I wanted a beer, BADLY.  Then I saw your sign.  It read “over a dozen cold beers available.”  As badly as I wanted one, I didn’t feel like I could.  I thought of the 30 or 40 other dads, husbands, boyfriends, and johns.  I knew each of them probably wanted one too, so I ordered an Arnie Palmer instead.  I took one for the team.

As I sipped my Arnie Palmer and ate my burger, the server asked if everything was okay.  I smiled and said “yes.”  But it wasn’t.  A burger and bottomless fries, washed down with an Arnie Palmer, just doesn’t cut it.  Not when you’ve been craving an icy cold beer.

Why can’t you stock more beer?  Stock at least 30 or 40.  Some people might want two, so stock 60 or 80.  Twelve just isn’t enough.  Not for how thirsty we all were.


Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 17:25:55 -0600
Subject: RedRobin -Menu

Hello Jerry,

Thanks for your e-mail. We greatly appreciate your comments and feedback.

Great suggestion! We are constantly changing our menu to meet the needs and desires of our guests. We will certainly take your feedback into consideration when making future menu changes.

Thanks again for your e-mail and for being a Red Robin guest. We look forward to serving you again soon!

Subject: FW: RedRobin -Menu
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 22:24:22 -0400

Dear Guest Relations, and the other dozen or so rank and file members of the Red Robin Nest on this note,

Thank you for taking my suggestion about the beer inventories under advisement. 

We went back tonight.  I made sure I got there early, and luckily, I got a beer before they ran out.  However, the place filled up quickly, and when it came time to order my sandwich, I noticed a sign that read "Over Two Dozen Burgers and Chicken Sandwiches."  For as many people as there were, that's not nearly enough!  I selflessly ordered a salad.

You might also consider increasing your burger and chicken sandwich inventories.  One of these days you'll get it right!


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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Post # 185 - Wendy's and Her Father's Day Event

I sent this on 6/13/2011:

Dear Wendy’s,

I just wanted to give you a hug and a pat on the back.  Thanks for acknowledging Father’s day with something other than a sale of items that you’d have on sale anyway.  This Sunday,  I’m going to have a great excuse/reason to pull the family truckster through the Wendy’s Drive-thru.  You’re donating  50 cents from each Frosty purchased to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
Here’s the deal.  Everyone makes a huge deal about Mother’s day, and justifiably so.  Mothers are very important.  There are promotions, beautiful brunches, boxes of jewelry, and lots of sales on things Mom would want.  Teachers in grade schools spend lots of time with the kids, creating little masterpieces.  Mother’s Day is a big deal.
Then Father’s Day comes along.  There might be a sale at Lowes on some nails and fertilizer.  Maybe a sale at Kohl’s on a dress shirt and crappy striped tie so Daddy can look nice on his big day.  That’s about the extent of it.
 And here’s the kicker—people complain about a lack of strong male role models.  Kids grow up without dads.  And maybe those dads were destined to be dooshes anyway, but couldn’t society help a little by throwing Daddy a bone here or there?  Couldn’t we all make Father’s Day a little more of a big deal?
Nobody expects Father’s Day to be equal to Mother’s Day because a) a happy Mom makes a happy home, and b) we’re all still recovering from Mother’s Day. 
Your event reminds us of the importance of adoption, and also on the importance of being a good dad.  I believe Dave would be proud.
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Post# 180: Sonic and Their Crappy Beverage Carrier

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Post # 184 - Boston Market: Why Not Throw Daddy a Bone?

I sent this to Boston Market on 6/10/2011.

Dear Boston Market,

About a month ago, you sent me an advertisement, offering a free brownie on Mother's Day.  What a great tribute.  There is nothing like the love of a mother.

Last September, you sent me an advertisement commemorating Grandparent's Day and rewarding my kids with two free meals.  What a great tribute!  Grandparents have graduated from parenthood, and are now working their way up to heaven.  Children?  They're the future!  Nice promotion!

Truthfully, I'm waiting for you to send a deal commemorating my neighbor's cocker spaniel's birthday.  Because I know that day will come before you honor Father's Day.

Why is it so difficult to honor dads?  Kids spend months in art classes, making these elaborate, majestic Mother's Day gifts.  And they should.  Moms deserve it.  School letting out happens to coincide with Father's Day, and those same teachers who placed all that emphasis on the perfect Mother's Day Arts and Crafts initiative, give ol' Dad the shaft. 

In some instances, Dads are also the moms.  Dads, Step Dads, Baby Daddies, Sugar Daddies, Papa Grande's, Papa Smurf, Father Figures, God Fathers and Father Bob.  Yes--Mom's are great.  Grand Parents are awesome.  The children are the future.  How about throwing Dad a bone once in a while?

As a father and loyal, lifelong customer, I'm offended and upset, dismayed and disappointed.  It's regrettable, intolerable, and unbelievable.

When Boston Chicken became Boston Market, I thought "What a forward thinking company!"  I bought stock, which tanked when you went bankrrupt, which is another story.  Regardless, I saw Boston Market as a forward thinking company.  Why not throw Daddy a bone?


Subject: Thank you from Boston Market
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2011 22:13:47 -0600

Boston Market Guest -

Thank you for submitting your feedback to our Boston Market Guest Contact Center. We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. We have forwarded your information to the appropriate people at Boston Market. You will be hearing back from someone in 2-3 business days.

Boston Market Guest Contact Center

- - - - - Please do not reply to this e-mail. This is an automated confirmation to let you know your e-mail was received. Thank you.
Note: Boston Market never replied.  Thinking this was over (they didn't reply within 3 business days), I posted on June 15th.

Then, on June 16th, I saw this in my email (3 days before Father's Day):

It's probably a coincidence.

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Post# 180: Sonic and Their Crappy Beverage Carrier

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Post # 183 - Sirius -ly Out of Touch

I recently purchased a "gently used" vehicle, a 2008 Chrysler Sebring with roughly 10,000 miles on it.   Typically, when you purchase a NEW car, you get six free months of Sirius Radio.  While I've pushed the Sirius Button many times (only to get the number to call to subscribe), I never had any expectation of free service.

However, apparently, when the title on the car changes, Sirius gets the information for the new customer.  They reached me by mail, and soon, email.  The emails are two or three per week, borderline harrassing in frequency.  The tone is always "welcome aboard, you're already a customer."  So I started wondering if maybe I was supposed to be and nobody told me.
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 21:44:22 +0000
Subject: Welcome to Sirius - Important Information Enclosed.  YOU'VE GOT SIRIUSIN YOUR CHRYSLER.

1-866-434-7425      end_of_the_skype_highlighting if you have questions or need additional help with your service. Enjoy! 
Your ESN (Radio ID):
Online Username:
Questions? Please call 1-866-434-7425 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              

Welcome to SiriusXM! To get the most enjoyment from your trial subscription, start by clicking on the links in this email to download a channel guide, set your listening preferences, sign up for programming alerts, get schedules - and more. Call Listener Care at 1-866-434-7425 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              
1-866-434-7425      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Your SiriusXM Customer Agreement   Click here to set your listening preferences and sign up to receive free programming information customized to your interests.
  Click here to choose your renewal plan now so you won't have to think about it later. If you prefer, your credit/debit card won't be charged until your trial subscription ends.*

 We're here 7 days a week.Email us: Listener Care or Call us: 1-866-434-7425 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-866-434-7425      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
 Subscriptions are governed by the SiriusXM Customer Agreement; see

If you decide to continue your Sirius service at the end of your trial, the paid plan you choose will automatically renew and bill at our then-current standard rates, until you call SiriusXM at 1-888-539-7474 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              
1-888-539-7474      end_of_the_skype_highlighting to cancel.

SiriusXM U.S. Satellite Service available only to those at least 18 years of age in the 48 contiguous United States, D.C. and Puerto Rico (with coverage limitations), while SiriusXM Internet Radio is also available in AK, HI and PR.  -------------------------------------------

Subject: RE: Welcome to Sirius - Important Information Enclosed.
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 23:08:54 -0400

Dear Sirius,

Maybe I'm doing something wrong.  I bought a gentlly used Sebring from a dealership.  The vehicle had 10,000 miles on it.  The trial subscription had run out before I took possession.

Was my vehicle supposed to be activated, and I just missed something? 
Let me know!

Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 00:04:38 +0000
Subject: Your Sirius service will end in a few weeks.
Renew your subscription now and you won't have to miss it later.      

Dear Jerry,
A few short weeks from now, you could be on the road and wondering where all your favorite Sirius programming went.

That's why we're here reminding you to renew your SiriusXM subscription for only $12.95* a month–or even less, depending on the payment plan you select. Just click here or call 1-866-338-0620 and one of our Listener Care representatives will help you renew your service and select the plan that is the best value for you.
Joe Zarella

My note, sent 3/27/2011:

Dear Joe,

Chief Service my ass.  You're being cruel now.  I never had Sirius.  I've never ordered it.  Somehow you got my email address, and have decided to unleash this cruel series of emails.

I've sent more than one note about this, with no response, other than more discussion about my subscription.

Could your paid subscriber customer service be this bad?  I doubt it, but then I wonder.

When I bought my car, I momentarily considered a Sirius subscription.  Now, I'm feeling insulted and neglected.  It's REALLY HARD TO RENEW A SUBSCRIPTION IF YOU NEVER HAD A SUBSCRIPTION IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

No Thanks!


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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Post # 182 - Where Does An Hungry Howies Online Order Go When It Isn't Received?

I sent this on 5/7/2011 after an awful customer experience.

Dear Hungry Howie,

This evening, my loving wife and I had a hankerin’ for pizza.  Hungry Howie Pizza.  We used the online service one other time, with great success.  It seemed like a no-brainer.  This way, I wouldn’t have to ask the busy associate over the phone, “what specials do you have today?” and then, mill over the options, all while he’s waiting on four other people.  In a way, by ordering online, I’m doing you a big favor.

My sweetums placed an online order on your website.  She ordered a 2 large pizza, cinnamon sticks and 2 liter special, with a pick-up time of .  When she hit “Submit Order”, she was directed back to the home page.  We assumed this meant all was well.  I was tasked with running a few errands and arriving at the pizza store at .

I arrived at , and asked if my order was ready.  THEY DID NOT HAVE THE ORDER.  They asked if maybe the order went to one of the other two neighboring locations.  I called my wife, who checked—this was in fact, her default location.

The workers, I think, thought that I messed up my order.   I placed my order again, and proceeded to wait 20 more minutes, in my car.  A rain cloud came over me and soon, it was raining.  A hungry family awaited me.

While I waited, I kept thinking: why not send a confirmation.  An email or text to the account holder’s phone or inbox.  Or better yet, an error message when the order doesn’t go through.  That might save me an extra half hour next time.



No Response.  I'm assuming my email went to the same place that the order went.

We had Jet's pizza last weekend (ordered online), and it was awesome. 

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Post# 181 - Trojan Bearskin Condoms

I sent this on 4/29/2011:
Dear Trojan,

As Bear Trainer at the local zoo, I have a constant flow of young trainees.  Some crash and burn.  Others succeed and progress onto fame and fortune, mentioning me in their award speeches.  Many mornings, my young trainees come in boasting of their romantic conquests, thanks in part to your condoms and lubes. 

With so much passion invested in my craft, I have zero time to use any of your products.  For me, these bears are my family and my friends.  Their antics and schedules fill up my social calendar.  I love them, and they love me.  Our mutual trust circumvents any threat of a “Siegfried and Roy” moment.  With that in mind, I have a real bone to pick with you folks.

Once a month, I make my way to the local store.  Between the toothpaste aisle and the foot care aisle, there are pharmaceutical aisles.  Aisles with lubes, condoms, sponges, pregnancy tests, and diapers-sort of a progression.  There are always awkward teens milling about, trying to decide what “other product” to purchase to avoid "picture me putting these things on" awkwardness as the 50 year-old female cashier rings them up.  While dealing with this awkwardness, I saw something that offended me.  Trojan  “Bear Skin” condoms. 

Look, I get it—“big bad bears.”  Scare the crap out of Goldie Locks.  Always chasing hikers, eating VW Bugs, knocking over minivans.  Stealing pick-a-nick baskets.  "Well, now it's our turn.  Look Honey.  Look what I brought home."  The mental image of Ted Nugent, donning the loin cloths, slaying a big bear, ripping off some bear flesh to craft a makeshift  prophylactic, and consummating his marital vows with his lady, all while the rest of the bear flesh cooks itself on a roaring fire for a delightfully gamey post-coital supper.  Very cute.  Very manly.  Nice marketing.  I'm not buying it!

Bears have the same pyramid of needs that you and I have.  Bears need love and food, just like you and me.  Bears are more afraid of you than you are of them.  What’s next?  Shark condoms?  Because Sharks are big and bad.  Lion condoms?  Pretty soon, the marketing tides will shift.  Ted Nugent and Chuck Norris will give way to Dr. Phil and Alan Alda.  You’ll market sheepskin condoms.  Smoky charred bear steaks will be replaced with fondues and cuddling.  Spare me the swinging pendulum of marketing weasels and bean counters.

I’m disgusted about this.  It’s not politically correct.  It’s…disgusting.  I’d like you to consider going back to latex.  Plain smelly latex.  The kind that makes everything smell like circus balloons and dishwashing gloves.  Is that so wrong?


From: Church and Dwight Consumer
Subject: Reply from Web Form Regarding Trojan® Condoms, Ref Number: 004761729A
Date: Wed, 4 May 2011 13:00:14 -0400

Our ref: 004761729A

Dear Jerry:

Thank you for contacting us and expressing your dissatisfaction with Trojan® BareSkin™ Lubricated Condoms. As a consumer of Church & Dwight Co., Inc. products, you are important to us and we appreciate receiving your comments.

However, Trojan® BareSkin™ Lubricated Condoms are 40% thinner than our standard condoms. They have a silky-smooth lubricant for comfort and sensitivity and are made from premium quality latex. They also have a low latex odor and a special reservoir end for extra safety.

Trojan® BareSkin™ Lubricated Condoms are not manufactured with bear skin. The product name has to do with the fact that these condoms are thinner compared to our standard condoms.

Again, thank you for taking the time and having the interest to contact us about your issue.

Consumer Relations Representative

To: Church and Dwight Consumer
Subject: Reply from Web Form Regarding Trojan® Condoms, Ref Number: 004761729A
Date: Wed, 1 June 2011  Our ref: 004761729A

Dear Kerri,




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