Thursday, May 16, 2013

Random Thoughts Blogging (Amy's Baking Co, Benghazi and More)

In the effort to unleash a few thoughts rattling through my head in the past few days, I thought it was high time to do a random thoughts post wherein I write about a few subjects instead my usual one long post.  So here goes:

Epic Internet Fail: In case you missed it, Amy's Baking Company had a few issues lately.  Hit the link and you will see what I can only call an epic public relations disaster.  After having Gordon Ramsey walk out on them during Kitchen Nightmares, the owners of said bakery went apparently went full-on crazy on their Facebook page, insulting customers and telling the kids at Reddit to bring it on.  I would link to one article, but honestly, the whole thing was crazy, and you can see the Google results for yourself. Now, the couple is saying they were hacked and did not go totally apeshit on their Facebook page.  I don't buy it, mostly because the couple has a history of going apeshit on Yelp reviewers who post bad reviews.

While this crazy episode continues, I should note that dealing with Yelpers through intimidation, or anger is definitely the wrong way to go.  A quick anecdote: about a year and a half ago, I had a cleaning service clean my apartment upon my moving out.  I found the service through Yelp, and it had 5 stars.  I paid $200 in cash to the service, and  received what I believed (and still believe) was substandard cleaning.  So, I wrote a review on Yelp detailing my issues with the company.  The head of the company responded by saying I was a liar, etc., and asked to "meet me in person."  This too was the wrong approach.  Instead, the right approach would have been to calmly explain his side of the story, and perhaps offer me a minor discount on a future cleaning.  Even if I didn't want the discount, other customers would see that he was reasonable.

Look, not everyone likes every product the same way.  We have different tastes in food, clothing, cars, etc.  That's why in a market economy there are different products to use.  So, not everyone will like your product, and some will express their opinion.  What the business owner has to do is make sure in that moment that he/she doesn't look like the asshole.

Benghazi: A few days ago, I tweeted that I didn't understand the whole hubbub about Benghazi.  Yes, there was an attack which killed four Americans.  The FBI investigated, and are still looking for the guys who did it.  Terrible stuff.  But I never understood the apparent "cover-up" involved with Benghazi.  I guess the argument was that the White House lied about the attacks immediately after the assault to make it seem less like a terrorist attack, and more like a spontaneous action.

Here's the problem with that argument: 1) a terrorist attack is an attack made on civilians to incite terror.  Attacking an embassy to damage American intelligence in the area is an act of war, not terrorism; 2) Nobody expects the first, second, or third reports out of any tragedy to be accurate, because nobody knows anything; 3) the thing worth covering up WAS THE ATTACK AND THE FOUR DEATHS, not whether the attack was "an act of terror" or a "terrorist act."  By the way, the recently released emails back up point number 2, as it indicates that the CIA, the Department of State and the White House were still trying to figure out what was going on.

The IRS Curfluffle: So, the IRS' Cincinnati office was targeting conservative and Tea Party groups in 2011.  The whole "scandal" reminds me of what a college professor once told us - the one thing that drives Presidents crazy is when a civil servant does something stupid that ends up biting the President in the ass.  This scandal is exactly that - these IRS employees are pretty far down on the totem pole - and the President can't fire them directly (normally a good thing, but a bad thing here).  The only guy he could fire, the Acting Director, actually was cleaning up the mess left by President Bush's appointee.  As I noted in a tweet that the U-T published (to my great ambivalence), this had the makings of a real scandal when the news first broke.  Now it doesn't.

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