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Friday, February 20, 2015

The Mighty Pen

I was raised by a mother who didn't take a lot of shit from folks - if she felt she had been wronged.  I remember hearing her speak of the letters she would write when people pissed her off.  The one that stuck in my mind (because it made me laugh) was the package she sent to whatever food company that sold her rotten hot dogs.  She enclosed them in a padded envelope and mailed them back to the company with a letter of complaint.  Now, this would have been in the early 60's prior to my birth so that's a long time ago.  It's back in the days when mail took a week to get from point A to point B.  So the already rotten hot dogs were in the mail for about a week when someone - a human at that time - opened them.  I do wish I could have seen the look on that person's face.  Instead, I can still picture the look of satisfaction of my mother telling the story, including the ending that included "we had free hot dogs for a year."  Not bad.

She taught me that for a letter to be effective, it has to be concise and meaningful but not mean.  Over the years I have written countless letters to companies.  And I'm happy to say I write as many letters of kudos as those of complaint.  I get more satisfaction from the positive letters.  They always surprise people.

Now, let's fast forward to a few months ago.  Kid A bought a travel mug with Elsa and Anna on it (of course) with her own money.  I thought she paid way too much for it but if drinking her morning tea with the Frozen crew makes her happy, so be it.  A few weeks later, it was on her desk at school when it fell over and shattered.  Yes, that "shatterproof" travel cup did indeed shatter.

So of course she wrote a letter to the company.

Then they wrote back - and offered to replace it.

Today the replacement arrived.  The world is once again right for the girl who likes her tea with lots of sweetness - plenty of sugar and Anna and Elsa.


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