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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

[#] [4]
more on the "bittersweet" saga:

eagle-eyed reader dan reports that saint cupcake has removed their "i like mine without sprinkles" post. thank goodness google has a cache, but when that disappears, here is that post for posterity:

i like mine without sprinkles.

portland is such a weird town. loads of people in these parts are decidedly anti-corporate types who like to frequent small, locally owned businesses - and they take pride in the fact that they make choices that can help the little guy out. but it seems that an equal number of people who do shun corporate stuff want their small, locally owned businesses to operate exactly like a corporate chain.

what in the world am i talking about?

take, for example, the people who tell us that they'd enjoy their cupcakes without sprinkles. or those who say that we put too much icing on our cupcakes. or those who get mad that we sell out of cupcakes almost every day, or any other 'suggestion' (read: complaint) that we get on a daily basis...are these the same people who think that their tiny, hand-made cake is actually being produced by a machine in some giant factory somewhere? where we can make each cupcake to meet each customer's exact specifications? we're not a corporate cupcake shop with a giant factory - 4 or 5 people make thousands of cupcakes everyday to make (at least a few) people think about that the next time you want to comment on our hours of operation, our use of sprinkles, our icing, our counter crew or anything else.

yes, we're open to suggestions - but we can see right through complaints that are dressed up like suggestions. sure, you can complain! of course you can complain - but if your complaint has something to do with the fact that you think we put too much icing on cupcakes - well...hmmm...maybe they guy next to you will eat your extra icing.

we love to make cupcakes. we love our customers - but we're not a corporation. thanks for understanding.

so obviously they regret the post -- or more likely, the response the post has generated. DELETING the post w/o comment, though, is a very corporate tactic: better to own up to it, to acknowledge the issue rather than covering it up, even if it's something as simple as, "well, maybe we shouldn't have written that. we were a little testy that day." (possibly as part of their "hey cupcake customers" post.)

what cupcake? i don't see a cupcake.

update may22: "sweet tooth"

Wow, Gretchin. If I didn't know you better, I'd say that's a little spiteful.

You feel like you have enough of a relationship with this shop to feel badly when they post something cantankerous, but when they rethink what they wrote and decide they'd rather not be on the record saying something like that, you do your part to keep them from taking it back.

Maybe if there was some ongoing pattern of abuse like the issues that prompted Winer Watcher, there'd be a point to be made. As it is, this is a small shop with less than 50 entries in their blog (including the one they deleted), and their latest entry seems to acknowledge they've been cranky of late. I think I remember reading from you that they'd even recently been stolen from. Doesn't seem like a pattern of abuse.

Did you write them and suggest a better approach than putting the post down the memory hole?

You say it's "corporate" of them to pull something like this, but it seems a lot more to me like it was human. They said something they shouldn't have, they're embarrassed by it, and their first instinct is to just make it go away and hope no damage has been done.

Perhaps dialog is in order?

p.s. on initial rejection from Blogger: Mad props to the blogger comment system for doing its part to stamp out the scourge of malicious p tags. :-)
no, i don't think it was meant to be spiteful. this is a trust issue for me: i don't like things that disappear as if they never were. maybe it's not a corporate thing, but we'd hate it if the bush administration did it. :) it's not a pattern of abuse yet, nor do i wish it to become one. i'm a little sensitive to the attitude of some other diy/alternacraft peoples who also convey "you'll take what we make and like it. now shut up."

i know, it's just a freakin' cupcake. my cupcake distortion field must have been set particularly high because i felt so invested in them. i said earlier i was torn because they do make really good cupcakes (even if i'm on the "no sprinkles, please" side). i'm not advocating people boycott them or burn their place down.

i'm surprised you responded to this post, mph. i don't usually rant much and your response caught me off guard.
It was the rantingness of it that caused me to respond.

I saw the banners of a Cluetrain Jihad fluttering on the horizon and figured I'd go check out the commotion. :-)

it's not a pattern of abuse yet, nor do i wish it to become one.

Hence my question about whether you contacted them and explained how what they're doing looks shady.

I guess I view taking the measure of ensuring that there's a permanent archive of a mistake as more punitive than remedial, especially if no effort has been made to address them directly.
i'm having a difficult week: i've been told i don't share enough, i've been told to watch what i say. i can't ask questions and i can't have opinions. why does everyone else get to rant but me? *stamps foot in a futile yet charming way*

as you know, i've written them; we'll see what happens... next week, on The Stomach Turns....
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