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Monday, May 22, 2006

 
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the conclusion of the "bittersweet" saga (see also: "devil's food"):

mph shamed me into emailing saint cupcake, though i didn't relish being told i was a bad customer or spending a lot of effort to be ignored (i emailed them a couple of months ago about something unrelated but never heard back from them):
Hi, there. I'm a big fan of your cupcakes and have praised them to anyone who would listen to the crazy woman raving about cupcakes. Does Saint Cupcake have a rosary? :)

I'm writing because I found the recent "i like mine without sprinkles" post disturbing. And now that you've removed it without comment, I find myself even more disturbed. Deleting a blog post without comment is an unsettling omission -- letting it stand as a part of your history would be best, but even acknowledging it w/something as simple as "You know that post we wrote? We were a little cranky that day so we deleted it. We mean to spread sunshine & sweet, not scorn!" would be better than erasing it as if it never happened. It's a trust issue: acknowledging a mistake is more difficult but more trustworthy and honorable than trying to cover it up.

I've been a little afraid to write because I don't want to look like one of the ungrateful customers you've been writing about, even if I'd also like to see a "some without sprinkles, please" option. I don't want to to write something that could be interpreted as "complaints that are dressed up like suggestions." I certainly don't think anyone has the right to be mean to you! But please let us care and voice our opinions, please let us want even more luscious goodness from you. I was glad you wrote about your charitable contributions and am looking forward to the new cupcake flavours. Vive la cupcake!

sincerely,
gl.
surprisingly, jami (the owner of saint cupcake), wrote me back fairly immediately, saying (in part) she had already read what i had to say on the blog: "i was impressed with the paragraphs you devoted to our 'sprinkles' entry - although i was slightly disturbed with the comparison to the bush administration that you made. i did indeed remove the post, but not in an attempt to somehow cover up the past or to try and ignore that i ever wrote it. it certainly wasn't done because i'm not honorable or trustworthy. in fact, i removed it because i'm creating a page that touches on the likes & dislikes of our customers and the reasons we can and cannot do some of the things our customers would like."

she said the she was prompted to write the "sprinkles" entry because "the second i see a customer start to talk to one of my employees in a nasty way, i react. i react because i love my employees and it's my job to protect them from problem customers. the entry i wrote wasn't so much about sprinkles, but more about how people come into my shop and expect us to be like burger king or starbucks - then get super pissed off when we won't let them have things their way, right away... i'm sorry if my entries have caused you to question what we're about...or what i'm personally about. i truly appreciate your note, and i'm glad you gave me a chance to explain a little of what's been going on at the cupcake."

impressed to receive a response so quickly (and in all lowercase, hooray!), i replied (in part): "i was surprised at my reaction, too: i must really, really like your cupcakes! it sounds like you were very frustrated and i think you're absolutely right to protect your employees. mean people suck. but please don't take it out on the rest of us. i think the public reaction probably created a chilling effect for people who would want to respond rather than keeping the bitter people at bay." i still think there were better ways to deal with the post than deleting it entirely, though: "there's value in complexity, and admitting mistakes inspires loyalty and compassion."

but i didn't hear back after that, so i guess it's considered settled. enough for me to slip in and try one of their new cupcakes, at any rate. and even though they've been so overwhelmed by cupcakes, they've been promising pie during the nw fruit season, which i am anxiously awaiting. :)

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