Friday, March 02, 2007


I've sadly realized once again that the retail world is going seriously awry without the benefit of my guidance. Therefore, I'm graciously giving my wise input in the following letters:

Dear Target:
You know I love you and you know I can't walk out without spending massive amounts of money in your store. But listen up: you cannot open a new 2-story store in a ritzy mall with a Nordstrom and a Neiman-Marcus and then cut corners in the bathroom. The family bathroom is definitely a nice touch but do not for one minute think that you can get away for one minute without seat covers or paper towels in the women's restroom. Gross. Gross. Gross. Figure out a different place to save money cause this one will not do.

Dear Chuck E. Cheese:
You have managed to actually create a place where annoyed parents willingly go to get headaches and buy bad, overpriced pizza. But this time you've blown it. Target the teenagers with arcade style games if you must. But don't do it at the expense of your littlest customers who want slides, ball-pits and the occasional ride with Barney and Bob the Builder. The little ones are so disappointed to find that their favorite rides and activities are gone and have been replaced with video games and stupid machines that take your token and spit out tickets instantly...only to have the kids rushing back to mom and dad for another token. Maybe, Chuck, you're in cahoots with the gaming industry and are breeding the next generation of slot machine junkies. Maybe you forgot that certain 3 year olds have been known to ride Bob over and over and over, prompting Mommy to spend an entire twenty dollar bill as they say "another money." And maybe it's escaped your attention that most self-respecting teens will not be thrilled to hang out anywhere there's a giant goofy mouse walking around. Don't screw with the little ones and bring back Barney.

Dear Gap Corporation:
I was thrilled when your new concept, Forth and Towne opened at my local mall. Imagine, grown up clothes in a wide range of grown up sizes! Do my eyes deceive me? I was a little concerned by the size of the store (a huge investment in real estate, to be sure) and a little annoyed by the overly chatty saleswomen. But then one brought me a bottle of water, pointed me to some sale stuff (wow, great deals too!) and I forgot all about it. So you can imagine my disappointment this week when I read that you're giving up on the concept and closing one of my favorite stores. Huge bummer for me and the other ladies I've turned on to you. I understand your company is bleeding money and you have to do something drastic. So close Forth and Towne if you must, but for the love of god, increase the size ranges at the Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy, and give me a reason to continue spending with you.

Dear Cheesecake Factory:
You have got to get a clue about service. Just because your food is really good (also expensive) and your decor is lovely doesn't mean that customers will continue to put up with your snooty attitude and bad service. Here are some suggestions:

  • When someone calls ahead to get a table, give it to them. They want to spend money at your restaurant and you'd much rather have them doing that than pissing them off by making them wait in your overcrowded lobby from hell.
  • Train your dumb teenage hostesses to do their job. They are the first person a customer sees when they come in. Do you really want them looking that vacant? If your hostess doesn't know what to do with a large party, don't make the customer wait 10 minutes while she gets a manager, and then add that customer to the cue after everyone who's walked in for the last 10 minutes.
  • Don't tell a customer that you'll seat them in a half hour and then make them wait 45 minutes. And once you let them know their table is ready, don't have them hang out in the lobby from hell for another 15 while the hungry kids run and scream and the sleepy baby cries. It was all under control until you called us for a table that still wasn't ready.
  • When you've completely screwed up the seating process and have a table full of hungry, angry people, you might inform the server to provide some really great service. Like get the kids their drinks first. Or give them something to eat right away. Or comp them some free appetizers while they read the menu. JUST DO SOMETHING.
I usually consider myself as someone who doesn't get angry easily. I try to be patient in restaurants and not give the servers any reason to ahem, augment, my food. I say please and thank you and teach my children to do the same. I do not indiscriminately yell at people. In fact, I never had. But you drove me to it, and I'm not sorry. Do your job, and I'll do mine. Otherwise, the food just isn't worth the hassle.

Dear Craigslist:
I have been intrigued by you for a while but only discovered your true potential a couple of weeks ago when I listed a baby item for sale and sold it in 8 minutes. Amazing! Thinking it would always be like this, I listed more stuff...and it's sat there. Boo! I've been spoiled, admittedly, but it sucks when I actually have to wait for buyers. Today I got another bite so I'm thinking maybe our relationship will work out after all. Let's hope so because there's a lot of stuff I need to get rid of before I can finally move out of my house.

Dear Advil:
If I had a penny left after all the house spending, I would buy stock in whichever genius company makes you. Once again you have come to my rescue and allowed me to continue caring for my family, albeit slightly hunched over and tense, in the midst of a really bad and scary back attack. Please do not forsake me in these busy days of birthday partying and moving and general life and I will continue to sing your praises to all who will listen.


Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

T- I love your letters!

OneScrappyChick said...

feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

OMG, T ... I absolutely LOVE IT when you do these rants; they crack me up and I couldn't agree with you more.

Tracie said...

You are so witty! You and your sister are just simply a lot of fun to read! I wish I actually knew you b/c you crack me up!!

Keep it coming.

Meghan said...

You & I are like twins separated at birth & by one year!!!!
I could have written those letters myself.
You go Torreh!

tannaz said...

i've come to the conclusion that cheesecake factory is just not worth going to anymore. the food, while huge, isn't that amazing for the price, and lately i just feel like i'm being herded through the place. and there have been too many incidents like the ones you describe to make dining there enjoyable anymore. i think my money would be better spent elsewhere.

Scrappytbear said...

Just freakin hilarious! I wonder if anyone is listening! I LOVE these letters and hope to see more! Is it therapeutic? hehehe!