Monday, February 11, 2008

Dear Hershey's, Thanks for Nothing.

Dear Hershey’s,

I just wanted to let you know that I’m not very pleased with you right now. Cadbury creme eggs list "invert sugar" in the ingredient list. Most of the time I've found that "invert sugar" is derived from regular table sugar. But I've also seen people listing corn syrup as an invert sugar. So I emailed you to find out if the “invert sugar” in your Cadbury Creme Eggs [yes, y’all, I know, CADBURY makes the creme eggs, but Hershey’s has the license for the U.S.] is corn syrup or is derived from corn, and then we had a brief, spectacularly uninformative email exchange. I thought you’d be helpful because you had previously answered a question for me about the ingredients in Peanut Butter Cups. I was wrong.

You replied, but your response did not actually answer my question. You said that “invert sugar is a 50/50 mixture of glucose and fructose. It is sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). It's used as a sweetener or humectant. Your interest in our company is appreciated.” I replied that, yes, I know that invert sugar is a mixture of glucose and fructose, but it comes in a variety of forms. For instance, corn syrup is an invert sugar. Is the invert sugar you use corn syrup or derived from corn?

You replied, “We would like to get some additional information in order to provide the service you need. Please call us toll-free at 1-800-468-1714.” Oh, and, “Your interest in our company is appreciated.”

I did not understand this. Why do you need more information? I do not have any information that will help you determine whether or not there is corn in your invert sugar. Only you have that information. So I replied, basically, thanks, but what information do you need, because I can’t imagine why you’d need information from me when I’m just trying to find out if there’s corn in your invert sugar. I have not heard back.

But here’s the deal. I don’t want to call you, because why should I take time out of my day to sit on hold for who knows how long just so I can talk to some guy who doesn’t actually need information from me in order to “provide the service [I] need”? I don’t know what your angle is, but it’s making me not want to buy your products anymore. Especially when you are about to raise your prices anyway. If you don’t want to put that information in writing, that annoys me, but at least if you had told me that, I’d respect your honesty. But this “need more information” line, that’s just a lie, and I can’t go for that. No can do.

[Oh, and incidentally, I also e-mailed people at Cadbury directly, and they never responded at all. So I guess Hershey’s could be worse. What’s up with the British? No customer service over there?]

[I should have known that Hershey's wouldn’t be helpful because they have this statement on their website, in response to the question “Can you send me an allergen list?”:

“We have found that allergen lists quickly become outdated as our product lines change over time. Rather than have you make purchase decisions based on outdated information, we encourage you to check the ingredient label on the package. This label provides accurate, current information about all the ingredients in the package.”

Except that the label does NOT provide information that will help you accurately determine if the product contains something that you’re allergic to, not really. For example, the Hershey’s peanut butter cups list dextrose as an ingredient, and dextrose usually comes from corn, but it doesn't always. And sure enough, the Hershey’s response told me that their dextrose “may be” derived from corn (so now I don’t eat them). But even if you know dextrose usually comes from corn, you don't know for sure if peanut butter cups are off limits, because they don't tell you on the package where the dextrose comes form. And if you don't know that dextrose usually comes from corn, you would assume (incorrectly) that peanut butter cups are ok to eat. Thanks, Hershey's!]

So here’s a suggestion for you and your Cadbury friend. Why don’t you just put a big disclaimer on your website that says, “If you have a food allergy, we are not interested in your business, so don’t even ask us.”

Your interest in my problem is appreciated.


A former customer

Friday, February 08, 2008

Trailer Time!

Y'all, this is my 300th post! I wish I could write something profound, but instead, it's movie trailer time.

So, movies I am planning to see:

To start things on a light note, I really want to see (and you should too--it has Lee Pace and Amy Adams) (and thanks, RR, for pointing it out) Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day.

In Bruges . RR also pointed this trailer out to me, and we are both counting down until it comes to a theater near us.

SATC. Of course. I hope it's good, but even if it's not, I'll still like watching it.

And, I hate to say it, but I think I want to see Run, Fat Boy, Run

Aaaand I kind of want to see Chaos Theory, but hey, I just love Ryan Reynolds. I even loved “Two Guys and a Girl.”

I don’t particularly want to see Smart People, even though I love Dennis Quaid and SJP, because it looks like one of those “smart people who obey the laws need to learn something from losers” movies (I could be wrong). But the trailer won me over by playing Paul Westerberg. I love that song.

I DO NOT want to see The Accidental Husband because Uma Thurman will be choosing NOT to marry Colin Firth, which no sane woman would do. But the trailer does have “I feel it all,” which I love.

I definitely want to see Persepolis.

I will probably go see Inkheart. I love Brendan Fraser, and I like the “family adventure” genre. Yes, I do, so sue me.

Leatherheads looks charming (George Clooney AND John Krasinski—in a word, fabulous).

Will definitely see Prince Caspian.

I love Michael Caine, so I’ll probably see Flawless.

And, of course, Get Smart.

I think I may have saved the best for last. What I really can’t wait to see is Taken.


At This Point, It's Actually Starting To Get Funny

Three days in a row, y'all. This time, it's coffee pot avec coffee, coagulating on the (on) burner. The coffee, it is not so hot, despite sitting on the burner (and also, it's not so hot in the sense that it's not all that great). About half a pot's worth of coffee is missing, from which I conclude that more than one person has taken coffee from the coffee pot. That means that we have at least two lazy coffee drinkers who can't be bothered to pour the coffee into a carafe and don't care that they are ensuring that coffee that started out mediocre at best will deteriorate even further so that it's potable only by adding lots and lots of half and half. Or (giving them the benefit of the doubt as to their motivations) at least two people who have never considered that maybe that carafe is there for a reason.

So now I'm really starting to think someone truly is messing with me. It's becoming kind of a joke for me--what will I find when I go into the break room today? A little something to break up the monotony of the day. I do fancy myself to be a bit of a Nancy Drew, after all. There aren't that many people in this office, and not all of them drink coffee, so I really think I can figure out who it is. And then? The messor will become the messee.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ok, Now They're Just Messing With Me

Empty coffee carafe? Check.
Coffee burner on? Check.
Empty coffee pot cookin' away on the burner? Check.

Yes, they say, I will see your coffee congealing on the burner and raise you potential exploding shards of glass (again).

I know you are tired of hearing about it, and frankly, I'm tired of talking about it, but I really don't understand it at all. In a way, I wish that I could be a different person and just leave the pot there and see what happens. But there are pregnant women that use that break room, plus, if the coffee pot caught on fire, the fire alarm would go off. They'd make us evacuate, and I'd have to go down the stairs, and I hate those stairs. For some reason (I'm sure it was a good one), they don't follow the usual pattern of flight of stairs, new floor, flight of stairs, new floor, or even flight of stairs, landing, flight of stairs, new floor. It's more like five steps, landing, turn, five steps, landing, turn, five steps, landing, turn, five steps, landing, turn, congratulations, you're down one floor! Five steps, turn, five steps, turn . . . just thinking about it makes me feel nauseated. Bleck.

Also, despite the several fire drills that we've had, I'm still not sure where we are supposed to meet to check in with our floor "check people in so we know who's still in the building" person. This is because when we have fire drills, I just go home. I tell a coworker to check me in, and I walk to the garage. I'm not a slacker, I just take the drill as a sign that I'm not supposed to be at work that day. I do work from home once I get there, but I'm in my jammies, so it's better. But if we had an actual fire, I'd feel compelled to personally check in so that firefighters weren't looking for me inside the building, but I wouldn't know where to go for that. That could result in awkwardness as I try to explain why, after working here for a year and a half, I don't know the procedure, and that's why everyone thought I was still in my office.

Anyway, point is, I can't leave the coffee pot smoldering. So . . . I don't know. I'm going back to the stake out plan.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Coffee. Pot. Burner. Whatevs.

It happened again. Coffee pot, full of coffee minus one cup, sitting on the (on) burner, because no one bothered to pour it into the carafe, which would have taken all of 10 seconds. I'm kind of resigned to it now because I think I know who did it, and if I'm right, there's nothing I can do about it. But it's still annoying.

Weird Electricity Goings On

So, last night, my hair dryer started making this weird clicky, ‘bout-to-catch-fire sound while I was using it. Also, when I was making my yummy grilled cheese sammich for dinner, this weird high-pitched squealing noise started coming from the general direction of the stove top. Was it the stove? The pan? The sandwich? I don’t know (but I ate the sandwich). Then, RR tells me that when she was using the microwave during the day, it kind of flashed on and off a few times.

WTH, y’all? I’m afraid of our townhouse now.

Also, I’m buying a new hair dryer in case it’s not that I have a poltergeist and the hair dryer is actually going to catch fire the next time I use it. Any recommendations?