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That is a strange story to say the least
April 12, 2012 10:13 PM   Subscribe

Corporatetwits, starring brave souls messing with corporations through social media.

By the makers of Old People Writing On Facebook Pages of Chain Restaurants
posted by Potomac Avenue (84 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
My boyfriend was just reading your link and started laughing so hard that he sounded like he was coming unhinged. I've sent him to bed to recuperate.

So. Good post.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:27 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know. A lot of the time this isn't going to be messing with the corporations as much as messing with their employees, who are going to get investigated for supposedly throwing bread rolls at someone. Which sounds funny right up to the point where it's you in the HR manager's office.
posted by Zarkonnen at 10:27 PM on April 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


If I somehow got in trouble for someone tweeting me anything as awesome as this, I would happily march out the door.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:30 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not quite as funny or witty as "do you have Prince Albert in a can", except this is just going to cause minimum wage employees to get harassed or fired.
posted by bongo_x at 10:36 PM on April 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


HOW DO I DOWN LOAD WU TANG??
posted by XhaustedProphet at 10:40 PM on April 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


bongo: What? They never name actual locations so who are you envisioning getting fired for anything? Please explain or send me a free cupon.

Also, the employees often get the joke.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:42 PM on April 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I have a friend who regularly fucks with Swish Chalet and Windex via their FB pages. It's pretty amusing.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:47 PM on April 12, 2012


Mayor McCheese has been mayor for decades it seems...
posted by mazola at 10:48 PM on April 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


I work in corporate communications, internally now, but have also done so externally, I would say the following:

1) This seems funny, but until you've had a public-facing role for a large corporation you really have no idea what kind of weird shit people will contact your company to say. None of the ones I read are in any way outside the median of wacky responses I've actually seen, in real life, that weren't jokes.

2) Wasting people's time is not cool; they're just trying to do a job, too.

3) As a corollary to 1): Complaining about fake harrassment especially really does make it more difficult for large companies to gauge when a real incident has taken place that deserves or requires a real response. It also makes it much more challenging to make a real response and advocate with company leadership that these things should be taken seriously. It marginalises the experiences of people who actually are harrassed and inarticulate, have trouble spelling, have mental health issues, special needs or are just a little different and don't communicate so great - exactly the type of people most likely to be harrassed and to have difficulty in communicating or resolving it.

So, sorry to sound like a stick-in-the-mud, but I think this is mean-spirited, and positively harmful. It sounds fun to make mischief with bullshit multi-nationals and their ham-fisted social media, I know, but in doing so you are also making mischief with groups of people that lack the communication sophistication that you are taking for granted and that companies with a good conscience are trying not to take for granted.
posted by smoke at 10:49 PM on April 12, 2012 [65 favorites]


Hey smoke can I ask you a question?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:52 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:54 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fire away.
posted by smoke at 10:55 PM on April 12, 2012


Thanks.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:55 PM on April 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


@smoke

but the lulz man

what are we going to do without all the lulz???
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:58 PM on April 12, 2012


fuckyeahlowhangingfruit
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:58 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


@smoke: Yeah, this. In an ideal world we could all talk bullshit, but in the actual world, making up fake stories about harassment is crying wolf and making everyone else's life harder.
posted by Zarkonnen at 10:58 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to prove that wasting your time is in fact hilarious.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:58 PM on April 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Just wanted to prove that wasting your time is in fact hilarious.

You certainly proved something.
posted by smoke at 11:00 PM on April 12, 2012 [35 favorites]


LOL!
posted by mazola at 11:01 PM on April 12, 2012


@zarkonnen but it's funny to upper-middle-class white people who live in brooklyn imho
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:01 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heckling like this is cool and all, but the Yes Men actually fuck with corporations for a purpose. I could see posts like this being used as part of a coordinated campaign, though.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:08 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


@dunkadunc

that would b sincere/effort tho :(
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:15 PM on April 12, 2012


i'm more of a 'u'-seless person but if u want 2 hassle low-wage ppl via a no-investment medium im u're man please repoast
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:20 PM on April 12, 2012


This is (almost) 100% funny.

I love it when a corporation gets it.
posted by quadog at 11:27 PM on April 12, 2012


In a lot of those jokes, the joke is that they said diapers. On the other hand, many of the jokes are about feeding a raccoon named Swimp. So I guess it all evens out in the end.
posted by St. Sorryass at 11:46 PM on April 12, 2012


"@zarkonnen but it's funny to upper-middle-class white people who live in brooklyn imho"

Upper-middle-class white people in Portland were doing it before it was funny.
posted by Pinback at 11:56 PM on April 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


See also Neil Hamburger's twitter stream.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:57 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I heard somewhere that after you become a 4th level corporate lizard you get lizard eyes. Confirm or Deny please.

Maybe I'm an idiot for rising to the bait like this and bothering to give you a sincere response, since you obviously think I'm somehow less worthy of your respect or time because I currently work for a large company and formerly had the effrontery to interact with the public in that capacity. But nonetheless, here we go:

The way I think about my job - currently internal comms, i.e. comms for employees - and the way I thought about it when I was focused externally, can broken down into a few simple things.

1) Everyday I have a choice, with the communications I write, approve, or advocate for: I can make someone's day a little bit better, or I can make it a little bit worse. I usually can't make it a lot better or a lot worse, but I can move the dial a little bit.

2) People are often having a tough time at work, or in life. They are confronted with multiple demands, confusing/sometimes contradictory goals, and complex tasks. They feel that no one listens to them, no one understands their problems, and if someone does understand that person basically doesn't care.

3) Every time I reach out to someone, or they reach out to me, I have an opportunity to address those feelings and sometimes the situations that engender them, or I can exacerbate them. Sometimes all I can say is "I hear you, and understand and sympathise with your frustrations", sometimes "I can say we are passing your feedback along, and are proposing something to address it, I'll be in touch", sometimes I get to say, "I can help you, and here's how".

Needless to say, there are lots of other aspects to my job and things that colour my interaction with people, but ultimately, I'm trying to make people's days better on balance - and there are lots of other people, within companies and without, either trying to make it worse for their own gain, or just don't give a shit.

So, maybe I'm just a stuffy bastard, but honestly, if you think the job that I do, and the organisations I do it for, somehow automatically qualify me for scorn, sarcasm and time-wasting etc, when mostly I'm just trying to help people who are feeling stressed out for one reason or another - maybe you need to ask yourself if you're gonna make someone's day a little bit better or a little bit worse.

tl;dr Working for a multinational in comms is really not so different from a lotta other jobs, and the corporate environment assaults my dignity every day quite enough without any extra help.
posted by smoke at 11:57 PM on April 12, 2012 [32 favorites]


smoke: I'm giving you shit because you're essentially cruising into a thread about jokes, claiming that making these very silly meaningless jokes at the expense of a GIANT CORPORATION is somehow dangerous and mean-spirited, when it is in fact hilarious and utterly without consequence, except for a few seconds out of the day of someone exactly like you. I work for a big corporation too, but when people make fun of it, and me (and they do, constantly) I have to take it with a grain of salt because hey, I make a good living doing what I do and if someone feels threatened by the scary pervasiveness of marketing and branding it might be understandable if they take the piss. And when it's funny and well written like these, I laugh. But even when it isn't I can't possibly get offended.

In summary: sorry I called you a lizard, though I too am a lizard so I know how the bugs taste.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:07 AM on April 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


So, maybe I'm just a stuffy bastard, but honestly, if you think the job that I do, and the organisations I do it for, somehow automatically qualify me for scorn, sarcasm and time-wasting etc, when mostly I'm just trying to help people who are feeling stressed out for one reason or another - maybe you need to ask yourself if you're gonna make someone's day a little bit better or a little bit worse.

I didn't think that these were very funny. I thought they were mostly trite and pretty transparent, and I could see how they might cause someone a shitload of extra work.

But I think it's a mistake to take this stuff personally. People generally don't like big corporations because of the soulless and inhumane way that they fuck us over on a regular basis. Asking people to show love for them -- or not to display their anger and irritation -- is something of a losing battle, IMO. If these corporations want some love and respect. they need to start treating their customers in the same manner.

However, I don't think people feel that the poor stiffs who work their qualify for scorn or sarcasm or whatever. Not personally, anyway. Only in their corporate structural function.

I would have thought it would be quite easy to recognize that there's a separation between those two things -- unless you work for one of those companies that starts the day by having you sing the corporate song, and invests an inordinate amount of time and effort having its employees derive their personal identity from their function in the firm. But I think if you buy into that stuff, you've got far bigger problems than people ribbing you gently online due to your role as a corporate representative.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:09 AM on April 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's cool Potomac. :) I disagree with you - vehemently - about the effects of stuff like this based on my experience actually doing it, and I do bridle somewhat at the characterisation that multinationals and their employees deserve this activity by virtue of their simple existence, but I see where you're coming from.

Peter, the reason why it gets by back up is because I think there is a real tendency for people to think they are speaking to some personification of the company itself with interactions like this. It's a perception I think companies often encourage themselves as part of their "corporate voice". But there's a person behind the interaction on both ends, and as a communications professional, I really do believe there's price to be paid when you start forgetting it.

So I guess I'm saying that for most people, it's nowhere as easy to recognise those separations as you intimate. I know this because it's my job and I read, and when I'm lucky make, research about it, and it holds true not just for people and their jobs, but other people looking at those jobs. It's very difficult for people not to conflate their jobs with themselves, at least partly.

I dunno, I agree wholeheartedly that one should not make a practice of drinking corporate kool-aid, but by the same token I don't think you need to drink corporate kool-aid to understand that messing about and making someone's job harder is a dick move, and I don't really feel our world is o'erburdened by a surfeit of respect generally.
posted by smoke at 12:39 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


[You guys, the lizard comment was deleted for being an attack on another member. Potomac Avenue, you made this post, and as such it's especially ungreat to sit on it in order to mock anyone who responds with serious comments. Any more discussion on this can go to Meta, but maybe instead we could just all treat each other with a reasonable amount of respect.]
posted by taz at 12:42 AM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


@Potomac Avenue, PeterMcDermott: While the jokes may be aimed at the giant corporations, they end up being at the expense of the low-level people that work there, and people who have genuine grievances, due to harassment and otherwise.

As a concrete example, the story about the cashier leaving a rude note in the pizza box: Lots of women deal with crude sexual advances exactly like that all the time. Making up fake incidents *will* cause the real ones to be treated as fake too.

No-one is asking you to show giant corporations love or respect - in fact, I'd be the last one to ask you to do that. But this is lobbing stones at a corporate mirage and hitting the people who have no real choice but to work there.
posted by Zarkonnen at 12:44 AM on April 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


smoke is absolutely in the right here. Some of these jokes are funny, but a large proportion fall into what customer service people are dealing with every day. The sexual harassment one Zarkonnen highlights, or this one about the cashier mocking someone who "smelled handicapped" are well within the realm of a customer service rep's day-to-day work. They lack the absurdity that would make them funny, and just cause stress to the person who has to deal with them.

I'd compare these to really badly-written April Fool's gags; the ones that are entirely credible all the way to the end, so they're not jokes they're just lies.

I suspect that the people behind this are just fortunate enough to have led incredibly sheltered lives and don't know that this kind of shit actually does go down, all day, every day, and people have to deal with it.

(Disclaimer: I've never worked in customer service or for anything that might normally be described as a corporation.)
posted by nowonmai at 1:09 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a concrete example, the story about the cashier leaving a rude note in the pizza box.

I don't disagree, Zarkonnen. When I wrote this:

"I didn't think that these were very funny. I thought they were mostly trite and pretty transparent, and I could see how they might cause someone a shitload of extra work."


it was precisely that comment I had in mind. The point I was trying to make was that the people who take those hits shouldn't feel that the people who lob the stones aren't hating on them individually, which is how smoke seemed to be interpreting the hate.

But there's a person behind the interaction on both ends, and as a communications professional, I really do believe there's price to be paid when you start forgetting it.

I know that that's true, but you know what -- those companies where people do show their human side, where they do show themselves to be real people with compassion and generosity, etc. tend to get a lot of love for the way that they treat their customers and tend to be less likely to be treated like dicks. OTOH, the companies where the humans on the other end act less like humans and more like corporate drones are much more likely to be subjected to this kind of treatment.

I recognize that often, employees don't have the kind of individual autonomy that allows them to behave as decent human beings and treat their customers similarly, but I do think it's that kind of short sighted corporate response that engenders this kind of customer rage in the first place.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:12 AM on April 13, 2012


@PeterMcDermott: But the people who take those hits will still feel the extra burden from them. Life working in a horrible corporate behemoth is not pleasant and this is making it worse for them. And because of the crying-wolf effect of incidents being treated less urgently because some of them are jokes, the lives of people who aren't even involved with these companies in any way other than as a customer are made worse.

The whole horrible problem is that large companies can't really be messed with like that. A company doesn't have feelings to hurt. To it, all of this is just a bit of extra customer service/PR cost that's not going to make a difference in the balance sheet. Customer service are basically human shields. If you want to hurt a company you dislike, avoid using their products and services, subvert their advertising, spread unpleasant truths about the way they treat their workers and customers - and support unions.

And yeah, it's really really frustrating to deal with shitty customer service and a the studied indifference and corner-cutting and lying and making up charges and ubiquitous advertising of large companies. But you have to hit them where it hurts them, not people trying to make a living.
posted by Zarkonnen at 1:26 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


it depresses the shit out of me that the consensus in this thread is basically "hey guys, making fun of corporations is NOT COOL"
posted by dontjumplarry at 1:31 AM on April 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Yeah, this is really mean-spirited. It's not "a corporation," responding to those tweets, its a person trying to to do a job, and from the examples given they're doing it sincerely and well. It's like you're making fun of them for trying to help people. Do you want customer service people to be rude or ignore you? Do you want corporations to stop using twitter to communicate with their customers?

Ugh.
posted by Violet Hour at 1:39 AM on April 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Larry, there are better ways to make fun of corporations than treating their employees like shit.
posted by Violet Hour at 1:39 AM on April 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


@dontjumplarry: I think making fun of corporations is great, I'm just saying that this is not the way to do it.
posted by Zarkonnen at 1:47 AM on April 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Isn't David Thorpe the Spider drawing guy?

This one made me laugh.
posted by marienbad at 2:12 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Most of these are stupid and nasty and make the world a worse place for everyone whether they work at a corporation or not. But some of them are funny. I mean, I've been a corporate drone as well and it would have made my day to get to write something like "What has led you to believe that wasps are living in your Xbox 360 console?"
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:17 AM on April 13, 2012


This one made me laugh.

Yeah, I don't even know what Bolt Bus is, but sincerely thanking a guy who calls himself "VELVEETA BLOODFUCKER" for commending the suitability of their bathrooms for "furiously cranking [his] hog" makes me want to patronize them in some way, because c'mon, that's awesome.
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:20 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hooks: OK, I like that one. As long as the message is absurd and invites the person at the other end to share in the absurdity, I can get behind this.
posted by Zarkonnen at 2:21 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm on the "not cool" side of the argument here. This is pretty juvenile crap. Pretty much the digital age's version of calling the store and asking if they have Prince Albert in a can.

you kids e/mail me and I'll explain that to you!

In our "look at me, I'm hip, I hate on the corporations" exhibitionism, we support the concept that corporations are people. Think about it.
posted by HuronBob at 2:40 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Finally, someone calls that colonialist swine Cap'n Crunch out on his atrocities
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:41 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Quite a few of the posts are actually not mocking the corporations, but instead mocking people that suffer from mental illnesses. That really isn't cool. What again is funny about stigmatising ill people?
posted by saucysault at 2:45 AM on April 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


And the ones that complain about racist, sexist or transphobic remarks by employees ... Where is the humour? Do the "comedians" not think people that aren't white, heterosexual males DON'T hear that crap when shopping/ordering food so the funny part is how unbelievable it is?
posted by saucysault at 3:03 AM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


A few of these are really, really funny, but they're generally very labored.

The journalism outfit I work for gets funnier shit than this daily. Know why it's funnier? Because it's earnest.

"WHY ARE YOU REFUSING TO ADDRESS THE FACT THAT LEON PANETTA HAS BEEN REPLACED BY A BODY DOUBLE? HERE ARE LINKS PROVING THAT HIS EYES HAVE GOTTEN CLOSER TOGETHER SINCE 2010."

"Your recent report was obviously biased because it didn't address [inconsequential/possibly unrelated incident]. You are clearly taking orders from [the government/large corporation/Fidel Castro]."

You can generally spot the trolls because they're lacking nuance.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:24 AM on April 13, 2012


"Isn't David Thorpe the Spider drawing guy?"

That'd be David Thorne. Some of these are funny, while he's just a prick.
posted by Pinback at 3:50 AM on April 13, 2012


The children of Lazlo Toth, who was there first and best.
posted by le_vert_galant at 4:03 AM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Who cares about the social media specialists getting their feel feelings hurt? I'm more concerned about the raccoon they keep referencing. Feeding it people food is NOT OK!
posted by narcoleptic at 4:07 AM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I personally think that Facebook and Twitter are for PEOPLE and corporations are NOT people so they should fuck right off of these sites.

Corporations have 800 numbers and email addresses for handling ACTUAL complaints. Their only reason for having presence on these sites is advertising.
posted by orme at 4:24 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wasting people's time is not cool; they're just trying to do a job, too.

That person's time has already been paid for, so it isn't wasting their time. It is however wasting the company's money.
posted by DU at 4:32 AM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I personally think that Facebook and Twitter are for PEOPLE and corporations are NOT people so they should fuck right off of these sites.

lol, dude without corporations those sites wouldn't exist and you'd be back in the treehouse hanging out "No Girls Allowed" signs with the e's adorably backwards. You have brilliantly illustrated my point, though, regarding confusing organisations with their employees.
posted by smoke at 4:36 AM on April 13, 2012


DU: "Wasting people's time is not cool; they're just trying to do a job, too.

That person's time has already been paid for, so it isn't wasting their time. It is however wasting the company's money.
"

Huh? It's not like the customer relations folks are going to get paid more for dealing with this idiocy, they'll just have to work longer each day to deal with it. The company probably won't even notice this stuff and if they do, the low level employees will get reprimanded for not handling it well enough.
posted by octothorpe at 4:51 AM on April 13, 2012


lol, dude without corporations those sites wouldn't exist

I agree they would not exist, but they don't need to have a presence beyond the numerous advertisements. I haven't confused organizations with employees. The employees may be the ones having to deal with these stupid comments and questions, but the companies should know better than to think that they can invite public comments on the internet without being harassed. The companies have created this environment for themselves and their employees.
posted by orme at 5:06 AM on April 13, 2012


That person's time has already been paid for, so it isn't wasting their time. It is however wasting the company's money.

Have you ever worked in a job where you're made to feel irrelevant or are messed with by your customers? It's depressing.

Not everybody can be an indie book store owner in the cool part of town. Corporations employ a lot of actual people, not all of whom are cogs in a machine. Reminding them that, in addition to the powerlessness they have within their company, they're also powerless to be messed with, is just mean-spiritedness for the lulz.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 5:06 AM on April 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I dunno, my company ran a promo where you sent in your contact information and got entered to win a prize. Pretty normal stuff except for the entry from "Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago". I thought it was hilarious, but I was worried about my co-workers who thought it might be real.
posted by khaibit at 5:12 AM on April 13, 2012


It's not like the customer relations folks are going to get paid more for dealing with this idiocy, they'll just have to work longer each day to deal with it.

This doesn't make any sense and even if it did it still wouldn't be a rebuttal. "Working longer each day" = "more time paid for". It still comes from the corporation, not the person.

I never get this "you are just wasting someone's time" reaction to demanding service/whatever from a company. Is there some way to interact with the company that does NOT involve a person? I guess I could vandalize their property. Is that the preferred method?
posted by DU at 5:16 AM on April 13, 2012


dude without corporations those sites wouldn't exist

Do we know this for certain, though? I propose that the only way to find out for sure is experimentally: to destroy capitalism entirely, move to a neo-primitivst communism facilitated by philosopher-kings, and see what social media remains.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:20 AM on April 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Working longer each day" = "more time paid for"

Aren't you a developer? You haven't heard of salary?

Let's ignore the "wasting someone's time" part. Let's ignore the "false accusations of abuse which dilute the addressing of real abuse". It's still being a dick to a real, live, person, while making no commentary whatsoever on the corporation.

I can't believe you people are making me defend giant corporations. Way to go.
posted by flaterik at 5:21 AM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


You've heard of overtime, right?

It's still being a dick to a real, live, person...

It really, really isn't. That person's time has been sold to the corporation. Any interactions with that person during that time is an interaction with the company. The company themselves will tell you (and them) this.

What I can't believe is the crap giant corporations get away with because people are afraid to be mean to their tentacles.
posted by DU at 5:26 AM on April 13, 2012


Just makes me depressed. Pointless harassment and assholery visited on total strangers doing their jobs.
posted by Miko at 5:27 AM on April 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


It just seems like a sort of infantile and poorly executed version of Laslo Toth.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:28 AM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


The very best one in my opinion isn't particularly mean spirited. Just a perfect setup/delivery.
posted by shmaw at 5:29 AM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes, DU, everyone who ends up working for a corporation is a tentacle. Even though there's someone in this thread expressing a sincere desire to make people's day better.

You are still being a dick to a real live person if you pull the mean spirited crap that's in some of these. It doesn't matter if the person's time has been sold, they're still a person. You ought to think about the ramifications of your assertion.
posted by flaterik at 5:44 AM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I never get this "you are just wasting someone's time" reaction to demanding service/whatever from a company.

This isn't demanding service. It's harassing. The claims are not factual and the person on the other end, for the most part, is responding sincerely.

It really, really isn't. That person's time has been sold to the corporation. Any interactions with that person during that time is an interaction with the company. The company themselves will tell you (and them) this.

So? It doesn't mean the person's feelings or self-worth are turned off during the period they're working for The Man. At the end of the phone or twitter account is someone who's as powerless to change policies as you are, and to be mean to their "tentacles" is just a cathartic transfer of bad feelings from one person to another.

I mean, Metafilter is a corporation. Do you think, if you don't like something happening here, it would be fine to mistreat cortex or jessamyn because of it?
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 5:47 AM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


What do you think the chances are that a Caitlin/Kathleen/Cathy/Christine got in trouble at one of the three DC Outback restaurants thanks to that complaint? Jokes about bad advertising, corporate policies (flair!) are okay, calling out a specific name when managers know complainers often only have the first letter of the name right and their complaint is usually vague = not cool.

This touches a nerve for me because over the years I have had the same kind of vague complaint leveled against me and taken seriously by my manager because obviously Something happened to upset the customer. To do it for the lulz, yeah, let's not encourage poor management by targeting the employees.
posted by saucysault at 6:05 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I certainly don't think that corporate employees should be abused, but I honestly don't see anything being directed at the employees. I don't see any personal attacks here, just people making ridiculous comments and wild accusations that aren't targeted at any single person.

What do you think the chances are that a Caitlin/Kathleen/Cathy/Christine got in trouble at one of the three DC Outback restaurants thanks to that complaint?

I think the chances are zero. The "customer" complained that they were lost in the wild due to a menu suggestion. Who would take this seriously?

Just about every complaint is met with a "please contact us at complaints@company.com with more details", so it certainly sounds like they are trying to weed out the non-serious complaints.
posted by orme at 6:21 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The point I was trying to make was that the people who take those hits shouldn't feel that the people who lob the stones aren't hating on them individually, which is how smoke seemed to be interpreting the hate.

People who dump trash in the bathrooms at fast food places probably also don't mean it as a personal attack against the schlub who has to clean it up.

Doesn't mean the guy who has to clean it up isn't still pissed about it, though.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:36 AM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


That person's time has already been paid for, so it isn't wasting their time. It is however wasting the company's money.

The same thing is true about emptying a trash can onto the floor so the janitor has to clean it up again, right? Hilarious.

It would be even more funny if there were adult diapers in the trash. 'Cause they make everything funny.
posted by Candleman at 6:47 AM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


it depresses the shit out of me that the consensus in this thread is basically "hey guys, making fun of corporations is NOT COOL"

The problem with posting things to MetaFilter is that there's so many diverse people here that you frequently have a member of the group you're laughing at respond to the thread which really puts a wet blanket on the fun because now suddenly that faceless group you were treating as an object for your amusement wants to be treated like a human person.

Sorry about that.
posted by straight at 8:07 AM on April 13, 2012 [15 favorites]


OH HAY GUYS OLD PEOPLE ARE FUNNY TOO! DID YOU CHECK THE OTHER LINIK???
posted by Big_B at 8:42 AM on April 13, 2012


This sucks. Anyone who intentionally makes somebody's job harder just for the lulz sucks. I'm guessing this is liked solely by the subset of people who have never had to deal with the public in their professional capacity. I have about as much respect for them as I do for people who mess with waitstaff. i.e. less than zero.
posted by Aquaman at 9:33 AM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


The "customer" complained that they were lost in the wild due to a menu suggestion. Who would take this seriously?

I guess you haven't worked with many older humourless corporate managers? 'Cuz I have been asked to defend myself against similar ~obvious to me~ "joke complaints" submitted by teenagers. Why is it funny to target the lowest paid employees? I have also seen legitimate complaints that appear to be jokes due to typos/mispellings/mental illness.
posted by saucysault at 10:09 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


As mentioned earlier in the thread, Neil Hamburger's Twitter feed does this sort of thing at least 1000 times better.

Hapless corporate toadies shilling on Twitter for for AXE, Bounty paper towels, Taco Bell, etc., get roasted.
posted by porn in the woods at 10:26 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


On one hand, I agree with smoke's comment upthread, and the others who have chimed in similarly. Once upon a time I worked at a Domino's Pizza, who primarily serviced a very large college campus. Then I was a telemarketer. Then a grocery store, and now tech support. It sucks when people think that because they don't like the store you work for, that you prioritize paying your bills vs. offending other people's sensibilities just by the existence of your occupation, that you aren't worthy of respect as a human being. I've often said that like some countries requiring military service, in our capitalist consumer culture should require all citizens to spend a year in some kind of service industry (waitstaff, customer service, cashier, retail, etc) because it'd sure as fuck make people nicer, having seen how ugly mid-consumption humans can be to each other.

On the other hand, HOW DO I DOWNLOAD WUTANG had me damn near in tears.

I guess my point is, as a fellow internet, I appreciate a good trolling, and some of these are pretty funny, but on the other hand, when you start throwing punches, just remember there's a human being inside that mouse costume.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:50 AM on April 13, 2012


I don't know - it doesn't seem like any spectacular sticking it to the man is going on, which is a shame.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:06 PM on April 13, 2012


Idiots. These people aren't fucking with "the man" or "a corporation." Do they think the company CEOs are answering these posts? Do they think company CEOs actually READ these posts, more than very rarely??

All these people are doing is just creating extra work for probably very low paid customer service employees. Who have to answer all sorts of mind numbing, rude, hostile, or obnoxious questions day after day, in some kind of measured and responsive way. Who are pretty much as far down the totem pole as you can get from upper management and have no contact with them.

When the customer service employees answer that way it's not because they're just less cool or slower witted than these merry pranksters. It's because they have to answer that way because they don't want to lose their low paid job.

This is exactly as hilarious as calling up a customer service call center and fucking with the people working there. This is exactly as sticking-it-to-the-man as that, which is to say, it's pretty much the opposite.

Why stop with them? Why shouldn't we go out of our way to make ANY low level worker's day just that little bit more irritating, just to get lulz and because we don't like who they work for? Spill your coffee all over your waitress for lulz! That's sticking it to the man! Go kick over that plumbers toolbox! He may just be repairing the toilets but he's working for a corporation so that's sticking it to 'em!

Other people said this better than I did but I had to say it anyway.
posted by cairdeas at 8:08 PM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just happen to know people who do these very jobs. I can tell you that if someone has an extra 5 posts to respond to, that's another 15-20 minutes extra they'll need to be stuck sitting in the cube at the end of the day before they can turn off the computer and finally go home. You got to take 20 minutes of that customer service employees life, and they got a few dollars for it. This appeals to you? This makes you feel good? Why would you want to do something like that to someone? I'll never understand people who get off on this.
posted by cairdeas at 8:17 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's still being a dick to a real, live, person...

It really, really isn't. That person's time has been sold to the corporation. Any interactions with that person during that time is an interaction with the company. The company themselves will tell you (and them) this.

What I can't believe is the crap giant corporations get away with because people are afraid to be mean to their tentacles.


So, are you one of those guys who gets off on throwing your wadded up trash at a janitor's feet and laughing at him as he needs to clean it up?
posted by cairdeas at 8:38 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Way to stick it to the man, who works for the man, guys.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 9:37 PM on April 13, 2012


Wasting people's time is not cool; they're just trying to do a job, too.

That person's time has already been paid for, so it isn't wasting their time. It is however wasting the company's money.


These posters are JOB CREATORS. If they weren't wasting the workers time, the company could cut back on hours or number of employees.
posted by Iax at 12:00 AM on April 14, 2012


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