Friday, February 27, 2009

bagels don't get it back

it's funny how people think food is the universal "fixer."

now, i myself am a big fan of food, generally speaking, and probably enjoy a little too much of it on a too-frequent basis. this is why, though willy & hoover would be ecstatic to have me working from home, i must leave my house for minimally 8 hours every day. otherwise, i would be spending 6 of them in, on my way to be in, or thinking about what's in... the refrigerator.

i would eventually become so large that i would be unable to hoist myself from the couch, but i'm quite certain i would still be able to crawl, slide or drag myself across the floor to have yet another grazing session. how do i know this? a few years ago, i had to have surgery on both feet at the same time, and was, effectively, unable to hoist myself from the couch. didn't lose a pound, though.

anyway, food as fixer sometimes occupies an interesting position in the efforts of companies and people to right past wrongs or convince you of something that may in fact not be true.

for example, you'll see a restaurant have a health department issue, and then 2 months later they're open again, and giving away free apps as a way to entice diners to return (shame on you if you believe the rats are really gone for good). or you'll see a boutique that had horribly overpriced things have a "special sales event!", and they'll have snacks and drinks to lure you in to see marked-down things which are still ridiculously expensive... but now you've chowed down on the canapes and slugged back the wine and feel guilty that you're taking advantage of the store if you don't buy something. or, my personal favorite ... someone mistreats or offends you and later brings you bagels or cookies as a "peace offering" to convince you that he/she isn't such a bad guy/gal after all.

what a bunch of horse hockey this sort of thing is! it's bad practice on at least 3 fronts: 1) it's dishonest because it's not well-intentioned; 2) it's stupid because it presumes the recipient is not smart enough to see through the charade; and 3) it's unncessary because people are not going to believe you anyway.

net net -- bagels don't get it back for you. people may eat them, but ultimately it's unlikely that they're going to change their minds. if you want to have a strong brand, you have to behave with integrity -- the first time, and every time, you engage with people whom you wish to be loyal to you over the long run.

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