VINTAGE HAUGHT: My email to Gasp Jeans
In September last year Gasp Jeans received an email from a customer disgusted with the service she’d received at their Chapel Street store. It was the perfect opportunity for Gasp to punch out some Marshallian brilliance and then tan themselves in the intense light of the public goodwill that would inevitably have followed.
That, of course, is difficult without some pretty special response-email talent in your customer service area, so an alternative might have been a sincere apology, an “any inconvenience caused” template reply, or to follow medium/large-business best practice and just ignore the email completely.
Instead, they flew to Fuckwitery, Texas, went into a gun shop called The Customer is Always Wrong, purchased a semi-automatic email response weapon and fifty kilos of ungrammatical ammo, returned to Australia and proceeded to do the online equivalent of “going postal“.
The exchange got the social media virus and soon just about everyone had it.
You can – in fact, you must – read (or relive) the full story here.
Here’s what I wrote to them a few days later:
I’m just going to cut to the chase: can you please abuse me by reply email?
I’ll be brutally honest (I know you goddamn respect that): your clothing doesn’t really do it for me – diamante encrusted denim isn’t my thing. But by Christ I love your approach to customer service via the written word.
I find the style of your (recently much-publicised) email correspondence nothing short of mesmerizing. The gloriously specific examples, the beautifully restrained sprinkle of Latin, the extravagant defense of your staff… truly exhilarating stuff.
I want one of your emails to call my own.
I want you to make brazen assumptions about me. I want you to be patronisingly didactic. I want you to make concessions about things that weren’t up for debate in the first place. I want you to bolster your case by citing “A-list” celebrities who I only know of because I once glanced at a New Idea while lining up at a supermarket check-out.
But most of all, I want you to throw grammatical convention to the wind, and use “whom” like it’s going out of fashion – pardon the pun.
I notice that your use of “whom” has received a great deal of attention post-“Good-luck-at-Supre”-gate, most of it grossly unfair. I mean, for goodness sake, we live in a postmodern age – some say a post-postmodern age; the rules of grammar have never been more fluid. In fact, I would go so far as to say they’re now gaseous. If you want to completely ignore irrelevancies like the difference between a subject and an object, and smash out a dozen “whom”s in five paragraphs, you should go ahead and bloody well do it. And be applauded for it. And perhaps be given the institutional equivalent of an Order of Australia for it.
Speaking of postmodernism, I particularly admire the way you’ve melded an almost aristocratic superiority with an unashamed embrace of the tawdry and vulgar. I know you love a really good metaphor – “dead flamingo”: superb – so I’ll put it this way: it’s like you’ve built an Ivory Tower, sprayed it with Clag and then blasted sequins onto it with some kind industrial strength leaf blower. And thank fuck for that, because goodness knows this world needs more sparkly elitism.
On the subject of “fuck”, my only criticism of your email correspondence (on the basis of exposed form, at least) is that if anything it’s too subtle. It doesn’t include enough profanity or, for that matter, explicit reference to the fact you hope the very worst for your erstwhile customer. In my humble opinion, the only thing missing from the email response to Keara O’Neil on 28 of September was “fuck off and die” – I mean it was clearly there as a subtext, but why leave it at that? So if, at some stage during your reply, you could call me a cunt or threaten my family, I’d be most grateful.
You are truly mighty iconoclasts and I look forward to your reply with the anticipation of a genuinely repentant sinner awaiting the drop of the (taffeta adorned) guillotine.
With more reverence than you could possibly imagine,
I did receive a response. It didn’t quite have the same edge to it as the one Keara O’Neil received, and was conspicuous for its absence of dead flamingoes:
Many thanks for emailing us with your enquiry.
It has been passed to the relevant department and rest assured that we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
While you are awaiting our response, why not become a fan of our GASP Facebook page?
GASP Online Customer Care
P: (03) 9421 6812 | F: (03) 9421 1720 | W: www.gaspjeans.com.au
I didn’t become a fan of their Facebook page.
…or choose one that takes your fancy from the list below:
My email to Yarra Trams
My email to Metro Trains
My email to Facebook
My email to Microsoft
My email to the Commonwealth Bank
My email to Coles
My (unsent) email to the Victorian Department of Transport
My email to Alan Jones
My email to Kyle Sandilands
My email to Jim Beam
My email to Ben Polis
My email to Hoo haa Bar
My email to Weis’ ice creams
My email to some tobacco companies
My email to Margaret Court
My email to KFC
Haught fact of the day:
I posted a poll on my Facebook page asking what you wanted to see next for the blog. “My email to Kyle Sandilands” won easily. But what would a blog entitled ‘Haught’ be without a total disregard for the wishes of its fans and followers?
I might post the Kyle Sandilands email next week – and promise it will make a bit more sense when seen as a kind of ‘sequel’ to the email above.
Grape Men quote of the day:
“I never say half the fuck horsehit that Hoff blog fuck say I say.”
“Haught. It’s pronounced Haught.”
“Ah! I no fuck care what you pronounce it. I never fart on Enzo’s car. I piss, yes. Of course. We all piss -”
“We do. We all piss on his car.”
“But I no frangivento!”
“I know, mate. I know. It’s bullshit.”
“It fuck horseshit. I start my own blog.”
“What – now?”
“Yes. Fuck now.”
“But what about the fuckin’ grapes?”
“Ah! Fuck the fuck grapes!”
Who are the Grape Men?