The #FreeAnnie campaign

As The Age reported this week Metro Trains has, over the last year, gone into a fine dispensing frenzy.

One of the people they’ve nabbed during this period of sustained blame-shifting and misdirection is a Haught reader by the name of Annie.

Last week she wrote to me about her recent experience on a Metro train and her subsequent correspondence with the Department of Transport.

Her emails were charming, vivid and compelling. (They also included brazen raunch; during one paragraph I fainted.)

It seems that some overzealous Metro Trains Authorised Officers, followed by the Department of Transport, have got the delightful Annie mixed up with a  fare-evading black squiggle non-entity, as represented in this advertising campaign.

From her emails alone I can tell that Annie is not a scribble-based
organism. And if she is, she’s probably a vibrantly coloured one. Annie, told me in her emails to me that “I never forget to buy a ticket because it matters to me to have a healthy transport system – and the only way Melbourne’s shitty system will improve is through use and investment by the people (fares).”

With this in mind, have a read of Annie’s case:

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A [FAUX] RESPONSE: My email to Metro Trains

by Haught 0 Comments

Last week I sent an email to Metro Trains.

I haven’t yet heard anything back from an official representative, but reader Veloaficionado has had an excellent stab at responding on their behalf:

Dear Mr Haught,

As a representative of Metro, I will take the opportunity to reply to your latest letter. At Metro, we pride ourselves on keeping abreast of all commentary on our performance, and although some may call this paranoid and in the vein of witch-huntery, Section G-37-B is very good at its job. The surveillance equipment they deploy is second to none, and the data encryption and database security employed is world class, deep within the reinforced concrete 3rd basement level where it is stored.

So rest assured that we are aware of your reputation and previous correspondence with other instrumentalities and businesses, and we wish to reassure you that we take your views of our performance very seriously.

However, we must take issue with absolutely everything that you say, even that we seem to employ public image management that is somewhat amateurish and implausible, or to you, it seems, laughable. We have spent a substantial amount of public money on such well-credentialed public relations advisors, who have offices in major European capitals and both the east and west coasts of the US.

Read the rest
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I owe Little Bean Blue a dollar

Dear fans of Haught Feelings,

I need a little favour. I need you to make sure I don’t forget something.

You see I owe a cafe in the Melbourne CBD a dollar.

Here’s how it happened. I went into the shop this morning and, just as I was about to approach the little take-your-order area, realised I was badly short of walletal cash.

When I’m not hiding behind my keyboard writing sarcastic (and what have been referred to as “quasi-intellectual”) complaint emails I roam the real world as a graceless buffoon. For that reason, once I discovered that I was at least a dollar short, I made the decision to crouch in the doorway and rummage for a gold coin that I have intermittently sighted, Emmaville Panther-like, at the bottom of my satchel.

My preposterous delving and scratching may well have lasted for several hours had the barista not stopped me by calling “Jonathan – strong latte!”

I only heard about Little Bean Blue a little while ago and have been in about ten times ever. In the last week I think I might have been in four times. Somehow, in that minuscule amount of time, the regular barista – with whom I’ve shared no more than three words on any given day – has not only learned my name, but also my preferred coffee AND is happy to start making it before I’ve even proved my ability to make a commercial transaction.… Read the rest

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My email to Metro Trains

by Haught 20 Comments

I wrote a letter to Metro Trains.

Exciting times.


Dear Metro Trains,

My name is Jonathan Rivett. You might know me – I’m kind of a big deal.  (I have many leather-bound books, and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.)

If you’e not familiar with my work, here’s a quick summary. A couple of weeks ago I became very, very famous when I posted on my blog an email exchange between me and Yarra Trams.

I sent them my account of a tram trip my wife and I had endured during which a drunk man abused passengers in a theatrical baritone. I felt that Yarra Trams had been less than truthful with their insistence that the police had been called once this man’s antics had gone from entertaining to distressing and wanted to know the real story. It was an immensely humorous and exquisitely worded piece of correspondence.

Instead of coming back with a hollow, supermarket-bought reply email, Yarra Trams responded in kind. I posted their brilliant email on my blog. The radio station 3AW found it, then The Age got wind of it and the rest is history.

Anyway, long story short: I thought I’d give you a chance to better your bitter public transport rivals.… Read the rest

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Lavatory humour with a serious edge

My alter ego wrote a short story and is trying to flog it on Amazon.

It contains the lavatory references you’ve come to love from Haught Feelings, but it’s all wrapped up in a serious story about workplace boredom and that whole “an idle mind is the devil’s playground” thing.

It’s called ‘Waiting‘ and it takes the form of a Kindle Single, which is a short piece of writing that you can download straight to your Kindle, or to any device that you can get the Kindle app on.

Here’s an excerpt:

I waited.

Waiting was becoming a bad habit for me. I’d discussed it with Penny Trentham from Social Media and she’d assured me I was “waiting for inspiration.” She was wrong for a change,  although only by six letters – I was waiting for motivation.

“What’s my motivation here, David?” If only I were an actor and could reasonably ask such a question of my ‘director’.

How I wished I could put an end to these hours of inaction by standing up, striding to my manager’s office, entering without knocking, and simply rejecting the ‘role’:

“David, I’m just not feeling it. This isn’t working for me at all.”

Sometimes it was these preposterous little fantasies that got me through the day.

Read the rest
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My email to Kyle Sandilands [VINTAGE HAUGHT]

by Haught 8 Comments
"Cane-toad". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Cane-toad“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Today the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said Kyle Sandilands’ November on-air ejaculation of bile was a little bit bad but mostly fine.

No idea which of the many many on-air Sandilands rants I’m talking about? Here’s a recap:

Last year about 1.7 million people said Kyle Sandilands’ new TV project was shit. A few of them said it publicly. One of these people was a journalist by the name of Alison Stephenson. Being a female weighing more than 50kg, Alison deeply offended Kyle. So Kyle decided to hit back.

I think ACMA took the soft option, because they knew I’d taken the hard option and Kyle had thus already served his penance. Here’s the email I sent to Kyle (via Austereo) at the end of last year:

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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:

Dear Gasp,

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.… Read the rest

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THE RESPONSE: My email to Yarra Trams

You may have noticed by now that I believe sarcasm is the second highest form of wit (lavatory humour being the first). Today, however, I write without even the slightest hint of it.

You may remember a few weeks ago I posted an email I had sent to this mob:

If you didn’t catch it, you can read it here.

I write the emails I send to well-known people and organisations, imagining very different reception scenarios. In the case of the Jim Beam email, for instance, I imagined a chimpanzee being slightly surprised by the noise of the email chime, making a little noise of distress, then (inexpertly) pressing the delete button with his long index finger, just like he’d been taught to.

In the case of the email I once sent to Kyle Sandilands, I imagined Jackie O phonetically reading the email on a tablet computer out loud from the side of a pool in which Kyle was lolling, and giving up after the second paragraph (and the fifteenth time Kyle called her a “dumb, illiterate moll”).

In the case of the email I once sent to Margaret Court, I imagined Margaret herself hissing at the screen and then escaping into the night through the window in the form of a bat.… Read the rest

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My email to Jim Beam

Recently, you might have seen an ad for an alcoholic beverage company where young men and women shout noises at the top of their voices…

…and that’s it. That’s the ad in its entirety.

You know the one…

Recently, I’ve heard some disappointing discussions revolving around the ad and have often found myself the lone voice of reason, defending their subversiveness, wit and poignant underlying message, among a group of up to a dozen irrational halfwits.

This being the case, I decided to write a letter of support to Jim Beam. It went a little something like this:

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“I’ve hit pay dirt, baby”

by Haught 1 Comment

Late last year a man sent me an email that I thought had changed by life.

It went like this:

Good morning,

I hope you are fine today?

I don’t know if you might be interested in a business proposal which am about to reveal to you considering that we haven’t met in person.

It’s all about US$ 10,000,000 dormant fund in our bank coded account here(SGBCI).

I am the only person with the knowledge of the funds and its deposit, and will solicit for your partnership for us to have it. My position in the bank will guarantee easy and risk-free handling of the transaction as i have every details of it.

I will give your more details as soon as I hear from you, including the sharing ratio.

Please ignore the proposition, if you don’t seem to be interested. contact me at mrjeanfafona@yahoo.co.uk

Please keep confidential!!

Thanks,

Mr Jean Fafona

Once the pressure build-up in my underpantal region had subsided, I responded, thus:

Good morning, Jean,

This sounds like a wonderful offer and I feel so privileged that, of the world’s seven million people, you chose me to share in the US$10 million.

First, I should apologise for being so late with my response.

Read the rest
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