xoxo, Christine

Those who know me can attest that I find a certain joy in writing strongly worded letters to people or companies who piss me off. I'm not always the most articulate person verbally, especially when I'm angry, but can somehow always express myself through words. When I sit down to write my heart doesn't pound quite so hard, I don't have to concentrate on not bursting in to tears (if applicable), and the option to storm off or hang up doesn't exist. The written form of communication gives me much more control and flexibility.

Writing the strongly worded letter also gives me time, something that you don't always have in face-to-face combat. Insults can be perfected, profanity can be appropriately placed, and suggestions of violence can be viciously crafted. And then the delete button can be fully utilized. In place of a furious mess that once existed, a sarcastic, witty, biting bit of prose can be sent instead (for example, change "your customer service representative is a bitch and seems to have something shoved up her ass" to "your customer service representative was extremely disrespectful and made me wonder if discussing my billing concerns wasn't her primary priority, as your pre-recorded holding message suggests").

Take today, for example. Yesterday, my high school yearbook staff handed out our annual book, which turned out quite well considering the circumstances (new adviser, huge staff of 40 inexperienced kids, lack of equipment, etc...). I braced myself for student backlash, but received none (my kids said that one a scale of 1 to 10, one being horrible, ten being amazing, the student consensus was a 7.5). I received several complimentary emails from staff members and even a thank you card from a club. By third period today I was relieved and borderline pleas
ed (I'm okay with the bitching that is inevitably going on behind my back). And then I received a forwarded email from the principal from a colleague with a very, very petty complaint that I won't relay for privacy issues (see, I'm professional). The boss-woman was somewhat amused, and my ASB director defended my honor via an impassioned phone call. I sat down to write a response to the upset colleague and, of course, went through the drafting process. In the end, I accepted responsibility for the silly little mistake but still pointed out our efforts. I must admit my original response was not pretty.

Today I obviously had to tone it down more than usual- I see this person at staff meetings, and, more importantly, our email is monitored by the district. AT&T, Dell, the apartment leasing office, my ex-podiatrist, an ex-boyfriend, Quest Diagnostics, Enterprise, the teacher's union, ex-Governor Schwarzenegger (for th
e state budget, not for boinging the maid), and Planter's (why the hell did they discontinue Cheez Balls?) have not been so lucky. I enjoy writing harsh letters and relish any opportunity to do so. It's cathartic, it makes me feel in control, and I like to see it as a creative outlet.

I occasionally write the nice, complimentary ones too. A few months ago a nice guy from Sports Chalet carried a 100-pound spin bike to my car in the heat and then stood around while I looked in the owner's manual to figure out how to put the seats down. But I've got to be honest- it really isn't as fun as the harsh ones.

So, if you ever need someone to come up with some professional, yet snotty, zingers, please don't hesitate to ask.

And if you expect me to continue to purchase items from your company, I really suggest you bring back those cheesy balls of goodness, Planter's. Last I checked it's just bad business to remove successful products from your line, not to mention disrespectful to my taste buds. Seriously, who the hell doesn't like balls?



  1. i agree bring back the balls!! now you have me curous about this email concerning the boo boo in the yearbook. i wrote one complaint email once, it must run in our blood, i wont say who it was too but i did get free starbucks out of it.

  2. That's great that you write all those letters. It's good to stand up for what you believe in!

  3. Wow... we need to talk about this yearbook complaint. I think you did a great job. I didn't get to see it all because none of my students bought one, but I did skim through it! The cover looks awesome too! Great job.

    How many more days? Oo! I forgot to mark off my days... here I go!