Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How Technology Helped Me Make an Unlikely Friend

Whenever I write a piece about a specific product I like to take a moment and pass on my comentary to the company. In the past I've written to Yoplait yogurt, break up letters to Coca-Cola, suggestions to various transportation agencies and a WTH to TGI Friday's. As I push send I can imagine the person at the corporate terminal opening my little digital gift with half closed eyes, a dry mouth and tired wrists. And then, with the first line read, and eye lid lifts a bit. Then the other lid. Perhaps their spine becomes more erect and their mouth salivates at the sight of this comment/suggestion that reads like candy- or salt and vinegar potato chips, depending on my mood. By the end they are subtly nodding their head in agreement and looking around at their coworkers. Wondering if they should keep this little treasure to themselves or share it with the rest of their terminal bound friends. A small part of me is sure that my comments are printed out, circled with a highlighter and hung near the microwave in the break room. And then I think, who am I kidding. A big part of me thinks this. 
Most recently I wrote about Starbursts candy. I was touched when I received this handcrafted response to my thoughtful prose. It was sent from Dono Treply. 
Dono I thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I believe we have both been mutually enriched. 

Dear Mr. Elliot,
Thank you so much for your kind words.  Your taking the time to share this the way you did means a lot to us. We're glad to hear how much you enjoy Starburst® Original Candy.
At the Wrigley Company, we've always felt that, even in a little thing like a piece of candy, quality is important.  After more than a century, we continue to feel that way about all of our products. That's why we so appreciate hearing from you.
We'll be sure to share your comments and information with the Starburst team, who'll certainly appreciate your encouragement, as well.  Again, thank you and if you have any additional questions or comments feel free to contact us at 1-800-WRIGLEY Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST.  

Dono Treply, I really like what we have shared together in our brief but thoughtful exchange. I'm sure you can look forward to more messages from me in the comment section of Wrigley's home page. It might be about Starbursts again. Or gum. Or the parrot I'm thinking about getting. Perhaps some poetry. Because that's what friends do. They share things with each other. So Dono, this is just the beginning of a wonderful kind and encouraging friendship. 

Hope you are looking forward to hearing from me again,

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