Monday, February 7, 2011

To Offend or Not to Offend, that is the question...

How often have you heard in a conversation, some person interject the "I mean no offense" which of course means he/she just said something that was potentially offensive.  Sometimes the quick response of "None taken." gets  the guy/gal off the hook.  (if one is to believe that no offense was REALLY not taken). 

In this day and age of people trying to be politically correct, maybe more of us are watching what we say.  I am not sure since there still seems to be a lot of comments flying around that could be taken in a manner that is ....well...offensive. 

Because, I have a very high threshold for being offended, maybe I can not be a impartial judge as to what would offend someone else.  I would be way more likely to have my feelings hurt over a poorly phrased comment than I would be to be offended by it.  For example, just recently a friend commented that I am too thin in proportion to the size of my feet and hands.
HMMM.   I was just short of having my feelings hurt until I realized that the word "thin" was in that sentence.  That makes it OK.  Maybe people will notice my thinness and not notice the big feet and hands.  Also, I have lived 58 years and not one other person has pointed out that particular flaw so it must not be all that noticeable.  Even if it is noticeable, nothing can reverse big feet and hands, I suspect.  I am not aware of  plastic surgery for hand or feet reduction.

An example of  "Didn't mean to offend....

It is not unlike me to get on the Internet and hit the "Contact Us" button for any number of companies.  Totally, my nature to ask questions about a product or complain about something...oorrr ...everything.  Reverting back to my first post on this site, you might remember my theory of age=cynicism because  the 50+ years of being screwed over numerous times.  So it wouldn't be out of the question for me to drop an email to someone (usually a company) to give them a piece of my mind. 

Not so long ago, AT&T was running an ad for some new "must have" cell phone.  In this particular TV spot, there were two guys in a bar.  Let's for the sake of my story call them Guy A and Guy B.  Guy A is admiring Guy B's neat phone.  Guy B says if you want to be a Player you really need this phone.  Guy A is so excited, "Really I can be a Player by getting this phone?"  (or some version of this).  Stupid commercial.  Really stupid.

So of course, my conflicted self, goes to the Internet and click the "Contact Us" button.  Let me point out that I do business with AT&T.  Lots of business, so I am feeling somewhat justified telling them that their commercial (that I am helping pay for with my Uverse TV, cell phone and Internet service costs) is really stupid.

I email them.  Basically I say, 

Hey marketing guys,

Don't mean to rain on your parade but what the heck is with your "player" commercial??  I think it is really dumb.  Do you guys get that the way you are using the word player gives the suggestion that these two morons at the bar are talking about being womanizers.  The word player is slang for playing the field but even more than that really.   More to the point of  playing around and getting a reputation as a "Player".  Enough, said.  Is this what AT&T is trying to convey?

A few days later I get a response,

We are so sorry to have offended you.  Our marketing department has researched our target market and don't agree with your interpretation of the word player.  Thanks for your input and again sorry for offending you.

Your friends at

Who said I was offended???  Not at all.  They could have had strippers on the bar throwing  cell phones to those man sluts and I wouldn't have been offended.  I just don't get the correlation as to how this would improve cell phones sales.  How many guys want to buy cell phones to become "players" or "stripper watchers". Still stupid in my mind.

Another problem with the use of the "Contact Button" that might come close to offending me is when the answer they send back isn't even close to the question or comment I sent in.  I guess I am offended they didn't care enough to read my email closely enough to come close to the correct response.  Maybe this isn't really offending me as much as pissing me off.

A couple of weeks ago, I sent a note to the people that make the sweetener, Splenda. 

Dear Splenda people,

I bought your cookbook and have really enjoyed some of the baked goods.  However, I find that if I substitute your product Splenda Blend in place of using Splenda, the products come out better.  I know the conversion of Splenda to real sugar BUT if the recipe calls for Splenda what is the conversion to Splenda Blend.

(for you that are having trouble following this logic...basically, I want to know instead of using all fake sweetner, how much fake sweetener with sugar added should I use.  They should know as both of these ARE THEIR PRODUCTS.)

So, I wait a few days and here come an answer.

Use the same amount of Splenda in you recipe as whatever the sugar measurement is.  If the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sugar use 1/2 cup of Splenda. 

Your friends

WHAT THE HECK??? Were you not listening  errr ...I mean, reading.   Splenda's email reader did NOT answer the question.
Did I not say right in the email that I already know the sugar to Splenda conversion????

One more example came into play lately.  I was talking to someone discussing the kinds of cars that we would like to be driving.  I drive a newer mid size SUV but one that was bought frankly because it was inexpensive and had a great warranty.  In the conversation one of the participants said  "you are what you drive".  By their theory, they would be an high-end, sleek and trendy German,.  I on the other hand I am a cheap Korean with no car payments.   Sorry, didn't mean to offend.  (Hope you all are saying "No offense taken".)
All and all, I don't offend terribly easy but everyone, I suppose everyone has their hot buttons.  Here is hoping my blogs aren't pushing buttons out in cyber space.

The good for the day.....

Watched my pal DVR this morning to see the Super Bowl commercials.  I thought a few were pretty clever.  Always fun.
One of mys favorite isn't getting a whole lot of commentary.  The Bridgestone commercial with the beaver and driver doing some version of the fist pump.  Thought that was pretty funny.

The Bad for the day

All the buzz about the national anthem. Should we be feeling bad for Christina?? Not sure yet, how I feel. 
Does it surprise you to know, I am conflicted??

The Freakin Weird for the day

The Doritos commercial is weird.  The guy licking the other guys finger.  ICK.... Even more disgusting smelling the guy's slacks.  Double ICK

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