Quitting in a Blaze of Glory, NYC Waitress Edition

A waitress’s open letter to the oh-so-seductive customer who manhandled her has gone viral. I should excerpt it but the whole thing is so fantastic, I’m reprinting it here in full:

Dear Brian, You came into the restaurant where I work and ordered a Stoli on the rocks. When I asked you and your companion if you’d be eating, or needing anything else from me, you put your hand – ever so gently – ON MY ASS and asked if you could take me “to go”. When I immediately stepped away and said “Sorry, what?” you probably gathered that I was and am not receptive of such advances from customers. We were in a family-friendly restaurant, around 6:30pm, and I was wearing a loose-fitting, long sleeve shirt, jeans, and no makeup…so I’m not sure where the confusion arose as to what kind of service you were being provided. You left soon after, leaving a signed credit card slip and a two dollar tip (see picture included!). Your name is Brian Lederman. I found you, instantly, via a quick Google search online. I looked at your face on Linked In, the World’s Largest Professional Network. You work at Swiss Performance Management and Truehand AG, in Investment Management. Of course you do. 

I work as a bartender, and have for more than five years now. I graduated NYU with honors, and have at some point held down every conceivable part time type job including but not limited to food service, administration, and even temp work at firms such as yours. So far, bartending allows me the most flexibility to pursue my artistic career, while comfortably covering my basic living expenses, including my outrageously high student loan payments. I have a good job that I’m grateful for. The environment is low key, I have incredibly supportive coworkers and managers, and – in general – the clientele is nice. But I still hate being a bartender. 

Dear Bank: I’m Breaking Up With You

Dear Marie: It was with mixed emotions that I read your letter, in which you wrote that Liberty Bank values its relationship with me. I must confess to some serious misgivings concerning that relationship and the bank’s true feelings.

Scan and Bag Your Own vs. A Real Person

Farhad Manjoo, formerly of Slate (his last post there was about how men should wear makeup) is now at the Wall Street Journal, and he writes about how robots and computers have yet to take over the low-wage job of the grocery cashier.

Sallie Mae: Helping You Pay Less, So You Owe Them More

I think it's underreported how incredibly nice the customer service agents at Sallie Mae can be about you not paying back your loan.

How the Other Half Lives

While I was in the middle of writing a long meditation on the moral obligations of the rich, I received the following email...

Too Busy Counting Their Money to Care That You Hate Them

Think about the companies you love to hate: cable TV providers, cellphone carriers. It turns out that some of the most-hated companies out there don't care that you hate them because they're too busy going home to count all the money they're making.

Thank You For Trusting USAA

The following is inspired by true events.

WWYD: The Bad Haircut

Last weekend I got a really bad haircut—waaay shorter and a totally different shape than the stylist and I had discussed.

There’s Probably No Hope for Consumers Who Aren’t Filthy Rich

My recent interactions with my former bank have prompted me to think about the feedback loop between consumers and the companies that squeeze profit from serve them. We like to think that when companies do something stupid or abusive, market competition will allow us to express our ire by taking our hard-earned dollars somewhere else. But what happens when that just doesn’t work? (Spoiler: it mostly never works. We just get screwed and keep coming back for more.)

My Credit Card Bill Is Due Tomorrow And I Don’t Have Money, Help!

So, I basically built up a ridiculously amount of credit card debt when I moved to the city a few years ago and had to intern for six months earning next to nothing. I've been sloooowly paying it all down, but I have a credit card payment of $250ish due, well, tomorrow, and I don't have enough money to pay it.

Banking Customer Service

Felix Salmon had a really difficult time requesting a simple document from Citibank and wrote a post about his experience on Medium.