Culture Fail

By Ben Appten

You grab a cup of coffee before work at a certain mega-corporate coffee shop every day. You even memorized the names of the employees who work the morning shift.

You place your order after some lighthearted banter with the gal at the register you know so well. They promptly make your order and your excitement is barely contained.

The moment comes.

They call the name Ben. You are ready. You were born ready to receive this cup of coffee that you were born to worship.

You smile and politely thank Nicole for what could be the best double venti mocha vanilla coffee with sweetener no whip extra sprinkles and five cupcakes you’ve ever had in your life.

Yet for some reason you are now sitting at your desk in a terrible mood.

They prepared your order specially for you. It even tastes special.

Suddenly, your eyes look at the name again. Infuriated, you grab your intelligence gadget. You find the perfect lighting conditions and snap a pic of this abomination.

Immediately you upload it to ten social networks, caption reading “Argh, they spelled my name wrong AGAIN! How hard is it to spell Ben? #whatevs #mycoffee.”

Meanwhile, in an office far away, a marketing intern stirs. Data is entered. The intern notices a sudden increase in volume of posts about a certain coffee company that doesn’t know how to spell.

The following Monday, corporate holds what appears to be a very important meeting.

At high volume, heard throughout the offices…

“No! Don’t start spelling the customer’s name correctly. Our social media buzz is off the charts. This is word of mouth advertising, people! The best kind! The free kind! Spell Ben with five letters if you have to! We want them to post about this! We want them all to post about this!”

And post we do.

Happy social media-ing!

Congratulations, You’re Having a Derp
By Joel Hutton

Hospitals loom large in a one shop town like Corvallis, inevitably they make the short list as one of the largest employers and places to hang if you’re on the baby path or been in a wreck. So, Samaritan Health knowing that food is a thing in these instances surgeried their cafeteria – new warm tones all sheathed in cheapo plastic finishes, and $6 heat lamp food not even on par with $3 frozen meals.

On this reviewer’s two visits, a lukewarm rubber patty melt and a very stingy portion of Moroccan beef stew that would have sent a prisoner into a hunger strike, and in both instances only after the ether-snorter behind the counter got the order wrong. But at least there is the irony; the prior version of this bleak emporium aptly being monikered The Hilltop Café, being on top of a hill, is now named Valley View, for a view it only possesses in one teensy corner if you’re squinting – mainly you look on a patio, some trees and a big cement block building.

Da Vinci Days Code?
By Rob Goffins

Yay! The city has given the da Vinci Days Festival a loan extension, so no $1,000 payment this year. But, uh oh, said festival still owes the $10,000 loan and about another $30,000 to Wells Fargo, which is hard to repay when you’ve suspended your operations.

The question is what is the inside scoop on this? Is the city’s forbearance a hopeful nod or just a resigned shrug as the beleaguered festival crashes around searching for itself à la largely unpublicized public forums and a truly odd survey. Festival honcho, Michael Dalton, says his steering committee continues to meet, he sounds hopeful – stay tuned, maybe?