So, I was talking with my friend John this weekend (happy birthday again John) and long story short, after about half a pear cider at the Fishbowl in Olympia we decided that I’m going to start writing letters as a public service. Basically I was telling him about the letter I wrote about the 25 for 25 thing and how I got something out of it (just a response and a cool connection is “getting something” in my book, FYI), even though that wasn’t my intention, and I started thinking and I realized that, man, I have gotten a LOT of free shit over the years based just on having written letters. A sampling of the only things I can remember at present:
– Free $100-value gift basket from Aveda in response to a letter I sent with product suggestions and requests for them to stop using certain ingredients;
– $50 gift card plus having 2 pairs of pants re-lined at a tailor for free from J Crew, in response to a letter I wrote whining about how the linings in all their stuff fall apart (pants are the worst);
– I got on the Tom’s of Maine Product Development Customer Feedback Board in high school and early college due to a letter I once wrote asking about their products/ingredients – they then sent me sample products and I just had to fill out a survey and send it back and I made over $500 for using free mouthwash they’d send me and filling out a supereasy brief survey;
– Free box of produce from Pioneer Organics when I complained about how their mangoes were bruised and how the kiwis they sent me weren’t actually organic;
– Gotten out of $150 on a speeding ticket, and a $40 parking ticket, just based on letter-writing.
– At work, I’ve gotten about $300 worth of free maintenance on our printer…
I’m telling you, writing letters makes shit HAPPEN. Not to MENTION that whole Trader Joe’s thing that sort of spawned just based on whining online – it wasn’t exactly a letter, but still… so, I think I’m good with this letter thing, but I’m running out of causes. At some point I’m going to create a template and send it to every single natural personal care company I’m into but have beef with, and just alter the specific details, but basically be like “could you please stop using these ______[insert bad ingredients here] ingredients for these _______[insert supporting evidence] reasons? Thanks” and seeing if I can’t get some responses. And chances are they’ll send me free shit; they probably will, if past experience is any indicator. So anywho: I’ll get to my own letter-writing extravaganza soon, but in the meantime I’ve decided to expand my practice. Until I find a more worthwhile pastime to entertain me at work, I’ll be taking entries for my nonprofit letter-writing business here. Anything you want accomplished? Need a free t-shirt? I’ll write you a letter. I already have a couple that I told John I’d do, but once I get the ball rolling, I’ll start taking submissions. BTW I’ll just draft it – you then have to put your name on it, print it out, sign it, and mail it in, and if you are karma-positive you will share with me any profit that this letter brings to you (i.e. let me borrow the T-shirt I score for you if I wish, or take me as your guest if I get you a free dinner for two, etc. – and if you don’t, that’s okay too). So, starting today, you can send in your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OH by the way, I reserve the right to refuse and/or ignore any entry at my sole discretion for any reason which I am entitled to not disclose. Bascially I’ll only do things that I think are funny or otherwise entertaining or worthwhile, and will not get me/you in trouble. I can be a letter-bigot if I want to. Write your own damn letter if you have a problem with my system, haha. So, any takers?