Thursday, October 6, 2011

Got A Couple Letters Of My Own....

About a month ago winery owner/winemaker and very dear friend John Kelly tagged me in a post on Facebook. I was at work when I got the email altering me and seeing as my bosses don’t pay me to check my personal Facebook shit I simply marked the email as read and told myself to check it out when I got home. Finished my day, made dinner, fired off some emails and then returned to Facebook to get caught up on all the fascinating updates of, “I’m at Big O Tires” and pictures of little kids giving the finger. Yeah, kind of a love/hate thing I got going with that particular social media, (fuck I’m tired of those two words) network.

 Kinda fun the stuff I do for the store on it, the way customers come in looking for whatever I put there, sign up for classes after I post about them or people coming in for the first time after following us on there. So the work part =’s good. That chat feature can come in handy when my insomnia hits me and I pop on to find one of my friends also up….the 2:00 AM confessions about miserable middle school memories and discovering that you both share a fear of sharks, well something a tad comforting about that. The keeping up with the stuff your buddies, your real buddies are up, well that part I like and I have to admit I get a massive giggle out of posting random shit and then commenting on my own status. Don’t ask me why but there is something infinitely hilarious to me about posting something like, “There are 25 flavors of Pop Tarts. That is all” only to go back and chat myself up, “Well I can think of like five” and then, “What’s the difference between chocolate fudge and plain chocolate?” stupid and marginally sad but it cracks me up and even more so when my husband yells from the other room, upon hearing my snickering, “Are you talking to yourself of Facebook again?!”

So that covers the good parts. The junk I could do without are the afore mentioned, “I’m at Walgreen's” or, “I just knocked out Tamara Hagsworth as mayor of Dorks R Us on Foursquare” and I have no time or desire to hook up with friend harvesters. If I’m there after work I’m there to either entertain myself, share something, be silly or catch up with my real friends. Off the clock Facebooking is just for me….

So I got home and had forgotten about being tagged in a post. Clicked on the little flag thingie that tells me who posted on what, a whole day’s worth is unruly as hell and I just kind of glanced before going back to my own goofy posting. Wasn’t until the next morning that I was clicking on the red flag deal once again, (I shit you not, Facebook people never sleep….that and I do have friends in different time zones so there is always a bunch of new flags when I log on) that I remembered that John had added my name in a post so I headed over to his page, slightly nervous, to see what was up. Scrolled down a bit to see that my buddy had shared a link to a wine blog he found, the tag for me, “Samantha Dugan dear? I know this does not apply to you unless Southern reps come around” the blog, Dear Wine Buyer.

Had bit of time before having to hop in the shower and I knew that John and I had a pretty similar sense of humor, so I headed over and spent a good thirty minutes chuckling, cringing, nodding and feeling for this poor chick. So the blog appears to be written mostly by one woman, a sales rep for a smaller distributor or broker, written anonymously and she does take submissions from others looking to unload, faceless, about this business of ours. I found her funny, I support people and their need to complain about us, (seriously some buyers are complete and total wankers…I try not to be but, well I have had my moments) and this business of ours so I ended up putting her on my blogroll. Check it out, especially those of you in the wine business….and there is one in particular I am thinking of and I KNOW you would not only love it but could send in some letters of your very own. For those of you not in the business I fear it may be a little “industry” but still well written and worth a look see.

Been following along, not every day but checking in from time to time…just can’t get too vested seeing as it is anonymous, and still digging it but, well after a couple particularly rep saturated weeks I think I might have a few letters of my own…

Dear Sales Rep,
It’s very nice to meet you and I wish you the absolute best of luck in your first venture in the wine business! While I find your question adorable I just don’t have a favorite wine….between red and white, you know, seeing as there are like many other factors other than color. While I wish you would have maybe come by our store, scoped out what it is we do here, before making your appointment with me, I will be more than happy to taste through your four Igloo…Styrofoam coolers worth of wine. Oh no, it’s okay, feel free to answer your smarter-than-you-are phone during our appointment, after that opener of, “What’s your favorite wine, red or white?!” I doubt we have much more to talk about. Really, this is your favorite? I can dig that but I don’t see a market for your Strawberry Sparkltini here at The Wine Country. Yes, it is a “pretty color” but still, think I’m gonna pass. And this is merely a suggestion but, you might want to rethink the glitter nails and strip club, Hawaiian Tropic perfume.  

Dear French Mafia,
Ya’ll smell. I know, I know, you come from the land of aromatics and cologne is like a big deal but seriously? Do you not understand that your aromatics are fucking with me trying to find something slightly appealing in your over-priced, thin, animal ass smelling wine?! Yes, you are thin, impeccably dressed, your accent nearly melting, the confidence with the eye contact and muttering a grunt with every word I say is charming but…your wines are hard, shrill, thin, lacking any accent and about $10.00 more than they have any right to be. You don’t like it either, than can I ask why you looked at me like I was a nut job when I said it wasn’t for us?  Um, no I don’t want to see the hot tub in your hotel room.
Really? Your friend Philippe is pouring it with great success at the bistro he runs that I’ve never heard of in Newport Beach? And you guys both came here from your little village in the south of France to teach scuba but couldn’t make any money so you hit up your other French friends for a job selling French wine, even though you don’t drink? Couldn’t tell. No, I still don’t want to see the hot tub in your room. 

Dear Sales Rep,
I’m sorry, did we have an appointment? I understand that you are new but I can’t drop everything and not prepare for our store tasting, you know those events we hold that actually make us money, to meet with you and taste through your “couple bottles”. No, I know my event doesn’t start for another hour but I assure you, I won’t just be sitting here with my thumb up my ass until it starts, got some shit to do to prepare for it. Okay, okay I understand, you’re new and your boss is riding around with a couple bottles and wants to stop by. I don’t want to get you in trouble, but please remember my event….with those pesky customers that buy shit…is in an hour, so when will he be here? Fifteen minutes you say, well okay but please understand that I will have to speed through the wines and back to the schedule that you weren’t on. 

Oh never mind that, that was just my boss asking me what the fuck I was thinking scheduling an appointment twenty minutes before our tasting started. Oh don’t you worry, I’m not in trouble, I so threw your ass under the bus on this one. Oh and might I suggest you look up the word couple in the dictionary? Twelve is not a couple and didn’t anyone in your company, (or that fancy little hand held computer containing our entire 16 year sales history) tell you that I don’t deal with factory fizz? Yup, I can tell you are less than elated with my reaction to your one hundred thousand case production bulk Champagne, we are in the same boat there partner, I am less than elated to sniff, swirl, taste and spit shit wines that I would have never let you come see me with, you know, had you called to schedule an appointment. I so appreciate your shitty face as you walk out acting as if I just wasted your time while I run cheeses to the back and cut them, with the ten, long minutes I now have left before our event. Thanksomuch. Douche…

Dear Creepy Rude Wine Rep,
Just so you know, I washed my hands like an OCD patient before our meeting. That and I put you off three times already because just sitting across from you makes my flesh crawl and has me wondering just how many human heads they will eventually find in your freezer. I did love my last rep from your company but that’s not it, you’re odd and that is why I don’t so much care for you. I do however appreciate your diagnosis of my dear friend as having a “personality disorder” when you are the one that, from what I can tell, (oh and yes, I’ve talked to others, they think so too) has a pretty raging case of Asperger’s. Loved it when you began our first meeting with, “I’ve read your blog” and then immediately after, “I can help you write shelf talkers if you like” yeah, that was magic. Even better when after I told you that we don’t let others write our stuff, you went to my boss and, very generously, gave the same offer. Don’t be booty hurt that he said no too, it is just our policy and…well you probably freak him out too.
I understand that somewhere in your head you believe that you know way more than I do, not sure where you got that, I mean other than from all the voices in there, but it’s real hard for me to feel like I’m wrong in my assessment of your wears when you are tasting with me and I see a slimy little piece of green gum slip from under your lip. Dude. Did you not see Sideways?! Gum while wine tasting, kind of a no-no.  

Your smug, “Well I would think you would” comments mean precisely dick to me, what you think scares me dude. I want no part of anything going on in that head and I would be more than happy to have our dealings happen over the internets where I don’t have to look in those buggy eyes or watch you and your flop sweats deal with your iphone. You have some amazing wines that I know quite well and I will continue to order them…in spite of you.

Just the very tip of the iceberg I assure you….


Alfonso Cevola said...

don't get me started - plenty of volleys from the other side of the net on this one too, especially during O-N-D

loved this one - capital of Texas indeed

why aren't "we" in Friuli?

Tom Johnson said...

Jeez. I thought I was bitter.

John M. Kelly said...

See? See? I just KNEW this would unleash your not-so-inner RAWR.

I'm especially interested in this writing as a realistic (not bitter, Tom, realistic) explanation for the interested consumer of how that bottle of wine made it on to the self.

And thanks for the shout-out, buddy!

Thomas said...

Having been on both sides of the aisle, I have nothing but contempt for all of us...

Samantha Dugan said...

You should check out the blog. Really is funny and I know so much of what is said there is so very true. Yean, I was talking to Nico the other night, (another non-sleeping Facebook night) and we were saying that very thing, "Why aren't we in Friuli? Well, that and, "Jeremy is there drinking Grappa without us!".

Dude you have no idea.

It's like you know me and junk. Thanks for turning me on to what really is a fun, albeit cringe inducing read.

Only been on this side but have seen some shit go down, heard millions of stories, (some of my closest friends are sales reps( and gotta say, can't blame ya.

Wine Rep said...

"...and has me wondering just how many human heads they will eventually find in your freezer..." heh. I think I know this guy...

thanks for the love, I've been following your blog for a couple weeks now. (Feed readers are a wonderful way to kill time while waiting in cattle call line-ups) Regarding your previous post with the most appropriate veuve schwag I've ever seen, I'm hoping to sneak in to the upcoming Theise Champagne portfolio tasting in my neck of the woods...

Samantha Dugan said...

Wine Rep,
Well welcome and thanks for reading. I have been enjoying your blog as well although I read one of those tweeted side bar jobbies and felt a thump in my tummy as I am guilty of doing what they were complaining about. Good reminder for me to check in with the other side from time to time.

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Valerie said...

1) Stupidest question ever. "What's your favorite 'wine' - red or white?"

2) About spit my Muscadet all over my MacBook when I saw your Boo Pecoche label.

3) Going to check out wine rep.

Big hugs!

Wait - 2nd stupidest question ever. The other one was an add on linked in asking me "If I missed my old boss?" Yeah, that's why I turned away from 25 years in IT to vino. Probably that guy's fault I drink in the first place.

Samantha Dugan said...

That Boo Pechoche label kills me. My dear friend Joe over at Suburban Wino mocked that up and I use it every chance I get...friggin' awesome.

The "Red or White" lady was just too freaking green to be calling on us and that I why I opted to include that exchange...c'mon people, sending that twit in was a fucking insult. Lame. I thought of a bunch more but I was getting kinda buzzy and long winded as it was so I stopped there but, oh there will be more. I think a little splash of Muscadet on your Mac Book is a fitting tribute, pouring some for your homie in honor of Mr. Jobs. Cheers!

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Oh boy, now here's an endless topic. I think I probably talked to several hundred wine salespeople in my jaded career. A couple of them liked me.

What about the guy who shows up so drunk he pours wine onto the tablecloth instead of into your glass?

Or the ones who show up just to eat as much of the happy hour food as they can while they taste you on corporate plonk?

And I prefer cologne to body odor, but call me a nitpicker...

Ah, yes, memories...

I love you, and I'm glad I don't call on you--with wine anyway.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Come now, the way I hear it you were much loved by the reps when you were down here. Now that being said, you have GOT to have better stories than those!

You wouldn't want to call on me?! Awe Love, I was so looking forward to seeing what you have in your sack...

Joe said...

Boo Pecoche all around. I hear it makes great shark repellant.

Granted, the only thing that frightens me more than great white sharks is

Not selling me on trying to get a job with a distributor (can't seem to get one anyway... not enough heads in the freezer). Guess we'll be moving out west so I can hook up with a disallusioned French guy and sell garbage with fancy names.

Samantha Dugan said...

Boo Pecoche, works on sharks and Samanthas. Oh kid, don't let my yammering bum your hopes for selling wine wholesale, let Dear Wine Buyer's do it! Gotta say, for the most part I adore my reps and get along fine with them but there are those moments....