Friday, December 23, 2011

My battle with Cafe Courier

So, dear readers, for those of you who know me, you know that I am a terrible cook. A "oops-I-set-the-kitchen-on-fire" kind of terrible cook. So it should not surprise anyone that I often look to professional food makers to feed me. Since I also don't like going out into the real world (I have Skyrim; why would I need to go outside ever?), I utilize delivery services, which are arguably the greatest thing ever to people like me.

I settled on a service called Cafe Courier. I was fine with them for the most part, until I received an email from them.

 It's your standard Christmas email, "peace and prosperity, we'll be closed, safe new year, blah blah blah." I thought it was nice of them (actually, I thought "WHY DO I GET SO MUCH EMAIL?" but if I didn't get 50 emails a day from companies trying to sell me things, I would have thought that). But wait, what's that bit at the bottom? 
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6 
 Huh. Well that's...something. I got upset. If this had just been one of those "love everyone" or something kind of Bible verses, then whatever, fine. It would leave a bad taste in my mouth but I wouldn't make a big deal of it. However, this reeks of proseltyzation. 

So I did two things: I emailed them and I posted a Facebook status about it.

My email said: 
Dear Cafe Courier,

 I just wanted to let you know that you've lost my business due to the Christmas email you sent out. I had been a happy customer for a while, but your addition of a Bible verse in your "thank you" email makes me feel ostracized as a non-Christian. I realize it is your prerogative to include religious messages in your private business dealings, just as it is my prerogative to avoid doing business with a religiously-based business.
 My Facebook status said:
Boo. I've been ordering from Cafe Courier a lot since I moved to Columbus, but when they sent me a "thank you" email they included a Bible verse. Ugh. I understand they are free to do that, just as I am free to no longer give them my business.
My Facebook status blew up. Comments ranged from confusion and honest questions to understand to hyperbole that I would now start disowning Christian family members to comments about how horrible the Bible is to suggestions that I am intolerant, with many, many comments in between (it's at 98 comments as I type this). Now, despite the popular idea that I'm bullheaded, I actually do take any and all criticize of my ideas seriously. I try very hard to think things through all the way before I make a judgment or decision, but I could miss something and be wrong. So, when someone suggested that this company is "not necessarily asking you to believe what they do, they're just saying, 'here's a sentiment that I find lovely, and because I find it lovely I wanted to share it with you'." I kept it as a possibility. Maybe that is what they were doing, even though my initial reaction was to think otherwise.Hey, sometimes I overreact and think emotionally rather than logically. I could be wrong.  So I offered up the chance that if their response email (if I got one) was something to that effect, I would keep using this company. 

So imagine my (lack of) surprise when I got this email back from them.

(It reads: "Sorry we offended you. We, however, feel it would be offensive to ignore the meaning of the major holiday that 95% of Americans celebrate. Happy Holidays to you!")

Huh. Well, now that's some condescending, factually incorrect, proselytizing bullshit. 

All my madness has been spent for the day (trust me, it takes a lot of energy being mad at everything all the time), so I was debating whether I should respond to the email or not. And if so, how? Do I correct them that Christmas is not, in fact, because of Jesus? Or how shitty of a business practice it is? Luckily, my friends were on it. 

I posted that response to the status, and one of my friends (who had actually suggested the "maybe they're just sharing because they think it's nice" thing) basically said 

She drafted this up and sent it:

To Whom it May Concern,
In a recent email to a non-Christian client of yours, you gave the least sincere apology ever for offending her with your inclusion of a Bible verse in your holiday greeting. You informed her that ignoring the “meaning” of the holiday was offensive to you because 95% of Americans celebrate it.
While you are correct that 95% of Americans celebrate Christmas, 67% of those people say that their enjoyment of this holiday has nothing at all to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. So that “meaning” you speak of is something that less than 30% Americans celebrate. That in itself is an interesting number given that 60 – 76% of Americans call themselves Christians, yet less than 30% of Americans celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas time. I guess that means that 30 – 46% of Americans are bad Christians, huh?
At any rate, your attempt to foist your religious views on your clientele is unprofessional and offensive not just to the majority of Americans who are not Christians but also to those of us in the 30% minority who do celebrate Christ’s birth. You owe that young lady an apology. A real one this time.
Now, please provide me with the name and contact information of the owner and/or president of your company, so that this issue may be addressed by more than an anonymous mouthpiece.
Sincerely, [Sarah's bad ass friend] 
I feel like she handled it very well. (She's an old friend of the sense that I've known her for a long time, not that she's old...but I am a bit younger than her so I think the "young lady" part is kind of funny.)  I will post updates if anything further happens. I probably will respond to them, however I think I should calm down first (and do laundry, because I am still in pajamas).

What do you think? Did I overreact? Are they being shitty? If you send them an email, post what you said in the comments.


  1. I probably would have let it slide, but I'm equally glad there's people out there who won't.

    It takes all kinds.

    Their response did seem to out their true intentions, and justifies your initial reaction.

  2. Please do provide updates! I wonder if this will turn out like that Gelato Mio thing or not (probably not).

  3. Wouldn't you have been better served just ignoring it? It wasn't affecting you in any way if you chose not to read it, right? I figured an Athiest would much rather just ignore religion, then try and fight it. Isn't that just adding fuel to the fire? They weren't trying to force their beliefs on you.

    Their response however, was poorly put together. They are obviously very devout Christians, and feel that others who don't share their view are ignorant rather than different.

    If you believe that religion is the main problem, and we should be making active steps to remove it from the world, then your actions seem very warranted. Boycott for hope of change right?

    If you weren't looking to change anything however, than who cares? They are Christian. You're an Athiest. No harm, no foul. Ignore the verse and enjoy their services!

    What kind of statement are you making? What are you hoping to accomplish? Thats really the question. If there was no goal, and you simply dislike that they included a bible verse, then it sounds like a lose-lose. You have to find a new place to get food from, and they lost a customer.

    But if change is the goal, I would have done the exact same thing!

    While I practice something of Athiesm myself, unless they are trying to shove it down my throat, I find ignoring it, and respecting the fact that we're different saves me a lot of time and grief.

    If only Dragon Shouts would summon foodstuffz right?

  4. I probably would not have even noticed were it not for that specific bible verse. Including a verse mentioning government in a very Christian Christmas message is not only in poor taste, but it brings to mind all the fundamentalists who make life miserable for others who are not like them - which includes me for several reasons. Not very Christmas-like in my mind.

    "God bless us, EVERYONE!" THAT is a Christmas message I'd happily accept. But talking about Jesus & government at Christmas? Unacceptable. I'd have done the same as you: stopped using their services AND sent them a message explaining exactly why I was doing so.

  5. It sounds as if Jon is a bt confused as to what living in a world dominated by religious influence is actually like. Ignoring blatant religious passive aggressive brainwashing is exactly how we've become such a ridiculous society with ridiculous problems.

    Recovery and progress most definitely starts at the grassroots, small business and community level. There's simply no other effective way to end the moral ignorance.

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