Running a business is tough, but when you lack people skills and common sense, it's even tougher. The Internet makes a business's inadequacies painfully obvious, as we learned this week. Here's a tip: Don't be a complete moron, and you'll probably be fine.
Social media catastrophe
So there's this place called Amy's Baking Company Bakery Boutique and Bistro in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you keep up with network television, you might remember the husband and wife duo that run the place were once featured on Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. But even Ramsay found them impossible to deal with and booted them from the show.
After Samy and Amy Bouzaglo were featured on the show, viewers began flooding the restaurant's Facebook page with insulting posts and comments. And really, it's quite immature for so many people to rally together just to insult a pair of honest, hard-working Americans. So, like any other level-headed adults, Amy and Samy grabbed a pair of computers and took matters into their own hands.
Unfortunately, Amy and Samy don't know the first rule about the Internet: Don't feed the trolls (unless you're an experienced counter-troll, in which case you need to get a life). Even more unfortunate is that they handled themselves like 3-year-olds having a tantrum. They even joined the Reddit page viciously mocking them while continuing their Facebook diatribes. Let's just say caps lock ran rampant.
It's a classic case of social media used for evil instead of good.
Abercrombie's weighty claims
If the mall was a high school, Abercrombie & Fitch would be the class bully. He doesn't play well with others, and tells a person to his or her face if they don't fit in with his brand-name club. A&F CEO Mike Jeffries is no stranger to bad press; he once said that ugly kids aren't allowed to wear his clothing and has held fast to that position since 2006.
"We go after the cool kids," he said. "We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."
I can't imagine why Sir Jeffries only wants the cool kids wearing his stuff. I can barely differentiate his clothing line from Gap. Shunning a pretty big portion of his target demographic--high school kids with access to their parents' money--won't win him any popularity contests when those teens are choosing which cheap trends to buy into this week. Of course, an outraged citizen has already created a Change.org petition to make Sir Jeffries shut up about weight and let kids buy their skinny jeans in peace.
Haters to the left
So now that we've discussed how not to make friends and money, let's talk about a heart-warming story featuring comedian/musician Ali Spagnola, a Michigan Tech show she was scheduled to play, the state police, and beer.
Spagnola made a YouTube video detailing the events that led up to her show, which was canceled at least three times as she was traveling to her destination. The first show was shut down because the venue didn't want to look bad in the eyes of the college; the second because the venue didn't have the proper licenses; and the third because a concerned citizen discovered that the party/show was still happening and called the police because of illegalities in her Facebook event description.
Luckily, thanks to the magic of shared Google Docs and creative fundraising, Spagnola and her fans were able to meet and greet at a bar. Except the police broke up that party, too.
Spagnola's video proves that you can be irritated with your haters in a way that's funny and gracious--a skill that Abercrombie & Fitch's CEO and the Bouzaglos have yet to master.