Among the plethora of day jobs I’ve had as a comedian, and as a human in general, one organization that employed me for a stint was a daily deal website. I’m not fully sure how “libel” or “lawsuits” or “money” work, so to prevent my having to learn about them, I shan’t disclose which website it was. Let’s just say it was a company called “Froupon.”
My position at Froupon was an “Account Executive” in the sales department. For a while the job was almost enjoyable, but the faster the company grew, the more corporate it became. I’m not one for math, but I’m fairly certain there’s a definable algorithm proving that the company’s growth rate was directly correlated to the increasing speed at which employee’s souls were sucked from their bodies. In short, a once cool sales job transitioned into your textbook, cliche, spirit-crushing sales job. It happens, I get it. But being that I am a comedian, and not a cutthroat salesman, I consistently underperformed. Not on purpose, or in a malevolent fashion, but from an overwhelming sense of apathy. To be fair to myself, I wasn’t the worst employee in sales. I lasted a year before the company and I went our separate ways (read: I got fired). Upon the completion of my tenure at the company there was only one accomplishment of which I was vaguely proud. It wasn’t the half million dollars in profit I made them. Nor was it the fact that I lasted an entire year before termination. It was an exchange I had on a discussion board during a single weekend.
For every deal that Froupon runs, there’s a discussion board that is utilized to clarify any aspects of the deal that may be unclear to people. After the discussion boards were routinely neglected companywide, a rule was put in place that docked our commission if a comment or question went unanswered for various periods of time. The monetary penalties ranged from fifty dollars to four hundred dollars. As a firm believer in never responding to the discussion boards, regardless of the question or severity of the issue, I was more than a little miffed by this new mandate. Luckily it lasted one week before the higher-ups struck the rule due to an increasingly mutinous salesforce. During that week I was financially forced into answering questions from people barely capable of operating velcro shoes. With each question I answered, I had to bite my tongue harder than I did for the one before.
At the end of the week, and the end of my rope, a man posted a comment on a deal I was running for a Cajun restaurant. The comment had nothing to do with the restaurant, the deal, or anything of any actual pertinence; it was solely criticizing the picture used on the deal page. The author then encouraged the company to “get [their] act together.” My initial instinct was to fire back a vehement tirade wishing ill will upon him, his first-born child, and the child’s mother, who I presumed to be a lady of the night. Alas, I could not follow this course of action, as I was technically representing a multi-billion dollar company that was constantly in the media spotlight. Instead, I took a different path, attempting to mind-fuck this guy without him even knowing it. I was mildly successful.
Here is the picture in question, used for a feature on a Cajun restaurant:
Now, I understand there are chopsticks in the picture. I also understand that chopsticks are in no way related to Cajun cuisine. What I cannot understand, is why or how anyone would be upset by an image used for a 24-hour online coupon. The following is the conversation that took place on the discussion board:
It took a great deal of restraint to not address his misuse of “you’re,” but I managed, as I had bigger shrimp to fry. Before I posted my next response, I tried to create a Wikipedia page with my fabricated history of Cajun shrimp rods, along with this picture:
It was rejected for obvious reasons, as it is a fake history of a fake thing with a fake picture. I then posted said fake history.
It was at this point that I was positive Matthew P. would finally disappear from my life and enjoy his Fourth of July weekend. (Did I mention that yet? This was happening over Fourth of July weekend). Unfortunately, I gave him too much credit. He forged onward, while presumably breathing exclusively through his mouth.
He paused briefly to help steer Danielle in the right direction. Almost as if to say, “Wait in the car Danielle, adults are talking.” Then immediately returned to his research prowess and penchant for dick measuring.
I’m not sure what caused him to finally throw in the towel. Maybe mental exhaustion. Perhaps all the reading was causing him to sweat too profusely to carry on. Regardless, godspeed, Matthew P., you rascal. Internet coupons featuring restaurants that contain photos with negligible ethnic inaccuracies have gone unchecked for far too long. Thanks for keeping the world honest.