Dear Trader Joe's,
It pains to write this, but I feel spurned and neglected by your corporation. Not because it's taken you so long to come to Olympia--I, too, will celebrate your store's opening next month--but because I had to learn the good news fourthhand.
Seriously: I heard about it on Twitter from someone who posted on Facebook a conversation they'd had with an employee at another store in the region. Heard that the Olympia location will open its doors to an adoring public on August 22nd, 2009.
But I can't vouch for the accuracy of the date. Believe me, I'd love to, but heard-it-from-a-friend is trouble enough, journalistically speaking, never mind heard-it-from-a-multilayered-social-network-of-acquaintances-and-strangers.
What's my beef, specifically? Well, take a look at this sirloin. A week ago I posted on this very blog an update to the news from February that a store would be opening this year. Seeking more specific information, I dutifully filled out the email form on your website, and got the automatic repsonse saying hey, we're busy, but we check all our emails, and yours is in the queue.
A week later, nothing.
I could have mailed a letter and gotten a faster response. I could have resurrected the Pony Express and gotten a faster response. Heck, I could have built a time machine, gone back in time to snatch a Pony Express driver from the Old West, sent him galloping to your headquarters, and still gotten a faster response.
And it's not just me: my wife reports that when she tried to email a concern about a faulty product, she never heard back.
Your email system is broken, Trader Joe's.
And now, so is my heart.