The Case Of The Extorted Critic: THIS Is A Good Ending?

"You want to give my store a bad review? Huh? You do? Ok, you do that! And Just wait until you see what I am going to do to YOU!!!"

“You want to give my store a bad review? Huh? You do? OK, you DO that! And just wait until you see what I am going to do to YOU!!!”

Washington Post writer Ron Charles sure has some funny ideas about what constitutes a happy ending, which is especially strange, since his is the Post’s fiction editor. (Insert joke about the role of such an editor at the Post here.)

He tells the story of a Brooklyn writer named D. Foy, who was awaiting the publication of his first novel and also  preparing to be married. He contacted a New York tailor shop, with the intention of having a custom suit made for the big day. The men’s shop wouldn’t accommodate his efforts to make an appointment, and in frustration, he left the following complaint on the consumer site, Yelp, quoting the shop’s promotional boasts:

“This is not ’24-7 white glove service.’ This is not ‘unparalleled service,’ nor anything close. Contract this ‘business’ at your own risk, ladies and gentlemen.”

This aroused the torpid tailor, who sent Foy a ominous e-mail: “I was just made aware of your Yelp review. We wanted to answer your questions but felt you were more interested in a fray. When your book comes out on Amazon, I will personally make sure our entire staff reviews in kind.”

Translation: “You dared to criticize our lousy service, and now we’re going to hurt you!”

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How Amy Bouzaglo Makes Us Better People

Run away! But pay attention!

Run away! But pay attention!

I’m not going to take back every negative thing I’ve ever said about reality shows, but there is no getting around it: now and then an episode of one of them is a better training film for good ethics than  “Leave It To Beaver,” “Star Trek, The Next Generation,” and “Father Knows Best” combined.

A case in point was a recent episode of “Kitchen Nightmares,” a Fox reality show that sends chef and restaurateur Gordan Ramsay to turn around failing eateries, usually by his browbeating them into basic management competence and the use of fresh ingredients. This time, however, Ramsay was pitted against the proprietors of Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro in Scottsdale Arizona, specifically the eponymous Amy Bouzaglo, a textbook narcissist who dominates her much older husband and partner, abuses employees, and treats all criticism and constructive suggestions as a personal attack. Continue reading