Title of photo: “Still life of three eggplants.” Marketman, 2012
If you are finding ranty kinds of posts tedious, and I would have to agree with many of you at the moment, just do yourself a favor and completely skip this post. We could all do without it, really. But I generally don’t let things like this slip by without a retort. This post is initially published on a password protected basis to make it accessible to regular visitors of the blog, before I open it up to the general public in a day or so. It might just be a self-fulfilling prophecy with respect to my recent lament regarding manners, ethics, and a lack of rational thinking amongst a growing proportion of local service personnel … but I do seem to get more than my share of these kinds of comments/exchanges. And it’s utterly amazing what folks will write under the guise of internet anonymity, or perhaps without serious thought to the potential consequences of what they write.
My recent rant about an experience at a kitchen supplies store was written with a great deal of restraint. I kept all names of the people I spoke to out of the post, and I didn’t even name the company involved. I listed out real service lessons we could all learn from and hoped some good would result from the discussion. The vast majority of the comments were supportive, and I didn’t feel the need to delete any inappropriate comments. In fact, it was all a kind of mild, non-event by typical marketmanila rant standards. Two days after I wrote that rant, I sent a cover email summarizing the key issues to one of the managers I had spoken with last Wednesday. She gave me her card, and her email address. Here is what ensued, and I will comment only on items others have raised, either in their subsequent emails to me, or attempted comments, etc. I am only responding to emails and comments sent to Marketman or marketmanila.com. All of the personal, name, address, other information was either voluntarily provided by the individuals involved or was a result of some simple “googling” or “sleuthing” to track down related IP addresses and possible “faces” to the names provided. Again, my main purpose for this post is educational. So take notes, and hopefully, more folks will think twice before launching a tirade of comments on a website/webpage/social network, etc. in future.
On Friday, July 20,1012, 3:31PM, I sent an email addressed to Ms. Jenny H Carlos, at the address email@example.com. It was a cover email summarizing my post, and I added a link to my post which I published on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Ms. Carlos sent a very short reply at 5:16pm the same day, above (you may have to magnify the screen shot, to see details if you are interested). Essentially the content of Ms. Carlos’ reply is “We apologize for what happened. Thank you very much for your feedback.” I truly appreciate Ms. Carlos’ quick albeit terse response, but of course I had hoped to get a more comprehensive reply to the issues raised. Nevertheless, the One THING THAT THIS REPLY CONFIRMED WAS THE IP ADDRESS USED BY MS. CARLOS, and an authentication that she was the sender, using a technolux.net address. Each email sent has a “header” that identifies details of sender, and that is the information that I show in the red oval shape on the upper right hand side of the screen shot above. Ms. Carlos’ IP address was 188.8.131.52 — A PLDT server located in Rizal, apparently. So thank you Ms. Carlos for your reply, but THANK YOU MORE for providing me with the IP address from which you sent your reply, using your ipad, according to your own email message.
All would have been well, until I came back from a dinner on Friday evening, and having been away from my desk for say 4-5 hours (no, I don’t spend all of my time on the blog), I then noticed a consecutive set of curious emails for moderation on the post regarding my recent kitchen store experience. I have operated this blog long enough to know how this works most of the time. I write a rant, then the object of the rant finally gets wind of it, either because I send them a heads up, or they read the blog, etc. Persons who feel strongly about the rant (and more often than not who disagree with my point of view) send a comment or typically a slew of comments hoping to either insult, offend, correct, change public opinion, etc. Logical and rational arguments are welcome. Expletives, slander, libel and irrelevant matters are not welcome. Many times, they are not regular commenters, so their message(s) get piled up in my moderation folder, and if I am lucky, I visit that folder once a day. Truly offensive comments end up in spam, and I don’t even read them. Irritated commenters who don’t see their messages appear instantly feel I am targetting them, when in fact, they just sit there until I get a chance to look at the pending messages. Below are four such attempted comments, and curiously, THREE MESSAGES COME FROM THE EXACT SAME IP ADDRESS AS THE MESSAGE I received in my email from Ms. Carlos. Isn’t that just an amazing coincidence? Now I realize that many people at the same company could have sent the comments, so there is absolutely no proof that one person or another was responsible for it. BUT I DO KNOW THAT THEY ORIGINATED FROM THE SAME COMPANY, IF NOT THE SAME ACTUAL COMPUTER FOR 3 COMMENTS and a closely related computer for the 4th COMMENT. Again, folks who send these messages often don’t realize just how much information is sent by email. :)
In this case, as was the case in the famous “FISHPAN” exchange of several years ago, the first comment was sent by a person who gives a full name, and a functioning email address. I don’t think there was any malice or intent to hide their identity, so I would definitely like to respond to the comment.
MODERATED COMMENT #1
184.108.40.206 (IP address)
Submitted on 2012/07/20 at 5:12 pm (four minutes before Ms. Carlos sent me her reply above)
“Dun ka sa baranggay magreklamo!”
Marketman’s translation : “Go air your complaint at the local government unit!”
Marketman’s response to “Charmaine Bonifacio” — Thank you for your email. And thank you for placing your full name (if you used your own full name) on the attempted comment. I can’t be certain from your email who you work for, but I do know that you sent your email from the exact same IP address as Ms. Carlos, who works for Technolux. Since you provided your full name, I did a bit of googling, and I found this link below, and I have taken a screenshot from this webpage:
Photo removed and on file.
Would this happen to be a photo of you, Charmaine or is it just someone with the same or similar name? It’s not a particularly flattering photo, but whatever makes you happy, I guess. :) What’s most interesting about this screenshot, if it is in fact you, is that it identifies Charmaine as being in Makati City, and on that particular page, shows a “link” to Technolux One Stop Shop, precisely the group which Ms. Carlos also identified herself with, and you and Ms. Carlos used the same IP address to send your messages. So for now, and I agree it is merely an assumption, but I am thinking you too might work together with the entire Sales Group at Technolux for their restaurant goods. A little more googling and I landed on this next page, a screenshot of “Chamy Bonifacio’s twitter page” is here:
Photo removed and on file.
Could it be a coincidence that the ladies in the photos seem to be identical? And again, what a lovely coincidence that @chameeyb’s account is also the same as your firstname.lastname@example.org address used in the email above? Hmmm. The public view of that twitter page lists Chamy Bonifacio’s occupation as being a Sales Engineer. I wasn’t familiar with the job description, so I looked it up, here. And I quote from that U.S. Government site, that describes a Sales Engineer as “Sales engineers sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses. They must have extensive knowledge of the products’ parts and functions and must understand the scientific processes that make these products work.” That’s truly impressive.
As for the content of your email. It is innocuous enough. You pose the question why I don’t take my complaint to the local baranggay unit? Certainly a Sales Engineer would understand that when one has a complaint regarding a company’s service, one should first raise it with the company’s managers or staff. And if nothing is done, that other more senior managers should be made aware of the issue. What possible use would filing a complaint at the baranggay serve? Should I have it “blottered” at the local police station that the company I was dealing with could potentially be conducting business despite the fact that they admitted they still had no business permit? Basically, taken on its own, your comment is simply non-sequitur. It just doesn’t follow that one with a complaint about a company should then run to the nearest barangay official. If anything, intelligent, professional people could/should settle the matter amongst themselves. Even my “Plant Manager” of many years knows that. He is a brilliant gardener. :)
MODERATED COMMENT #2:
220.127.116.11 (IP address)
Submitted on 2012/07/20 at 5:42 pm
“Arte mo te… pinalaki mo issue. !#$@%?! sa brgy ka magreklamo!…accept this comment you only choice(sic) comment na pabor sayo. nag mabasa nman nila…hahaha”
Marketman’s translation : “Sister you are over-reacting…your making the issue bigger than it is. (Deleted) Go air you complaint at the local government unit. accept this comment you only choice (I think she means choose) comment that favor your position. So others can read my comment…hahaha”
Marketman’s response — I don’t know who JAN is, or what her full name is, but she did use a real email address, and not surprisingly, also used THE EXACT SAME IP ADDRESS AS THE MESSAGES from Ms. Carlos and Ms. Bonifacio earlier that afternoon. But it should be VERY easy to figure out if Ms. Jan also works at the same company, as they only have a total of 30 people in their sales force nationwide, and possibly less than 16 in Makati, and I already know the names of at least 3 of the Sales staff in Makati, but does it really matter what her full name is? Geez, could you all be using your company computers to send these emails? Would your bosses be amused by the manner in which you are possibly using company property to pick arguments with potential clients? Are there no internet usage policies in your place of work? I hope for your sake you weren’t using company property like computers, company email connections, company email servers and addresses… I know that would certainly get my own staff in trouble if they did something along the same lines.
As to your specific comment. That I am making a bigger issue than I should… I agree that you are totally entitled to your opinion. I may not agree with your opinion, but properly expressed, it is a valid position to have. As for your next word(s), which I have deleted in the screen shot above. They are offensive, untrue, defamatory, slanderous and potentially libelous personal attacks on Marketman specifically. In other words, I have done you a BIG favor by deleting the words, for had I let the comment in as you wrote it originally, I could, in theory, have a case of defamation/libel against you. And believe me, I know exactly how that works and it is a criminal complaint that is relatively easy to file and pursue. So I suggest that you think before you type words you could regret and in theory, could land you with a criminal record and a massive fine and/or jail time. As for the repeated suggestion of going to the baranggay, see my response to Charmaine Bonifacio, above. And here I have accepted and published your comment sans expletives so that other readers can indeed read it.
MODERATED COMMENT #3:
18.104.22.168 (IP address)
Submitted on 2012/07/20 at 5:59 pm
“hind ka lng pinapasok nag amok kna…we can ask the cctv vedio(sic) para makita natin kung sino nag amok”
Marketman’s translation : “Just because you were refused entry to the store you go amok…we can ask for the cctv video so that we can see who was amok”
Marketman’s response — Same person as Comment #2, same details, same IP address. Jan, do you always write in bad abbreviations neither in straight Pilipino nor English? Did you have difficulty with spelling in school? A critical issue was that your (I assume) colleagues had categorically stated that the store had no business permit and was not open for business. But you let other people in. That’s the issue. Remember that. Because your comment is most helpful. Now that I know you have a CCTV camera, and if you are requested by a subpoena or otherwise compelled to show the tape, it will only confirm that THERE WERE CUSTOMERS inside your place of business precisely at the same time your managers claim you had no business permit and were not open for clients. So yes, please send me a copy of your cctv video(s) for Wednesday, 18 July between 1:30pm and 3:00pm. I could share that with the City Hall folks who issue business permits if I file a complaint there. Thank you for indicating that you tape all activity at your new store.
MODERATED COMMENT #4:
22.214.171.124 (IP address)
Submitted on 2012/07/20 at 6:27 pm
“As I read your article having a high definition of a MOK, I think it’s ABSURD! looking for meaning out of abbreviation is actually out of the story. Try to put yourself on someone’s shoe though you still have your point.”
Marketman’s translation : Hahaha, sorry, I couldn’t resist: “As I was reading your post with its seemingly unrelated tangential discussion and high-falluting definition of a MOK, slang for ‘someone with an exceptionally large penis’ I thought it was just absurd! Looking for meaning out of an acronym MOK is not related to the story. Try to put yourself IN someone else’s shoes and yes I see the your point. “
Marketman’s response — New name, new address, and IP slightly different, but probably a computer at the same company. Hahahaha. Sorry, regular readers just have to take that comment as is. And Ms. April Jane, thanks for trying that sentence in English, I do appreciate it, but it isn’t very clear to me… Except of course, that I was having issues at a store that, according to its signage in front of the store, was called MOK, an acronym for “Mall of Kitchens”.
I sure hope managers at Technolux/MOK revisit both my original post and this one and do the right thing. As for overzealous employees so intent on defending a position that seems rather indefensible, now you know that every email you write can probably be rather easily traced back to you, so you should take some care in what you write, particularly if it contains offensive and libelous material. This is really an interesting example of customer service gone bad, and somehow, folks from the company digging themselves a far deeper and darker hole than they were already in to begin with. Tsk, tsk.
I do wish Technolux and MOK well when they do finally get their business permit and open their new Mall of Kitchens store, but I sincerely hope they do something to address service issues raised in my post regarding my attempted visit to their store last Wednesday, 18 July 2012.
P.S. If you scroll down the comments, you will see a couple more comments from the same people, using the same IP address.