Not exactly forgiven

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Some time has passed since the bulk of the hoopla with Don Wands/Glow Industries — remember the weekend of questionable blog comments and unapologetic apology-laden emails from “Don” and “Chuck” at Don Wands? Since then, my opinion of Don Wands as a company has continued to fluctuate. Here’s why.

First, Monday (June 29th) rolled around. On this day, as I suspected, the rest of the office came back to work, and I began to hear from more voices at Don Wands and Glow Industries. The first was an email from Doogie, a sales representative at Glow Industries, which read, in part:

First off I would like to apologize for all the rude and disrespectful comments that were posted by Don . . . I assure you this is not how we treat our customers. I found his comments to be way out of line, and down right rude . . . In the 6 years I have been here I have never been this embarrassed by a coworker before . . . I’m very angry about his very bad judgment  . . . I felt that you should get an official apology  from a real rep from Glow Industries.

After that, Brian Nupp, Vice President of Sales at Glow Industries, sent me an email and posted the text of it as a comment. I highly suggest you read it. As it turns out, my suspicion about “Don” and “Chuck” being the same person (an email signed by “Chuck” read, “Could you please remove your story about my comments?”) was correct.

. . . I am VERY SORRY for statements made by Don/Chuck (Don is Chuck our Marketing Manager). I feel his initial statement was callous and completely inappropriate and does not represent Don Wands or our company as a whole. I am completely embarrassed . . .

Again, I am sincerely sorry for any comments made by Don/Chuck. I would like to officially say they do not represent Don Wands, Glow Industries, or Treeze. Appropriate action will be addressed with those who issued the comments. Please find it in your hearts to give us a second chance.

It became obvious that this was a case of a rogue employee, and I was feeling better about everything. Chuck was responsible for both the blog comments and emails, meaning that his attitude was his alone — not the company’s.

I continued to correspond with Brian, who informed me that the owner was dealing with Chuck. I asked if he would email those who received insubstantial “apology” emails from Chuck (from the [email protected] address), and he did so — both Miss KissThis and Amber received personalized apologies from Brian. Brian also informed me that someone else is now in charge of the [email protected] address. This was all reassuring.

July 1st, I emailed Brian asking what happened with Chuck. It was important to me, and to my readers, to know what happened to this employee. I wasn’t trying to dig or overstep my boundaries, but I needed to know. Brian did not seem to want to answer this question, and asked that I direct any other questions to Jason, the owner of Glow Industries. But when I asked specifically for an email address, he would only give me Jason’s phone number, stating that Jason’s email address was “unavailable.”

Well, I loathe talking to people on the phone. And besides, it’s not like I needed another apology or to engage in a conversation — I just wanted to know the answer to a very simple question: “what happened with Chuck?” My amiga Backseat Boohoo offered to call Jason, but of course he wasn’t there. She left a message, and has received no call back since.

Without the help of anyone at Glow Industries, I was able to obtain Jason’s email address elsewhere (it is definitely not “unavailable”). I emailed him. If the issue was that they didn’t want me publishing the text of his email, I wrote, then I wouldn’t (not that I was planning to in the first place). No reply. I emailed him again on July 5th, stating that my readers would very much appreciate knowing what happened with Chuck. No reply.

What is so hard about letting me know what happened with Chuck? It’s not like I expected them to fire him. I just wanted to know that he had at least been talked to about all of this. For reasons I cannot determine, the people at Don Wands/Glow Industries don’t want to divulge this information to me.1 My thoughts on their company went from “they’re fine, it was just a stupid employee” to “they don’t seem to care about being straightforward.”

So I can’t say I’m feeling particularly good about Don Wands, even now. I appreciate their apologies and I believe they are sincere, but this last bit of stubbornness bothers me. Apologies are great and all, but they mean a lot less if not bolstered by actions. Such as replying to my emails and actually trying to gain my (and my readers’) trust back.

  1. It is entirely possible that they cannot legally tell me, but if that’s the case, they could at least say that.