Derek Erdman worked a record-setting few hours at Sub Pop before getting fired. But how on earth could someone get fired so fast? He responded to a fan complaining about artwork on a Father John Misty CD with perhaps one of the most snide and sarcastic grouping of words ever brought together for the purpose of shaming. Via Sub Pop:
I bought Fear Fun by Father John Misty but I think you went overboard with the art design for the CD. Not putting any name on the CD is lame. My friend unloaded the player, it got mixed up + then the CD sat out getting dusty.
Trying for “artful” (“artsy”?) you got cutesy. And a pain-in-the-neck-ful.
Think about it. I had to write the name in my sloppy handwriting.
More cutesy were the inserts; rambling on and on. I read books. I listen to music CDs. I do not read stuff inside CD packages.
PS. I enjoyed listening to the CD.
And the response…
Thanks a lot for your letter! We here at Sub Pop strive for 105% customer satisfaction, and we have no idea how we’re doing until somebody lets us know. Trust me, we’re disappointed that you’re disappointed.
We thought long and hard about your dilemma and couldn’t come up with a better solution than yours. Writing on the CD is the most efficient way to discern it from others, we applaud your ingenuity! We were hoping that you wouldn’t mind if we suggested this idea to others who are having the same problem. If you’ve patented the idea, we’ll be happy to forward the proper paperwork to pay you for our use of the idea. Let us know what fee you’re comfortable with.
In regards to all of the pesky, unwanted information on the CD sleeve, we’ve included a handy cover sheet to place over any words that you don’t want to look at while listening. It might seem that it’s just a piece of paper, but it’s rather opaque and should serve as a soothing emotional blanket. In fact, I’m using one right now.
Thanks for writing and we’ll see you in court!
Derek Erdman / Sub Pop
Wow. Not a happy camper, that guy — but seriously hilarious! Even better, below is a sample of his reflective exit interview. You can check out the full interview here.
In your cover letter, you mentioned “numerous” positions in your employment history where you dealt firsthand with customer service. You failed to mention you were such a dick. Why?
Honestly, I wasn’t actually trying to be a dick, I was just trying to be helpful. How is it my fault that this person has such poor penmanship? The solution I offered her seemed like a good one to me. I swear I wasn’t being trying to be a dick.
Here’s an apology from Sub Pop.
Dear customers: We sincerely regret the earlier post of our brand new (he started today) receptionist’s response to a letter criticizing the artwork on the Father John Misty CD. The only course of action we could reasonably take was to terminate the employee immediately. Though he’ll have the distinction of being the shortest (in more ways than one! (he’s tiny)) Sub Pop employee, he’s also aware of what he’s done wrong and that he shouldn’t be proud of himself. To avoid a situation like this in the future, we’re currently taking steps to make sure we don’t hire this type of person again.