From: Sub Rosa Vice President
Sent: Friday, June 02, 2006 2:22 PM
To: Equity Private
Subject: Economist Letter
Do you think I went too far?
From: Sub Rosa Vice President
Sent: Friday, June 02, 2006 2:13 PM
Subject: Economist Gift Subscription
I am an enthusiastic print and electronic subscriber to The Economist, a
publication I view as among the most important reading I do. Your
reputation for quality discourse compelled me to subscribe again after an
unfortunate one year lapse involving an unrelated automobile accident and
As I am sure you can appreciate, as a busy professional my time is short. I
am also a directed leader of men and women and, accordingly, often prone to
vocalizing my displeasure with the current state of affairs with a mind to
inspiring change. Tired of these repeated vocalizations, my significant
other took matters in hand and delivered to me a gift subscription of The
Economist. As I am certain you will have access to my subscription files
and wish to look up the records for verification, please look upon the curt
gift card engraving ("Now, please shut up,") with the knowledge that we have
unrestrained lines of communication in our relationship.
Of course, I use The Economist nearly daily. My citing one or another
Economist article during meetings on important topics is a regular
experience for my colleagues. You can imagine their elation, therefore,
when I repeatedly announced over the 4 week waiting period that my
complimentary gift from the Economist (a thermal coffee mug colored in
Economist Red(tm) and branded in black with your elegantly simple and
familiar logo), was due any day.
You probably, however, cannot imagine the brutal mocking to which I was
subject on the arrival of said mug.
The package was opened by my assistant and the mug removed from its packing
material before being gingerly set on my desk in a prominent place, awaiting
my eventual arrival. Because of its positioning, several of my colleagues
examined the mug before I had a chance to claim it. Several flaws were
1. The prominent sticker on the bottom of the mug's rubber footing read
"Made in China." I was initially concerned by the mugs humble manufacturing
lineage, but then realized that if it stood for anything, The Economist, and
therefore its proponents, must stand for the sensible efficiency of
2. Upon attempting to remove the sticker (other less sophisticated
employees of my firm might be less conversant in the benefits of offshore
manufacture) the rubber padding on the bottom of the mug-- essential to
prevent it from slipping on slick surfaces or leaving rings on the desk of
the Senior Vice President during our morning chats-- came unglued. Two
associates witnessed this event causing me much embarrassment. The word of
the rubber footing issue spread about the office quickly.
3. On first use, the safe and stable storage of the hot coffee from the
boardroom here, condensation developed inside the "vacuum chamber" of the
mug and now sloshes around visibly, (and audibly) as the outside is a
translucent red. This makes a mockery of the thermal insulation properties
of the mug-- a flaw that is visible to all my colleagues.
4. On washing the mug after its first use your logo immediately dissolved
in the harsh detergents employed by our outsourced office cleaning staff. I
find it convenient that the mug has a particular plausible deniability for
The Economist directly designed into the product.
All in all my Economist subscription, which should be a source of pride and
demonstrate me to be a wise and erudite individual of exacting tastes, has
instead subjected me to ridicule and embarrassment as a victim of the evils
of outsourced manufacturing. As a Vice President in a private equity firm I
cannot afford this sort of embarrassment.
I understand that The Economist now offers a free memory stick with gift
subscriptions. Perhaps you could provide me delivery instructions so that
we could make an exchange of gift products.
Vice President Sub Rosa
P.S. Can you tell me where the memory stick is manufactured?