John Croson's Blog Home: 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Funny Email Prank

A co-worker of mine sent this thread of email, telling me about a prank one brother was pulling on the other.

From what I could understand, between the tears of laughter, was that "Dan Smith" was having some issues using a Hickory Farms gift card, given him by his Grandma-ma. He must have contacted Hickory Farms, and was told they would get back to him.

His brother learned of this, and decided to send him an email from,explaining why he wasn't going to get a refund.

What ensues is hilarity...

Names and email addresses have been changed to protect my butt.

Oh, read from the bottom up. I'm lazy, and I'm not sorting it for you...

-- On Tue, 1/27/09, Dan Smith <> wrote:
From: Dan Smith <>

Subject: Re: Refund
Date: Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 3:48 PM

Just figured out that my brother was sending those emails....f*cking asshole

On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 3:47 PM, <> wrote:
"Please be advised that stolen cards are not to be used when ordering any of our delicous cheese and meat products."

well no fu.cking shi.t

Nicholas J. Jones
Corporate America Trust

This electronic mail message contains information from Corporate America Trust, which is confidential and privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, please be aware that any disclosure, photocopying, distribution or use of the contents of the received information is prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please reply to the sender immediately and permanently delete this message and all copies of it. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please notify the sender.

From: Dan Smith []
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 3:39 PM
To: Jones, Nicholas J.; Eberhart, Bryan J.; matt smith
Subject: Fwd: Refund

This communication is hilarious. Start with my reply to the first email at the bottom.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dan Smith <>
Date: Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 3:37 PM
Subject: Re: Refund
To: Hickory Farms <>

Dear Betty R. Hickory,

I'll have you know that Patricia Smith is my grandmother and she gave those out for Christmas. I guess she nor I would ever have expected the huge inconvenience this would cause. I assure you that I am not trying to pull a fast one and waste all the time I have (which is now well over two hours on the phone) in order to get $28 worth of your "delicious" cheese and meat products for free.

And you say that it has been brought to your attention that the gift cards will not be put to use that you are sending me. Well, I've seen what can happen when one gift card is used. I can only imagine what would happen if I used...god forbid....MULTIPLE GIFT CARDS!

For your convenience, I have attached the full gift card I received and used. It is really strange that you say it was issued to Patricia Smith when, quite clearly, I see the words GIFT FOR: DAN smith printed directly on the gift card. Very strange how that works.

So what else will it take for me to get my refund to be processed? Would you like your "delicious" cheese and meat products back? Cause at this point I really want absolutley nothing to do with your company or anything you offer.

Thanks for all your help on this rewarding experience. I'm sure the free box of Turkey Tom's Turkey Links will really make the two and a half hours of life I have wasted worth it.


Dan Smith

p.s. When should I expect the Turkey Tom's Turkey Links to be charged to my account?

On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 3:01 PM, Hickory Farms <> wrote:
Mr. Smith,
I was able to look up that gift card and was in fact able to find the number you provided. The only problem I found was that the card itself was issued to a Patricia Smith not a Dan Smith. Was this card lost/stolen from someone? Please be advised that stolen cards are not to be used when ordering any of our delicous cheese and meat products. I apologize but we cannot process your refund at this time. It was brought to my attention that the gift cards we will be sending you will not be put to use. To make this experience a rewarding one we have instead shipped you a free box Turkey Tom's Turkey Links. Hope you enjoy, and remember when you hear quality you hear Hickory Farms. Have a great day.

Betty R.
Hickory Farms Customer Service Manager

From: Dan Smith <>
To: Hickory Farms <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 1:48:47 PM
Subject: Re: Refund

Dear Hickory Farms,
The gift card I used was not invalid and I gave the number to numerous different people at your offices when trying to clear this up. How would they not immediately say something if it was invalid. I have never used your services before and will never use them again.

The gift card was given to me by my grandmother for Christmas and the umber is 002357705 Issued on 12/15/2008. I have it sitting right in front of me.

This has been the most ridiculous and time consuming problem I have EVER experienced when ordering anything in the 27 years I have been alive.

I want my money credited back to me immediately and I want to know who I need to talk to to make that happen.

On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 1:38 PM, Hickory Farms <> wrote:
Dear Mr. Smith,
After carefully reviewing the claim against our company we have not been able to determine a reason why a refund should be applied to your credit card at this time. It appears that you must have mistakenly provided an invalid gift card number at the time of purchase thus making the transaction against the gift certificate invalid. Although we realize this was human error, we still hope that you enjoy the items you selected for purchase. We have also appreciated the great feedback you have provided our company to better serve our customers going forward. Along with the $10 gift card you will be receiving, we have also sent you a cheese serving platter to try and make up for the inconvienence. We look forward to your next order. Have a great day.

Betty R.
Hickory Farms Customer Service Manager

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tonight's Dinner

I love Indian food. My wife does too, I think because she knows it's time for me to have a beer, glass of 12 yo scotch or whatever happens to be in our liquor department that night, and get my "creative juices" going.

Tonight, I really made something quite tasty. Chicken in coconut milk, and Potlakaya (snake gourd) w/chick-peas. I saw a recipe for Potlakaya Perugu Pachadi, and it looked pretty good, so I modified it to include chick-peas, and changed some of the ingredients.

Chicken in Coconut Milk

Homemade garam masala. Photo taken in Kent, Oh...Image via Wikipedia

  • Couple of skinless breasts
  • 1 TBSP Ghee, or butter, or Olive Oil. Your heart, your choice.
  • Medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TBSP vinegar
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP Garam Masala or your favorite curry
  • 1 can Coconut milk
  • 1 Yam or Sweet Potato
  • 1 bell pepper, your color choosing
  1. Chop onion and garlic. Sweat over medium heat in Ghee, or butter, or olive oil. Your choice, your heart.
  2. Add sugar, salt, vinegar and curry. Let it bloom for about 1 minute, stirring a bit.
  3. Toss in cubed potato and equally sized pieces of chopped pepper.
  4. Add coconut milk. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Add chicken, simmer for 30 minutes, or until chicken is just done.

You might like to garnish with coriander, and serve with Jasmine or Basmati rice.

Potlakaya and Chickpeas

  • 1 package of frozen potlakaya or 2 cups
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 TBSP Ghee, or butter, or Olive Oil. Your heart, your choice.
  • Yellow curry
  • Mustard Seed
  • Cumin seed
  • 3 TBSP sour cream
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp lemon grass
  • 1/2 squeezed lime
  1. Over medium heat, brown potlakaya in Ghee, or butter, or Olive Oil. Your heart, your choice.
  2. Add mustard and cumin seed. Cook just until the mustard seed begins to pop.
  3. Add curry and salt, stirring and letting it bloom for a minute or two.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, simmer until it gets to a thicker consistency.


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