Anomaly Vineyards

A Berkeley, California transplant's view of becoming an Accidental Vintner.

Major Faux Pas

We made a big mistake - HUGE. Well, in the grand scheme of the universe, it was forgivable. Yesterday we sent out an email to two lists. One was a group of people who had, over the past three years, signed up on our mailing list but had never ordered wine. The other was the group of people who had signed up on our mailing list since our last release. I am in charge of the email merge (mistake #1 some might say). The letters were written and the list of (possible) customers was merged so that each email would/should go to the correct person. It would also let them see their Login and User ID's. Lastly, each email was to be personalized, as in Dear John - that is, as long as a parenthesis () was not placed where a {} bracket should be. But that's not what happened. In order for each customer to have the email personalized and have their name appear after the Dear---- and in order for each customer to see their Login and Password the computer has to merge the list of customers with the email text. It does this by placing {} around the items to be merged.Yes, you figured it out, in our haste we used the () instead of {} and nothing merged,the letters did go to each customer, since their emails were in brackets, but their names, Login's and User IDs were in parenthesis - which the merge program reads as just another letter of the alphabet. Hence, Dear (Salutation), and the rest is history. Thankfully we received only two emails slamming us - really slamming us. But then one of the email writer's actually wrote back to apologize for his impulsive response. To our apologizing writer, thank you, as you made our day - to the other fellow who slammed us, then wrote back and slammed us again, I guess it's best for all that you will not be ordering our wine.
All in a day's work - this could drive one to drink! Chantico.


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