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September 2010

September 30, 2010

Greg Giraldo

Greg was a guy I knew from comedy. We hung out a few times, did a couple shows together. I was struck by his immense intelligence and good spirit. He died yesterday after an accidental prescription drug overdose. I’ve been upset about it since I found out: too many talented people die unnecessary deaths. Andy Richter found an interview Greg did for Psychology Today, which I am reposting here. It rings too true for me. Not that I have a drug or alcohol problem like Greg, but the constant feeling of never being good enough. I think a lot of us suffer from that, so I guess what I’m trying to say is: read the interview. The lesson I take away from it is one I hope I’ve been learning over the years: have gratitude for what you have and forgive yourself for what might have been. We are all failures in one way or another, but failure is more than the end of something. It is the opportunity to begin something else. Enjoy your successes, accept your failures. Move on from both. But keep moving on.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/200905/greg-giraldo-failure

September 04, 2010

An Open Letter to Rob Palleschi, Global Head of Doubletree Hotels

 On Sep 4, 2010, at 1:27 AM, Doubletree wrote:

Dear Michael Black, Recently, we sent you an invitation to complete a Guest Satisfaction Survey concerning your stay with us at Doubletree Tallahassee, where you checked out on August 25, 2010.

We noticed that you did not have time to complete the survey. We are concerned that you may not have responded because we have somehow failed to live up to your expectations.

At Doubletree, we are committed to providing a superior guest experience to every customer. Please take a few minutes to tell us how well we met your expectations.

To complete the survey, please click on the web address below. If that does not work, please copy and paste the entire web address into the address field of your browser.

http://survey.medallia.com?cdkwkxwd742dbk7

Thank you again for choosing Doubletree. I look forward to hearing about your stay with us.

Sincerely, Rob Palleschi

Global Head - Doubletree Doubletree

***

Dear Rob, Thank you for writing to me to remind you to take the survey I ignored earlier. A clarification: The reason I did not fill out the survey is not because I did not have the time, but because I did not want to. To put that into survey language, on a scale from 1-10, with one being the lowest and ten being the highest, the amount I wanted to fill out your survey was zero, which is a little bit below the lowest number I can choose.

I actually have a lot of free time, which lately I have been filling by playing Rock Band 2 on the Wii. (Great fun, but I am currently struggling with, believe it or not, Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.”) If anything, I have too much free time which is why I have the time to sit here and write you this email from the Marriott where I am currently staying.

Until I received this email, I would have rated my experience with Doubletree as “very good.” Now, however, I would downgrade my overall experience to just “satisfactory” because I do not like receiving surveys about my experiences.

For example, if I received a survey from the Grand Canyon asking me how I enjoyed the Grand Canyon, I would be annoyed. But the Grand Canyon does not ask people to fill out surveys because it already knows it is awesome.

By the way, I am not comparing staying at your Doubletree Hotel to visiting the Grand Canyon. One of them is a national treasure and the other is your hotel.

Even if I were to fill out your survey, what would I possibly say? Nobody expects to be thrilled at a Doubletree. It is the kind of place you stay because you can’t afford the Sheraton. Or the Marriott, which as I said, is where I am currently staying, and which is AMAZING!!!

Hopefully they will send me a survey so I can tell them all about it.

I appreciate that you are concerned about you “somehow failed to live up to my expectations.” Generally speaking, the only expectation I have when staying at a mid-priced hotel chain is to be left the fuck alone.

Thanks again for taking the time to write a passive-aggressive email,

Michael Ian Black

P.S. Your cookies are good.