Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Atlanta Braves

From: Broughton, Tim
Sent: Friday, November 15, 2013 8:07 AM
To: romebraves; gameday; Braves ADA seating
Subject: Exhibition game - ROME

Dear the Atlanta Braves

Hello there. Hope you’re having a lovely day? I like to imagine you guys taking a great big bite of a mighty American beefburger and a good deep breath of freedom before making the most of a beautiful autumn fall day. That’s what I’d do if I was an American person. But alas, I am a Briton, and as such I must make do with a cheese and pickle sandwich and the aroma of wet dog.

Anyway, enough of the pleasantries. That’s not how I intended to begin this correspondence at all! I planned a VERY ANGRY, bordering on RUDE message, because I am VERY ANGRY and whilst not RUDE, certainly a little SNIPPY!

Allow me to explain.

I am an Atlanta Braves fan. I love the Braves. The Braves are the most awesome and totally dudey baseball team in the entire world. I’ve got four Braves t-shirts (technically I should only have three, but they sent me one extra by mistake – WIN!) and, because I live in London, I stay up every night until the small hours to watch baseball. This in turn makes me totally shattered for work, pretty ineffectual and occasionally I have to pop off to the toilets to cry because my fragile, exhausted nerves snap like guitar strings when placed under duress. But it’s worth it because I LOVE THE BRAVES! I know what you’re thinking – this chap’s clearly a fine fellow this dude rocks! And yes, you are right. I do ‘rock’.

Which is why you should feel particularly dreadful about what has happened to me.

About a month ago I was browsing the Braves website, and you can only imagine my sheer, unbridled elation to discover that the Braves are scheduled to play an exhibition game in ROME! “ROME!” I cried! “The Braves, my favourite baseball team are playing in ROME!






That’s only a short hop on Easyjet from my home town in LONDON! What a fabulous opportunity, given that flights to Atlanta are EXTORTIONATE, to catch my heroes in action! And Rome is a beautiful city. The Colosseum, the Vatican! All that delicious pasta and anyone will tell you I practically subsist on pizza alone. And the baseball! I’ll see with my own eyes Andrelton turn a double, J-UP cream a screamer and even my favourite Evan ‘El Oso Blanco’ Gattis take to the plate.” I was SO excited that I suspect some traces of wee might have come out (do you say wee in America? Wee is urine).

So, I checked the date of the game. 31st March, you say? No problemo! There and back in a day for 93 quid (quid means pounds – our currency)? Yes please. Bosh. I’m going to see the mighty Atlanta Braves with my own eyes. And Rome! That’s where a significant part of the film Gladiator was filmed! I LOVE Gladiator. So, the ticket is booked.



So, and I think you might know what’s coming next, Mr-(Mrs/Ms)-Atlanta-Braves-customer-service-person. Yes?

Imagine my surprise when I come to start planning my route to the stadium, only to realise THERE IS NO ‘STATE MUTUAL STADIUM’ IN ROME, ITALY. I even translated it to ITALIAN, but THERE ISN’T A STADIO RECIPROCA STATO EITHER!

However, I’ll tell you where the IS a State Mutual Stadium. IN ROME, GEORGIA, USA! Who the flipping heck has ever heard of Rome in Georgia, USA??? THAT’S FLIPPING MILES FROM LONDON!



If you say something is happening in Rome, everyone  immediately conjures up images of togas, and popes and emasculating motor cars (I’m thinking particularly the Fiat Cinquecento). When one uses the popular phrase ‘When in Rome…’ we don’t all immediately think of eating Deep South Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Q Pork Ribs and sticking some Blue-grass on.

DUDE! IF YOU’RE GOING TO ADVERTISE A BASEBALL GAME IN ROME, YOU’VE GOT TO SAY ‘ROME, GEORGIA, USA’. TO BE EXTRA SAFE YOU SHOULD REALLY ALSO SAY ‘(NOT THE CAPITAL OF ITALY THAT EVERYONE KNOWS)’.

I just don’t know what else to say, other than that I am frightfully excited about receiving your email of apology. You American fellows are renowned the world over for your exemplary customer service skills*, and I think this is a mighty opportunity to demonstrate to your British allies that a human being lurks behind those mechanical/maniacal smiles.

Yours ultra-extremely-expectantly

Tim Broughton

 *that, and being the global ambassadors for freedom/democracy/justice/eating



From: White, Jan
Sent: 18 November 2013 15:14
To: Broughton, Tim
Subject: RE: Exhibition game - ROME


Hi Tim,

Thank you for writing the Atlanta Braves and sharing your story with us. I sincerely apologize to hear about your negative experience. Your point is definitely very valid and I’m sorry about the confusion.

We do appreciate your dedication to the Atlanta Braves, especially since you are thousands of miles away. Are you planning on visiting the states, specifically, Atlanta, Georgia, in the near future?

Thank you for your patience.
Jan

Jan White
Atlanta Braves
Guest Services


From: Broughton, Tim
Sent: Monday, November 18, 2013 11:14 AM
To: White, Jan
Subject: RE: Exhibition game - ROME

Dearest Jan White

Many thanks for your kind and generous response, and for offering to fly me and my 11 children to the game free of charge. Tim Jr, Jim, Kim, Flynn, Lynn, Tom, Jon, Conn, Don, Jen and Ben will be absolutely thrilled. It was only yesterday I was urging them to never let go of their dreams.

“Would you ever see the Braves letting go of their dreams?” I cried.
“No! Never!” they all responded in harmony.

I just cannot wait to see all their angelic faces light up with joy, not only at the prospect of a visit to Turner Field, but they’ll be equally delighted that they don’t have to go to Italy. You see, Jan, Britain is a somewhat reserved nation, we’re staunch believers in the stiff-upper-lip. And the Italians… well let’s just say they’re quite an emotional bunch. Always gesticulating this and mama mia that. I’d don’t mind that kind of behaviour myself (as you can tell, I’m a broad-minded chap), but you see Don and Lynn are especially stupid impressionable children and I’d hate for them to pick up any bad habits.

But, now you have come to the rescue and all is once again at peace in the world. Bravo Jan! And the whole Atlanta Braves Guest Services team! I tip my cap to you!

So, just let me know the flights details – will start gathering up our passport numbers now for the booking – should have them with you by the end of the week.

Heathrow is probably our most convenient airport. Jim and Jen will require vegetarian meals and Tom is almost entirely incontinent (he takes after her mother).

The warmest of regards,

Tim Broughton


From: White, Jan
Sent: 18 November 2013 16:25
To: Broughton, Tim
Subject: RE: Exhibition game - ROME

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your speedy response, however, I don’t have great news.  I’m sorry for the misunderstanding again, but we will not be able to fly you and your family to Atlanta. I wish I was able to come to the rescue and provide this type of experience, but unfortunately it is not possible.

Thanks,

Jan

Jan White
Atlanta Braves
Guest Services


From: Broughton, Tim
Sent: 18 November 2013 16:56
To: 'White, Jan'
Subject: RE: Exhibition game - ROME

Oh Jan

This is obviously devastating news. I can only hope that the children don’t cast me out into the street and make me spend my Christmas wandering the streets of London town like a lonely vagabond. Peering in at frosted windows, at warm hearths and the soothing throb of the familial bosom, whilst my teeth a-chatter and I ponder where it all went wrong.



And, left to their own devices, with nothing but an incontinent mother, my children will inevitably eat each other and leave a terrible mess on the new carpet in the lounge that we only put down last Spring.

But, you’re right, it is unfair for me to place all this burden on you. As it says in John 8:7 – ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’.

And as Shakespeare wrote:

“We are oft to blame in this, -
'tis too much proved, - that with devotion's visage,
and pios action we do sugar o'er
the devil himself.”
Granted I have absolutely no idea what that means (between us I think he was off his head half the time) but it does include the word ‘blame’ so it may or may not be appropriate.

In any case, the signed bat which you are arranging to send me will make AMPLE compensation for this frightful confusion.

Slightly cooler regards than last time but still above room temperature,

Tim


From: Broughton, Tim
Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 6:41 AM
To: White, Jan
Subject: FW: Exhibition game - ROME

Hi Jan

How’s that signed bat coming along?

Bestest

Tim


From: White, Jan
Sent: 26 November 2013 16:06
To: Broughton, Tim
Subject: RE: Exhibition game - ROME

Hi Tim,

Unfortunately we are not able to accommodate the overwhelming amount of requests for autographs we receive.  If you would like to buy an autograph, you can now purchase autographed merchandise through the Braves Foundation, the Atlanta Braves non-profit organization. Please visit the following Web site to view merchandise:  http://braves.auction.mlb.com/.

The entire Atlanta Braves organization would like to again thank you for your enthusiasm and dedication.  We wish you the very best.

Jan

Jan White
Atlanta Braves
Guest Services


From: Broughton, Tim
Sent: 26 November 2013 18:09
To: 'White, Jan'
Subject: RE: Exhibition game - ROME

Very well, Jan, old friend…

I commend you for recognising a commercial opportunity in the midst of a crisis.

Go Braves!


1 comment:

  1. Some lovely fellow just posted this on a Braves blog. Splendid chap:

    Either this is another “Letters From A Nut” thing or you are insane. No, nobody else thought “Rome” meant Rome, Italy, but then again you probably didn’t either. I am very grateful I didn’t receive or have to answer your emails. It’s a no-win situation for the Braves. Maybe you really are that stupid. Or it’s just a joke. Either way the Braves poor customer service rep loses.

    by Zontar on Dec 2, 2013 | 12:31 PM

    LOLs!

    ReplyDelete