September 2007

The bruhaha over OSU coach Mike Gundy’s rant against Daily Oklahoman sports columnist, Jenni Carlson has finally begun to wind down, and I have to say that the entire media circus that ensued after Mike’s initial tyrade proved to be very interesting indeed.

For those of you living in another country or those who avoid the news altogether and don’t know the story, OSU has had a horrible season this year. They haveJenny Carlson from her video blog on lost every Smart, caring and cute, Mike Gundy is an awesome coach. game except for their latest game, where they enjoyed an amazing win against one of the most talented teams in the country, Texas Tech.  From what I can gather (Sorry, I’m an OU gal, and I don’t know the details that led up to this, so I can only paint with a broad brush.), at some point before or during the Texas Tech game, Coach Gundy chose to replace his quarterback with another man, hoping to improve their results. (It obviously worked, by the way. OSU won 49-45 after an amazing comeback in the second half.) 

Also, at some point prior to the Texas Tech game, the 21 year old quarterback who was eventually replaced was visibly upset after a particularly bad loss, and at some point, maybe his mother fed him chicken. Jenni Carlson then put in her Saturday column that he had been replaced because he had no grit, and she sited the chicken feeding and the crying. The ex quarterback’s mother then took the article to Coach Gundy who became enraged. Soon after, during his weekly press conference, rather than talking about the amazing win over Texas Tech, Gundy went on a tyrade against the article, the author and the media in general. Since then, the radio and television media has gone nuts for the story. And, now, the mother is suing Ms. Carlson and the Oklahoman, saying she did not feed her son chicken (as ludicrous as that sounds). Now, you’re almost caught up.

Here’s Coach Gundy’s lecture to finish the story:

First, let me say that I respect Gundy for what he said and for the way he said it. The media edited what he said to show him in the worst light possible, but if you watch it in its entirety, as I have it here, you’ll see that he was calm during most of his talk. (If you want to see how badly it was edited, check out the YouTube video from Good Morning America.) True, there were times when he raised his voice, but that’s just coach speak.  He’s a passionate man, Stoops is a passionate man, Switzer is a passionate man — any good coach is. That’s how they rally teams and win games.  He also can’t be faulted for having his player’s back. It makes me respect him even more to know that he would get that upset about a personal attack on a player by the media.

The interesting thing about this entire episode, though, is the blatant polarization among the coaches, the media and the fans. Never have I seen an issue galvanize the media against someone the way this one has.  The talk radio pundits have vilified Gundy, resorting to ad hominem attacks against him. The television sports news has played the edited version of the press conference over and over, all the while making subtle digs at Gundy. Even more interestingly, only Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer saw through all the hype to see the serious question, “What does this say about amateur athletics and the media?” 

The answer is that the media is made up of hungry, man-eating sharks who will do anything for a story. Thanks to the popularity of tabloid television, they have become so zealous in the past 20 years that yellow journalism is no longer saved for the tabloids alone but instead permiates the “serious news.” Because of that, their coverage of amateur athletics has become more rabid than ever before.

I knew this already, but the thing that really surprised me was how viscious the opinion pundits were about the whole deal. I haven’t heard a single one of them say a nice thing about Gundy, and all of them defend Carlson. All of them. What are the odds?

As for the fans and other coaches, I haven’t heard one of them say thatOriginally from: they weren’t on Gundy’s side in this matter.  I have heard a few say they thought Gundy was right but went too far, but all of these people had only seen the news stations’ edited version, and after seeing the entire unedited press conference, changed their minds. Even Coach Stoops, in his weekly press conference, refered to Ms. Carlson as “the drive-by media,” which puts her with the dregs of journalism.

Such polarization makes one wonder why. Why was this incedent such a big deal that it made national news? Here’s a hint: Gundy was attacking a member of the media, and the fourth estate didn’t like it and attempted to slam him down. Luckily for Gundy, those of us who aren’t members of the media have his back.

As for Carlson, maybe it’s time for her to start giving her opinions on high school sports. Then she can scar players during their formative years and kill two birds with one stone. Sounds like a career right down her alley.

Disclaimer: As an OU alumnus, Maggy is a fan of OSU whenever they aren’t playing OU. She also beleives that both Cale and Mike Gundy are fine gentlemen, terrific football players and just all around great guys.

Kudos to Andrew from KFC (I believe KFC corporate) for commenting so positively on my post about the worst customer service experience ever.  It’s nice to know that someone who works for KFC cares enough to apologize on behalf of the company and insist I go through with my promise to report it.

(Report it I did, Andrew. Thanks for letting me know I sent it to the right place.)

And don’t worry about Kim’s location scaring me off from KFC altogether. Though I’ve seen a general problem with customer service at most KFCs, the great food more than made up for it until this latest experience. I truly believe that if management would add some real accountability for bad behavior and some solid rewards for good behavior to the mix, KFC could return to the great chicken place it once was.

I’ll probably even visit the 122nd and Penn store again at some point, just to see if anyone cared enough to do something about Kim.  If they don’t, that will be the only thing that would turn me off to them forever. No reputable place would let people like that manage their property. I have faith, though. I feel that KFC will do the right thing. (Though they may also want to take a look at the district manager, if he or she has let this go on for as long as it has.)

Anyway, thanks agian, Andrew.  You’ve renewed my faith…at least a little bit.

There.  I said it.

I can’t stand Rush Limbaugh.

The funny thing is that I didn’t realize how long I’ve felt that way about him until recently when I was remembering my first computer nastalgically. (It was one of those “When I was a kid, we had computers that didn’t even have hard drives!” conversations with someone younger than me; okay?)

Anyway…while telling my story, I remembered the first time I hosed a computer.  It was a Mac Performa — the nifty high tech version of the Mac that came out a few years after the all-in-one Mac Classic.  The Performa had a separate monitor that was 15 inches and a 2600 baud modem.  I thought it was smokin’.  Within a few days, I was on AOL, which only had 50,000 members at the time. 

I immediately began looking for ways to modify my computer in cool ways on AOL’s technical forums. One of the first things I found that I wanted was a file that would change my regedit file so that my trash can would look like Rush Limbaugh.  Unfortunately for me, I edited the wrong file and hosed the entire system.  The next time I tried to reboot, I got that little sad face floppy disc that said, “You’re screwed.” Luckily, back then, computers and AOL were such that you could just insert the AOL disk in your floppy drive and boot up from it.  I went into AOL’s technical help chat room, and the guide there walked me through fixing my system. (She and I became great friends; but that’s a story for another day.)

That was 1991 or so. That’s how long I’ve loathed Rush Limbaugh. Sixteen years.

Fast forward to 2007, and I’m a fan of talk radio.  I listen to FM 1000 eCan't you tell he just thinks his crap doesn't stink?very day, which means that Rush is on my radio during my lunch hour.  Yes, I could change it to another station, but listening to Rush is like watching a train wreck. I can’t take my ears off of him.

In doing so, I’m constantly amazed at the ridiculous comments he makes.  Frankly, I don’t know why he’s become so successful unless it’s because half the audience is made up of idiots who believe what he says simply because he says it in a confident and forceful way while the other half is made up of intelligent people waiting to see what inane comment he’ll make next. The truth is, Rush Limbaugh does not know how to make a cogent argument. Instead, he makes illogical connections and uses ad hominem attacks. There’s nothing else in his arsenal. The cubbard is bare.

Case in point, a man called into his show today who said he was a republican who was also an ex G.I.  The caller believed we should get out of Iraq and was attempting to talk to Rush about it. Because the man disagreed with Rush’s viewpoints, instead of answering his questions, Rush began talking over him, yelling that he couldn’t possibly be a republican and then implying that he was lying about having been in the military.  He couldn’t discuss the man’s points, because he couldn’t think fast enough or he’s not smart enough — I don’t know which — so he resorted to attacking him personally. And that, in a nutshell, is the way he handles all discussions.

Add to that, his narcissistic behavior, and you’ve got a recipe for bad commentary.  If the persona he has on the radio is the real him, I believe the man needs psychological help. He makes comments like, “This is just more proof that, when I have spoken on a subject, there is nothing left to say.”  And folks, he believes it.  He believes that the world revolves around him, that he is the be all and end all of human civilization, and for that reason, I believe he’s a dangerous man.

If you have the opportunity sometime, just listen to a couple of his shows.  I guarantee you’ll feel like you’re in the presence of a sociopath.  Frankly, I don’t know why I listen to him; I feel I need a shower afterward. He makes me ill.

I hope that one of these days, he’ll decide he’s had enough pontificating and puffing out his chest and get off the airwaves. Until then, his circus show will stay on the air. The stations that run him are enjoying the money they make while we laugh at him.

I think I’ll sign off now and look for a way to turn my trash can into Rush’s head again. I have 16 years of technical know-how under my belt now, and I think I can do it easily. It’ll feel so good emptying out his bloated head at the end of every day.

So, tonight I had dinner at the Olive Garden on Memorial (just east of May).  The first Originally from I noticed as we waited for our table was that, outside the restaurant, prominently displayed on the wall, is a plaque with the restaurant’s general manager’s name proudly etched in it .

My first thought, of course, was that this was a huge departure from a Kim managed restaurant. Even though Olive Garden is a chain, they obviously take pride in their business and back that up with excellent service.

As usual, my experience there was steller. From Anna, the sweet lady at the door, to Kelly, the best waitress in the world, we were treated with respect and, even more, we were treated like friends.  Experiences like that are why I like to tip well.  The thing is, they didn’t really go out of their way for us. They just did their jobs well and had fun while they were doing it.  Their attitudes put us at ease, and we spent twice as much as we’d intended, so their behavior is obviously smart business.

Why can’t the Kims in the world get this? We don’t want you to work any harder; we just want you to do it right the first time, and if you can’t, make it right one way or the other. Do it that way, and you don’t have to pretend you can’t hear the person complaining on the phone. Do it right, and you can be an adult who would proudly etch her name on a plaque hanging outside your restaurtant instead of an immature poor excuse for a manager who doesn’t have the guts to apologize for your substandard service and instead pretends she’s lost a phone connection.

(I’m still embarrassed for her; can you tell?)

Anyway, bravo to the staff of Olive Garden on Memorial.  Your food is excellent, but more than half the reason we go there is because of you, the excellent employees who treat us like royalty.  Thank you!

Friday night, my family and I experienced something that was so ludicrous, so ridiculously bad that I felt it was my obligation to share it with you. It happened at the KFC on warningPennsylvania (Penn) just north of 122nd Street in Oklahoma City. Remember that location and save yourself tons of pissed off by not going there. The poor colonel was probably rolling over in his grave, trying to get out so he could rip the eyes out of the people ruining his reputation.

Now, before I get started, let me make clear that I’m not one of those anti-KFC people. I love their food. If you get what you want - the way you ordered it - it’s really good. I don’t know if they’re cruel to chickens; I hope not, but that will not be the focus of this diatribe. Instead, I’ll be telling you about a completely ridiculous customer service experience and the worst manager ever. (Her name is Kim, by the way. If someone named Kim whose resume says that she was a manager at KFC on Penn and 122nd in September of 2007, don’t ever hire her.)

Here’s how the transaction went from start to finish:

We drove up to the drive through window and after a few minutes, I heard a garbled message coming through the box that my son said was the drive-through girl saying she was ready to help us.

Me: We’d like a chicken pot pie with an order of mashed potatoes and a garlic Parmesan panini with mashed potatoes, a large ice water with extra ice and a large Dr. Pepper.

Window girl: Though I didn’t understand a word she said, according to my son, the great translator, she said they didn’t have pot pies ready.

Me: Okay, change the pot pie to two extra crispy breasts.

Window girl: So you want a six piece original and what?

Me: No; I never said anything about a six piece original. I want two extra crispy breasts and mashed potatoes and then the Garlic Parmesan Panini with mashed potatoes.

Window girl: Ohhhh, you want the panini.

Me: Yes, the Garlic Parmesan Panini.

Window girl: Okay, I have a number 2 wif 2 breasts and mashed potatoes and the panini with mashed potatoes, a large bottle of water and a large Dr. Pepper.

Me: No; I don’t want a bottle of water. I asked for water in a large cup with extra ice. I’ll pay the regular price for a drink if I have to.

Window girl: You don’t want bottled water?

Me: No. Like I said, I want it in a large cup with extra ice.

Window girl: So, you want a number 2 wif 2 breasts and mashed potatoes and the panini with mashed potatoes, a large ice water with extra ice and a large Dr. Pepper.

Me: Yes, and the breasts should be extra crispy and the panini should be the garlic Parmesan one. Is that what you have?

Window girl: (heavy sigh) Yes, two extra crispy breasts with mashed potatoes and the panini with mashed potatoes.

Me: That’s the Garlic Parmesan panini; right?

Window girl: (obviously annoyed) Yes. Pull forward.

Me: Thanks!

So we pulled up and waited for about five minutes before the girl would even look our way. Finally, she handed us our drinks. Mine was a medium instead of a large, but I’m used to that. Fast food restaurants generally have a hard time giving their patrons ice water for some reason, so I thought I’d let the size slide.

Then I took a drink. It wasn’t water; it was Sprite.

At that point, I tried to get the window girl’s attention, but she wouldn’t look our way. This went on for another five minutes or so until the food was ready. Finally, she returned to the window to give us our food.

Me: This was supposed to be water, but it’s Sprite. (At this point, I handed her back the Sprite.) Don’t worry about getting me another one; I’ll just get it at home.

Here’s where we made our mistake. Just happy that the order finally got to us, we drove off without opening up the boxes containing our order to see if the order was correct. It had to be right, because we’d clarified it so many times. How could anyone with a brain get it wrong?

When we got home, we were excited to eat our delicious order. (Yes, excited. We hadn’t gone to KFC for over a year, because every time we went to this particular restaurant, the customer service experience had been bad. But our love for their food made us try this one last time.)

I pulled out the order and my blood pressure doubled immediately. The mashed potatoes were both there, but my son got the chicken club panini and I had a breast and a wing - original, not extra crispy. My son does not even like club sandwiches, and I don’t like their original chicken. For me, it’s all about the extra crispy. Even worse, the “wing” they gave me was the size of a quarter. Literally. There wasn’t even any meat on the bone that a person could eat.

I picked up the phone and called the restaurant, vowing to remain calm and hoping to accomplish two things - I wanted an apology and I wanted the manager to understand that the continuing bad service at her restaurant was causing her to lose customers.

Here’s how that went:

Window girl answers: Thank you for calling KFC; how can I hep you? (All said with a wooden tone that said, “I don’t really mean thank you, and I don’t want to help you.)

Me: (in a calm business-like tone) Yes, I’d like to speak to the manager please.

Window girl: (sighs audibly and then yells to someone in the store) Tell Kim she have a manager call and see if she want me to take it. (There was no response to me at all.)

Me: No. I don’t want to talk to you. I want to speak to Kim if she’s the manager.

Window girl: (not responding to me at all again) Tell Kim she say she won’t talk to me. She want a manager.

Someone in the background: Kim say she’ll take this one.

After a few moments, Kim came on the line.

Kim, the manager on duty: This is the manager. How may I help you?

Me: Kim, I’m not calling you because I want anything. I don’t want my order corrected, and I don’t want a refund. I just want to tell you a story. First, let me start by telling you that every time I’ve ever been to your restaurant, I’ve never received good service. Because of that, we haven’t visited it in over a year, but we thought we’d give you another chance tonight.

At this point, I relayed the story about what happened that night. Then I ended with, “Kim, this is just unacceptable.

Kim: (huffily) Well, you know we get new people all the time. (No apology whatsoever)

Me: Kim, I understand that new people have a learning curve, but this didn’t happen because your window girl is new. We repeated our order many times, because she kept getting it wrong. In the end, she pretended she had it written down correctly, rather than actually getting it correct. This is a case of her purposefully not doing her job.

Kim: Well, I’m looking at your ticket, and it says an original breast and wing and a chicken club panini.

Me: Kim, do you think we actually ordered something that we didn’t want? Do you really think those words came out of our mouths when we don’t even like those things?

Kim: Calm down and listen.

Me: (Still in the calm, business-like voice) Kim, I am calm. I haven’t raised my voice once. I’m just trying to give you some information to help you do your job, so you can fix it.

Kim: Hello? Hello?

Me: Kim, I’m on a landline, and so are you. I know you can hear me.

KFC: Silence on the phone other than the sound of people talking in the background and work going on in the kitchen.

Me: Kim, I know you’re still there. I can hear the background noise. You’re a manager. This kind of childish behavior is ridiculous for anyone but especially the store manager.

KFC: The sound of someone’s hand being put over the phone and the continued sound of background noise from the restaurant, proving that she heard what I’d said.

Me: (beside myself, to my son) Oh, my God! Now, the manager of the store is pretending she can’t hear me! She’s holding her hand over the phone, but I can still hear the background sounds. She knows I know she’s there, but she still won’t say a word! I’ve never experienced such a thing in my life!

My son: Mom, I told you those people don’t care. Give it up. They don’t want to get better, and they’re not going to tell you they’re sorry for your bad experience. Just hang up.

Me: Kim, I’m giving you one more chance to be a good manager. Quit pretending you don’t hear me and respond.

KFC: Continued sound of background noise.

Me: Okay, Kim. You’ve just earned yourself a letter to the owner and to the corporate office where I’ll be naming you by name and telling this story. If I were you, I’d get the resume ready, because I won’t give up until I see you fired for this.

And then I hung up.


I never raised my voice at all. I remained calm and business-like the whole time. And THAT’S how I was treated. No apology, an angry attitude and then a childish pretense from the one person who’s supposed to be running the place.

Honestly, my mind’s still reeling from the experience. It’s so beyond my idea of how a business should be run that it’s hard for even me to believe it happened.

So, save yourselves a LOT of hassle, citizens of Oklahoma City. Don’t visit Kim’s store. And if you are brave enough to try it and have a bad customer experience there, do what I did and tell the owner and the corporate office. They have the right to know.

President and Chief Concept Officer: Gregg R. Dedrick
COO: Harvey Brownlee Jr.
Director Public Relations: Laura Schalow

Customer Satisfaction Numbers
U.S. - 1-800-225-5532 (1-800-CALL KFC)
Canada - 1-866-664-5696

Online Customer Comment Forms
U.S. Feedback (Continental United States)
International/Hawaii/Canada Feedback (outside the Continental United States)

KFC’s Corporate Address for Comments
P.O. Box 725489
Atlanta, GA 31139

Owner of this KFC in Oklahoma City
KFC US Properties Inc.
DBA KFC Y336006
PO Box 35370
Louisville, KY 40232-5370

Today’s recipe, boys and girls, is homemade and deliciously satisfying Chicken Pot Pie.

The first thing you need to know is that this is nothing like those frozen chicken pot pies we all suffered through as children. Those are just nasty. These are real comfort food — hot, savory and full of freshness.  Best of all, making it is as easy as pie. (Go ahead; boo. I’ll wait here.)

Got it out of your system?  Okay, let’s go on!

I’m a firm believer in cutting corners when it won’t affect taste, and this recipe is chock-full of corner cutting. If you’re not a corner cutter, though, feel free to uncut my corners when you cook, and do it the hard way. It won’t bother me a bit.

Here’s how I do it:

1 10 oz package frozen peas and carrots
1 large potato, cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
3 cups cooked chicken (I get a rotisserie chicken from the grocer and tear out all the white meat to use in this)
1 pastry for a 9-inch 2-crust pie

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Rinse frozen peas and carrots in cold water to separate. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly.  (Alternately, you can saute onions in just the butter until limp and then add flour, salt and pepper - that’s how I do it.) Remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk, heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for one minute. Stir in chicken, peas and carrots, and potatoes.*  Remove from heat.

*[Note about potatoes: I cut mine into small 3/4 inch cubes, so I don’t have to cook them any first. If you want bigger chunks of potatoes, cut them into pieces and boil, being sure to start with cold water, so the potatoes cook consistently both outside and in. Once they are semi-soft but not done, drain them and then add with the peas, carrots and chicken when ready.]

Ease pastry into the bottom of three single serve turrets.  Fill with mixture - be sure to fill where it heaps a bit. Cover with pastry, crimping at the edges.  Cut holes in the top of the pastry and decorate with additional designs of pastry if you wish.

Bake about 35 minutes or until golden brown and chicken filling is bubbling. If you notice edges browning too fast, cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil.

Once the pies are done, be sure to allow them to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to continue to meld, the sauce to thicken more and saves your tongue from a bad burn.

Try these, and you’ll love them as much as we do!

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