I understand in life that there are often two sides to every story, and that our own individual perceptions can colour how we experience something. Something happens, and like the proverbial snowflakes, no two of us tell the story in the very same way.
Except when we have a glass baking pan (size 13 x 9 inches) made by a particular and prominent maker of glassware that explodes in the oven.
Oh, now wait. I'm not supposed to say "explode", because the company in question, when confronted with a whole whack of folks who've experienced this same phenomenon with their 13 x 9 inch glass baking pans, well, that company has a spokesperson who, in a tone so patronizing that you can almost feel the pat on your tiny, misguided head, will tell you that the glassware doesn't "explode", it "disintegrates".
Now, one of the definitions of "disintegrate" is "to become reduced to components, fragments or particles", and I suppose, based on that, that the company spokesperson is not wrong, for my glass baking pan was, indeed, reduced to components, fragments and particles. In fact, so reduced to components, fragments and particles that those same components, fragments and particles ended up all over the inside of the oven (including in the baking pan *above* the one that, er "disintegrated"), as well as all over my kitchen.
Of course, the helpful company spokesperson doesn't want those of us who experienced this phenomenon to use the word "explosion", because, of course, the pans couldn't possibly explode. Nyet, nein, non, no. Those pans could not, in the strict definition of things "shatter with a loud noise", or "burst violently and noisily."
Except, those of us who have experienced this phenomenon? We've all heard a loud noise, and we've all ended up with glass everywhere, in every direction. Some of us have been hurt by the flying -- ooops -- disintegrating glass.
I was fortunate, I think. I honestly don't know how I didn't end up in the emergency room last night, as great shards of glass were strewn everywhere across the kitchen floor. I was holding the pan in my left hand and stirring the roasting vegetables with my right when the thing exploded -- oops -- disintegrated.
The worst for me was a ruined dinner (which made me weep, as it was a lovely dinner of roasted autumn/root vegetables that I'd lovingly selected just that afternoon), some cuts in the fingertips of my left hand, a piece of glass in my right foot that The Other dug out with the tweezers, and the shakes for a couple of hours. As we cleaned up the shards, I shook even more, because I couldn't believe how lucky I was that I didn't end up with one of those flying into my face and taking out an eye.
It took all evening and some time this morning to take the whole oven apart and get the glass and exploded -- oops -- disintegrated pan and ruined dinner out of it.
The moral of this story? If you are a company, and you send your spokesperson out to speak to your customers (some of whom *were* hurt by the exploding -- ooops -- disintegrating bakeware you make), and this person is condescending and patronizing and pats us on our heads and insists there is nothing wrong here, that we're just being a little sensitive, and uses doublespeak and obfuscation to deal with the situation, well...
You can expect that I will never buy a piece of your disintegration-prone bakeware ever again. Nor will I buy any other product your company makes. Never. Ever. Again.
And remember -- your customers? Are your best marketing tool. Treating your best marketing tool like naughty children? Not your best move, you know?