Four Blenz employees quit their jobs by posting a “Dear John” letter in the window of the coffee shop, according to BeyondRobson.

While most of the web and blog buzz around town discusses the merits of “stick it to the Man”, worker solidarity and indentured servitude, I’m left to wonder about the PR issues this causes for Blenz. With several blogs, aggregators and even Flickr already referencing the post, the story will stick around for a while. But, although the Blenz manager likely got the letter, Blenz Corporate may not be aware of the issue, let alone the fallout. It just goes to show that the immediacy of camera phones, digicams and blogs can create a story that spreads and sticks quickly.

A few years ago, I lodged a complaint about the condition of the Blenz on Denman. The company’s VP contacted me to apologize and outlined how the chain and would resolve the issue. Then they offered me a pound of my favourite coffee. I said any dark roast coffee would do. They actually called me to find out *exactly* what blend I preferred. Then they couriered it to me. Their quick response to my concerns made me respect the VP and hold the chain in higher regard.

But a “Dear John” letter written to a store manager and not the company is a different issue. I’d be interested to hear if Blenz says anything. The best thing to do is probably to let it blow over. Why create more coverage for a negative event that doesn’t involve the corporation so much as a single manager? And it’s all allegations, not necessarily facts. I’ll be very surprised if Blenz comments on the letter.

(c) 2005 by Andrea Coutu. Vancouver Marketing Consultant. All rights reserved.