Intro to upcoming book, The Customer is Usually Wrong: how to tell a customer to fuck off

It’s 1909, and a fuckface who owns a department store in London comes up with one of the dumbfuckingest slogans ever to promote his business: “The Customer is Always Right!” For this, I’m sending him to Hell in my upcoming novel: Paradise Frost: Satan as Santa, where he’ll spend eternity getting his dick licked by two pitbulls.

Think of it this way, would you get into a relationship with anyone under the stipulation that the other person is always right? Sure, if you’re a submissive into BDSM, and then only with someone you trust, not any random stranger. Because anyone who wants to be or thinks they’re always right is likely a psychopath.

Then why would a business enter into a Master and Servant relationship with their customers (as their Master)? To do so, after all, is to invite the customer to act like a psychopath whipping around her 10 inch cock for all to worship.

Because there are shortsighted business owners who don’t give a shit about their employees. These business owners let their employees lick Karen’s boots and get fucked up the ass by Karen’s black sized strap-on — sexual harassment, condescension, anything goes to make sure Karen doesn’t call the cops. This type of business owner is irresponsible and demented, sets civilization back by encouraging and normalizing psychopathic behavior and making good service difficult to give and appreciate. You can’t have a conversation with a psychopath, okay?

Once this slogan became popularized into an asinine dictum throughout the Anglo world, especially in the US, it institutionalized a style of service that’s obsequious, onerous, and fake. And mindless middle class Americans (from all income groups) love it because they are psychopaths, look at the mental health and substance abuse data for this demographic if you don’t believe me.

And how in the hell does a business improve itself and maintain its integrity if the “customer is always right?” Steve Jobs ignored focus groups because he knew that customers don’t know what they want when it hasn’t been invented. Besides, people tend to lie when they’re in a contextless environment, as most focus groups are. Sure, everyone tells the Sociofuckingologist they want to be healthy, that doesn’t mean any of them will do anything to improve their health. Psychopaths lie to be liked by others, they’re addicted to affirmation.

If the “customer is always right,” there wouldn’t be an Alive Juice Bar. No Attitude Cleanse, no Kale Smoothies — those aren’t drinks most people, not even 10 percent, want. And it’s not my job to give what the customer wants, if it were I’d be selling heroin and hos instead of peddling fruits and vegetables. My job is to expand people’s palates so they enjoy food more while eating nutritionally balanced meals. My vision is a place where people can explore what’s possible to eat, and not simply indulge in what they want to eat. None of this is possible if the “customer is always right.”

In fact, the customer is usually wrong and any business owner who doesn’t realize this must not be confident about his expertise. If you don’t know what you’re doing, if you’re not an artisan with superior knowledge and skill, then don’t go into business. Every business I patronize I expect the owner to know a lot more than I do about his craft, otherwise I’d do it myself. The business is the master, I’m the apprentice.

That said, this book is a collection of insults, curses, and blessings we’ve given to customers. Some customers paid us — $1 — to insult, curse, and bless them. Others received unsolicited insults and curses not because we want to insult or curse them, but because we want to use their bad reviews of Alive Juice Bar as marketing material to let people know what kind of place we are and who should and shouldn’t patronize it. They’re like rap battles to us.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I, Do You Love Me?, is a collection of love poems we’ve written to customers for $5. (Option available on Doordash). Part II, Insults and Disses, is a collection of exchanges we’ve had between customers on Yelp and Google Reviews. Part III, Curses and Blessings, has some of the $1 curses and blessings customers have purchased.

Comments welcome, can send them to foodyap@gmail.com. Address the subject line with “Hey Asshole.”

NOW AVAILABLE: How to Make the Nasty Shit Taste Good, an Alive Juice Bar cookbook

This cookbook has most of the recipes created at Alive Juice Bar from its inception in 2010 to its closing (and relocation to downtown Everett, WA) in 2020. It’s a farewell present to the customers we’re leaving, a thank you for their patronage.  This cookbook is also a collection of memories to look back on and to show how we’ve evolved over the years.  

The title How to Make the Nasty Shit Taste Good references how most people relate to vegetables as food — they’re “nasty” and to be avoided.  According to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) data, just 12.2% of American adults are meeting the standard for fruit, and 9.3% are meeting the standard for vegetables.  (I consider CDC’s “standard” a low bar).  Alive Juice Bar’s mission, then, is to train those who hate eating veggies to *enjoy* eating them.  I say “train” because there’s a psychological element to people’s disdain for eating veggies, and palates can be trained to appreciate a variety of flavors, textures, and combinations.   

That said, use this cookbook judiciously.  Don’t assume that every recipe in here is going to be liked by everyone, or even by most people.  This cookbook isn’t a collection of the most popular hits — Alive Juice Bar has never tried to be popular — it’s an exploration of what’s possible for each of us to cook and eat.  I don’t expect everyone to like our Kale Smoothie, and I expect most to not like the Nasty Shit (what I drink every morning).        

Use the recipes as guides, not as hard rules.  Don’t hesitate to make adjustments according to your taste and dietary needs.  Add more apple and less kale if you prefer a sweeter drink.  And vice versa.  

Those interested in the psychological and political dimensions of cooking and eating should read the companion to this cookbook, How to Cook Like a Racist, available on Amazon, Kindle, and at Alive Juice Bar.  

We’ll also be publishing a third cookbook, which will have recipes from our upcoming restaurant The Soup Nazi Kitchen, hopefully by the end of 2020.  That cookbook will provide a much more in depth exploration of how we make our soups than does this one.  There’ll be 40 soup recipes in that one, whereas this one has four.  

Love and hate letters and comments welcomed.  Send to foodyap@gmail.com.  

Bon Appetit and Cheers,

Love Poem to My Customers

Three weeks left, we close Shoreline location Oct. 23rd. Reopen in downtown Everett, aiming for Jan. 1st, along with new baby, The Soup Nazi Kitchen. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates. In the meantime, we’ll celebrate 10 and a half years. Then we’ll prepare for the future. xoxo

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Surreal and euphoric, this time has been
Audacious beginnings, we near the end
Rarefied and risque, that’s who we are
Impish and ironic, it’s worked thus far
Nimble and shrewd, we’ll continue to be
Adroit as we move on, for all the see

Innocuous, we’ve never and are not

Lewd and lascivious, that’s been our style
Opprobrium we welcome, makes us smile
View us with disdain, hate us with slow rage
Everything the critics say, we’ll upstage

Yonder we now go, I’ll miss ya’ll so much
Obstreperous, I vow, we’ll always be
Until next time, promise to stay in touch