May 29, 2008

If Subway Can Apologize, So Can I

I read Subway's apology letter a few times on different email lists as it made its way around the virtual homeschool sphere. I felt sorry for them having to eat so much crow. I have also read a few blog posts in varying viewpoints about the Subway madness since I posted my original mention earlier this week. I don't think there's a homeschooler out there who doesn't know about this ordeal. If nothing else, this proves that homeschoolers can spread news faster than CNN. We may be "independent", but we certainly seem to have a collective voice.

It is that collective voice that concerns me, however. I must be frank - my voice wasn't the most level-headed of the bunch. I cringed after re-reading my own words as a commentor fed them back to me. I used the word 'hate' twice and that was just plain inexcusable. So not only did I write a nice letter to Subway thanking them for their apology,... but I removed the "hate" from my post and updated it with a request for homeschoolers to thank Subway for their efforts. I'll even go one step further this week. I'm going to go eat at Subway and personally thank our local Subway owner for their company's apology. I'm going to let the sandwich be "on me". I hope you will do the same.

After all, we homeschoolers should know best that the way to a librarian's heart is through smiles and home-baked cookies... not frowns and harsh words. Those are biblical principles, too. I wouldn't want someone to say I hated other people (even if I am prone to mistakes just like the next guy). I shouldn't have accused Subway in such a harsh way, either.

I'm glad that there are so many level headed homeschool bloggers out there who are helping to prevent us all from giving up our 6-inch cold-cut trios on honey-wheat.

A kinder, gentler way to educate. Who would have thought? Sounds like homeschoolers virtually homeschooling other homeschoolers.

Stop over at Amy's Subway Post or Cindy's Subway Post to read more...

P.S. If you want to see a real mountain rather than a small mole-hill issue, please focus your attention on the OTHER post I wrote for today (the one about DC)...

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Gary & Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

That's great, Sprittibee. I know on more than one occasion in forums I have posted a gut reaction rather than a reasoned one. I am not one who can just count to 10 to chill out- I have to recite pi to 20 places and then I quote "Jenny Kissed Me" by Leigh Hunt. Works every time. :D

Anonymous said...

No apology on your original feedback is necessary. Nothing Subway said in their apology is in any way an apology - instead, it's an outright lie.

First, Subway apologized for anyone who "feels" excluded. There was no feeling of exclusion - there was an outright exclusion of all homeschoolers.

Second, Subway claims they did not "intend to exclude homeschoolers." No, if you read Subway's contests rules, the company VERY specifically meant to exclude homeschoolers. Saying otherwise is a lie.

Third, to remedy the current situation, Subway does not backtrack and say all can now apply to this contest. No, it stands by its current exclusion and says it will run contests for our kids in the future.

This is not an apology. This is a PR piece, and a bad one at that. Subway's corporate culture has not changed; its desire to exclude a segment of its customer base is still in full force. And, as all have said, it is Subway's right to do so. But, it is also our right, as possible paying customers, to exlude Subway from our purchasing plans.

Here is the apology, word for word...

We at SUBWAY restaurants place a high value on education, regardless of the setting, and have initiated a number of programs and promotions aimed at educating our youth in the areas of health and fitness.

We sincerely apologize to anyone who feels excluded by our current essay contest. Our intention was to provide an opportunity for traditional schools, many of which we know have trouble affording athletic equipment, to win equipment. Our intent was certainly not to exclude homeschooled children from the opportunity to win prizes and benefit from better access to fitness equipment.

To address the inadvertent limitation of our current contest and provide an opportunity for even more kids to improve their fitness, we will soon create an additional contest in which homeschooled students will be encouraged to participate. When the kids win, everyone wins!

—Subway Restaurants

Kelli said...

I think it is great that you are posting an apology to Subway. Sometimes I think we in the homeschooling community can get a little over-defensive because of some of the things that we do face. It almost feels like everyone and their mother is against us. Like you, my first knee jerk reaction was "well, how rude!!" But then the more I thought about it the more it made sense. They are trying to help schools get athletic equipment. If a homeschooler won the struggling school systems would still be none the better. You really showed you have Christian integrity by retracting your harsh words. Thanks for being a good example to others.

Sprittibee said...

Anonymous took care of the quoted apology in her/his comment above, but if you wanted to see it on the HSLDA, here's the link:

Subway's Apology

The thing that bugged me was that someone had to first think about homeschooling kids to include the word homeschooling in the verbiage of the contest. That meant that they in fact DID exclude homeschoolers. I figured someone had a chip on their shoulder and wasn't expecting this sort of outcry. I don't approve of Subway's mistake any more than I approve of my own use of the word "hate". What they did was ugly and what I did was ugly. However, we both have now had to eat some crow and plan to do better in the future. We'll see how Subway does on their promises to be more "inclusive". I'm fine with them running a separate contest for us - I separate my kids already from the PS. No worries there.

Anonymous said...

I figured someone had a chip on their shoulder and wasn't expecting this sort of outcry. ... What they did was ugly and what I did was ugly.

It's funny how differently we perceive things. When I read the rules, my assumption was that they wanted the grand prize to go to a large group of kids in a brick and mortar school, and to do so they excluded HSers in their ignorance of how home education works and how statutes vary from state to state. An anti-homeschool bias didn't enter my mind until I started reading posts from the Tin Foil Helmet Brigade (my designation for people who see conspiracies in everything).

Which brings another question- there are dozens of academic competitions and fundraising opportunities that are closed to HSers- are ya'll going to protest all of them, or does Subway get to be the red-headed stepchild? ;)

Dana said...

Heather, I think it is one of those things with the internet. It is easy to throw up a headline that is perhaps more attention-getting than necessary and hyperbolize on a blog. You kind of forget that there are real people on the other side and that they probably weren't targeting you specifically.

Contrary to anonymous, however, I don't expect Subway to change current rules. I actually found their apology rather amusing. They are going to give us the opportunity to lead a more fit lifestyle? What would we ever do without Subway?

lori said...

Hey girl! I just stopped into the HIVE to say hello....yes, that WFW on my site was done in photoshop....which by the way I am on page like 30 of the Photoshop for DUMMIES book!!
I'm glad you liked it!!
It was one of my faves too!!

Hey, I went to the other site too...the Redneck seafood was a RIOT...I'm showing the kids in the know Jeff Foxworth is a neighbor...well almost...he lives in THIS city somewhere!! HA!

We GET that kind of humor down here!!:)

Hugs to you!

Sisterlisa said...

And had Subway announced this contest with big bold faced words excluding a religious group or race there would be a different response from the public. And prayerfully a different kind of apology.

Sarah Schreffler said...

sisterlisa: There's reasons for that. Both religion and race are constitutionally protected.

And no, not every choice we make out to be protected.

It is and should be perfectly fine to exclude people who you do not want to participate in a particular contest. Thank you Spirrittibee for realizing this.

People are excluded by age all the time. Other times, excluding by beliefs is appropriate. Co

Renae said...

Thank you for your humility and honesty. Who hasn't said things they regret later? It just seems a bit harder on the internet where your words live on forever. Anyway, I just wanted to say I really respect you for your apology.



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