02 Jul 2012 @ 1:58 PM 
 

On Petty Theft and Supporting Small Businesses

 

This past weekend, while we were running our little temporary taproom experiment over at Mystery, somebody – one of the fine patrons that came and joined us that evening – stole a poster from the bathroom of our office.

It was a kind of a cheap poster, but it was fun – the Awdrey-Gore Legacy poster by Edward Gorey. It’s a little murder-mystery poster, a little macabre and a little funny. Moreover, it was my wife’s poster and we’d had it hanging in our house for a while, but we brought it into the brewery when we opened up mainly so that the bathroom would stop looking so empty. So, while it sucks, it’s not like someone stole our smoker or anything. It wasn’t anything of significant monetary value, or even something of practical value, but something of sentimental value, instead.

And that is precisely why it pisses me off so much.

Here we are – we’re a young business. We’re still getting our feet under us and trying to get a solid footing in the market. We’re not rich. We work our asses off to pay the bills just like everybody else. So, we’ve opened up our doors to try to stay engaged with people while we’re struggling to get our taproom open and somebody comes in and, essentially, betrays our trust and our hospitality by stealing something of literally no value.

Dear asshat – go and buy your own fucking poster. That one belongs to my wife. And while you can now put it up in your house and say, “Oh my god! Isn’t this cool? I totally took this from Mystery!” Any person’s response to that statement should be: “Wow. You’re a douchebag.” In fact, do yourself a favor, save your money – don’t buy my beer, and go buy a poster instead so that way I don’t have to waste my time and money replacing it.

When I asked my staff if they knew it was missing, the overall response was something along the lines of, “What did you expect to happen when we started letting people in here?” and I think that is the saddest most sorry statement against humanity I have ever heard. That’s what I have to expect from fans of craft beer? Petty theft? Aren’t you better than that?

That’s exactly the kind of bullshit that makes it difficult to run a small business and difficult for us to justify letting people into our business, into our office, and into our lives. If you think it’s cool to steal a poster, what else are we going to have to replace? What else in the brewery has gone missing that we haven’t noticed yet? We’re trying to get people in here to make sure that we have enough money to operate, and it’s not going to fly if we have to replace even a few small things every time we let people in here. And what happens when it’s not something small and it’s something big? Damage to our equipment or stealing something that’s vital to our operation could literally shut us down permanently.

So, to whomever of you who has decided that the cool and hip thing to do is to go into a small business and steal something: Fuck you. That business that you stole from isn’t some fancy mega corporation and walking into it should have been able to tell you that. You didn’t steal from the man, you stole from me and from my employees and the hours and hours of work we put in every day so that you can enjoy that beer you came in and had. I’m so glad that we engendered enough of your respect that you felt like you had to take something from us.

Please, take this as a token of my respect for you: don’t ever come back.

Tags Categories: brewery, Mystery Brewing Company, op-ed Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 02 Jul 2012 @ 03 22 PM

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Responses to this post » (14 Total)

 
  1. olllllo says:

    #craftbeerpeoplearegoodpeople

    Yea, that sucks. The sooner we get past that myth, the better.

  2. erik says:

    Yeah – no shit.

    #somecraftbeeraregoodpeoplebutothersarekindofasshats

  3. Richard says:

    How frustrating… I hear my mother’s voice, “we can’t have anything nice!”

  4. Wendy says:

    What a jerk. I’m so sorry that happened.

    • Vanesa says:

      I’m afraid I have to dgsriaee with your opinion of the graphic, Father. It’s very hard to summarise my reasons for this in a short comment but I will try. Firstly I would stress that I am one hundred per cent behind the aims of Family Life International which does admirable work and I support everything that they support. However, strong families these days (and yes I do mean married man and wife and lots of kids) come in many shapes and images – you only need to go to a thriving Catholic church to see that. It does a disservice to a great cause to portray a stereotypical paterfamilias in suit and tie towering over his demure little wife with all the implications that he is the boss and she is in the kitchen. How much better it would have been, in my view, to portray husband and wife standing shoulder to shoulder. And who are the people hacking away at the base? Stereotypes again. The women, in their sharp suits, (and notice, shorter skirts than mama!) are obviously meant to be in professional careers, as if that was automatically bad. There are many many women who work and bring great benefits to their professions while leading good Christian lives and have well-functioning families and certainly don’t support abortion. And what about the good Catholic lawyers?! Something more abstract would have been far more appropriate. A graphic like this, I fear, plays into the hands of the opponents of the family and won’t do much to attract the waverers. It seems to have been designed by that element who hate anything that happened after the 1950s and sometimes, I feel, their views are not the best way forward. Now I wait to be shouted down!

  5. William Kinnik says:

    Saw this post and it really hacked me off. So much so that I went and re-ordered you a Gorey mystery poster and my other favorite Gorey poster (the Gashlycrumb Tinies alphabet poster) for your fine establishment. The new posters should arrive in 7-9 days. I hope to see them back up on the walls next time I’m there (hopefully to get a few pints of your Basil beer… yumm!) My sister in Ohio is already hitting me up to try and send her out a few growlers of it.

    Enjoy the replacement posters!

    -William Kinnik & John Myers
    Durham, NC

  6. Jim says:

    Sadly, as you grow, it seems only to escalate. You lament the loss of things that have no real value, as well you should. But it is actually worse when they start taking things that *do* have value to you. You mentioned Fullsteam’s smoker, and in May the trucks at our roastery (Muddy Dog Roasting Co. in Morrisville) were robbed. They took $3900 worth of tools and equipment, most of which wouldn’t be any good at all except to someone in the coffee business. (And incidentally, the thing that pissed me off most was that they destroyed a worthless bobble-head cow that was a gag giveaway at a dear friend’s retirement party years ago, so I can relate to your poster story.) And yet I feel lucky that at least they didn’t break into my building, like they did to our neighbors, who are metal fabricators – they lost about $15,000 worth of tools. Here’s a link to the security video showing the guy who robbed us, maybe somebody can win “Name that Asshat” “: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZGKV5RuKpE

  7. Jonathan Simpson says:

    Wow Erik….I just saw this. That totally sucks. I don’t know who the assclown that did that was, but the rest of us appreciate you letting us into your brewery. You guys are always super nice and the fact that someone would take advantage of what was a really cool event is really crappy.

  8. Anthea Darling says:

    Eric and spousal unit…it does really suck that someone took advantage of your hospitality. I for one (andhubby Tom for two) look forward to continued friday evenings with our favorite local brewman. Cant wait for the tasting room to open..hoping the asswipe that ducked out with your poster will stay away!

  9. Dennis Hermanson says:

    Nice job, Kinnik and Myers.
    I will be in on Friday, the 13th, and hop to see the poster on the wall. (OK, deliberate typo… har har…)
    I am scrounging around my studio to see if there’s anything else we can bring in to fill the walls, thus making it more hard to theft.

    You are good folks to help the owners, and make us all feel better. THANKS!

    Dennis of Hillsborough

    • Redd says:

      ..lets just say for the sake of argument you get your way and the glabol warming movement gets crushed what then? we’re still going to have a population crisis, dwindling resources, food and water shortages, excessive waste, high pollution levels, growing poverty etc that somebody’s going to have to deal with .thats the problem with deluded deniers like yourself, you never really think through your own arguments, you’re just obsessed with being mavericks

  10. I can really empathize with how you feel. Customers and members of my **former** homebrew club stole a sack containing hops and keys to an employee’s car and a CO2 tank from my booth at a beer festival. I tracked them down and got the goods back but they are forever tainted in my mind.

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