I remember a while back when that movie Unstoppable came out… ya know, that one about the run away train…
Most people were a buzz, talking about what a great movie it was. Thrilling, heart-stopping, emotionally-driven action flick at its best.
Around my house on the other hand, my 10 year veteran of the railroad of a husband was singing a much different tune…
“The dispatcher didn’t do that…”
“A yardmaster would never be in that situation…”
“It is physically impossible for the train to even do that…”
For weeks, he shared his frustration over how Hollywood got it wrong and how no one cared or noticed.
Thankfully though, for now, railroader jobs, ethics and livelihoods aren’t being called into question over Hollywood’s tendency to shape the details the way the want them to make for a “good story”. For the most part people see my dispatcher husband in a GOODe light and I appreciate that… Hollywood’s gotta make their money, right? So they tweak the details to sell their tickets and we all let the details slide a little.
But what if someone called the ethics and the livelihoods of your husband or your best friends or your neighbors into question… for the sake of making a buck or two (or say millions).
Yahoo claims they almost stole the Grammy show with their commercial and from the looks of Twitter and Facebook, they might be right.
Although I have to tell you being someone who grew up a farmer’s daughter and currently works with farmers everyday, my streams were filled with a much different message than the cheers for the brilliant marketing score by the altruistic burrito maker.
Words like “disappointed”, “grossly distorted”, “misrepresentation”, “fiction”, “mis-characterization” filled my streams.
To put it plainly, my friends feel they have been lied about.
Not only that, but that their integrity and morals had been called into question by this two minute cautionary tale that was served up as the truth to a hungry public.
My heart goes out to them.
I can only remember one occasion where someone told a bold-face lie about me to cause me harm. Man did it sting. I felt so helpless. It wrecked me because I realized that when that person decided they could make up their own truth about me, there was no foundation of integrity to rebuild trust or work together to find solutions to our differences. Someone stood up for me that day, thank heavens.
I can’t imagine how it feels to have a company’s marketing budget thrown at you- demonizing and demoralizing what your family works hard for 365 days a year- all for the sake of selling burritos, albeit to the tune of $178M.
And, truth be told, at least for now, that is what this seems to be all about…
Turns out farmers are claiming that not only is Chipotle not sourcing their food from the types of farms they are serving up to me and you as ideal, but even when given the opportunity, Chipotle is NOT practicing what they preach.
I might be wrong, but I personally feel the biggest misrepresentation here is that Chipotle isn’t talking about some immoral misguided farmer some place somewhere.
No… if you live in a rural area or grew up there, Chipotle is calling into question those farmers who happen to be your school teachers, your church deacons, your neighbors and your friends and you may not even realize it. (You may have missed it because they don’t have a huge vat of green goo outside their farm… just sayin’.)
Ya see, commercial/traditional farming is not some face-less industry to me.
It is the girlfriend I can chat for hours with.
My youth group leaders growing up.
A former colleague turned friend.
An accidental blogging bud.
A shoulder I cried on.
One of the most creative people I know.
My Blissdom Roomie.
The farmer that took hours to show me around his farm.
A friend I think about often.
One of the sweetest people I know.
The friend that everyone wants to hang out with when she comes to town.
One of the funniest bloggers I know.
A mother I can relate to.
I could go on and on.
Let me say that I think the emotions the commercial stirred up are good. I think people deserve to know where there food comes from. I walk among those folks everyday and I feel a sense of pride–not shame.
But here is the thing… I don’t like being lied to and while that commercial paints ideal imagery of the way they think things should be for everyone, I have been on farms of all sizes all over Indiana and not once did the negative imagery in that commercial fit a single large farm I have been on…nor does the positive apparently reflect Chipotle’s real life situation either.
And while I would love to think that a burrito company is interested in changing the world, their approach of serving up fiction as truth to simply to sell their product is personally causing me to pause.
If you can’t trust what they say about others, how can you trust what they say about themselves?
I get that they are trying to make money. But lying about my friends ain’t cool Chipotle… it just ain’t cool.
(Steps off soap-box)