You ever watch a train-wreck of a commercial and wonder how on earth it got through all the people it had to get through to get on air?
If so, then we have something you need to see.
On Wednesday, Fast Company published an article titled, “Two ex-Googlers want to make bodegas and mom-and-pop corner stores obsolete.”
Stay with me now.
The idea these ex-Googlers proposed is, essentially, deploying lots of vending machines with items like cleaning supplies and chips, which will erode small businesses that provide a lot of basic needs and wants for their surrounding communities. Unlike classic bodegas and mom-and-pop corner stores, these machine box things will not make you an egg and cheese on a roll, and they will certainly not recognize you and talk with you about whatever the hell you talk about at 2 a.m. on a weekday when you’ve wandered in cuz you can’t sleep and now you’re hungry.
Now, when it comes to placing this idea on the spectrum of things that are bad to things that are good, well, the internet had a lot of opinions…
48 hours or less before someone takes a dump in one of the boxes
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) September 13, 2017
You not getting one magnum, a chopped cheese sangwich and a Dutch from a bodega box foh b
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) September 13, 2017
my bodega owners are yemeni immigrants and the bodega not only affords them a life in new york but also allows them to send money back home
— Jessica Roy (@JessicaKRoy) September 13, 2017
Also, the company is called “Bodega,” which is really just asking for it.
“To me, it is offensive for people who are not Hispanic to use the name ‘bodega,’ to make a quick buck,” Frank Garcia, who chairs the New York State Coalition of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, told Fast Company. “It’s disrespecting all the mom-and-pop bodega owners that started these businesses in the ’60s and ’70s.”
Also, the stock photos provided to Fast Company are the kind you might take at a high school reunion where everyone is really trying to look like they’re still glad they decided to attend.
In one photo, cofounders Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan stand next to one of their box babies, smiling as though they did something more than make vending machines worse by adding shampoo to them.
In another, one woman opens the box while a different woman smiles like, whoa, this thing has Listerine.
I could go on, but, you get the point.
UPDATE 4:30 p.m. ET:The company has already apologized for its name.
“Despite our best intentions and our admiration for traditional bodegas, we clearly hit a nerve this morning,” cofounder Paul McDonald wrote in a Medium post. “And we apologize to anyone we’ve offended. Rather than disrespect to traditional corner stores — or worse yet, a threat — we intended only admiration.”
As the statement above implies, McDonald also wrote that their company doesn’t want to run traditional bodegas into the ground.
“Challenging the urban corner store is not and has never been our goal,” he wrote.
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