Inappropriate gesture of the year: A 9/11 Memorial Moment of Mini-Muffins

I found this photo on Facebook, and sure enough, some checking showed that a Marriott hotel branch did indeed memorialize the 9/11 victims with this thoughtful Moment of Mini-Muffins:

What a touching way to remind the 3,000 dead and 6,000 injured. Granted, the hotel chain did issue this explanation:

“We are aware of the picture that was tweeted. It shows an offer that was made independently by the hotel and not the Marriott Hotels brand. As far as we know, it was limited to one property. While the hotel was making a sympathetic gesture to its guests in remembrance of 9/11, we apologize and understand why some people may have misunderstood the intent of the offer. We are reminding our hotels to use discretion and be sensitive when remembering major events such as 9/11.”

What’s almost worse than this hamhanded gesture is the notion that somewhere, somebody thought this: “Let’s hand out some of those cheap mini-muffins for 9/11. But wait! The customers might gorge themselves, so let’s limit it to half an hour.”

And really, how can you “misunderstand the intent of the offer”? The intent is clear, it’s the method that stinks. Don’t blame customer criticism on “misunderstanding.”

54 Comments

  1. Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Oh I don’t know. There’s not really anything one can say . i suppose that’s why we mark these things with a minutes silence

  2. GBJames
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t they have had special pricing on Flaming Tower cocktails during Happy Hour?

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Well done GBJ. I think that’s a candidate for ‘inappropriate comment of the year’.

      I approve (but then good taste was never one of my failings) 😎

      cr

      • GBJames
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        Someone had to do it.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

          🙂

          cr

  3. Grania Spingies
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Mebbe if they added a Pepsi.

    • Kevin
      Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Heroic.

  4. Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  5. Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Compared to Ted Cruz, this is positively respectful. – MC

  6. DrBrydon
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Well, at least it wasn’t two towers of mini-muffins.

  7. Jeff Cotner
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Some breakfast shift manager at some motel tried to do some little thing they thought was a nice gesture. They probably didn’t have many options, and what they chose to do was small and a little goofy. And…? The Internet Outrage & Clickbait Industries pounce on it? Including you, Jerry? You’ve got much more useful and important things to address. If you and HuffPo and Facebook actually think it was (inadvertently) offensive to the 9/11 survivors or families, why on earth would you publicize that message and ensure that more and more of those people are upset and offended?

    • Randy schenck
      Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      A typical offended person. I am offended at your offense.

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      If there is one thing that is guaranteed to generate outrage on the internet, it is telling your host what he shouldn’t be wasting his time writing about on his own website.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted September 12, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        +1!

    • Posted September 12, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Yes, and my most important thing to do now is keep rude and uncivil people like you from polluting my site. Sorry, Mr. Cotner, but you’re just another newbie who comes into the living room in a high dudgeon without having read the rules.

  8. Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Our outside vendor of logo trinkets (hats, shirts, drink ware and the like) sent out the item of the week of umbrellas with some shall we say insensitive verbiage. That got a predictable walk back soon after. No doubt the campaign is planned weeks or months in advance and somebody just didn’t look but this kind of stuff is easy to do.

  9. BJ
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    This reminds me of the hot cross buns link embedded in your morning post yesterday. Above facts about the buns, the website informed readers that “The celebration of ‘Soul Cakes’ is a perfect and respectful way to celebrate the 9/11 tragedy.”

    Celebrating the 9/11 attacks is a strange idea.

  10. Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I hope there was no unseemly crush of humanity trying to get their free remembrance muffins and coffee in that short time window.

  11. Randy schenck
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Saw this on the news the other day so it is probably on You Tube somewhere. On 9/11 Trump was blabbering to some news person about how his building in New York was now the tallest building and of course this was a lie. It was the height of something.

  12. Liz
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I think it was limited to a half an hour between 8:45 and 9:15 because the first plane hit the North Tower at 8:46 a.m. The second plane hit the South Tower at 9:03 a.m. It’s a little odd they had this and it makes me wonder where in the country this is.

    • Posted September 12, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      I think the timing is obvious. Frankly it’s a bit hard for me to understand why this offer should offend anyone.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted September 12, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        I’ve got to say I feel a bit sorry for the person who thought it up for their hotel. They probably thought they were doing something nice. They wouldn’t make money off people who came in during that time. It looks like the sign was only on the counter where coffee was sold. People get it wrong on emotional stuff all the time. I’m sure that person feels really bad now that it’s been explained to them.

        The so-called human beings I’m disgusted with are the plague of looters that have come out of the woodwork following Hurricane Irma. Or those who left their animals tied to fences before they left. Several were found clinging to the top wire as the water rose around them. For others it was too late. One of these actions was deliberate, the other thoughtless, and there’s no excuse for either.

        • BJ
          Posted September 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Agreed on everything. One person makes a kindhearted but misguided gesture and the entire online world jumps on them with glee (as well as the company employing them, probably resulting in their loss of employment). The internet outrage machine in action.

          Meanwhile, thousands of people commit everyday animal cruelty and everyone just shrugs their shoulders. Guess it’s not interesting enough.

          • Posted September 12, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

            Yes, it was probably an innocent but naive gesture. We pile on this while tolerating tweet after hateful tweet from POTUS.

            It was sort of funny, though.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted September 12, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

            I agree. It was a well-intentioned gesture that went wrong. I expect we’ve all done it.

            What I found infinitely more offensive – the History Channel (probably) ran an explotative TV ‘doco’ on the identity of the guy who was photographed upside down in mid-flight down the tower. Regrettably, my wife (who has a different sense of privacy or decency to me) watched it. It was full of self-justifying drivel from the paper who ran the photo and some reporter who set out to identify the dead man, to the anguish of several potential families. My wife couldn’t understand why I was periodically swearing at the TV “You hypocritical, sanctimonious, bumptious, arrogant, obnoxious, nauseating, money-grubbing, slimy piece of festering scum”. (I ran out of adjectives at some point).

            But it’s quite all right to publish if there’s a buck to be made.

            (Same comment applies to the rash of ‘Diana’ ‘docos’ that recently surfaced.

            Aside – there must be an alternative word for these cobbled-together bits of gossip that the TV industry inflicts on us. ‘Documentary’ implies some sort of reasoned presentation of the facts, not just a bunch of talking heads giving their overblown opinions based on trivial anecdotes.)

            cr

            • BJ
              Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

              Well, most of what the History Channel does these days is at least offensive to my intellect. But, you know, aliens, amiright? Anyway, I think it’s in extremely poor taste to do a documentary on that person, but I find nothing wrong with a documentary on a world-famous figure like Diana (so long as it’s not exploitative, which many are). I don’t really think there’s another word for such things besides “documentary,” as most documentaries are just tons of gossip and/or talking heads. Only well-made documentaries are well done, and no documentary is beyond opinion in its presentation.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted September 13, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

                Insofar as Diana was a public figure, I agree a documentary doesn’t inherently have to be exploitative. However, given the subject matter, I think it’s easy for them to slip into rumour-mongering and exploitation and many of them do. When they start retailing trivial details and having some self-styled ‘insider’ pontificating about the significance of minor incidents you know where it’s going.

                I do agree that well-made documentaries are rare. (BJ, you just made a tautology – “only well-made docos are well done” – but I think I know what you meant).

                cr

          • Posted September 12, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

            Indeed. Justice is capricious.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted September 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          Yes, for goodness sake, don’t tie your animal out during a disaster. Have we learned nothing since Pompeii?

      • Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        I think it comes across as just a little bit cheap. It was a mistake, but, as so often with the Internet these days, some people are not satisfied without a head on plate. As Jerry points out, somebody has been a bit stupid. There’s nothing wrong with being offended by what has happened, but, all to often, people use the whiff of offence as an excuse to get outraged.

        Then there is the reaction of the Marriott chain which first of all throws the hotel in question under the bus and then misconstrues the reason why people have been offended.

  13. Thomas P.
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    This may be a bit of a stretch, but take a look at the red Marriott logo in the picture.

    It completes the lack of thought that went into this offer.

    • BJ
      Posted September 12, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Whoa! Good eye.

    • Posted September 12, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      No stretch. It proves Marriott was part of the CIA-Zionist conspiracy.

      • BJ
        Posted September 12, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        9-11 was a Courtyard job.

  14. Sastra
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I’m going to be charitable here and assume that the muffins and coffee were put out in anticipation of patrons wanting to gather together for a little memorial (or to suggest it.) People come down, they talk about how 9-11 affected them, whatever. The snacks are beside the point.

    My guess.

    • Liz
      Posted September 12, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      I can see how they might have thought that it would be a time to share and remember. It doesn’t happen all of the time but when it comes up, everyone in the conversation shares exactly what they were doing when it happened. It’s like you relive it all over again together. It’s sort of like a healing experience but it’s completely different for everyone and still is now. There are things I learned 10 years ago sharing with my mom who I never actually talked about it with from her point of view. At the 10 year mark I also learned that my neighbor ran out of the city slipping on body parts and then walked 25 miles home. My uncle walked home 35 miles covered in ash. 12 people from my town died that morning. I knew three of them. During the memorial yesterday, my sister’s friend’s mom read her husband’s name. I remember driving passed his house with my friend’s older brother who picked us up from college in MA on the 15th. I said, “He’s still missing.” At that point, people were still missing. They never showed up. By the time we got back, the town was so silent you could hear a pin drop. It was clear and sunny but the few days prior, there was still ash in air that they said tasted like human flesh. I was in Massachusetts in school on that morning when I walked back from the shower to my non-swearing roommate looking at me with these stunned eyes. “You will not believe what the **** just happened.” She was watching the Today Show and saw the second plane crash. Panicked, I called my dad. I got him on the phone and was relieved even though I knew how many of my friends’ dads worked in the city. A classmate’s dad walked a chain of people out of the North Tower with nothing to light the way but his cell phone. They made it out alive. The last conversations of what those few people I knew said to their wives. It was all surreal. So many other things. Whoever put out those mini muffins could not have lived through that day. They just could not have understood.

      • Sastra
        Posted September 12, 2017 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Whoa. That’s intense.

        Ironically, I think your recollections suggest that the get together might indeed have been the goal of the Marriot hotel — particularly if it’s near New York. The muffins aren’t meant to be some sort of compensation. They’d be more along the line of food served at a funeral parlor, coffee and donuts.

        If that was the intent, the poor hotel worker or workers could have saved themselves a lot of ridicule if they had just written the words ‘memorial gathering ‘ somewhere.

        • Liz
          Posted September 13, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          I agree about some sort of memorial gathering sign of sorts. The intent was good but it is still odd. I don’t believe this was anywhere near New York.

    • Posted September 12, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Jeff Rankin
      Posted September 12, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I’m going with a charitable interpretation here as well.

    • Posted September 12, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      I think a lot of times it’s not easy to see all sides. What happens that is unfortunately a small mistake gets magnified. It’s only when they double down on that mistake that I get concerned but the outrage machine sometimes overtakes everything. That’s wrong.

  15. Posted September 12, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    This was most likely an effort of a first-time assistant restaurant manager who, dollars-to-donuts, has only a high school education. This is a regrettable error, but not something to get worked up about.

    • yazikus
      Posted September 12, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      A high school education should have prepared a person to see that this was a poorly thought out plan. Or rather, tact isn’t something they teach in uni, necessarily.

      • Liz
        Posted September 12, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Yes. I would have said something had I seen this.

        • Liz
          Posted September 12, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          Although I would have found the words difficult to articulate.

  16. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Why not just throw a whole Irish wake, complete with whisky, card games, and bagpipes?

    • Jeff Rankin
      Posted September 12, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Or just whiskey (I’m orthodox Irish, you see).

  17. kelskye
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, I’d love a complimentary coffee and muffin irrespective of the occasion.

  18. Stephen Mynett
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    A very clumsy attempt at a memorial and it should not have been done but perhaps we can all learn something from this.

    When it is something in the recent past and with victims still alive it is important the right people are involved in any memorial event. I found your story very moving Liz and as someone connected to the events your thoughts are valuable.

    Unfortunately there are too many people who feel they should commemorate something but have no real link to it and, as such, are unable to fully grasp the emotions involved. I went to a memorial do for HIV victims and it was very poor, the organisers meant well but had no real understanding, whereas a much more low key event, organised by a couple of haemophiliacs and gays was a moving and worthwhile memorial, we also raised a good bit of cash for research. The simple thing was the organisers either had HIV or knew people who did and that is a lot different to just knowing it is a horrible thing. With 9/11 it is similar, I only know it as an atrocity, Liz and people like her lived through it close up.

  19. Posted September 12, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Something dignified such as a vase of white lilies tied with a purple ribbon would have been fine. No words needed.

  20. Bob
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I suspect it may be a Mormon thing. Note that coffee is not included.

    • GBJames
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Coffee is there… complementary.

  21. Posted September 13, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Well, I suppose it could be worse. It could have been a Halal cart…

  22. jeffery
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Well, at least they didn’t say: “To All Muslims- in memory of 9/11/01, you will be denied complimentary coffee and mini muffins from 8:45 – 9:15 AM.”


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