This post originally appeared on the USNI Blog here.
Millennials in the Navy really are needy. They want their spouses to be able to pursue their own career. They complain about having to go into debt to cover bills while their pay is delayed for months on end (start a Gofundme, snowflake!). They expect their shoes to not explode.
Seriously! They complained in their millennial way by sharing pictures with the hashtag #batesblowout whenever the outer soles of their Bates uniform shoes crumbled to tiny bits with no notice. Relax, people. It happened to me at a wedding. The whole process only took like five minutes. Besides, now I had flats! Boom . . . fashion! You don’t see me starting a hashtag on the internet to whine about it.
Now, some whiny millennial is going after the good, hard-working people of Bates Footwearwith the hashtag #BoycottBates!
Can you believe it? It’s not like Bates can help it! It’s not like they are the only shoe company in the world whose shoes randomly, catastrophically fall apart!!! C’mon millennials, have some respect for well-established business practices that rarely have been challenged! #BoycottBates is absolutely inappropriate.
The nice customer service employees at Bates have politely explained there’s nothing they can do about this phenomenon. In response to a frustrated (probably millennial) customer, they said, “We understand your frustration, however, footwear is made to be worn and when rubber, and polyurethane, is stored for a lengthy period of time, it will break down. It is a natural process called hydrolysis and something that the industry is working to address.” See? Science! Their R&D budget is probably why that particular brown leather shoe costs $165. And it only has a two-star rating because of all your negative reviews! I feel so bad for them amid all this #BoycottBates nonsense!
Also, #BoycottBates puts a lot of undue pressure on the Navy Exchange! What would happen to their sales numbers if you #BoycottBates? It’s not as if there is some other company that could supply them with black, white, and brown leather oxfords!
Oh, well, I mean, there is Dr. Martens, who makes black and white leather shoes that are almost exact replicas of Bates Oxfords, except they’re made with Goodyear rubber in the outer soles. Psssh. You’d think they would use rubber from a company that has a reputation for making long-lasting products under stressful conditions!
Oh, and their shoes cost 25 percent less than Bates, probably because they are an evil British company and they don’t have to employ a massive customer service department to deal with your #BoycottBates social media campaign! Besides, Dr. Martens doesn’t make brown shoes! I’m sure it’s not cost-effective for the Navy Exchange to contract with Dr. Martens to add brown leather to their line of shoes and supply the entire U.S. Navy with less expensive, more durable uniform footwear. It’s probably not even possible, and it most certainly involves a lot of hard work.
No, I think it’s best to support Bates Footwear and the Navy Exchange in doing things the way they’ve always been done. Whatever you do, definitely do NOT #BoycottBates!