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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Day 4: Picketing Sprint

posted by on August 22 at 12:50 PM

On Tuesday I got an e-mail from a frustrated Sprint customer who hasn’t received a $30 rebate that was due four months ago. Sam promised the company that if it didn’t cough up the cash, he’d take to the streets. But Sam was way too busy teaching science at the Pacific Science Center to picket the downtown Sprint store. He needed someone to make a creative sign, yell, and air his grievance to all. He also needed a turkey club; light on the mayo, pickles on the side.

I bought Sam’s sandwich from a colorful looking hoagie place at Westlake Center and a Mrs. Fields cookie for dessert and delivered them to him at the Pacific Science Center.


Then I rode the monorail back and got to work crafting a sign. I couldn’t settle on one slogan so I wrote down two: “GIVE SAM HIS REBATE, SPRINT!” and “SPRINT OWES SAM $30.00!”


I stood outside the store and began chanting: “2, 4, 6, 8, Give Sam Goldberg His Rebate”

After about five minutes, a man who looked to be the manager came up to me and told me that I couldn’t hold the sign in front of the store because the sign had Sprint’s name on it. I thanked him and put my sign down. After he left I picked up the sign and continued to chant. Shoppers stared back at me with blank expressions.

A minute or two later another Sprint employee came out of the store and asked me how much money her company owed me. I pointed to my sign and told her Sprint owed my friend Sam $30. She giggled and took a picture of me with her camera phone.

According to Aaron Caplan at the ACLU, I had every right to be on that sidewalk and to carry a sign with Sprint’s name on it. “So long as you’re not preventing people from entering the business,” Caplan says, “you have a constitutional right to be on the sidewalk.” When I called the Seattle Police Department, they backed up the ACLU.

Today I called the Sprint store and asked to speak to the manager. I asked him why he tried to put a stop to my constitutionally protected protest and he told me that he did not wish to comment. I also asked him when Sam Goldberg would receive his rebate and he told Sam to go to the Sprint store where he bought his phone.

As of 11:45 this morning, Sam has still not received his rebate, nor has he been contacted by Sprint. If he does not receive his rebate in a week, I will picket the Sprint store again.

Steven Blum
Public Intern

RSS icon Comments


Oh my God. You are my new hero, Steven.

I HATE Sprint. And I'm stuck with them for another year and a half.

Posted by arduous | August 22, 2007 12:55 PM

I love you Public Intern.

Posted by Rye | August 22, 2007 12:56 PM

Having someone else protest/picket for you is almost as lazy as purchasing mini Oreos. It's just sad.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 22, 2007 12:58 PM



This is awesome.

I so want to borrow you to call MDM. They won't cancel my cable and it's been over a month. I'm highly tempted to call them every half an hour until something gets done.

Good luck with the Sprint venture and anything else that comes up.

Posted by Nay | August 22, 2007 1:00 PM

He delivers a sandwich AND conducts a consumer protest?

That makes me miss

Posted by COMTE | August 22, 2007 1:04 PM

Steven. Lol. I'm so glad things like this are happening in my city.

Posted by Katelyn | August 22, 2007 1:06 PM

Stick it to THE MAN!!!!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | August 22, 2007 1:08 PM

the public intern is a true american hero.

Posted by superyeadon | August 22, 2007 1:16 PM

The Public Intern ROCKS so hard!

Keep up the good work!!


Posted by Nick | August 22, 2007 1:17 PM

I, too, love love LOVE the Public Intern.

Posted by David Schmader | August 22, 2007 1:21 PM

Excellent, look for my **The Stranger Eats Shit** poster on Broadway, aside from the slog techie guys who make this very heads up pronouncement possible. Eh, bad press is good press, right? hmmm, watch out, i'll get creative on yo asses

Posted by Garrett | August 22, 2007 1:23 PM

I'm waiting for:


starring Michael Cera

Posted by michael strangeways | August 22, 2007 1:35 PM

There have been so many times that I have wanted to protest an individual store, but who has the time!!! I want a public intern in Chicago!

Posted by iheartbeer | August 22, 2007 1:51 PM

Garrett@11: So... what's it like?

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | August 22, 2007 2:03 PM

How was it?

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | August 22, 2007 2:04 PM

A. I am coming to love the Public Intern. This series is totally cracking me up. Wonderful. I am going to have to think of some way that I can utilize the Public Intern.

B. The Sprint manager was actually stupid enough to come out and tell you you couldn't hold a sign in front of his store? For real? Just how stupid are Sprint managers, anyway? I'd have laughed in his face and told him to fuck off. A sidewalk is a public space, and absolutely 100% subject to constitutionally protected free speech rights. What a douche bag.

Posted by SDA in SEA | August 22, 2007 2:14 PM

I agree...public intern was a great idea

Posted by mr. ryan | August 22, 2007 2:28 PM

I want to be the president of your fan club, Public Intern.

Posted by tabletop_joe | August 22, 2007 2:34 PM


oh, and WiMAX suckz too.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 22, 2007 2:46 PM

I wish you could picket banana republic for me. They owe us over $200.

Posted by D. | August 22, 2007 3:03 PM

Oh my... I'd have been blushing so bad doing that. Much praise Public Intern. :D

Also, more props for the style choices. *nods*

Posted by Phelix | August 22, 2007 3:06 PM

i need you to go to the university of seattle law school and ask them why i didn't get into school there! they'll probably just tell you that my high LSAT score and shitty GPA shows that i'm lazy, but i'd like to hear it myself.

Posted by konstantConsumer | August 22, 2007 3:44 PM

Konstant, maybe you didn't get in because you couldn't get the name of the school right. Lord knows that was what happened to me when I applied to Washington University, I wanted to be a Husky so bad!!!

Posted by muckfetro | August 22, 2007 3:51 PM

Damn it, I'm so confused and perturbed and ... conflicted.

You see, I keep this fancy rating system (well, not that fancy, for it's only in my head and there really is no criteria other than when I enjoy posts) for my favorite Sloggers.

It's been Kelly O for awhile now (who passed up Ari Spool after a short stint at the top).

But now Public Intern is really getting to me. Well, really, from the start I appreciated this idea. Perhaps it's Dan Savage who should be my favorite for having concocted such a wild idea?

Yet this conflict persists. While Public Intern is so damn fabuluous, Kelly O is equally so. And Public Intern has no breasts. Nor Kelly O's sexy, gravely voice nor her penchant for fantastic "How Was It?" interviews.

I am, indeed, quite conflicted.

Public Intern - you're great. Keep up the good work for all us Sams out there.

Posted by Sam | August 22, 2007 4:15 PM

hey wow. sounds like something i'd see on comedy central.

Posted by frederick r | August 22, 2007 4:31 PM

@4 - I'm totally dealing with the same crap. We spiked MDM's asses awhile back for shoddy services and now are dealing with trying to convince them that we did indeed give them back the receiver. Bastards. I've got a receipt! I faxed it to them!


Posted by Sam | August 22, 2007 4:38 PM

I think Konstant mailed his LSATS to Seattle U. and his GPA to the UW. That would explain (part of) his not getting into the "university of seattle law school".

Posted by Jude Fawley | August 22, 2007 5:02 PM

what ever the fuck it's called.

Posted by konstantConsumer | August 22, 2007 8:32 PM

I heart the public intern! I'd invite you to come clean my room, but I'm too embarrassed to show anyone outside my family what a slob I have become! Keep up the good work public intern. You are my new hero! Yah!

Posted by Kristin Bell | August 23, 2007 8:01 AM

Is that intern on J-date? He's cute? What about the science teacher at Pacific Center? I'm new to town and looking to meet some nice Jewish boys, are these two available?

Posted by Aliza | August 23, 2007 8:22 PM

You guys wasted all your energy just for 30 dollars? WOW! How desperate are you? Everyone has there own hatred for different companies. Shit I hate Cingular because they gave me a free bluetooth along with purchasing a phone but they end up charging it onto my account. I went to the manager there the next day to clear things up. Simple as that! So who cares if the manager never calls you back within' a week. What are you going to do .. save the world? ahaha. You're just going to waste more energy when you could be doing something else better. Sam needs to go to the Sprint store & talk to the manager. What is protesting going to anyway? And you're no hero either!

Posted by Melanie | August 23, 2007 8:26 PM

You rock, intern.

Posted by Beverly Eileen | August 23, 2007 10:04 PM

I'm reading this from the UK and intend on doing something very silimar with The Carphone Warehouse (a shoddy company that refuses to accept that 12 months from last September would be this September and are trying to force me to stay on their contract until October!)

I may give out leaflets instead of holding a banner.

Posted by Terry Woods | August 24, 2007 5:25 AM

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