Doing Business with Humor

There is a great company that develops technical books for software developers called "The Pragmatic Programmers". One of their best features is that they allow you to buy books under development as PDF files and then to have the option of receiving a hardcopy when the book is finished. The PDF version of the book is then updated multiple times allowing the reader a chance to "see where the book is going" and to offer feedback and corrections along the way.

Its a great business model and I've purchased several of their books this way. (Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with this company in any way, I'm just a happy customer.)

This morning I received an e-mail that one of my books had an updated PDF file ready for download. I clicked on the link and saw the following text:


Request Received

Your request to reship the PDF for TextMate has been entered into our fulfillment system. Teams of PDF-aware gerbils are this very moment limbering up to deliver your content.

Once they've finished, and we've cleaned the sunflower seed husks off your document, our system will be sending you an e-mail containing the download link.

Given the current backlog, we estimate that the time to create PDFs is 20 minutes. Please contact PragProg Support if your PDF isn't available by then.


When the PDF file had been generated (about 10 minutes later) I received an e-mail message that contained a link to the machine: <gerbils.pragprog.com>!

Anyway, I just wanted to comment that I love doing business with companies that are willing to demonstrate that the people working there have a sense of humor!

Kenneth M. Anderson, 2007.