There's a reason the middle and upper classes vacated downtown in the last two decades. Out here (down here?) the only time you see a police helicopter overhead in a park is when a jogger loses a fanny pack. The only loud "bangs" you hear after dark are Canada geese landing on power lines, and parking a car on your own street is liable to find you digging out a "work at home" flier from under your wiper.
I don't feel sorry for "Name Withheld Upon Request" who "hated" Overland Park. If cheap rent downtown is a priority, then you make your choices and take your chances.
Bob Darnell (thirteen-year OP resident)
Smoke gets in your eyes: I need to clear up a few things regarding Ben Paynter's article about the Camel Club program ("Burn and Crash," June 5).
Chris Reiter was not "running a $130,000 marketing campaign." He ran one part of it -- the event planning and sponsorship. Ryan Rimmer ran another part of it -- sales and contract compliance -- and I ran the rep staff. Chris, due to his self-absorption and all-consuming conceit, took credit for the dedication and hard work of others. The article said that Chris was at 136 percent of goal. That is completely untrue. My reps were at 136 percent of goal, and Chris had nothing to do with my reps. They exceeded goal because they were great at what they did.
Chris did not hire fifteen reps for the Verizon Amphitheater Program. Jeremy Scheuch did. Chris did not shut down the office; we all did. It doesn't really matter except as an illustration of Chris' paramount arrogance, which no doubt hypnotized Mr. Paynter. (Don't feel bad, Ben, you're not the first one to buy into his bullshit.)
I was quoted as saying that I told the reps their opinions didn't matter. I know where Mr. Paynter got that, but that wasn't what I said. I would never say or even imply that. If it weren't for my reps and the reps who came before them, Camel would not have had the great reputation we had in this town.
And there were more requirements than good looks and good handwriting to be a rep. The requirements were a solid work ethic, integrity, intelligence, personality, initiative and knowledge of the nightlife.
Kansas City, Missouri
Power puff: I want to thank the Pitch, the inexperience of writer Ben Paynter, and the lying and arrogance of Chris Reiter for making "Burn and Crash" rife with error and inaccuracy. While Ben Paynter did interview Ryan Short, Ryan Rimmer, the reps and myself, he either ignored us or failed to see that Chris was taking credit for things he didn't do.
Chris did not run a $130,000 marketing campaign; he ran part of it. I managed the Amphitheater program and was responsible for rep hiring, payroll, goals, paperwork and field procedure at Verizon.
Chris did not hire fifteen new reps to start working a white tent at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater; I did, though he may have stuck his head in on a few interviews if he thought the applicant was hot. I was promoted to the position of market manager for the Verizon Wireless Camel Program, and I did my job very well. This was a professional, salaried job with benefits and 401(k). Yes, it was a fun job, but everyone from the newest rep to management worked very hard to make it as successful as it was. So seeing someone take credit for things he didn't do is more of a "swift kick in the dick" than losing my job.
One would hope a front-page article that took over a month to do could be more accurate. The factual carelessness of the Pitch gives me little confidence in any articles past or future in your publication. This was an article even Jayson Blair would be proud of. It is the Pitch, though -- I did get what I paid for.
Kansas City, Missouri
A professional, salaried job with benefits: I have been Ryan Short's girlfriend for ten months.
I met Ryan when I applied for a job. I worked as a rep for three months, then quit because my boyfriend was more important than a part-time job.
I know what the reps do, and Ryan Short is the most incredible man I've ever met. Both were completely misrepresented in the article I like to call "Chris Reiter's fifteen minutes." That article was completely raped and sodomized by Chris, and Ben Paynter fell victim. As you know, Ryan is on the road, so he had to read it from his computer, and I am sure you will be hearing from him as well!
When Paynter said that reps just had to be pretty and have good handwriting, that was offensive to all of us and made Ryan look like some total jackass! Ryan Short was the SOLE person who hired the reps. I was there having sex in the office with him every day -- I know! NOT CHRIS; he only came in during an interview if she was hot enough to fuck.
The reps and Ryan Short WERE the market. Chris answered phones and brought checks to the bars. He assumed the least amount of responsibility possible. The fact that he said nothing about the reps, called it HIS market and spent the rest of the time talking about the nice shit he owns, it's fucking disgusting.
Please do not take this personally. I know Paynter was misled. I would be a little less passionate about this if Ryan were here to defend his honor, but he's not and I love him, so I have to stand up for him.
Kansas City, Missouri
A breath of fresh air: I ran the Winston program in Dallas, and officed with Ryan Short for a while, until he went to KC. My tenure ended shortly before the Winston program went away, but at least they got some advance notice.
Too bad for everyone. Nice story.
Smoke break: Awesome story on Chris Reiter! I was the program manager in Tulsa. I am so glad to see someone speaking out about our experiences and the job itself.
There are a lot of us out here in unemployment. I had just bought a house before getting laid off! Oklahoma does not have much going on, but I will survive. I just wanted to let you know it was a very well-written story!
Burn out: "'If you can market a product that kills people,' he says, 'you can sell anything.'"
Ha ha! Actually, Chris Reiter, if you've been selling something to which most people are addicted, you haven't proved you can sell much at all.
Loan arranger: I just got done reading Allie Johnson's (well-written, by the way) article, "Home Wrecker" (May 22). Wow.
Being a licensed mortgage loan originator for almost two years, I've taken the continuing education on fraud. My instructor used examples of fraud out of Chicago similar to what Mr. Barber has been doing. In my line of work, I could see how that would work, but I couldn't EVER imagine someone actually doing it; not only that, but I could never see anyone doing it and actually getting away with it.
A couple of years ago in California, a loan originator thought he was funny and decided to say that all of his clients were Alaskan on the government monitoring section of the loan application (used to ensure there are no discriminating lending practices). He ended up serving something to the effect of three to five years in prison. That Brent Barber is still in business blows my mind.
I have e-mailed your article to everyone that I know that does loans from the local Kansas City area to Wichita, Kansas. Hopefully, your article will fall in the right person of power's hands to put this guy in prison -- for a long time. Thank you for acknowledging this issue. It will help people be a little more cautious when it comes to investing in real estate.
Mortgage Loan Officer,
Carteret Mortgage Corporation
Kansas City, Missouri
Kick ass!: Just wanted to drop you another line to give you mad props on "Home Wrecker." That foul mother****** needs to live in one of those houses. And I hope the rats jack his ass.
And that dang Jen Chen. Where does she get the wackness? Her May 22 Night Ranger ("Rat Packs") was hilarious. I guess dealing with freakin' idiots makes you wanna go donkey (act a total ass) on them. I'm surprised she didn't go donkey even more on them.
Do these jackleggs think they can come on like a broken arm and get some booty? Especially after getting bent and then sounding like their name is Ezekiel Clumpy. Hey, I've given the ones mentioned in the article some "proper" names: Lew Zerr, Stu Pidd, and I. Diot.
Kansas City, Missouri
Right on!: This is your friendly neighborhood hippieish singer. I wanted to thank Jen Chen for the kind description of my band members and me (Night Ranger, June 5). It is much appreciated.
P.S.: I am also a drummer/singer looking for a band.
With all sincerity,