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Google Offends the Easily Offended

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You know, you try to be nice, and look what happens.

This past Sunday, as you'll recall, was Father's Day. And you'll likely recall because of the many reminders you received in the days and weeks leading up to it. Between Facebook status updates, Twitter posts, iCal reminders, sticky notes on your Windows desktops, TV ads, and so forth, few people were destined to remember to give ol' Dad a call.

But one such friendly reminder has somehow earned a backlash against its perpetrator: Google.

Yesterday, Gmail users were greeted by a tiny message within their Chat window which read, "Reminder: Call dad." A small, wholly innocuous message. And yet, some folks didn't take too kindly to the gesture -- specifically those who have lost their father or don't exactly have the best relationship with the gentleman.

One member in the Google Chat support forum wrote, "I'm sure in a Google-designed childhood everyone would be loved, protected, and nurtured to be the best little software engineer he/she can be. However, I don't appreciate the reminder of my unpleasant childhood and presumption that I want to speak to my father."

Another wrote, "I was surprised at how much this bothered me. I think because for a nano second I thought my Dad was still around."

And you know, they're right.

It's not easy being automatically outraged when a jukebox starts playing Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" or The Temptation's "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." Imagine the anger throughout grade school when James Madison was continually referred to as the "Father of the Constitution." And don't you dare make mention of Bill Shatner's latest CBS sitcom!

How dare we be casually reminded of non-happy things!

If only Google showed sensitivity to those who aren't living typical lives. Some people don't fit into cookie-cutter assessments. Not everyone is the same, Google! Why can't you remember that there are more than one faction that make up our society???

Oh, wait. You have.

Wow. Maybe a Father's Day reminder isn't that bad after all.

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