SETAC Astronomy
December 28, 2004 6:44 AM   Subscribe

Letters to a new employee I think it's so nice that the President and CEO of Starbucks International would send a welcome letter[s] to such an unimportant person. Don't you?
posted by johnj (28 comments total)
The letters from the corp. higher-up are fake ones, sent to the new hire.
posted by johnj at 6:50 AM on December 28, 2004

Isn't this illegal? Impersonating CEOs and all that?
posted by slater at 7:03 AM on December 28, 2004

I know Shizzy swears they're real responses, but the employee e-mails sound very fake. Still fun though, if quite nasty.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:10 AM on December 28, 2004

Not ure bout the legality of it all. I worked for the fed once and this stuff was going on for real! In my experience, I, unfortunately, was the woman being "tailed" by the psycho toady and his CEO.
posted by johnj at 7:11 AM on December 28, 2004

Off topic title point: It's SETEC Astronomy.
This page is lame. "Yuck, yuck, someone prank emailed a guy!"
posted by Plutor at 7:21 AM on December 28, 2004

If it was real, I found it entertaining.

If it was fake, I found it entertaining, but also disappointing.
posted by mic stand at 7:24 AM on December 28, 2004

I don't find the "let's prank some random guy" stuff particularly funny. Celebrities? Sure. Someone deserving for a particular reason? Absolutely. Picking a random new guy at an office you don't work in? Asshole.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:33 AM on December 28, 2004

Shizzy is a bastard. It's one thing to have some fun with someone, but making them do things that could seriously jeopardize their job, or fire other people? Not good.
posted by Vulpyne at 7:37 AM on December 28, 2004

You know, at the time, I thought it as interesting that there are those that might behave unethically\uncritically when confronted by an authority figure.

That aside, and having though more deeply about the web site owners intent, I have to agree that this isn't all that funny. Yick to Sizzy. sorry for the post.
posted by johnj at 7:41 AM on December 28, 2004

Cruel, Cruel Hairstyle From Deep Within the Bowels of 80s Hell
posted by effwerd at 7:43 AM on December 28, 2004

That person doesn't work at Starbucks support center (Roger Simmons) - I know someone who does, and forwarded the story and asked him to check the online directory. Of course, this Shizzy person might have changed the name (though he doesn't say so). I think it's likely fake, if nothing else because everyone there is smart enough to know you don't get personal emails from Orin.

Also: "Roger" probably wouldn't say he was away from lunch in "the cafeteria" - while there are public eating areas in the building, it's unlikely an employee would call any a cafeteria (though maybe a brand new hire would).

Roger would also immediately get suspicious about the goatee thing (if he had half a brain) - there is practically no end to goatees and other facial hair around those parts.

There are a lot of other little details that ring false too, not just to Starbucks employees but to Seattle residents (Orin mentions the store on 5th Street - it's 5th Avenue. Surely "Roger" would wonder about that).

And I think the whole thing, if it were true, is pretty stupid - what did this poor guy ever do to "Shizzy"?
posted by icetaco at 7:48 AM on December 28, 2004

WOW! Shizzy made a funny. Good thing he's got that web page humor thing going, 'cause after pissing off his former employers, those job prospects look poor. Maybe Comedy Central will hire him at Crank Yankers? Or he could just continue sponging off mom and dad. Keep up the good work Shizzy! --M
posted by maynard at 8:00 AM on December 28, 2004

As it seems in keeping with the theme, I will publish again a few of my old Martin Luther letters here. First the story: a friend of mine secured the domain several years ago and gave me an e-mail address.

Toward the end of the 1990's, as more people got connected to the internet, messages started pouring in to the server for user pope. Maybe 10% of them were sincere attempts to contact the real Pope, and among those were some sad stories. The other 90% of people writing to this address were on a lark. They wanted to include the Pope in their CC to make their friends laugh, or they were just spouting off garbage because they thought it was funny.

My friend created a list-serve for everyone with accounts on the vatican, and we all started reading the letters to pope. Some of them inspired me to reply to the authors under the name Martin Luther (an inside joke for those who know Catholic history). The rest of the story should be pretty clear by reading the letters. I would post a link to a well-crafted web page of the letters, but my HTML coding rots. Therefore, I will post a few of my favorites below.

A warning in advance for anyone upset by direct and implied mockery of the Catholic church. This isn't for you. For everyone else, I hope you enjoy.

From: Martin Luther
Date: Wed Feb 2, 2000 11:22:37 AM US/Pacific
To: "TAMMY L****

Where does this go??? Who gets this e-mail??? someone please

Hi Tammy,

Thanks for your interest in the Vatican. Judging by the volume of your punctuation and recklessness of your spelling, you're in desperate, sloppy need of some papal contact. Unfortunately, the Pope doesn't have enough time to reply to every doomed sinner's plea for help, no matter how pathetic. I would advise you to examine your spiritual priorities to determine if monotheism is meeting your needs. The Druids, by comparison, feel God's presence in almost all natural surroundings. Contacting a holy being for a Druid is no more difficult than a walk to the nearest tree.

While it is not the Vatican's policy to dispatch the flock to spiritual lives of
fulfillment, happiness and ultimate eternal damnation, we are willing to make an exception in your case. Please seek another faith. The Pope will manage without your tithes and e-mails. is a consortium of decadence nestled in the hills of San Francisco, dedicated to meeting the needs of today's newbie. Thanks again for your interest.

Martin Luther

From: Martin Luther
Date: Mon Jan 31, 2000 12:14:26 PM US/Pacific
To: Anna G****

Hello Pope,

I heard that you stink, just wanted to say hello and that I wondered who you were.

Tell Nathaniel that he owes me a dinner in Nashville somewhere......

Hope I hear from you soon,


Greetings Anna,

Thanks for your interest in the Vatican.

Okay, first things first: I would like to take the occasion of your first question to address an issue of ongoing debate among the devout and hell-bound alike: what does the Pope smell like. As the father of the Protestant reformation, I may be biased about the odor of His Holiness, but I'll give it my best shot.

The whole church smells like money and pure, pure gold, so that's naturally a factor. Also, the Pope spends a lot of His time draped naked over heaps of priceless jewels; but as most jewels have no discernable odor, this doesn't contribute to His odor. Furthermore, because the Pope also spends a lot of time reading old texts, a fragrance of mildewed parchment does tend to shroud Him, as does a faint but cloying aroma of myrrh. Finally, His Holiness is somewhat partial to Mentos breath mints: he enjoys the variety of cool, fruity flavors and is fascinated by a product that can create freshness where previously there was none?a gift bestowed by God to His anointed alone until the early 1980's. Therefore, the Pope has many moments of up-close freshness.

I hope my notes on the Pope's aroma will help you decide for yourself whether or not He stinks.

In a closing address to your second comment, we are not in the business of conveying dinner arrangement messages from peasants to Nathaniel or anyone. The messages we convey are from the mouth of God to all of creation. And, incidentally, according to our records, the only outstanding message we have for Nathaniel a bit cryptic, but here it is: "Yes, suck even one cock and you will burn in eternal hellfire." Hope that message doesn't arrive too late!

Thanks again for your interest in the Vatican.

Martin Luther

From: Martin Luther
Date: Thu Mar 9, 2000 12:49:10 AM US/Pacific
To: HUEY***

You're no saint yourself pope.
I spose I got nothing else to say but blow me.

Ah, from your festering cake hole to God's pristine, eternal ear, Huey.

You know, we at the Vatican get countless letters to the Pope every day, and a surprising few convey so much flip hostility in so few words. Almost haiku. And the Pope understands harsh brevity, Huey. Oh yes, the Pope comprehends that a tiny, hate-filled life illuminated by only a dim mental candle must feel like the existence of a rancid ketchup packet in a bottomless ocean of ennui.

The source of your spiritual corruption, and the reason you seek guidance here, is your loss of value. Even your American president, so flushed with humiliation, even he has some value. So why he and not you, Huey? You're certainly right to feel scorn, for you are a worthless lump of filth, a piece of rotting flotsam washed up on the shore of a hostile new millennium.

And here you are, a blip on the world's stage, flashing out your pathetic member and inviting the leader of the Catholic faith to blow you.

Well, the grace of surprise wisdom showers you, Huey: you have been blown already. Like pinwheeling dandelion fluff, the worth of your existence has tumbled away in life's breeze. We aren't surprised to hear your curses from the grave... yours isn't the first withered stem to burble poisonously in the world's spiritual compost.

Martin Luther

Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 02:46:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Martin Luther
To: jazzy2

Dear Friend:

Making over half million dollars every 4 to 5 months from your home for an investment of only $25 U.S. Dollars expense one time.


Dear jazzy2,

Thanks for your interest in the Vatican.

To begin with, never address PJP2 as Dear Friend. His Holiness is neither your friend nor dear in any of the inane ways you suggest. Around here we tend to call him "Spud" or "Big Spudder," (He's Polish, jazzy2). You may not call him Spud, and don't take your pinkies too far from the damned shift key.

Secondly, and more to the point, if His Holiness were interested in making half a million dollars every 4 to 5 months, He would divide up his situation into about a billion parts and throw away all but one. What kind of chump do you take His Spuddiness for? You think he has all those solid gold flagons for selling kool-aid? No, they're for drinking the blood of God, bitch, which means cash cold. The Spud is done liquid.

Thanks again for your interest in the Vatican.

Martin Luther
posted by squirrel at 8:11 AM on December 28, 2004

Of course, this Shizzy person might have changed the name (though he doesn't say so).

"Bob From Accounting, Inc. uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when we are very angry and want to get back at people. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental. [...]"

I read the thing a couple of days ago [via BoingBoing] but didn't make it to the end.
posted by kika at 8:12 AM on December 28, 2004

Of course, this Shizzy person might have changed the name (though he doesn't say so).

Except for some spelling cleanup and some minor name changes, they're exactly how they're sent and received.

posted by thomcatspike at 8:40 AM on December 28, 2004

As much as I don't care for HR departments in general, this so-called prank seemed very cruel and infantile.

[Oh, and "Martin Luther"? - Yeah, there's a real "inside" joke.]
posted by NorthernLite at 9:23 AM on December 28, 2004

Fake or not, I thought this rather brilliant.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:25 AM on December 28, 2004

It reminds me of the stuff the rock n roll radio stations do on their morning shows- "Okay, now we're going to call Art in Dallas and tell him the chicken he ran over yesterday was a $3500 prize chicken! Won't that be funny?!?"

posted by Doohickie at 10:30 AM on December 28, 2004

"... must feel like the existence of a rancid ketchup packet in a bottomless ocean of ennui."
Wasn't that one of the points that Martin Luther nailed to the church door?
posted by weepingsore at 10:40 AM on December 28, 2004

Another little detail: Roger Simmons should have known that at Starbucks, it's called Partner Resources, not Human Resources.
posted by corianderstem at 11:13 AM on December 28, 2004

You know, if you can manage the suspension of empathy and focus on the Tools In Corporate image, it's a satisfying read. Sympathy for "Roger" went out the window when he elected not to reply to the first questionable overture with "I don't think that would be appropriate, sir."
posted by cortex at 11:17 AM on December 28, 2004

Just for the record I think the whole premise is horrible from start to finish. With that in mind, I hope it is fake.
A nasty idea, nastily executed.
posted by apocalypse miaow at 11:33 AM on December 28, 2004

When you get hired at starbucks they feed you great heaping spoonfuls of corporate kool-aid about how everyone is a partner and the most important thing is respecting each other, other partners are customers too etc. I have a hard time believing that a new hire who can't see the festering boils underneath yet wouldn't get suspicious about those e-mails.

Either way, this is a scary glimpse into Shizzy's sad little mind.

(Full disclosure: Obviously I worked for Starbucks at some point. Blech.)
posted by Kimberly at 12:14 PM on December 28, 2004

I spent eight years working in IT for a household name, multinational corporation. I don't have a hard time believing this at all.

posted by Manjusri at 12:47 PM on December 28, 2004

Shizzy's not funny.

Cootys Rat Semen? That's funny.
posted by id at 12:52 PM on December 28, 2004

I dont see how any of you can feel sorry for the sucker after reading the whole thing.
at first I felt sorry for him, but then his actions changed that.
only concern with firing fat employee was with lawyers, un-asked for reporting on co-workers, ect...
posted by Iax at 1:48 PM on December 28, 2004

I got a letter from a VP wishing me a happy birthday, he asked me what were my plans for this Saturday (sent two weeks ago). I had to break his heart to let him know that it was on Tuesday (today). Didn't get a response back, oh well. I've been in my company for awhile but most of the VPs know me pretty well, stuff like this does happen in IT companies but I think Shizzy was pulling our leg.
posted by Meaney at 4:26 PM on December 28, 2004

I'm bewildered by the number of people who seem partly persuaded that this Starbucks exchange is real. P.T. Barnum was right. And Northernlight, you might be surprised at how many people don't know who Martin Luther was. Not every one of our readers has had the benefit of an American education. ;^)
posted by squirrel at 6:34 PM on December 28, 2004

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