Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tell Them You Mean Business

Time for another one of those great, "What the hell is this" kind of entries. The timing on this one feels a bit odd, considering I have just recently shared with you some of my favorite emails from times past. Well, life found reason to make me write another today, and I enjoyed it so much I thought I might just share it with you all.

You'll find while reading this one that it doesn't make much sense. Really, it's not supposed to. Half the fun was the surrealism of it all. But allow me to give you a very brief idea of what this is all about.

We recently acquired a grouping of four VERY POWERFUL magnets at my office. These things are unlike any magnets you have ever dealt with. (Unless you're a scientist. Don't bother with smarmy comments, I'm well aware that stronger magnets DO exist.) These magnets make monitors go all wonky from two to three feet away. They're just fantastic.

Anyways, for reasons that I cannot quite explain, our office mascot was, until very recently, a magnetic picture of Robert Vaughn taken from a Yellow Pages advertisement. He looks forward with a stern stare, pointing directly through your soul and encouraging you to "Tell them you mean business". This ad is for a local legal firm, though the same advertisement is used across the nation for various firms.

In the course of playing with the magnets, at one point I attached Mr. Vaughn to them. As soon as I removed him, I discovered that his magnetic powers had disappeared. Poof!!!

Like I said, this was our mascot. Sad times, indeed. I felt it best to let the company know what had happened and saw it as an occasion to have a bit of fun with it. Hope it gives you a chuckle.

To the good people of MAGNET COMPANY NAME WITHHELD, Inc.:

Let me begin with a brief introduction. My name is E and I am a support representative for a software company based in Georgia. As IT professionals, my coworkers and I are imbued with puerile, if not downright juvenile sensibilities and humor. So when the opportunity arose for us to procure some of your company's wares and muck about with the dangerous and somewhat eerie powers of magnetism, it's safe to say that we were all quite excited. But some ideas, particularly those in the thrill a minute world of IT, are not necessarily thought through in their entirety and ultimately descend into a whirling vortex of despair.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Our offices are nestled snugly between an orphanage and a children's hospital. Apart from being just another software company, we also breed kittens and make our own taffy, so the average day in our facilities is spent granting wishes and bringing dreams to life. Every day at noon we gather to roast marshmallows and sing songs in a familial gathering known as "Happytime Smile Hour". This tends to be the time that we dispense the most hugs to the children and slip the most tuna under the table to the kittens.

It was during one such Happytime that the package from MAGNET COMPANY NAME WITHHELD came into our lives. A package of 1" x 1 1/2" n50 neodymium magnets heralded by darkened skies and a clapping of thunderbolts, deposited on our doorstep by a mysterious cackling figure cloaked in black.

Perhaps our hackles should have been raised and our senses made keener, but we were so full of both love and taffy that we tore into the package with unbridled enthusiasm. True, we recognized their frightening power straight away, and within minutes all of us had been "bitten" by them. Fingers were pinched and egos destroyed in a matter of seconds. Many of the children ended up in tears as their faith in our omniscience faltered, only to end up shattered as they found their fragile souls trapped between the opposite poles of the cold magnet of reality. Yet even the loss of trust by those poor, poor orphans and adorable kittens could not hold a candle to the greatest transcendence that your foul "hell magnets" perpetuated upon us...the death of Robert Vaughn.

Let me repeat that, in case you missed it the first time. Your magnets KILLED Robert Vaughn. THE Robert Vaughn! The Man From U.N.C.L.E.! Not some cheap Robert Culp knockoff or lame Robert Loggia imitation, but Robert Vaughn. Robert Vaughn, whose magnetic presence sat aloft our cubicles, menacingly threatening all who opposed us. Robert Vaughn who, at every opportunity would "Tell them you mean business". Robert Vaughn, the seemingly invulnerable Yellow Pages advertisement that had withstood the "Plague of a Thousand Darts", who had endured through the "Great Scissor Attack of '07", the man who had been a gleaming bastion of hope for our entire office had all of his wondrous powers stripped with just ONE encounter with your goods.

Some wounds run deep, winding their way deeper into our essence until we find ourselves in a black pit of despair, unable to recover. One of my cubicle mates, typically stoic and unshakable has spent the last day in an inconsolable stupor, hunched over the now non-magnetic frame of Mr. Vaughn, choking feeble and meaningless exultations to god above to return Robert's powers.

Who will tell the children that we mean business?

How will they find the number to Gary Martin Hays and Associates?

Where is THEIR justice?

You may all gather 'round this email, perhaps chuckling quietly amongst yourselves, unbelieving of the anguish which we, as a team, have to endure. It's easy to separate yourselves from the cold, hard reality of your customers when distanced as we undoubtedly are. But it is not you who will have to explain to the crippled orphans why Mr. Vaughn no longer sits proud atop our cubicles. You will not have to bear the horrible mewing of kittens who don't understand why everybody is so upset. You will not be privy to the Smile Hours that will suddenly feel much colder and lonelier.

Please understand that this missive is not intended to be a sleight on your company. Your product does exactly what was advertised and all in all we have been most pleased with our order. I would just like to suggest that you consider placing warnings on some of your more powerful magnets, letting potential purchasers know that these magnets are so powerful they can destroy 1960's era television stars.

Thank you for your time.

Kind regards,


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Markoni said...

I tried to find the Robert Loggia bit from Family Guy but all the links are dead (sigh). Thanks for not mentioning that I was the one that ordered the magnets.... Oops. Dammit!

E said...


The version posted on the website is ever so slightly different from what was actually sent to MAGNET COMPANY NAME WITHHELD. Truth be told, they may not know YOUR true identity, but they sure as heck will be able to divine which order I'm discussing. But they did get my real name. :P

Yeah, that Robert Loggia bit is a pain to find.

That's Robert Loggia.

R as in Robert Loggia.
O as in "Oh my god, that's Robert Loggia!"
B as in "By god, that's Robert Loggia!"
E as in Everybody Loves Robert Loggia.
R as in Robert Loggia
T as in "Tom, look, it's Robert Loggia!"
L as in "Look! It's Robert Loggia"......