Uh-Oh: Some Fallout from my Open Letter to Sec. Land

Earlier one of my co-workers told me that I'd received a fax. This isn't unusual at my work so I didn't think anything of it… until she told me it was from the State of Michigan. My first thought when I began to read it? That there was no way this had anything to do with my open-letter to Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land the other day regarding the state’s changing license plates.

I was wrong. Below is a scanned copy of the original fax (names & numbers redacted for obvious reasons):

I’m relatively new to blogging and I clearly made a grievous, amateur error. You see, originally (before I partnered up with ring) I had intended on creating a “serious” blog for my work so I included my real name, and office phone numbers, in my Blogger profile. Pretty dumb.

So anyway, regardless of this letter’s authenticity I’m making two changes to this blog effective immediately. 1.) My profile is no longer available (and if I put it back up it will be sans the real-life contact info) and 2.) I will no longer do things to try and get other people fired (because clearly that was my intent all along). I will not, however, be removing my open letter to the secretary because, frankly, I honestly think it is a good idea.

Oh, and to Mr. E, I want to extend to you my sympathies regarding your recent job loss. On behalf of the PTWU staff: “Our bad!”

UPDATE: Due to popular request I’ve transcribed the scanned letter below (to make it easier to read in case you have trouble viewing the image):

May 18, 2006
To the Editors of the Web-log "People Worse than Us":

Hello and my name is ***** of *** County, England, currently residing within your state of Michigan (near the westernmost corner of A** A***). Though I've never written a letter to one of your blogs before I feel compelled to do so now due to the fact that I recently, as of this morning, lost my job because, in an indirect fashion, of the writings contained in your online journal "The People Worse Than Us".

In your entry dated 17 May 2006 you published a correspondence from yourselves to the Michigan Secretary of State my former employer Terri Lynn Land. Forgive me if I'm not fully acclimated to American humor but my thought upon reading this entry were that you were being sincere. Apparently I made a terrible error with this assumption.

See I've been struggling, personally, with Michigan's economic state. Everyone in the State’s capitol has been. And the way you so simplistically described a solution for this peninsula's woes gave me pause for hope. But I'm told, now, that my optimism at your words was dearly misplaced.

I lost my job because of the words you wrote.

Did I make a mistake when I took your 17 May idea as serious one? Most likely I realize now. In retrospect I should not have presented your "open letter" as a serious suggestion. It made me look like a fool and it cost me my employment. But at the time I felt Ms. Land would see your idea as an example of the cutting-edge solutions often suggested within the famed “blogosphere” you Americans cherish so much. In point of fact Ms. Land did not feel your idea was “cutting edge” at all. I’m told her exact words regarding it included the terms “ridiculous” and “nonsensical”.

As of this writing my job has been officially moved “out of rotation" (i.e. the position has been eliminated) and I have been forced to surrender my keys and identification cards. I was given no notice. I was simply informed that I should pack up my things and be out of the office by this afternoon.

I’m hoping that the fax number provided in your Online Profile is accurate as it’s the only means to privately contact you I’ve managed to find. In any event I hope that upon learning Ms. Land does not take your letter seriously you will remove it from your blog at once. Further, I feel it would be proper for you to issue a public apology for playing such a cruel joke.

These are the last words I will type on this State-issued computer. I still cannot believe, especially after reviewing the rest of your blog that I ever took your 17 May entry seriously. I hope that no one else will make a similar mistake.

Yours sincerely Mr. E

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