Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness, Which is Next to Pompousness

This note was left for a manager where I work yesterday. Since one was not available to speak to immediately.

Dear Manager,

Please forward this to the CEO:
I can tell by your lack of Godly cards that this company in not long for this world. When you try (as our whole nation is trying) to take God out of the picture, He eventually takes you out, instead. Turn back to God, and it will go well for you.

Joe [something I can't make out]"

 Alright, some commentary:

First, "Godly cards" refers to greeting cards. We apparently do not stock enough religious Christian greeting cards.

Secondly, I would point out that we have a reasonably large Baptist population in the tri-town area. This also explains the frequency with which I have to explain to church returnees that "All Christian bibles contain both Old and New Testaments."

Now, this person actually is not included in this bunch. If I may be a little Sherlockian for a moment:

The missive itself is properly formatted, addressed, signed, and grammatically accurate down to superfluous serial commas, implying both a secondary education and practice, as well as a relative lack of experience with text messaging and email. The mostly cursive text seconds this, but the printed acronym tells us the writer worked in relation to business enough to make logos important, graphically, even when personal handwriting is less than ideal. The idea that a major chain store manager could forward a message through any proper channel to the CEO of the entire company reflects a dearth of any knowledge of big business and corporate environments, and a implies a significantly sheltered world view. These two factors in tandem would indicate a older gentleman remembering small-town economies and conservative values including education and a predominately Christian-led society where religion was a fact of life and not an option with a plethora of possible answers. The vague connotations and threats of failed business, death, and judgement imply a righteousness likely acquired early in life but a willingness to be politically outspoken likely acquired later, this is cemented by the use of the "prayerfully" sign-off, which is bordering on the archaic. "Our nation" shows a sense of ownership, of which the directed are either not a part of or may not necessarily consider themselves to be so. The only trusted men placating religious and racial fears in media while encouraging their followers to be outspoken are preachers and forcefully FOX News. Handwriting says Joe is right-handed and meticulous. His confidence in his identity and validity are expressed through large, swooping, letters and commas and strong strokes, but not rushed.

Thus we can surmise that Joe is likely white, between the ages of 55 and 70 and worked in small-business for his entire career, possibly self-employed but has been retired for more than 6 years. He was probably the patriarch of his family, though he bares weight from his own father's dominance before him. He watches Bill O'Reilly and has at least one televangelist he openly finds appealing.

He also has nothing better to do with his day,  and makes the poor decision to shop for greeting cards in a book store.

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