I call shenanigans!

For a while I’d been planning on using this resignation letter when I quit working at GC:

Dear Guitar Center Coworkers,

After an appropriate period of deliberation, I have come to the decision to tender my resignation from Guitar Center, effective August 10, 2005.

Please know that I still maintain a high level of respect for Clive Ford as a manager and colleague, and I thank him sincerely for the support and assistance he has offered me in each of those roles. I have been proud to work for Guitar Center over the past 10 months; it has been a journey that has provided me an unparalleled foundation to move forward to new and exciting opportunities.

As such, I have decided to become a professional pirate. It has always been a dream of mine to live the life of a swashbuckling corsair, beholden to none and master of all I survey. Once my crew of unabashed rogues is assembled, we shall take to the capacious expanse of the high seas to pursue fortune, fame, and hair-raising adventure.

Our path may not be filled with the porcine comforts and technological marvels that Guitar Center provides, but we shall nonetheless move forward to carve a name for ourselves in the annals of bold insurgency and death-defying derring-do. Once I have a keen blade at my hip and the Jolly Roger is flapping high above me, I believe I will find my true calling.

Please note that I am currently accepting applications for First Officer, if you are at all interested in applying. I will provide a full medical and dental plan, which will offer immediate coverage of all maladies other than scurvy and the occasional bout of rickets.


Melissa 760.224.9611

I didn’t have the giant brass balls it would take to just drop that on my boss’ desk with no further explanation, so I explained to him in person the truth about why I was leaving GC. However, I was determined to use this letter regardless. It’s fairly standard that every douchebag that quits GC sends an email to the district in addition to his/her own store, filled with the same trite “I learned so much, GC is awesome, YOU’RE ALL AWESOME, Peace out T-Dawg (you the man!), stay cool Shelly B” crap, which means nothing to anyone except the people Douchebag happens to be mentioning. 99% of the time, no one on the receiving end even knows WHO the person is that’s leaving.

I decided to take this a step further and send mine chainwide. To every person in 150+ stores across the nation. To every level of corporate management. To over some 6,000 people, all told. Not only is the letter clever in its own right, but it’s also a subtle dig at everyone who ever intended on sending out one of the aforementioned Douchebag emails.

Corporate had, of course, placed safeguards to keep people like me from doing exactly this. A level 6, I could only approve sending email to my entire store and the accessories and book manager lists I belonged to–no further. The only people approved to send mail that all-encompassing are level 8s or above–in other words, our highest assistant manager or our store manager. I certainly wasn’t going to ask Clive, so I settled my sights on Ian. Ian, as my more attentive and long-time readers will recall, is the assistant manager who attempted to punish me for being late and had it thrown back in his face. This was my last opportunity to, ahem, repay him for trying to make an example of me. I knew he wouldn’t read past the first line or so because reading takes effort and brain cells. While it’s hard to be right ALL the time (no one likes a know-it-all), it worked out in my favor this time as he just glanced at the screen and sent it on its merry way. I started laughing maniacally as I am wont to do, and Ian sort of screwed up his face and said “I should have read that first, huh?” HAR HAR. The beauty of the approval system is that any negative flak is directed at the approver, not at the composer of the message.

Within minutes I recieved my first phone message. Email started flooding in. The truth has been realized: Everyone loves pirates and wants to be one.

Dear Melissa- Well it sounds like you’re on the right track. Good luck on the seas, and if you wanna swing by the desert here and take me along for the ride, I’ll be happy to help you plunder and pillage, and then we can sing songs about whisky and dead men’s chests. Fare thee well, Cpt. Brandor the Destroyer @154

I wanna be a pirate!!!!!!!! What are the requirements????? Paul @447

I’m in. Jon @816

Melissa, That’s probably the most inspiring letter of resignation I’ve ever read. Quitting an all encompassing store such as any of the Guitar Centers, in hopes of replacing your surroundings with the exact opposite vibe, (peace and quiet, open air, higher ‘ceilings’) is probably whta I spend most of my time here wishing about. The piracy would probably be an added bonus, what with all the rum, and constant swordplay.

Anyway, I hope you are totally serious, and I wish I wasn’t on the east coast, sucked into ‘6-days-mandatory-August’ nonsense.

word! Nikhil @832

Genius…you should be a writer. Tyler @810

That’s the weirdest email ever. Jason @446

I can swab the decks… Isaac @446

Definately interested, grandfather was a sailor I grew up on the ocean, would love nothing more, feel free to call with with details. xxx-438-2708 cell xxx-891-5777 store Adam D.M. @510 Audio

************************************** Application ************************************** Position applied for: First Officer

Desired Salary: Several schillings a week plus yo ho ho and a bottle rum

Experience: Absolutely none. In fact I tend to get a little sea sick.

Special Qualifications: Well I have an eye patch and a parrot who sits on my shoulder asking for crackers.

Michael @845

Do you have stairs in your house? Benjamin @762 Yes, I don’t get that one, either.

Your great. Jbell @333

Arrrrgh! Matthew @443

Argh matey! Godspeed and fair thee well Jacob @616

That sucks. We have a home for pirates here at the oaks.

Good luck, you will be missed.

The midget groper @116, DJ Needles

Great mail. Seriously. Really funny. Why wait to the 10th?? James @112

Best. Goodbye email. Ever. Kevin @226

I’ll miss you! Ps, here’s my app. Experience: None You take care, Mike @110

Easily the best email I have ever received during my time at GC.

Arrrrggg! Good luck to ya, miss! Ralph @825

Though I doubt we’ve had any dealings together, I need to thank you for your farewell email. How refreshing to see one with some wit and intelligence as opposed to the usual pablum filled with references and nicknames that mean nothing to anyone not mentioned. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors. Geoffrey @392

Melissa, that is the coolest e-mail I have ever read in 2 years with GC.

Best of luck, Paul in 816/Rochester

AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRe you going to sail the seas ’round the great northwest? Or AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRe you going to sail anywhere the currents take you? Please send more info on the First Officer’s post. Thanks for your time. Good luck with everything.

Todd @152

I sent Todd a message asking him his qualifications for the post. This is the message I got in return:

I have my sea legs. I have sailed a bit under the Jolly Roger and others. Presently, I am a landlubber in Phoenix.

Todd @152

Very funny! Are you going for the eye patch, parrot, and peg leg as well? Best wishes- KG GM @763 A store manager!


I sent Karman this message in return: Thank ye! I won’t be doing ALL of those things at once, but I believe I’ll start with a parrot named Chumley. Have you any interest in sporting a peg leg? He responded in kind:

I don’t think a peg leg would be good for my drumming career. Karman @763

Does that dental plan cover braces? Amanda @780

I sent Amanda a message saying that the dental plan covered braces AND tooth-whitening, as pirates must have fearsome bright smiles, like sharks. This is the message I got in return:

Perfect. If you’re still looking for a first mate, I’m all about it. I must confess, I have little knowledge of sailing, but I think I understand the basics of cannon firing. Your friendly, destructive hoodlum, Amanada @780

O man sign me up, hold on wait for it….wait for it…..

GYARRRRRR!!!!!! Orion @242

yo ho ho. sign me up. great email. M Rock @811

Aye! I be wantin’ ta sign in blood on tha dotted line! High seas adventure is my speci-ality! Wait… Are you serious? Freak. Brett @843 By the way…How do you have an “026…” number and you’ve only been at GC for 10 months?!?

Answer: This is my second go-round at GC, the first one being 3 years ago. I apparently didn’t learn my lesson the first time.


That was the BEST mail I’ve read in the nearly 3 years at this job!!! Easily some of the best writing too, which is odd, given that grammar isn’t held in such high esteem in these parts! A most wonderful mail. Sure wish I was going on that ship with you!

Peace, Jim @531

Melissa, what an incredible writer you are!! I’m amazed at the caliber of intelligent beings we have here working at “the center”! Let me know how your recruiting goes. I think disneyland might be hiring!! XO Enda@thedoor721

Actually, Enda, the smart ones LEAVE.

Ay matie…What have I got to lose? An eyepatch and some saltie air could sure do this barefoot deckmate some good! If the spot is still vacant, I hope you welcome me aboard. DL @360

Ok, I know we aren’t supposed to respond to emails like this, but I’m sorry. This one was too funny to pass up! That was hilarious, thanks it made my day (although I know it was directed at me and stuff…) I hope you enjoyed your stay at GC! Cody @617 P.S. If you’re ever in the Ohio area looking for that first mate, look me up!

Yar matey… A good day to thee. We land lubbers will carry on thee fine tradition of the five principles and insure our core values will stay true to the sea lovers code. May your sails always be filled with the sweet scent of an island breeze. Good luck to thee… DJ Greybeard, Keys DM @242

None of those responses are from people in my store, nor are any of them from people I know. I will be missed by complete strangers!

I’ve got a total of 5 voicemails on my phone from people applying to be my First Officer. If there’s any interest in those, I’ll upload them. I also got a phone call from the Winter Park store employees, telling me I was their hero, and they reforwarded the email to everyone in the store so that no one missed it.

There was only one complaint email sent, and that one went directly to Clive. He told me (and you must imagine this in a heavy Scottish accent, it’s much funnier and more authentic that way) “I opened it up and read the first sentence…blah blah blah, unprofessional, and then I deleted it. What a whiny cunt.”

Yes. I will miss my store manager, if only for his filthy, filthy mouth.

47 Comments I call shenanigans!

  1. katura August 13, 2005 at 8:55 am

    Haha, you are awesome!!

    I think Scottish people love the word cunt. I had a Scottish employee who used to talk about her grandfather, who apparently said it constantly at the dinner table and while yelling at the television.

    1. smacksaw August 13, 2005 at 1:03 pm


      1. katura August 13, 2005 at 1:05 pm

        Apparently, it’s more like “kent” if you’re from Glasgow.

  2. v1c1ous August 13, 2005 at 9:26 am

    “Do you have stairs in your house? – Benjamin @762”

    hahaha, you don’t get it because it’s an inside joke. Ask me sometime and I’ll let you in on it. 😉

    Oh and hey, I thought you were going to be my first mate? I’d call it mutiny were it not for the fact that we never actually got around to pirating anything.

    1. ph34rtimmybunny August 13, 2005 at 6:32 pm

      SA’ers, that is one of the questions to get into my WoW Guild, Proud member of Goon Squad, you can have your purple and eat it too!

    2. admin August 14, 2005 at 9:17 am

      hey, things change. I haven’t seen you since MAY. 😛

      1. v1c1ous August 14, 2005 at 10:40 am

        Has it really been that long? Man, I suck, but I’m totally going to drop by one of these days with liquor in hand to celebrate our collective good fortune. I only hope that will make up for how bastardly I’ve been.

        1. admin August 14, 2005 at 6:54 pm

          That sounds like a plan!

  3. Anonymous August 13, 2005 at 11:31 am


    Do you have stairs in your house?
    Benjamin @762
    Yes, I don’t get that one, either.

    The line is used in “The Terrible Secret of Space”, a song/flash video from a few years back that was based on a SomethingAwful prank.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrible_secret_of_space for info on SomethingAwful, includes the Terrible Secret of Space prank (it involves robots!).

    I feel so helpful.

    Well done on sending out the resignation letter.

    1. smacksaw August 13, 2005 at 1:03 pm

      Re: Stairs


      1. ph34rtimmybunny August 13, 2005 at 6:33 pm

        Re: Stairs

        fuck off farker!

        funny conflicts in this house, dave and I are goons, austin is a farker…

        and you gotta give it to the goons, didn’t you see the SA interview on G4? PURE gold!!

        1. admin August 13, 2005 at 6:53 pm

          Re: Stairs

          Hey now! ALL of you were in the Fark guild in Gunbound. 😛

    2. admin August 13, 2005 at 5:21 pm

      Re: Stairs


      I’m going to go ahead and guess that this is Felix.

      Am I right?

      1. Anonymous August 14, 2005 at 1:17 am

        Re: Stairs


        1. admin August 14, 2005 at 9:18 am

          Re: Stairs

          dammit! Care to step out from behind the curtain? 😉

          1. v1c1ous August 14, 2005 at 10:51 am

            Re: Stairs

            Whoever the fuck it is, they’re a douche.

          2. admin August 14, 2005 at 6:56 pm

            Re: Stairs

            nah, I have friends that read this that don’t have LJ accounts. I think, though I cant be sure, that there are people I *don’t* know who read this journal. I’ve allowed anonymous posting since day 1 without IP tracking, so anyone could feel free to say anything at any time. If whoever this is doesn’t want to say, that’s more than fine. 🙂

  4. smacksaw August 13, 2005 at 1:04 pm

    I’m glad you did that.

    1. admin August 14, 2005 at 9:18 am

      so am I!

  5. scrapyard August 13, 2005 at 2:08 pm

    Oh, man. I want to be your cabin girl. I am an AWESOME deck swabber.

    1. evildrmurgee August 13, 2005 at 5:31 pm

      Love the Icon, I just saw Wicked at the Orpheum theatre in San Francisco on Thursday

    2. bellachiara6 August 13, 2005 at 6:41 pm

      i’m sorry but i just crack up when anyone says “deck swabber” does anyone else feel that this is just a pirate term for cunnilingus?

      i could just be very immature.

      good job on your hijinkery!

      1. admin August 14, 2005 at 9:19 am

        oh. baby. I never thought of it that way before.

    3. admin August 14, 2005 at 9:18 am

      You’re more than welcome to be my cabin girl. Hell, I’d keep you around just to tell the crew stories. 😀

  6. damienwolfe August 13, 2005 at 2:33 pm

    That’s awesome my friend. 🙂

    1. admin August 14, 2005 at 9:19 am


  7. mastergode August 13, 2005 at 3:48 pm

    You’re my fucking hero, Mel. 😉

    1. admin August 14, 2005 at 9:19 am


  8. evildrmurgee August 13, 2005 at 9:41 am

    I’ve been so busy I forgot to mention, but I did give you credit to all my friends that asked me about this resignation letter, with some modifications though the basic premise was yours (I changed pirate to Ninja, etc. etc. I can provide you with a copy if you like) I added it onto mine when I dropped it on the desk in front of some Board members at a corportate meeting, tossed my badge and passcard onto the table with it, and walked out. I wanted to thank you for sharing this with us, as it made leaving 8 years of a sometimes hell at Sony all the more satisfying thanks to you. You are awesome as you had the balls *so to speak* to give some explination behind it, I just dropped mine and ran like hell for the parking garage.

    1. admin August 13, 2005 at 5:07 pm

      hahaha awesome story!

      The letter, however, did not originate with me. I got it from my friend and I’m not certain where he got it from.

    2. admin August 14, 2005 at 6:58 pm

      I’d love to see the changes you made, though!

  9. hallucinas August 13, 2005 at 4:49 pm

    holy shit, you are amazing. congrats on getting out!

    1. admin August 14, 2005 at 9:20 am

      Thank you! Is it true you’re living in portland now, btw?

      1. hallucinas August 14, 2005 at 7:14 pm

        yes. and michelle/spee is in tacoma. nw yay!

  10. pandemoniachick August 14, 2005 at 1:36 am

    There’s something about that letter that turns it into pure, unadultered badass.

    1. admin August 14, 2005 at 7:00 pm

      Your writing is equally, if not more, badass. If I don’t see you as a published author someday, it’ll be a great shame.

  11. rhydant August 14, 2005 at 2:09 am

    I’m glad you remembered to use it. I KNEW it would be a good idea to post it. 🙂


    1. admin August 14, 2005 at 9:20 am

      Yes, a zillion thank yous!

  12. iamthedarkangel August 15, 2005 at 3:37 pm

    Arrr! Here be thy tribute captain Mellzah!

    Arrrr! I be presenting the Mellzahbot PE (Pirated Edition):

    While I be having no skills for being first mate matey, I can be an enforcer pirate with my uberl33t kung fu skills. Arr!

    Thanks for making my day with that letter Mel. I bow down in reverence of your most awesomeness.

    I JUST had to go for the combo Napoleon Style/Afro looking hat with the pimped out gold trim for you for that time you turned me into a Don King pimp. I tried to find a parrot but none would fit on the square shoulders. 🙂

    1. admin August 30, 2005 at 3:31 pm

      Re: Arrr! Here be thy tribute captain Mellzah!

      That was TOTALLY not me. It was Alex. Or Refrax…but not me. 🙂

      1. iamthedarkangel August 30, 2005 at 3:37 pm

        Re: Arrr! Here be thy tribute captain Mellzah!

        Liar! It was you AND refrax. Somehow I was incorporated into your art war and turned into a pimp. You even said that I may never be your friend after turning me into the don king pimp for transvestites if I found out about it in the forum. Luckily you’re too awesome to not be friends with. *grumbles* hehehe

        1. admin August 30, 2005 at 5:35 pm

          Re: Arrr! Here be thy tribute captain Mellzah!

          oh wait, now I DO remember that. hehe whoops.

          Yeah, that was me.

  13. iamthedarkangel August 15, 2005 at 3:49 pm

    I found your first mate

    I should really be working but I just couldn’t resist. Hope you like it.

    1. admin August 30, 2005 at 3:32 pm

      Re: I found your first mate

      Mellzah & Johnny Depp for the win!

  14. conceptcanibal August 30, 2005 at 5:36 am

    maybe fall down the stairs was equal to: went crazy?
    Anyways, I miss you Melissa and we need to get together soon!
    And I have shown all the new people at G.C. the letter just so they know what they are in for. And what they have to live up to.
    We all miss you.

    1. admin August 30, 2005 at 3:32 pm

      I love and miss YOU, Monty Mouse!
      I’ll give you a call this week sometime, my best bud is coming to visit and I think we should alllll hang out. Yes indeedy.

      1. conceptcanibal August 30, 2005 at 4:18 pm

        Yay to best friends coming into town and hizzah to mellzah!!!!!!!!!!!
        my computer just bit me.

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