Some new developments on this silly Epixtar thing. But before that, a backgrounder: Like I said in post last January 10, Migs made a post about how the local Epixtar’s callcenter might be in for a rough ride after how their offices in Florida, US filed for bankruptcy. There was a reference to an alleged phone cramming situation, indicating this might be the reason for said bankruptcy.
At any rate, on January 12 someone named “Karl” made a very long comment with a list of names and their salaries, looking like it was lifted directly from a spreadsheet. This happened with Migs as well, although in his case the poster was “Gary” (definitely not me).
I have since removed it, on Epixtar’s email request three days ago:
Dear Mr. Mercado:
My name is Jeff Myatt, from Epixtar Corp. I write to address the “Epixtar must be a fun place to work” thread on your “pisces-iscariot” blog website.
We at Epixtar would never wish to interfere with the free flow of thoughts and ideas on your blog website or elsewhere on the internet. This principle applies with equal force to postings that may portray our Company in an unflattering light.
We must, however, respectfully direct your attention to the January 12, 2006 posting in this “Responses to Epixtar must be a fun place to work” thread, which purports to list salaries of many named Epixtar employees.
This personal salary information was obviously misappropriated and posted on your site by an individual or individuals who identify themselves as “Gary” and “Karl.” This salary information is proprietary and not public, and not intended for publication by Epixtar. It is also materially inaccurate. This information was disseminated unlawfully by whoever posted it on your website.
We must accordingly request that you immediately and fully delete this posting from your website and or “friends” websites. Please note that we do not take issue with anyone stating any perceived issues concerning Epixtar; however, we must take issue with the posting of such personal and proprietary information, concerning our business and our employees.
I hope this issue can be resolved in a swift and amicable manner.
If you have any questions or issues regarding this matter, I would welcome the opportunity to address them personally.
SVP, Client Services
I replied on the same day with this:
Hello Mr. Myatt,
I hope you don’t mind if I ask a few questions. Firstly, how may I know you are who you say you are? Also, may I publish your letter?
Mr. Myatt responded on January 26th, with this:
Thank you for your quick response. Gabriel, my only interest is having you fully delete the posting of the said topic below off your site. Please confirm when this has been completed. If you would like to discuss further you may contact me at my office. Once again thank you for your assistance.
He sent the last one one more time, on the 27th. Then finally this morning I got this, dated Jan 28, 2006 1:03 AM their time:
Dear Mr. Mercado:
This is my second attempt to address amicably the posting of Epixtar salary information (” Epixtar must be a fun place to work” thread on your “pisces-iscariot”) on your blog website.
As I stated in my first communication, we have no interest in interfering with the exchange of ideas and opinions concerning our Company, positive or otherwise. Our only concern is your posting of the salary information.
As I previously informed you, the salary information posted on your website was misappropriated, and disseminated unlawfully. Such salary information is confidential and proprietary. And again, it is also materially inaccurate.
I will have no choice but to turn this matter over to our attorneys if the salary information is not deleted from your site within 24 hours. They will be instructed to take all appropriate legal action against you in this regard.
Again, if you want to discuss this, please contact me. I would prefer to resolve this in a friendly manner.
which I immediately responded 10:04am (our time), with this:
Dear Mr. Myatt
I had been unable to address your situation due to my being away from my computer the whole of yesterday. I never did nor do not have any intention of contesting your request to remove the comment you mentioned, I merely had other things to do.
To be honest, I am offended by your rude email. I had initially emailed you asking basic questions any blog owner might have concerning a request similar to yours. Naturally I do not wish to edit or remove anything on my website on any stranger’s bidding, even if I have no interest in either party. I do not even understand that comment’s point. I allowed it only because I thought I could make a funny remark, and I have denied similar comments the poster tried to submit because again I do not care either way.
I am tempted to tell you to go get your attorneys to do their worst, unfortunately I also wish to end this – whatever this is – amicably. I will remove the comment, and I will also post our conversation on my blog so as for all to see how this has gone.
Also I cannot call you because that would be expensive on my part, and I don’t see the point why I have to when it is you who are making a request. In our part of the world when we ask a favor we tend to be polite and patient. – Gabriel Mercado
Here are the reasons why I removed that comment:
- I do not care either way. Up till Mig’s post, the only thing I knew of Epixtar was that it was a rather large callcenter operation that hired showbiz talents for promotion, and that they owned their own building. I had no idea what they were up to or the manner with which they did it. I did not care.
- This is not the reason I blog. My blog is a social commentary that uses satire to expose phonies, smart alecks, know it alls and egomaniacs as I see them on the ‘net. Nah, just kidding. My blog’s one and only purpose in life is to provide a more immediate outlet for my writing and opinions – so as for everyone to think I am smart. That is all. Sure I like to post about ballhogs and egotists along the way, but for the most part this is all about me me me. In that light I have nothing to gain from all this. I know this might get hits, but not because of the right reason. The right reason is me. Let’s remember that.
- That comment doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t. I removed it, but anyone who’s seen it will know – it’s just a bunch of names and their high salaries. My reaction – and likely others as well, was some measure of disbelief, followed by an intense measure of envy, after which I moved onto other things. After all, a person’s salary is his own business. If those salaries were true, well then God bless ’em, they’re onto the American Dream. Besides, should anyone ask them if those were true, they can just simply deny, smile, wink, or whatever. Again, it’s none of anyone’s business. What’s worse is, Karl/Gary commenter didn’t explain what he was trying to achieve in that comment. There was no indication of malicious intent, or any intent at all as a matter of fact. He just copied then pasted it on my comment area, and that’s it, leaving everyone to just look at it bewilderingly, feel intensely envious themselves, then forget it. No doubt, it would have eventually died a natural death. This leads me to my next point: If it doesn’t make any sense, that means:
- It doesn’t deserve attention. My post was a full 18 days ago, with Mig’s even longer. Lotsa things have happened since that have deserved far more attention, as if that particular one was earthshaking to begin with. In other words, imho Mr. Myatt should have just left things well enough alone. As it is, fellow blogger Abe‘s radars had picked up on it, with Mike Abundo chiming in too. In fact, the reason why I asked him who he was when I first responded was because I thought he was “Karl/Gary” commenter again, sending a fake email to try and drum up unwarranted attention. The result: everytime these guys write something about Epixtar, I learn something new. Things I would never have found out if Epixtar had just let itself drop out of the news. As these things go, sooner or later Abe, Mike, Migs and myself might find ourselves discussing it in real life (Abe will probably treat us to drinks, as he receives a Google check like, every few hours I think. Mike can provide.. well just look at his picture) :).
I hope this ends this rather sordid chapter in my blog’s history. For the most part I understand I was an unwilling party to this affair, having had been guilty of nothing more than approving what seemed to be an innocent comment. But Mr. Myatt’s rude attempt to threaten me with a lawsuit adds a sad note to this whole thing.
Since he has mentioned that he “does not wish to interfere with the free flow of ideas” concerning Epixtar, then I’ll take this opportunity to inject an opinion – Mr. Myatt and company should be chasing after Karl/Gary commenter. Not me, or any other blogger who has a copy of it. Their lawyer’s efforts, already busy with bankruptcy proceedings, are best put to use chasing after whoever that is, than thinking up of a case against us.
— update january 31, 2006 —
Dear Mr Mercado,
My purpose was to protect the privacy rights of company employees. Thank you for removing the information from your site.
and that, as they say, is the end of that.