So, I ordered posters from Despair, Inc for my team for the Holidays. This site is just great. However, I was not quite prepared for the email I received when they initially processed my order. I simply could not stop laughing. Decidedly without permission, I repost almost the entirety of that for your perusal below…

Thank you for your recent order from Despair, Inc.

I’d like to personally welcome you to our growing body of
Dissatisfied Customers(tm), but to do so might evidence
some actual concern for service and protocol. This might
then lead to customer satisfaction, which would defeat
the purpose altogether. That is why you have received
this generic, form-generated email, written by some
nameless lackey in our marketing department.

Having established that any pretense of consideration
for *your* needs would be counter-productive to our
raison d’etre at Despair Inc, let us now ponder a
subject of greater interest to those among us who are
worthy of both of our collective attentions – that
person being me.

While you sit there wincing in disbelief at these
bons mots of authentic insincerity and vexed by the
intrinsic contradictions, I find I am beside myself
with awe at the specimen of unparalleled angst that
is our most recent Despair Catalog. Hardly a man
given to superlatives, I must nevertheless assert with
David-Lee-Rothian boldness that we are demonstrably
without peer in the Art of Demotivation?.

And speaking of “The Art of Demotivation”, my
management treatise of the same name is
available for purchase, and in three unique
editions (four if you count the… oops, I’ve said
too much already).

While I could praise the book and by extension myself
without end, I will instead, in the interest of
at least some pretense of humility, simply note
that no less a journalist than Lucy Kellaway of
the respected Financial Times of London wrote of
the book, “The Art of Demotivation is the most
daring, funny and subversive management book ever

In short, I’m the best.

For those eager to learn more about this landmark
work, pay a visit to the delightful guided tour that
is offered at our exclusive book website:

Those ordering Chairman editions of the Art
of Demotivation are reminded that each necessarily
entails a slight shipping delay. Each one of these
signed and numbered objets d’art is handbound
upon the receipt of your order.

At long last, after this lengthy exploitation of your
attention for purely selfish marketing purposes, let
us move on to yet another advertisement for our

Despair is ever consumed in the product development
process. In fact, as we speak, the small cabal of
dispirited creators have thrown themselves back into
the further development of our new Despair video series.
Those interested in getting a glimpse at life inside
the very incorporation of Despair itself can view
the videos online at:

In anticipation of your next question- yes, these
videos and other videos are coming to a DVD Player
near you in 2007. And, as always, the audience
first to be informed of the release of future videos
(and the DVD itself) remains the subscribers of our
e-mail newsletter, “The Wailing List”. So join the
list now- don’t make us come get you.

If any of the information shown below is inaccurate,
please notify us immediately using our new Troubled Ticketing

We will rectify your error immediately, and on some occasions,
without snickering.

It is the least we can do, which, as a matter of policy,
is the most we can do.

Sincerely not really writing you this email,

E.L.Kersten, Ph.D.
Founder & COO,
Despair, Inc.