Written by Sean Valant
Saturday, April 6th, 2013
You’ve seen in prior posts how unattended desks at the HostGator offices can become innocent victims to roaming gangs of hooligans armed with pads of post-it notes and bent upon the defacement of perfectly clean work areas. Well, it’s happened once again. And I’m taking it personally, mostly because it was my desk this time.
It all began when I was summoned out of town for a week, on official HostGator business. I received cryptic text messages throughout the week about a “surprise” that I would receive upon my return. Multiple people from multiple departments, acting so innocent and saying how jealous they were about my surprise, and how great of a surprise it was. Little did I know.
No reason to beat around the bush, we might as well just tear the band-aid off in one swift motion. So, here it is; this is what I found upon my return to the office, in all it’s glory:
It hurts even just to look at, I know. Since we’re already here, though, we might as well take this all in piece by piece. Hopefully we can find clues as to the identity of the culprit, or culprits. We must endeavor to put a stop to this once and for all! Let’s have a look from a different angle, maybe that will help us make some sense out of this tragic circumstance:
We’ve come to expect the excessive use of post-it notes, and balloons have even been known to appear from time to time. But tinsel? Tinsel! This is just getting out of hand. Tinsel was never intended to be used in this manner. Tinsel is supposed to be for celebrations! This is no celebration, not at all! And gift wrap! This is a travesty. Let’s look closer as this inappropriate use of tinsel and gift wrap:
The above image is what used to be my mouse. It was placed on a bed of post-its, under a layer of tinsel and then gift-wrapped (well, probably not in that order, likely it was gift-wrapped first, but I digress…). There’s simply no excuse for this sort of behavior, it’s un-called for! Speaking of inappropriate gift wrapping, here’s a couple pictures of my monitors:
To be fair, only one of them was gift-wrapped, the second monitor was pseudo gift-wrapped, but with file folders instead of wrapping paper. I assume either the culprits ran out of wrapping paper, or otherwise were attempting to send me a specific message of some sort. I’m working very closely with Gator CSI in order to determine exact nature of the cause of this misappropriation of file folders, but clearly this was the work of an experienced hooligan.
Moving right along across the desk, we come to the computer tower and telephone; both of which have been treated in a way unbecoming of a computer tower or a telephone. The decorative “Sean” artwork was pre-existing, but everything else shown in this picture likely makes your blood boil! On the right is the telephone, and it’s worth noting that the base and the receiver were both gift wrapped separately. Oh, the humanity!
Truth be told, to this day, the receiver remains still gift wrapped, and will remain so until these culprits are brought to justice! If you’re like me, this is almost too painful to continue, but let’s finish what we started and take a look under the desk:
You can’t really make out what the balloons say in the image above, but I’ll tell you what they say. They say “congratulations.” Congratulations. Clearly this message was hand-picked in order to rub salt in the already very, very painful wound. I have no choice but to keep an eye out around the office, after something like this you really just never know who you can trust. It’s heart-breaking, almost.
And then there was the chair. How can you mess with a man’s chair? To my knowledge, this is the first time a chair has ever been involved in a crime of this nature. “Have a Seat,” it says. Have a seat, indeed!
To show just how far-reaching the impact of these types of activities can be, I will now share with you a picture of what my desk looks like today. We are trying to rebuild, but we just don’t have the resources necessary to make a full recovery yet. It is a sad, sad work space these days:
As mentioned, the telephone receiver remains gift wrapped and there is still lingering tinsel. Not shown: a solitary balloon still under the desk. I don’t know if we’ll ever get rid of all the post-it notes, but at least the mouse has made a full recovery.
If you have any information as to the identities or whereabouts of those who committed this heinous crime, please notify your local authorities.
Written by Sean Valant
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
Welcome to the third offering of our ever-expanding collection of fake IDs. Posting these blogs seems to have no effect in deterring people from continuing to send us hilariously fake IDs in an effort to fraudulently acquire web hosting. It is unfortunate that our industry is so ripe with this type of activity, but we remain vigilant in the prevention of fraudulent sign-ups. Please enjoy these recent additions to our collection.
As we’ve explained before, if we have reason to believe that an account sign-up may be of a fraudulent nature, we will request that a Government-issued ID be sent in for verification purposes. As was the case with “Heidi,” here:
If, after we receive the aforementioned ID, we then still have reason to believe that everything isn’t on the up-and-up, we will request that the individual then send in a picture of themselves holding their ID. Again, here is “Heidi”:
Following the receipt of this image, we knew that “Heidi” was not legitimate, though I won’t reveal the multiple things that made this abundantly clear. We then sent a reply back informing them of our decision to not host them, and included the following image, which we were able to easily locate via a quick image search:
Up next is Rebecca. She chose to send us an oddly-angled image, though we were quite impressed to see that her license was issued at 2:53pm and has an expiration date of “never.” Aside from her diaper restriction, she is also 19 1/2 feet tall, a “cute driver” and a “love donor”:
Despite having a New Jersey ID, as opposed to a Florida one like Rebecca there, Brian seems to have gotten the same deal on a never-expiring driver’s license. Though Brian seems to have an extra feature: Full Time Baby Status, which is pretty legit. He also lives on Baby Drive Street, also clearly legit. The best part is that Brian’s signature consists entirely of little handprints:
This next ID is interesting and unique in that it simply doesn’t contain a picture at all, simply a blue box where the picture should be. There’s various other things we could point out, like the new text in the fancy font clearly placed over the blurred out background… if not for our keen eye catching the blue rectangle though, this “Danmark” ID card might’ve slipped past us:
Our celebrity portion begins with the “Driver’s International License” of one of the more well-known movie stars of yesteryear, Mr. Steve McQueen. As shown by our past fake ID blog posts, celebrities will stop at nothing to acquire web hosting, even returning from beyond the grave:
Well, I’m not too sure what to say about Jude Law here. I’ll be honest, when this ID was sent to me, I didn’t realize this was a celebrity. Admittedly, it was a female colleague who revealed to me that this was, in fact, an actor named Jude Law. You now have full disclosure on this particular ID. However, Jude if you want web hosting from Hostgator, we’re going to need to see a legitimate ID, sir:
Thus concludes our most recent collection of fake IDs. Surely we’ll be back with more of these before too terribly long. In the meantime, feel safe in the thought that we remain vigilant in our mission to prevent fraudulent sign ups. HostGator: keeping the internet safe from fraud since 2002!
Written by Sean Valant
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
Well, for better or worse, the fine art of modifying someone’s desk in their absence has escalated. At this point, I’m not sure if this activity should be filed under our Office Shenanigans or if it’s become it’s own art form, therefore qualifying it as Office Art. Let’s go ahead and call it art.
Every picture from this post comes from our Houston offices. Although Houston clearly lacks the Post-It note budget that Austin has, we do seem to have compensated for that fact by attaching random objects to computer screens, including snack food items. Here we see a nice array of potato chips and crackers, also a granola bar. Is that a high-heel shoe tape dispenser? I’m not sure if that belongs to the owner of the desk or was also placed there as part of the joke:
Upon seeing this next picture, I was slightly confused. There appears to be many secret messages conveyed herein. For example, the message left on the screen itself appears to be “Uhhhh… Nanha!” Was this a secret code of some sort? Maybe an inside joke? Speaking of secret codes, let’s take a closer look at the upper left-hand of the image. I see what appears to be a drawing of an airplane, a plus sign and a pineapple. Below that there is an equals sign, and below that the last part of what must be an equation of some sort… scissors and a can of peas? So, airplane plus pineapple equals scissors plus peas. This is clearly some sort of coded message, likely requiring a decoder ring in order to be deciphered… we may never know:
As for this next image. I don’t even know where to start. I think I’ll just point out the fact that a statue of a gator seems to have been attached to the wall via an audio cable. Clearly the aforementioned gator is also wearing a birthday hat. When you boils it all down, this picture really just doesn’t make any sense at all:
Our final three images contain a theme: when Post-Its meet computer screens. This first one doesn’t seem to have any easily-discernible message; basically looks like a lot of random hieroglyphics. Someone did clearly take the time to properly space each Post-It note evenly, so points for neatness here:
Here we have another thoroughly covered screen, this time with an actual read-able message: “Have a Great Day!” It’s always nice to be left encouraging notes. Is that a drawing of perhaps a gentleman in a hula skirt?:
Our final image here combines virtually all of the qualities of the prior images. It’s arguably a perfect storm of desk defacement: Post-Its, snack foods, office supplies, and various condiments all attached to computer screens:
Clearly some of the equipment in the above images is being used in a manner that was perhaps not intended by it’s manufacturers. As such, HostGator cannot be held liable for any adverse circumstances resulting from your attempts to attach snack foods to your computer screens. Please play practical jokes at your own risk.
Written by Sean Valant
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
The day began innocently enough, but things rapidly escalated. See, Snappy most often hangs out in one particular spot in the Houston office, as shown below. He seems to prefer this spot, it gives him a nice view of the fish tank to his right and he and Shelby can talk to each other all day; they keep each other entertained and they simply enjoy sharing their work day with each other. See how happy they are together:
However, on this day something was different. Snappy had found his way into the foyer of the Houston office, apparently in order to greet his colleagues on their way into work. Nothing wrong with that, as Snappy is well liked and always visible around the office. As the early morning faded towards lunch time, reports came in about how Snappy was now riding the elevators up and down, making small talk with everyone as they travelled between floors. Nothing exceptionally wrong with this circumstance, either.
Things began getting sketchy in the early afternoon, when no one had heard from or seen Snappy for a while. There wasn’t any immediate cause for alarm, as Snappy is a grown up (as far as we know) and always tends to eventually turn up in one place or another.
Then everything took a left turn. The following ransom note was found taped to a monitor on the 4th floor: “If you want to see Snappy again bring 1,000 marshmallows to the 3rd floor.”
Now, it’s a fact that that gators love marshmallows (google it). As such, we began to be concerned that this kidnapping may actually be an inside job. Also, the fact that the note instructed us to bring the ransom to the 3rd floor. These hooligans were right here in the building!
How sad Shelby was that Snappy had been abducted:
As we began preliminary plans to execute a rescue mission, another email was received with the following image:
Things just got real. They truly did have Snappy, in an undisclosed section of the 3rd floor of this very building. Amid the rush of adrenaline we were collectively experiencing, we began locking and loading our Nerf guns. Just as we were mounting up, another image was received:
Apparently Snappy had retaliated and attacked one of his captors! Snappy does not negotiate with terrorists. As we made our way to the 3rd floor, we were nearly trampled by Snappy’s former captors, running at full speed around the corner. We turned the aforementioned corner and saw the following:
Apparently, they had backed Snappy into this corner with no access to marshmallows, but curiously they gave him full access to a myriad of coffee filters, dipping sauces, assorted seasoning and various other condiments:
The present whereabouts of the former captors remain a mystery. However, we apparently now have some current openings for System Administrators. If you know Linux and have an appreciation for coffee filters, dipping sauces, assorted seasoning and various other condiments, then please consider coming to work with us. Attempting to abduct Snappy is, as always, at your own risk.
As evening set in, Snappy was escorted back to his proper place; he and Shelby lived happily ever after:
Written by Sean Valant
Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
Sometimes, things around the office have a tendency to take on a life of their own. Be it various decorations, or one particularly entertaining whiteboard that resides in the Migrations Department. Not to let these artistic endeavors remain simply inside of the building, one of the cars in the parking lot recently got in on the action as well:
While we’re on the subject of pieces of glass that have become works of art, here is a rather nice etched glass Snappy that was created by a HostGator employee:
This next picture is of the stuffed lil guy who now makes a return appearance to our Office Art series. Though it’s impossible to say whether or not the following is a direct result of him having appeared in the prior Office Art offering, his beanie has curiously been replaced by a Smurf and he seems to have earned a few more dollars as well. I’m looking forward to his next evolution, but here is how he stands at this time:
No telling in what form or configuration that above fella may next manifest, but I wouldn’t rule out a three-peat appearance in this Office Art series. When next we speak on this topic, I will introduce you to our beloved Lobby Gator.
Written by Sean Valant
Monday, November 12th, 2012
Several months ago an intruder made an attempt on the life of a Gator. Before we continue, I want to alleviate any concerns and assure you that despite the fact that another attempt was made to harm a Gator, that the attempt was once again thwarted. Don’t be worried, there’s no reason to make the children leave the room. Please continue reading.
As the sun rose on Halloween 2012, there was no idea the horrors that would manifest before sunset. It would be none other than our fearless leader, CEO Adam Farrar, who would come under attack on this day. The beast sent to destroy Adam would not have teeth, as our last intruder did, but would be of the winged and stinger variety. Fortunately for all of us, Snappy would be there to save the day… but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
If you recall from the blog addressing our prior attack, we are equipped to immediately dispatch a black ops-style task force to handle virtually any situation. Much to our dismay, it seems that our emergency response tactics have been studied! This time the attack was launched from within Adam’s own vehicle, effectively rendering us unable to dispatch our emergency response team! This ninja style attack was simply unprecedented.
There’s no telling how long the enemy laid in wait: hours, weeks… months? It’s clear that the attack was well-planned and slated to take place specifically on Halloween. See, one detail that has not yet been revealed is that, on this day, HostGator CEO Adam Farrar was dressed as a yellow Angry Bird:
What does Adam’s costume have to do with this story? Well, on one hand how many people get to see their boss dressed as an Angry Bird? On the other hand, it is quite clear that the enemy had been conducting intelligence gathering operations for quite some time; they knew that he would be in costume on this day and therefore somehow more vulnerable to their attack. Seems legit, right?
Where were we? Oh! So, there’s Adam driving himself home, surely obeying all local traffic laws; yielding the right-of-way as needed and so forth. Probably listening to an audio book while whistling a soft tune to himself. He’s completely unaware that his life is presently very much in danger.
The enemy attacks! There is a blur of yellow and black, immediately followed by a blur of blue! Blue? Where did that come from, what’s going on?!
Let’s slow down for a moment and view this event Matrix-style. As the (ya know… probably) killer bee finally reveals itself, his tiny bee eyes focused on Adam’s jugular and a single bead of sweat on his itty-bitty bee eyebrow, time has slowed to a crawl. Nothing but wicked intent reflects off of his wings as he moves in for the kill. This bee has trained since birth to accomplish this single goal. The brotherhood of bee assassins is no joke, their sworn oath is something to the effect of, like, “buzz, buzz-bzzzzzzzzz!”
Adam, being highly trained himself, immediately senses the danger and begins to flail his arms about uncontrollably. A single high-pitched shriek may (or may not) have been about to escape his lips when from the depths of the back seat Snappy leaps into action.
Unbeknownst to Adam, we have him under a 24-hour guard of an undisclosed number of elite Snappys, sworn to protect him at all costs.
It all happened so fast. As Snappy caught the intruder in his jaws, crushing the would-bee assassin… would-bee, get it?…he turned towards Adam, still mid-flight, the sun catching Snappy’s eye perfectly as he gave his boss a single wink and a thumbs-up, before landing on the dashboard as shown below, a hero:
Written by Sean Valant
Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
We begin this episode of our Office Shenanigans series with the unfortunate circumstance of many of the office chairs apparently having grown sentient and deciding to surround one Gator, in particular. Many of us watched on, in stunned silence as this took place. You should know that the Gator in question was eventually able to escape (with much hilarity), and that no chairs were harmed… that day:
Much like the chairs, our elevators seems to sometimes have a mind of their own. Our elevators have been well documented on our blog and I’m beginning to think the level of infamy they have achieved is starting to go to their head, so to speak. When one of them recently decided to remain open on the 4th floor of the building, refusing to budge at all, a giant stuffed Snappy found it’s way into the the elevator to warn all other Gators from attempting to use the elevator in question:
I’m not sure if these next two pictures qualify as “shenanigans,” moreso than just “delicious.” We have many culinary-minded Gators, and both of these delectable treats were produced by the same individual. The first offering is a likeness of our beloved Snappy, created entirely out of various cheeses. This Snappy tasted fabulous on crackers!:
The final Gator-themed treat is, well, it’s a gator made out of bacon. Honestly, I’m not sure what else can be said about this, other than anything bacon-related is received rather well at the office, this gator was no exception to that:
That is a bacon “H” there in front of the gator. I couldn’t imagine spelling out an entire bacon HostGator, the logistics alone are daunting. Other than that, I really have no idea how to follow a bacon gator… so until next time!