Listen, people. Let me do a little follow up, and then I’ll shut up about Starbucks and logos for a little while. Honest.

Firstly, earlier I wrote an article about the progression of the NASA logo – the Meatball, the Worm and the Vector.

Secondly, MTA logo is nicknamed the “Pacman” because it looks like the 25 year old video game character. Waka-waka-waka, watch out for the ghosts.

Thirdly, I wrote about the Roslyn Bank, the Blibbet and Starbucks logos too. All I can add to that are these two fine logos of the Microsoft products of the day gone by:

Funny enough this Microsoft product allows to bring Microsoft BOB back to life. Melinda Getes’ legacy endures beyound Clippy!

Fourthly, Amazon is selling this:

Incredibly, they also have Women of Wal-Mart and Women of Enron.

Rank and File

Since a comprehensive list of Microsoft codenames already exists, I would like to move on to another taxonomy project that fascinates me. I would like to collect a list of weird titles so common in many big-name corporations. Here are some notes that I collected already.

Also I am adding a little note about certain not very publicized rules that the company has that might help you get better service, or so to say to hack the system. You’ll see what I mean.

Every employee carries a title of “Co-worker”. Employees use the term Kinkoid instead.

Kinko’s hacks:
All Kinkoids seem to live in fear of “mystery shoppers”. The corporate mothership sends special agents that pose as customers, and then evaluate the Co-workers. On at least several occasions I asked for some collating and printing jobs and quoted long wait times by Co-workers, which strangely had a change of heart and did the work right away. Your job is to make a Co-worker suspect that you are a “mystery shopper”. How? I don’t know, but apparently I managed to pull it off a couple of times.

Generic title: Crew Member. There are special non-management Crew Members with many years of experience called Crew Superstars. Managers carry the title of Crew Leader.

Fast Food Hacks:
This is a little known fact, but almost all soda fountains have a special button that will dispense seltzer. So technically the soda choice include seltzer. Sometimes when I am not in the mood for caramel coloring and phosphoric acid, I buy a medium soda and then ask them to find the button (most employees don’t know about it).

Barristas are known as Hourly Partners. I’ve seen a title of Coffee Master on a manager’s card.

Starbucks Hacks:
There’s an 8oz cup called “Short” as opposed to the holy trinity of Tall-Grande-Venti. It’s never advertised, but I successfully ordered it on occasion.

I learned a new trick, which I am not planning on using, but which surprised me. I found a tiny sticker which outlined Starbucks refill policy. It reminded me that Spongebob episode where Bubble Bass pointed out to the microscopic print on the Crusty Crab menu that outlined the refund policy. Anyway, it seems like the rule is that if you finish your drink within the hour, you can ask for a refill in the same cup at an unspecified reduced price. How will they know if you consumed your drink in an hour? There’s a label on the cup that records the time when the drink was ordered. You can also apparently bring in your own cup and have it filled at 30 cents off or so.

You can ask for free coffee grinds at any Starbucks store to use as fertilizer for your garden or farm.

Barnes and Noble:
This is a surprising one. All B&N employees carry the title of “bookseller”. Even computer programmers and janitors. Thank you, anonymous tipster for this slice of corporate weirdness.

Most employees at Disney World are titled “Cast Members”. “Face” characters, like Cinderella and the like are “Union Actors”. Disney weirdness is too huge to discuss here, there are whole sites dedicated to the subject. “No Disney Cast member at the Disney reservation center has the same name. If there are more then two with the same then they are given a name.” Whoa.
Thank you, Merlin!

Pacific Theaters
Ushers and the like carry the title of “Talent”.
Thanks you, Greg!

This calls for a gratuitous Spongebob quote:
“Squidward: Repeat after me. “I have no talent”
Spongebob: I have no talent.
Squidward: “Mr. Tentacles has all the talent”.
Spongebob: Mr. Tentacles has all the talent.
Squidward: “If I’m lucky, some of Mr. Tentacles talent can rub off on me”.
Spongebob: If I’m lucky, Mr. Talent can…rub…his tentacles on my…art… (smiles)”

Toyota Canada
Salesmen carry the title of “New Vehicle Advisor ”
Thank you, Aidan R.

WL Gore & Associates
Every employee is – you guessed it – an “Associate”.
Thank you, Joe Grossberg.

Gouvernment employees are called “Guvvies” and contractors are called “Swaliens” (because they are frequently from Swales Aerospace.

Thank you, anonimous commenter.

IKEA employees have the same designation as Kinkos – “Co-worker”. I am not sure if this is a recent development or not.

If you have any information like this, please let me know.

An Old Dream or One Of These Days, To the Mars, Alice!

LJ user avva mentioned in his journal that he is ashamed of the fact that there was never a manned Mars mission. Also our beloved overlord keeps talking about a Mars mission. So on my lunch break I dug around in my email and found an old dream of mine that never made Jesse Reclaw’s Slow Wave:

There I was on Mars with four other astronauts. I fell into a red sand dune (kind of like quicksand). I remember hating the guts of some other astronaut, who helped me out of it, because I could have easily gotten out myself. It just made me look bad on TV.

I was also tremendously pissed off at NASA. You see, their moronic plan of getting us off the planet was this: one astronaut would have a small rocket pack (and that wasn’t me). The others would grab his arms and legs, he would turn on the rocket pack and we would fly into low orbit. There we would find a small refueling craft (something like a barrel of fuel). With that fuel we would be able to reach our spacecraft in higher orbit. Faster, cheaper, better my ass — I thought.

Cheaper! Faster! Kitschier!

NASA kitsch from the Space Coast of Florida where I spent my vacation:

A ticket booth in Kennedy Space Center. It’s a great symbol of all government space programs.

This obscene looking 3d mural greeted me in the airport. This is a great illustration for this proposed technology.

A phone booth in a shape of a Mercury landing module. Classy.

It’s awesome that I didn’t meet the mascot that I’ve seen on the KSC brochure.

I would have kicked him in the nuts.

Oh, did I mention that they piped horrible Christmas MuzakTM everywhere?

Well, on the other hand I’ve seen some cool things there. But that’s for another post.

Duct and Cover

Tom Ridge advised everyone to buy duct tape for bio and radiological protection.

Yeah, you should use anything but duct tape to seal ducts, but it works great on everything else. It’s good for automotive repairs, spacecraft fixin’ and many other things.

It’s so good, apparently “In Finland and Sweden, some folks (we are told) refer to duct tape as “Jesus Tape.”” I’ve heard that at NASA it’s called “engineering tape”.

Oh, I did not know it came in Beige, Black, Blue, Burgundy, Brown, Gold, Floral Green, Green, Olive Drab, Orange, Purple, Red, Silver, White and Yellow. Mmmm, purple duct tape.

Re: Spaceships

More on the subject of my bathrobe. Turns out that it’s possible to order an authentic NASA nametag, like the one astronauts wear. In fact, these nametags are made by special order (it takes a couple of weeks) by the same company that makes them for NASA.
So now my bathrobe is decorated with this:

Now I need to file an astronaut application (see my old post about that), get a rejection and frame it.

Postcard, Postcard on the Wall

My cable connection is out, so here I am writing junk in my journal.

was sending everyone at their request postcards when he went on vacation to Eliat. He sent me a nice postcard with a jelly fish. I put it up on my cubicle wall.

Then I’ve got my order from spaceshack.com. Inserted in the order was a handwritten postcard with the picture of Earth from space.

Hmm, I’ve got a theme going there.

No, that’s not on the TV Guide cover, although it looks very much like him.

Oh, yeah, gotta plug Spaceshack.com. Remember my post about NASA Meatball, Worm and Vector? Well, I finally decided what to put on my bathrobe. It’s going to be a NASA Meatball and a custom made NASA name tag (when you click on the link, it’s under the flight jacket). These are exactly the same as ones that real astronauts wear. Yeah, and I highly recommend Spaceshack for all your dorky NASA needs.

To boldly go where no meatball has gone before

My and my wife’s bathrobes look exactly the same. So I decided to put a patch on my robe’s sleeve to identify it.

First I was thinking about getting this one.
Then I changed my mind in favor of a simple NASA patch. That’s where I learned an interesting little fact. Turns out that there types of NASA insignia:

the Meatball

the Worm

and the Vector

The following was taken from http://www.nasaproblems.com/

The NASA Worm vs. the Meatball

NASA has had two insignias that it has used as its official logos. The first insignia dates back to 1959 when NASA was first originated. The round circle with blue background, stars, planet and airfoils was a nightmare design to print. Many referred to this insignia as the “meatball”. In 1975, NASA decided a more modern logo was in order and switched to an insignia now known as the “worm”. It was a red, stylized rendering of the letters N-A-S-A and it has never been very popular with the employees. I remember, just after the worm logo was introduced, attending employees “all hands” meeting with the NASA-JSC Center Director. During the question and answer period, one employee asked if NASA could reverse their decision to replace meatball logo. The Center Director said the new logo was a “done deal.”

In 1992, Administrator Dan Goldin brought NASA’s meatball back from retirement to invoke memories of NASA’s glory days and to show that “the magic is back at NASA.”. Nevertheless, nostalgia has its price. Since 1975 the worm logo had been carved in stone and cast in bronze on NASA buildings and entrance signs. It adorns the Hubble spacecraft in space. There are many thousands of places and documents that still have the worm logo. In the June 7, 1999 Centers Directors and Headquarters staff meeting it was reported that, “He (Mr. Goldin) is frustrated that the phase-out and conversion process is not yet complete, as it has been 7 years since he directed the reinstatement of the NASA “meatball” insignia.”