Feb 12, 2009

Despair dot com has their finger on the pulse of the online world

I love everything about this company, their mockery of the Successories people, their products, the snark that is so palatable you can smell it coming off your screen. I have purchased many shirts and calendars from them over the years, and this might have to be my next one:

Even the automated response you get from the company when you order something is great, check it out:

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 finally 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 peerless Financial Times of London wrote of the book, "The Art of Demotivation is the most daring, funny and subversive management book ever written".

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 company.

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 a new content series wholly unrelated to Demotivators(R), which are slated for release next year.

What this is, I can not yet say. I can allow however that members of our opt-in e-mail newsletter "The Wailing List(tm)" will receive not only a sneak-preview of this mysterious initiative when it nears release, but may also even be granted an opportunity to participate in an unprecedented way in the work itself. 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 system.


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.

Isn't that wonderful? Go check out their site, and particularly the area where the have videos. Absolutely hilarious!


  1. That IS wonderful.
    I'm on my way to check it out. Thanks for the tip!

  2. I like the Ignore t-shirt too!

  3. As someone who finally caved to the 25 Random Things tag, I love that tee shirt.

    I wish there was a "Shove that Li'l Green Patch Right Up Your Ass" one.

  4. I remember a couple years ago at work one of our wits discovered that website and immediately printed out a bunch of the de-motivator posters. He put them up in the roll call room, and right outside the patrol sergeant office, and in the break room.

    Everyone assumed they were some new bullshit motivational posters put up by the Deputy Chief, and they were up there for almost a week to great hilarity until some boss finally realized they were a joke.

  5. I need to get my hands on one of the demotivational posters for my office; my boss mentioned to me the other day that I have been there almost a year and still not decorated my place.
    Heh-she asked for it. ;)

  6. Hmmm... I think I know LOTS of random things boutcha from readin' all these years...

  7. I think any website that puts "raison d'etre" in their reply email is worth its virtual weight in gold.

    p.s. raison d'etre = reason for being ;)