March 7, 2004

A Battle of Wills

Posted in General at 1:50 am by Ian

I’m going to do something a little different today. The following post is a transcript of a series of emails (with easier-to-read headers) that have gone out regarding a topic of utmost importance in the last few days. Pay close attention to the times they were sent. Note that cs-majors-l is a mailing list that goes to all CS majors.

4:55pm Friday, March 5, 2004
From: Alice Liu (

The CS department liaisons are taking a survey for the department T-Shirt.

This is not an order form, it’s just an email to see what people might want. Please tell us a shirt style(short vs. long sleeve), and color preference (there are too many to list, you know the usual ones). The estimated cost is probably $10.

*** must respond by monday night ***

-Alice and Ed

8:28pm Friday, March 5, 2004
To: Alice Liu (
From: Ian Ferrel (

What’s _on_ the shirt?

Short sleeved, black.


9:28pm Friday, March 5, 2004
To: Ian Ferrel (
From: Alice Liu (

i really don’t see how the content of the shirt would affect what color and style you would want your shirt to be if you wanted one. this is exhibited by the fact that you could answer the question without such knowledge. we’re just asking these questions now so that we can get more accurate price quotes for the next email that will go out, which is that actual order form. basically, it wasn’t an oversight to not include the shirt content.


9:38pm Friday, March 5, 2004
To: Alice Liu (
From: Ian Ferrel (

Well, the content of the shirt is relevant to my decision whether or not to buy one at all, which I would consider as being at least part of my preferences for style and color.

If it isn’t something I want to wear, then it doesn’t matter what color shirts I like to wear, eh? So, yes, it was an oversight not to include that information (or to include the fact that it’s not yet been determined if that’s the case) because it results in you getting bad data. Plus, lighten up. I asked a simple question; a simple answer would have been sufficient.


9:57pm Friday, March 5, 2004
To: Ian Ferrel (
From: Alice Liu (
maybe we should have put it this way:

“hypothetically, if you wanted a dept t-shirt, what color and style would it be”
this way it doesn’t matter what’s on it.

looks like i’m not the one who needs to lighten up, since you’re the one who seems miffed by it all.


11:16pm Friday, March 5, 2004
To: Alice Liu (
From: Ian Ferrel (

Am I to take it that the design is as yet undetermined?

“Yes” or “no” will do.


3:26pm Saturday, March 6, 2004
To: Alice Liu (
From: Ian Ferrel

Do you know what will be on the shirts?

If not, is that because it hasn’t been decided, or because someone else has that information? Who should I ask?


6:31pm Saturday, March 6, 2004
From: Ian Ferrel

Hey, could somebody please ask Alice what’s on these CS department T-shirts?

She doesn’t seem to want to tell me.


And, in the above message, I made a point to quote the entirety of the convesation we had had so far.

6:42 Saturday, March 6, 2004
To: Ian Ferrel (
From: Alice Liu (

Ian, i think you have a problem with admitting you’re wrong. you should really get that checked out.

anyway, since i pushed you to the point of misusing the CS majors mailing list, i think people now are bewildered why a senior didn’t have better common sense, so here’s an answer out of sympathy, not because it was an oversight to not put the description in the original
email: the shirt is a top 10 shirt that has yet to be finalized.


Note that I’m holding my tongue.

6:48 Saturday, March 6, 2004
To: Alice Liu (
From: Ian Ferrel

Elapsed turnaround time: 11 minutes.



Until now.

There is more, but it’s mostly just me being a smartass, and will be posted only on request of the Pope, or some equally distinguished figure.



  1. Lisa said,

    Well, sucks to her ass-mar.

  2. augie said,

    Sounds like it is time to remind her who pays her bills 😡 .

  3. Kevin said,

    Asking what would be on the t-shirt. Geez Ian, how inappropriate. You got off pretty light though. She probably would’ve came over and clawed your eyes out if she wasn’t so busy cleaning the sand out of her underpants.

  4. Liza said,

    I want to join the list.

  5. Leslie said,

    So, perhaps we can help Alice with her T-shirt problem, in supporting all ye geeks, I’ve located this ideal T-shirt for all CS students (or so I assume, afterall, I was sheltered most of my life from the “real” world in my happy Farm-Waldorf land). Most o’ ya probably have one, but just in case!

    I’ve come to the rescue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: