Starbuck Siren

Posted by jael on Jan 5, 2011 in Business, Education, Spiritual Journey, Technology

Greek mythology teaches us that the Sirens are mythical creatures with the head of a woman and the body of a bird.  Native to Sirenum scopuli; three small rocky islands, they lured mariners to their watery graves with their seductive melodies of their irresistable songs.


In the Odyssey, the Argonauts were able to dodge the sinister song of the sirens because their dude, Orpheus, recognized their predicament in time to pull out his lyre and sing his own Hallujah clearly and loudly enough that it drown out the sirens’ sexy and deadly tunes.  A bit of a maverick, Orpheus was clever enough to travel to the underworld and return.  A classic epic-hero-kind-of-guy, Orpheus travelled to hell and back in a bold attempt to rescue his wife, and knew how to weave and dodge.  In another trek close to the sirens’ island, for example, Orpheus instructed sailors to stuff wax in their ears to secure their safe passage.  Orpheus himself, however, had an appetite both for the sirens’ voices and their wisdom.  Lore told that sirens would impart mysteries to each soul that came close to them, a sagacity that quickened the spirit and mind.  He wanted him a double scoop of those goodies, so he ordered the crew to tie him to the mast such that he could hear their beautiful songs without willingly throwing himself forfeit to their fiendish hymns.

Now I am going to tell you something that might seem totally unrelated.

Don’t say, “Again?”  I can hear you when you say that.

CNN reported today that Starbucks has changed their logo.

For those of you that don’t know, I am a Starbucks girl.  If you don’t know my regular order by now, well, I guess you don’t really love me.  I think the only legal tender could be Starbucks gift cards.  The only way to gift a better experience is to give a Barnes & Noble gift card… books and beans, Baby.  Shaky Zen, and you know I love me the juxtaposition of trying to meditate with the quad pump shakes.

As you can see below, the use of the Starbucks Siren has evolved since 1971.  Clearly, the Siren was a somewhat closeted figure, and come 2011, Starbucks is all done with their Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policies.

Starbucks unveils new logo

I began with a brief overview of Siren lore for a purpose, People.  Let’s recall that Sirens are like mythological serial killers.  Before there was ever a CSI crime lab, these seductresses stole the lives of innocent sailors for seeming sport.  As much of a Starbucks fan as I am, I still gotta wonder how this murderess became a coffee selling icon.  Does the coffee lure innocent people to spend ridiculous amounts of money for an addictive drug and smash their financial peace on the rocks of their corporate island?

Or is the swift and heroic Starbucks consumer like Orpheus?  Will the go-juice administered by a friendly barista imbue nuance to aid our recognition of predicaments?  Will a venti skim quad shot no-whip Mocha stimulate in us enough acuity to prompt when to pull out our lyres and sing our own Hallelujahs clearly and loudly enough that it drowns out the sexy and deadly tunes of the world?  A bit sleep deprived and overworked, is the Starbucks consumer instantaneously transformed like Superman in a phone booth to become clever enough to travel to hell and back and return?

As delicious as are their $12 scones, and really if you have tasted the raspberry, I know you will back me up on this, does any modern day consumer have a yen for the sirens’ voices and their wisdom?  Lore notwithstanding, we’ve got Google to impart mysteries to souls that draw nigh.  Google sagacity quickens the spirit and mind… Do you know how big a google is?  It’s a big number.  I already got broadband, of course I want a double scoop of those goodies.  I order coffee so I am awake enough NOT to willingly throw myself forfeit to fiendish hymns.

I love Starbucks, but consider tea as I reflect.  Is it the product or the allure that sings the Siren’s song?

Yeah, I admit it, the wench can sing, but I think she looks better from the closet after I’ve had a cup of coffee.

And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!


Predictive Index

Posted by jael on Aug 28, 2010 in Business, Education, Technology

Job applications make my Top 10 List of Hallelujah Breakers today.

Get this; my sister emailed me today to share the heads-up that she had decided to put her name in the hat for some part-time work.

As part of the application process, she was asked to complete a “Predictive Index.”

On page one, she was instructed to check off the words from a supplied list that she feels describe the way others expect her to act.

On page two, she was asked to check off the words from a supplied list that identify her expectations of herself.

I’ve pasted the word list below:

So, clearly, I’m no therapist, but I assume there is a psychodynamic inventory embedded in this check list, and I am intrigued on many levels.

I confess the title of the task really bakes my cupcakes.  “Predictive Index?”  Just like Silence of the Lambs, baby, the gallant and elegant sociopath, Hannibal Lecter, said it best, “Oh, Agent Starling, do you think you can dissect me with this blunt little tool?”

Come on!  Clearly this Predictive Index is meant to measure personality indicators that some company paid a puffed-up consultant a ridiculous wad of cash to build.  “Yeah!  Build me a matrix!  Write me a tool so I can hire someone who lives the mission statement and honors the code.  Construct me a Skinner’s Box so that we can weed out the weary, helpless, broken-hearted, faithless, and confused.   Let those lost souls cry out to Jesus, ‘cause we only hire producers who promote value and honor the company name.”

Really now, has our social code degraded to the point that a potential job applicant would assert that others should expect him to act fearful, self-centered, selfish and dominant?  Can you imagine any non-dream state that would compel you to say, “Hi, my name is Jael, I am a passive, audacious, worrying, docile, obstinate, fussy escapist who promises to add value to your organization.”

Usually people smart enough to participate in 12 Step programs know the difference between a job application and a meeting.

Certainly, there must be words that flag potential psychopaths and narcissists for the employer.  I respect companies must roll the dice as they throw development capital into the recruitment and training of talent, but come on!  This kind of exercise could produce clinically measurable anxiety.

It’s like a Bounce House for the Id, Ego and Super Ego to collide!  Do I check what I think they want me to say, or check what I think is right, or check how my kids would describe me when I go postal over spilled chocolate milk on the couch?

What does this Predictive Index measure?  What the potential employer expects?  What one expects of potential colleagues?  What one expects of oneself?  And those are just the not crazy-kind of second-guessing questions.  What if it somehow measures if I am insecure or if English is my second language or if I have some kind of cheese fetish?  What in the hell does resolute really mean anyway, and is it exclusively a good or bad attribute?

I’d say more, but at this point, I am afraid someone is watching me.

The Holy Dove ain’t ever tried to dissect me with a blunt little tool.

In fact, my God promises to prosper and not to harm me.

I did my best, it wasn’t much (not passive)
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch (not audaciously)
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you (trusting)

And even though it all went wrong, I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my blessedly employed tongue but Hallelujah!

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