That '70s Show: Memos reveal what the oil bidness was like
Ah, the '70s in Houston. A time when men were men, oil companies had balls and political correctness was some distant dream (or nightmare).
It was a time built for men like Edward Mike Davis and the Tiger Oil Company.
A stack of memos written — we guess we should say "purportedly written" — by Davis to his employees has been making the e-mail rounds of energy-industry types, and they provide a hilarious look into Houston way back when.
Tiger Oil Company
Here is a guided tour of one man's descent into, as it turns out, Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In the first memo, we meet Davis as the kindly boss he is, gently reminding employees of Tiger Oil's domestic business that the workings of Tiger Oil's international business are, perhaps, not in their bailiwick. Or, as he puts it, "What the employees of Tiger Oil International Inc. do is none of your damned business!"
Also note the P.S.: "On days you have to work, and you think you should be off, you wear slouchy dress attire. That will not occur in the future."
Then there's this: "I swear, but since I am the owner of this company, that is my privilege...There will be absolutely no swearing, by ANY employee, male or female, in this office, ever."
The next one is long, but the highlights include:
1) "We do not pay starvation wages, and there are some people left in this world who want to work. I am not fond of hippies, long-hairs, dope fiends or alcoholics."
2) "Anyone who lets their hair grow below their ears to where I can't see their ears means they don't wash. If they don't wash, they stink, and if they stink, I don't want the son-of-a-bitch around me."
3) "There is one thing that differentiates me from my employees. I am a known son-of-a-bitch, and I care to remain that way."
January 13, 1978: A new policy. "Do not speak to me when you see me. If I want to speak to you, I will do so. I want to save my throat. I don't want to ruin it by saying hello to all you sons-of-bitches."
February 22, 1978: A new policy, revised. "Any supervisor who has anything to say to me, day or night, the fastest way he can say it to me is too slow. The terms about not talking to me meant I do not have time to stop and talk to everyone — saying hello, goodbye, goodnight, etc. — that is what I was talking about. If you have business with me, the fastest way is too slow — day or night."
Levity outlawed: "There will be no more birthday celebrations, birthday cakes, levity, or celebrations of any kind within the office...If you have to celebrate, do it after hours on your own time."
Charity begins at home: "I do not appreciate people coming into my office and helping themselves to my candy, cigarettes, medicine and other personal items...I don't mind giving, but I would like the privilege of knowing it and giving myself."
The horror of dirty rugs: "[I]f people cannot carry their coffee without spilling it on my rugs, we will do away with the coffee pots entirely just as we did away with the food."
And, finally, some anticancer crusading: "I suggest you people buy enough cigarettes to keep here for yourselves to smoke because, by God, you will not go and buy them on my time."
A little over two years after that memo, Tiger Oil filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Must have been all those longhaired, stinky, cursing, coffee-spilling, cigarette-buying, hello-saying employees.
God's Lazy Spell-Caster
Some con men are so clever and charming that you can almost overlook their sleaziness. Then there are those who are just out-and-out douches. The Houston "love-spell caster" operating out of an apartment on Eldridge Parkway definitely falls into the latter.
We were first notified of this guy — whose name we haven't been able to track down yet — when the Greater Houston BBB forwarded us complaints from two women who say they paid thousands of dollars to have this jerk-off cast some spells to get their ex-boyfriends back.
At the time, the dude was using the name "Justin Price" — and one woman (who lives in the Washington, D.C. area) filled out a "contract" last June to that name. It stipulated that she pay "Price" $1,650, plus finance for him a $7,640 Cartier bracelet. All Price needed to do was get her boyfriend back to her within nine days. Another woman, who lives in NYC, paid him $3,500.
They found him via his Web site, godgiftedspellcaster.com, although he has other sites, including soulmatepalace.com (where he goes by Zack O'Brien) and truelovepowerspells.com (where he's part of a Douchebag Duo known as Steven & Natasha). Just Google the number 855-577-8372, and you might find more. (Also, you can Google his other number, 416-619-1342. By the way, he's also one of the more lazy fraudsters, in that he uses the same "testimonials" on each of his sites — that just gives con artistry a bad name).
When the Houston Press called, a guy who said his name was Tony answered. Tony told us that he, too, had been deceived by "Price" after living with him for a few months. He gave us what he said was Price's real name and vowed to help us track him down. But Tony didn't sound right — and when we played a recording of his voice to the two complainants, both said that that was the "Price" they had done business with.
We confronted "Tony" with this information, and he did what any honest dude in that situation would do — he hung up. Repeatedly. While we try to track down his name, we encourage you to visit his sites and call his numbers repeatedly, telling him you'd like him to cast a spell for you. One spell we'd like him to cast would be the one where he conjures a giant foot to shove into his magical kingdom.