When Quitting Your Job Goes Wrong – DMFRH: Poking the Bear Edition Part III

Here I was, actually working on my latest post when I received a rare—and utterly delightful—call from the main antagonist in this little melodrama: Big John Swoap. I got butterflies. Really, it was spectacular: I started out a muthafucka and ended up a son of a bitch. Not sure how my mother would feel about that last one but to say I am honored is an understatement. Who knew they read my blog?

I’ll give you a quick rundown of that call (this is like late-breaking news) but then I have to get back to the story (this jackass is screwing up my continuity). So I’m minding my own business, going over the next batch of emails that I want to share with the world when Amanda’s phone rings. “Look who’s calling,” she says. “It’s Blue Sky Journeys!”

“Why could they be calling me?” I’m thinking. “It’s like 10 o’clock on Saturday night for them.”

I grab the phone, put on my bravest voice (because I am so excited), “Hello.”

“It’s John Swoap. How ya doing, motherfucker?” This, by far, is the best opening I have ever had to an argument. Ever. It was nice, cordial, and ended with a cut.

Me: “I’m grand.”

BJS: “Grand, huh? You’re not gonna be. You’re not going to be able to put food on your table when I get finished with you.”

Me: “We can’t eat? Why can’t we eat?”

BJS: “I am going to break you! You’re not going to be able to eat, muthafucka. You’re going to have to come to Tennessee, which I know you can’t afford (because my bank statements are routed to Tennessee), and then, while you’re here, we’re going to continue to case so you’re going to have to come back. Which I know you can’t afford. Five Hundred Grand, you sack of shit!”

I have never actually been called a sack of shit. I’ve been told I wasn’t shit but never been a whole sack of it. Is that the preferred quantity for purchasing and/or moving shit? In sacks? And here’s where I would offer a note: if you want me to stop saying stuff, to actually stop repeating the shit you say, perhaps you should stop talking. Just sayin.

Anyway, I’m just going with it, trying to be as nice as possible (cuz I’m so boosted that he called! Now I know how teenage girls feel…). The deal is that I threatened him that I was going to publicize everything (which should be a clue to stop talking), that I threatened him when I said I wanted to kick his ass (you’ll see that part below), and that there is breach of contract. Breach of contract? I never actually worked for Blue Sky Journeys. Suffice it to say we’re not going to be BFFs. And I am really broken up about it.

But I gotta get back to the story.

And there is actually more. I know…I couldn’t believe it either.

Quick recap (because I have even more stuff today): Amanda was working for a Disney vacation planning agency called Blue Sky Journeys when she received a Cease and Desist letter from an attorney regarding a trademark issue. Between that and some other unsavory business practices, she decides to cut her losses and move on to another agency. This doesn’t go over well. At all. The owners, Melanie and John Swoap kick out a series of fucked up emails (where they call my wife a pill-popping alcoholic, a bitch and a thief) and then do a drunk Captain and Tennille routine on her voicemail.

These folks are freaking awesome. But not so bright. Because, despite numerous requests to simply shut the fuck up, they keep the party going and here we are.

Now, everything you’ve read so far is from DAY ONE. One day! All that nonsense in one day. When Amanda sent her last email copying her business attorney, everybody shut up for the night. The next day, there’s this brief exchange:

John Response Dec 9

Amanda Response Dec 9

And then:

John Nice

What? Somebody wants to play nice? It’s about time, right? Add a little civility to this conversation and everyone can go back to their respective corners and be done. So Amanda sends her conciliatory email as well and we go about our day.

And if that was all, this would suck for a Part 3, wouldn’t it? Instead, she gets the email below. For the record, because this was a response email, I changed the font color to red for everything from my man:

John to PlannersAmanda wasn’t actually supposed to get this email.  If you are going to talk shit about somebody via email, someone who used to work for you, you should probably TURN OFF THEIR EMAIL! Seriously. Amanda got this email because they sent a message to all the planners and copied her on an email about her because folks can’t figure how to disable an email address.

But nobody responds and Sunday proves to be largely uneventful. Monday, December 10, though, is an entirely different thing. On Monday, Amanda was awakened by a call at 7am from a client, talking about “Why are these people calling me?” Then another client. Then an advertising partner. They were calling her clients and advertisers disparaging her to them. Actually calling her a “fuck up.” You stay classy, San Diego.

At some point, this nonsense has to stop, right? My wife has gotten a plethora of emails from the Great State of Tennessee (center of America), she’s getting copied on emails talking about her, her clients are getting calls, Disney is actually calling here…and again, this is because she quit her job. I can’t imagine why… So I finally break my own silence and script this PHENOMENAL email:

You Should Stop

The initial response is to be reminded that “hey, I decided to be good.” I remind him that he wasn’t:

You Should Stop Response 1

Chris Stop Response

Then he encourages me to test him. That wasn’t smart…

John Stop Final

Well, there it is. The rubber has met the road, folks. Because now John and I are talking man to man and there are legal threats flying and everything else. And we would have been good if he wouldn’t have asked me not to publish ONE THING. That’s actually how we got here: it was a dare, wasn’t it? Isn’t that what you saw?

Since that lovely conversation, things were quiet. Until today. Apparently there is internet in Tennessee and folks saw my little blog today. To say they are unhappy is an understatement. Livid is probably the best word. I gave you the recap earlier and tomorrow, we’ll be doing a greatest hits album! I have:

• The comment that just got posted to my blog
• The argument currently ensuing on YouTube
• Remember that planner that got fired for posting about who she was voting for? She’s “despicable” and you get to see the Facebook post

And you better check all this stuff out now because when Big John secures his attorney my blog is coming down…at least that the latest threat.

“This shit’s chess, it ain’t checkers!” – Training Day

16 thoughts on “When Quitting Your Job Goes Wrong – DMFRH: Poking the Bear Edition Part III

  1. You would think that if one intended to sue another for any reason whatsoever, you would cease all personal communication and let all communication continue solely through lawyers. The attempt to tone down the rhetoric was feeble at best. Hoping, wishing, believing, and praying for the best for Amanda and you. And for those new to Crooked Letterz….WELCOME TO THE LAND OF STARRDOM! It is truly a magical place! lol

  2. A friend directed me to your posts.. and I have to say I am floored, disgusted, shocked, and disturbed by the whole mess. I also feel for you and Amanda. None of this is ok, especially during the holiday season.. Here are a few things I wanted to hit on though after reading all 3 posts..
    1- I am shocked and floored a company connected to Disney, the world of MAGIC and DREAMS would treat anyone like this, it’s borderline cyber stalking, and definitely cyber harassment which btw is in many states a crime, and when it crosses lines can be considered a federal crime. How Disney has not YANKED their rights already is beyond me, and I truly hope you are going to get in contact with legal on their end so they see who is representing them.
    2- I honestly do not think Big John GETS the concept of legal proceedings. Once you even THREATEN or are THREATENED WITH legal proceedings, you STOP communicating to ensure you are within the letter of the law and to avoid destroying your case. IF they had a case it was shattered by their abusive, destructive and harassing behavior.
    3- Seriously when you EMAIL or leave DIGITAL VOICE RECORDINGS (ie voice mail) for someone unless you have a legal paper signed by both parties that they will remain private it’s all open and fair play. BUT just remember, in the words of my awesome Internet Security Specialist hubbers “digital ink never dries” which means this whole mess can pop back up at any time in the future for anyone to see/review.
    4-OMG Big John and wife, it is called SPELL and GRAMMAR check.. On your browser it’s SUPER easy to use, you see that little red dashed line? It means you need to throttle back, reread what you wrote, RIGHT CLICK and pick the properly spelled version of the word you wish to use BEFORE you hit send..
    5- And on a none-Ugh/Grr side.. Amanda & Chris *HUGE HUGS* I truly hope this resolves itself quickly and without much more drama. Also Chris, you have handled this with a wonderful sense of style, flair, and at point sense of humor that I don’t think I would have been able to exhibit if the rolls were revered. Huge points for being witty, honest, funny, and to the point. 🙂

  3. Wow… the really sad thing is that your wife was trying to do the right thing, for her! If you don’t believe in a company, quit. And she did. I worked for Disney for a few years and understand how fabulous it is to book vacations for people, it’s really a rewarding experience! For this to come out of that, it’s appalling, and really ridiculous. I hope the new job is fulfilling and magical. 😀

    Stay strong Amanda! I hope you’re doing good. Happy thoughts to you both!

  4. Pingback: When Quitting Your Job Goes Wrong – Are You Serious? There’s a Part 4? « Crooked Letterz

  5. Funny. “Big John” obviously likes contradictions very much. He’s telling people he wishes them the best in one sentence and threatens them in the next. He’s making threats in the one sentence and stating he’s not in the next. He’s stating he’s made mistakes himself and blames everything on another person the next second. [……..]
    I wish I was an attorney in the US. I’d gladly be your wife’s attorney for this and I wouldn’t even want to be paid for it, because it would be just too much fun. And also, this is personal to me, too. I love Disney and I just can’t accept that people behaving like this are supposed to bring the magic of Disney to other people.
    Too bad, I’m not an attorney in the US. Maybe I should reconsider my course of study and the country to live in. Too bad, I won’t be done in time.

  6. I too am amazed that at this point, Disney has not dropped BSJ like a hot potato. If I were Disney, I know I would. I wouldn’t want my name associated with this in the least. Blue Sky Journeys does not do business in the Disney fashion. I don’t expect I would see Disney call anyone “retarded”. I doubt Disney would fire someone publicly on or over Facebook due to political affiliation. I know, I know… John has said these things are “lies”. John also lies right here… in contradicting himself the way he constantly does. As for his “professionalism”… he truly does need to learn how to either 1) SPELL or 2) use the spell check feature of his various programs. The tech wizard for his own company??? I don’t think so. Not only can he not spell or use spell check, but if he didn’t want Amanda to be able to make changes to his LIVE website, than he should have made darn certain she did NOT have privileges to do so. See… here’s the deal. I used to work for a MAJOR software manufacturer back in my “pre-stay at home mom” days. (cough… Microsoft… cough). I was a Software Test Engineer. I did NOT have access to PRODUCTION code in the least. I had access to TEST code. Any SMART programmer knows you do NOT give access to production to anyone you would not want making changes – accidental or otherwise – to PRO DUC TION. John is in no way a “techie” if he can’t grasp even this very simple, very basic concept. Seems he knows about as much about techie stuff as he probably knows about selling good vacation packages and spelling. I am thinking basic remedial spelling and grammar is in order for John Swoap. Everything withstanding though… I would never book a vacation through this company. They are low man on the totem pole wrt professionalism. I hope Disney does the right thing and breaks all ties with them. I also hope Seattle Children’s Hospital breaks all ties with them because it would be a shame to have their name on anything associated with a fine institution that does so much for sick children.

  7. While I am guessing that some or all of this might not have been a barrel of fun for you or your wife, I want to say that your commentary on all of it entertained me and made me laugh. I read it all with disbelief while shaking my head and laughing.

    • Thanks Pamela! After the first day, after Amanda sent her resignation and got such a horrible response, we were a pretty taken aback. We were kinda stuck until John dared me to publish ONE THING. That did it. Then it got fun.

      So glad you stopped and I’m glad you enjoyed it all!

  8. Wow! I am a Disney fan (married there in ’09, DVC members, AP holders and visit 2-4 times a year) from Nashville, TN yet never heard of BSJ until a Disney blog I follow posted the Yahoo article this weekend. I am also a paralegal so the legal aspect has interested me. A search for more info led me to your blog posts which have captured my attention for the last hour. So sorry your family had to endure such stupidity but glad to hear you found peace AND that justice is finally being served.

    By the way, there’s one thing that’s got my curiosity…the TM C&D letter. That basically started all of this. So can you tell who sent the TM C&D letter and was it over the BSJ design with the cloud? Did that matter ever go past the C&D letter?

    Wishing you faith, trust and pixie dust!

    • Hey! Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my blog. I really appreciate it–we actually got engaged at Disneyland in Snow White’s grotto (where the wishing well is).

      As far as the Cease and Desist, I can’t divulge who sent the letter for two reasons: I forgot (honestly) and it’s resolved as far as we’re concerned. It was never really about us–my wife was one of a number of BSJ planners who received the same C&D. It was really an issue between those 2 agencies.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the blog and this series. I appreciate your subscription and hope you enjoy the things to come.


      • Oh wow! That’s so cool. Sometimes I wish we had a full Disney wedding story…Disney engagement, Disney wedding and Disney honeymoon but 2 out of 3 ain’t too bad. Ha! Plus being part of the Disney community, in any fashion, is quite a blessing.

        I’m an IP paralegal so the TM matter peaked my interest but I totally understand and figured that was the case. But it never hurts to ask, right?

        I’m also looking forward to what’s to come from your blog.

        Many blessings to your and your wife (and to the ex-BSJ agents)!

    • Hey Giggles,

      The original C&D was from Magical Vacation Planners. The owner is a REALLY sweet woman and we’ve kept in touch since. They had trademarked the name “Magical Vacation Planners” and BSJ had used that as a tag line in their logo under their name. Their attorney was sent the C&D and when my and my attorney contacted him they were nice and said “you’re small fish, we don’t want you, you just needed to get their attention because their not answering their Certified Letters.” So, I obliged with his requests and discussed with my hubby and after 5 days of them not answering my calls about this we decided with the Cancer surgery and everything else it was time to go. Hence where all this started.

      I totally understand being curios from the legal side. I have the itch but never took the leap towards paralegal. I’m more investigative journalist as you can see from all the recent posts 🙂 Finally, thanks for the kind words, I’m healthy now and doing great. I’m still a Disney travel agent and LOVE what I do. Many of the other agents have left and I’ve been in contact with them since. They and I are still following daily what is happening.

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