Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Amazon Badge Photo Disaster


My last two weeks at Amazon, I pulled a prank on the badge department and publicly shared the saga with my team as it unfolded. Now, i've just wasted the past two hours compiling this saga into a blog post, which you can now enjoy. I present to you;


THE AMAZON BADGE PHOTO DISASTER

One sunny August morning, I hobbled late into the offices of Amazon with a freshly broken ankle. Usually showing up late to an interview is an automatic rejection, but the clang of brightly taped purple crutches is enough to soften even the most bitter of corporate monkey hearts. 

So I was hired. As a new recruit at Amazon Game Studios, one of the first things they do is send you down to the badge office to get your photograph taken.  It was 8am. I was stoked to be the first animator to join the team and, being the naturally exuberant morning person that I am, my photo reflected that -
And it stayed this way for three and a half years.
That is until, just before putting in my 2-week letter of resignation, I get an e-mail;



This was it! The stars had aligned for me. I had been somewhat of a prankster in the office - leaving fake dog doo under desks, sending a weekly newspaper comprised of one man's facebook posts, responding to serious e-mails with comics; that sort of thing - and with only two days left, the best prank opportunity had just been dropped into my lap.  I decided to mess with the badging department - publicly - forwarding each e-mail, each "episode" as it unfolded, for the enjoyment of the rest of my team. My first e-mail was innocent enough. I sent a letter saying,

"OH GOSH! Thanks for catching that, Jimmy! I can't believe I went 3 years with such an embarrassing badge photo!!  Attached is an updated one! Pretty sure I've covered every rule outlined below (i'm not the greatest at technical stuff)" and the attached photo;

korcutt_badge01

Gerson, not Jimmy, responded with, "Unfortunately, the photo does not reflect your whole face. Please double check the attached photo and resubmit the correct one."

People are certainly nothing short of polite here. I sent another photo;

"Oh what? Shoot. For some reason I can't see these pictures when I send them?? Let me know if this one is better. We took a few of them trying to get it right."



Poor Gerson. He must really be wondering how the fuck I got this job.
Next I sent "katie.jpg" that would only open an error message;





"Have I been appearing too glamorous?" Two weeks went by and I heard nothing. Now it was November 14th, my LAST DAY at the company. Didn't Gerson still care that my badge photo was an abomination?! I sent a follow up e-mail;


Who's this Joan lady? What happened to Gerson? I hope I didn't force him into resignation. 
Finally I sent this little full body photo - a tiny, low-quality reflection of myself;




I suppose they just wanted this all to be over at this point. 
 I present to you, Katie Orcutt's new badge photo!

By the time they actually changed it, I was yet a whisper in the wind. A few months later, my co-worker Dan was inspired by my antics to update his own badge photo;

He got away with this piece'a work by holding this face frozen in place for the ENTIRE time - from the elevator to the badging office and back again.  What a hero!

Sunday, February 14, 2016