July 17, 2008

PZ Myers Cracker Incident Ends In Sacking

cracker-gate, The incident which started with someone not eating a cracker and escalated into a respected science professor receiving death threats and calls for his sacking, has resulted in someone losing their job. Don't worry though, it's wasn't PZ Myers, It was one of the loving catholics who had the misfortune of giving her cretinous husband access to her work email to send a death threat to PZ Myers.

PZ decided, not long after receiving this disgusting hate mail, that he was going to publish any threats he received along with all identifying information, Such as the address it was sent from and the email headers, headers which contain IP addresses of the network of origin. This means the clever readers of pharyngula tracked down one of the people making death threats before they could even light their Sherlock Holmes pipe.

Chuck Kroll said in the email he sent from his wife's work computer that PZ had "two choices", That he could "quit your job for the good of the children. Or you can get your brains beat in", Then in true loving christian style he ended the email by calling him a "cunt".

After realising that she had kind of made a mistake in allowing her obviously cretinous and irresponsible husband access to an email account identifiable to her she fired off another email to PZ. In it Melany Kroll said that someone else must have sent the email, But that PZ shouldn't worry because the people she works with are "harmless". Yeah, Harmless, And prone to making death threats.

After an internal investigation, the Internet retailer decided to terminate Kroll's position stating; "All 1800Flowers.com associates are instructed that any misuse of company systems or equipment for personal purposes is potential grounds for dismissal".

It has been a bad week for Melanie Kroll and her husband but hopefully one in which they learned some valuable lessons. Melanie has learned that she is married to an imbecile and a liability and Chuck learned that threats, No matter how cowardly, Have consequences. PZ has found no satisfaction in the sacking of Melanie saying; "This was not my intent to get somebody fired "She apparently did something stupid, which I don't have sympathy for. I would just rather not see people getting fired over an e-mail message".

A petition has since been set up asking 1800flowers.com to reinstate Melanie Kroll by readers of Pharyngula , PZ Myers blog. I think people should sign this. Mrs Kroll wasn't necessarily to blame for the content of the email, And it would be nice to show how reasonable we can be, even in the face of death threats and idiocy.

Well done Chuck... How must you feel?


  1. Please review your facts.

    The original death threat email was sent from Ms. Kroll's work email account but was not signed by her and apparently was sent by her husband "Chuck." Unless you have confirmation that Ms. Kroll did, in fact, compose and send the email her self you should not state that as fact.

    I think it may have been entirely reasonable and responsible for 1-800-Flowers to respond quickly to this abuse of their corporate e-mail servers in firing the employee account holder responsible for the account, but I do think you should be prudent in your claims that it was, in fact, Ms. Kroll who sent the email unless you have some corroboration to that effect.

  2. I have not read anything that suggests it was her husband who sent the email. If you have a link or a news story from a reputable source i will glady change it.

  3. I still haven't heard if Cook is possibly getting suspended over the cracker incident that started this whole fiasco. That would be the true close of this "cracker-gate" when the University chooses to not punish Cook for making a statement against an on-campus mass.

  4. I don't feel sorry for her.

    If you read her post on another blog about the matter (I think Greg Laden's), she shows no contrition, even defends her husband. She's a nasty piece of work.

    She also clearly violated her company's policies about computer security.

    I'm sorry, but no company is going to leave itself open to the kind of negative publicity that email could cause them, or a potential lawsuit that could result from a death threat sent from a corporation's email system.1800flowers did the only thing they could, to protect the company--and the jobs of other workers who don't abuse or neglect their computer privileges. Having a company computer/network access/email account IS a privilege--not a right.

    Melanie Kroll neglected her security privileges. Period. It's grounds for dismissal in most companies these days. It's not the fault of 1800 or PZ that she was too stupid to remember what were surely emphatic instructions to do her part to keep the 1800 computer system secure. Including from her unstable husband.

    Another fun fact from her blog posting: She went on vacation, but left undone the annual reviews for the people she was supervising. She was working, on her vacation, to get the annual reviews in on time. She thinks that's dedication. I consider it inconsideration and self-centered, self-indulgence bordering on incompetence. Great going, Melanie, not doing the reports before you left, but saving them until the last possible minute.

    Bet she's a pain in the ass to work for.