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Steve Jobs' 'frenemy' strikes back

Student Chelsea Kate Isaacs sent a long-winded e-mail complaint to Apple CEO Steve Jobs after finding his e-mail address online.
Student Chelsea Kate Isaacs sent a long-winded e-mail complaint to Apple CEO Steve Jobs after finding his e-mail address online.
  • Student writes e-mail to Steve Jobs after Apple PR doesn't respond to her questions
  • Jobs' reply, according to her: "Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade"
  • Student, Chelsea Kate Isaacs, fires back in blog post Tuesday

(CNN) -- At this point, Chelsea Kate Isaacs doesn't want an apology from Steve Jobs. The self-proclaimed "frenemy" of Apple's CEO just wants him to mind his manners.

It all started about a week ago when Isaacs' repeated requests to Apple's PR department for a comment she wanted for a class project went unanswered.

The senior in the school of journalism at Long Island University was less than pleased. So she went right to the top, e-mailing a long-winded complaint to Jobs after finding his much-publicized e-mail address online:

"Mr. Jobs, I humbly ask why Apple is so wonderfully attentive to the needs of students, whether it be with the latest, greatest invention or the company's helpful customer service line, and yet, ironically, the Media Relations Department fails to answer any of my questions, which are, as I have repeatedly told them, essential to my academic performance."

She didn't expect a response. But Isaacs says she got one:

"Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade. Sorry."


According to Isaacs, the e-mails went back and forth a few times, with her telling Jobs he should strive to be more courteous. The exchange ended with a single sentence from Jobs:

"Please leave us alone."

Yikes. Did it just get cold in here?

Isaacs was so dumbfounded by what had transpired that she posted the exchange on

The whole thing blew up into national interviews, a few internship offers and a whole lot of attention.

However, some members of the tech media have expressed skepticism at Isaacs' story, which they see as a transparent stab at self-promotion. "The whole thing comes off as incredibly fishy," wrote TechCrunch last week.

Apple has not confirmed or denied that the exchange between Isaacs and Jobs took place. The company did not respond to a request for comment from

Isaacs took Jobs to task over the episode in a blog post on Tuesday:

"Even if a customer says something absolutely horrific, like cursing you out or harassing you, you shouldn't get involved on a personal level, initiating a battle with the person that involves jabbing back at them as if you're on the same playing field. That's the crux of the issue: You're the CEO, she is the customer. You're NOT on the same playing field."

CNN spoke to Isaacs on the phone after her blog post was published.

"People are just sort of dumped on by society or 'the man,' so this is sort of like inspiration to them," she said.

Isaacs said it has been quite a week and said she's pretty much over the episode.

"It is what it is. I don't feel personally affected," she told CNN. "I'm just glad people know about it and that they have the opportunity to make their own decisions about it."


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