July 13, 2003

Farewell, Belmont!

Farewell, Belmont! Well, I'm almost done packing up everything. All that I've collected over the years fits into roughly 40 boxes. Those fit into my 10x20 storage space. The next task is to break down the computer and not lose any cables or odds and ends. When I look at everything piled up in the corner of the apartment it feels like precious treasure one instant and worthless crap the next - like a Necker Cube made out of boxes of my junk.

While putting papers away I found an old memo from my first programming job, Cubicomp. The marketing department was throwing a big party during the SIGGraph convention for the launch of the new version of our product and was inviting all our important customers. They had a budget of something like $150,000 and had rented a very posh restaurant in San Francisco for the event. Us engineers, who the marketing department found suspiciously off-beat, had planned our own party that same week. We were having it in a hotel conference room that did double duty during the day as the Cubicomp demo suite. Our budget: $500 for beer. When us engineers heard about the marketing party (held a few days earlier) and its lavish budget our first question was, "Can we go?"

When we asked the head of marketing he got this funny expression on his face that just said, "We never thought about you strange technical types coming to the party. What if you scare the customers?" They said they'd get back to us on that one and we went back to programming. A rumor started circulating that it was going to be okay for us to go, but that marketing was going to distribute a memo detailing what constituted acceptable behavior. Us engineers felt miffed that they didn't think we could manage to act normal without some guidelines. So we wrote the following pre-emptive memo detailing proper behavior for the Engineering party:

TO: Distribution
FROM: R&D (Research & Development)
SUBJECT: Siggraph R&D Party!

In keeping with company policy, we here in R&D feel obligated to set forth the following guidelines. We hope none of these will put a crimp in your festive spirits...

  1. Can't say:
    • "Bottom Line"/"Pipeline" (Lines are okay)
    • "Upshot"
    • "Out the door"
    • "Net Result"/"End Result"
    • "Projections"
    • or any word starting in "Poly-" or ending in "-cad"
  2. Can say:
    • "All right, Dude!"
    • "Spark it up..."
    • "Let's party"
    • "Motel"
    • "It's NEW!!!"
    • "Shotgun Wedding"
    • and the word "Hot" in any context.
  3. The ill-advised will be asked to leave.
  4. Impure thoughts will be frowned upon.
  5. NO squealing like pigs.
  6. NO hallucinations that infringe on the festivities of others.
  7. Nudity MUST be kept in good taste.
  8. No lapsing into song.
  9. No mandrills or tanks.

All willing to follow the above guidelines are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The marketing acceptable-behavior memo never materialized.

Well, time to take the computers apart. God only knows when I'll be back online. Until then have a nice day.

Posted by thom at July 13, 2003 10:06 PM
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