Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I once played an April Fool joke:

I worked at a small company that developed computer systems. There were a lot of uncouth geeks about, so the company came up with a great idea: a “Welcome” sign in the lobby to make customers feel good, but more particularly to warn employees to behave when a customer was onsite.
Anyone could ask the receptionist to put up a welcome message. At that time our company was wholly dependent on three large projects for Shell Oil. On March 31st, as I was leaving, I asked the receptionist to put up a welcome message in the morning for, let’s call him “John Shedd.” I picked the highest executive name I’d ever heard at Shell, someone a few levels above the managers we usually worked with. Then fortunately I slept late and arrived at work around 10 a.m. Otherwise I would be dead now and there would be no blog.
The lead salesman came in around 8:30 on April 1. Seeing the welcome sign he stormed into the marketing VP’s office and began screaming that he needed SIX WEEKS to prepare for a visit from Shedd. How could they possibly have brought Shedd in without involving him? He was really upset, almost physical. The VP was totally mystified and a shouting match ensued. Eventually they calmed down and checked with the receptionist. Then they went looking for me…
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