Good bye to Vic (Part 1)

Nothing is impossible, if you miss enough sleep. – mlw

I don’t know what Victor’s exact title was.  He didn’t believe much in titles.  If someone wanted to be a VP, his response was generally “Sure, why the hell not.”  But he was often called the Rainmaker, the Victimizer, Mad Genius, the Man with the Third Eye and so on.

When I first started working for Victor (Sept 1990), Sharon and Evelyn in the HR department decided to have a serious chat with me.  The only person in the whole world who could handle Victor was Mary Alice, they explained, and she was leaving to go on sabbatical.  All the other secretaries had run from the building in tears.  He was a wonderful man, they hastened to point out, but…

I’ll never forget the look on Sharon’s face.  She wanted me to know she was serious and when Sharon wanted you to know she was serious, you got the hint.  I suppose I babbled something to the effect of “he doesn’t seem so bad.”  After all, when I’d spilled a full cup of cappuccino all over his notebook – his Holy Grail – he hadn’t beheaded me (as I deserved) but calmly said: “We’ll have to get you another cappuccino.”


User: jan
Host: ts2
Date: Tue, 1 Sept  12:20:30 PDT 1992
File: <stdin>

Don’t miss the fun and your change (my typo) to say good-bye to Vic.  All staff are invited…

Thursday, Sept 3, 1992
Ballroom – Berkeley Conference Center

Email your memories of Vic and I’ll gather them up for him…

From maycol: How much change will it take?

I cannot help but recall times when Gary B. was the field engineer for RBD and they (the RBD guys) talked about hiding dough-nuts in the transport so that maybe routine maintenance would happen.  The only consolation for going to Dallas was that Rick C was around and he might take time to show you around the museum of modern art.  One day the video rack got fried.  Ilan K. who, in those days, was at work “every night till 2 a.m and not for sex, either,” took the rap.  We all knew better.

Well, we had a big problem at RBD.  Unlike all the other banks, that were happy to use cannon printers for statements to the clients, RBD went with the jillion dollar HP printers we told ‘em they had to have.  Those printer were fast.  They handled (bit-map) images but the key selling point was, they could rotate in 90 degree increments.  RBD needed that rotate stuff; they needed it for statements.  Only, the rotation the HP was willing to provide was limited to text.  Rotate text, no problem.  Rotate image – hey? what?

That was the first time I met Vic.  On site at RBD, explaining to the client that:

“Gee, we really thought that when HP advertised these printers as capable of 90 degree rotations – we thought they meant everything – images, text, everything. But no problem.  We got it covered.  We got this guy, Howe, working on image rotation.”

Only nobody had seen Howe in a couple of weeks.  He had a tendency to disappear.

But it was all OK because kmarx had done exquisite work on batch balancing, and, and, and…

Perception is nine points of the law– vic  

From schip  When Vic was first filling me in on the FedEx project this spring, he was core dumping as I furiously scribbled notes and edged some clarifying questions into the bit stream.  About two hours in, he stopped abruptly and said:

“I’m not overwhelming you with my personality, am I?

After another half hour or so I was able to make an intelligent statement or two about the project.  Vic says:

“That’s it!  Now we’ve got a Vulcan Mind Lock.”

To which all I could reply, “Oh my God…”

Fifteen minutes later he was asleep in his chair.


More later….jan


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