Eek the F-Word

John and I and Jared – we sat down and computed that f***ing number ‘till hell won’t come home. – vic 

The first time I witnessed Vic’s mastery of the F-Word I froze.  I’d certainly heard and used the word before but never as adverb, adjective, noun, verb and modifier simultaneously.  He noted my blank stare and asked what was wrong.

It was my Pillsbury Dough Boy moment.   I don’t know where it came from but out of my mouth slipped:  “My father told me that a gentlemen never swears in front of a lady.”

He looked at me as if to say “Who does this f**king idiot think she is?  The mother-f**king queen of f**king England?”  But thereafter he escorted anyone he wanted to have a “discussion” with past my desk and into the conference room without saying a word.  Then he’d close the door and all hell would break lose.

He also had an endearing tendency to mix metaphors.  But he wasn’t the only one.  Mixing up metaphors and garbling corporate slogans was one of many games TFSers played.

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More from Good-bye to Vic…

From jeff (Yo Eddy)

This is Vic story from the ECCB history books. Site – SROC (Fort Lauderdale American Express headquarters)

A group of us were working away on an early rendition of the ECCB system – sometime after the pilot system, perhaps in the middle of Phase 1 work.  Vic rolls into the site late in the day after flying from some other site where he was doing some negotiations.  We worked until 7 pm when we figured it was time for a dinner break.  Vic said something like:

“Not just yet, let’s finish up this last batch of stuff.”

This continued until 11:30 pm when we managed to drag Vic out for dinner somewhere in Fort Lauderdale.

(Jeff’s note:  Bob Up was not with us so we did not go to the Fuddruckers for Bob’s famous hamburger salad things)

I recall JPL, Jake, myself and maybe Aaron or Mike Cher (always had a TRCU weenie on site) enjoying (yeah, right) dinner with Vic.  At the end of dinner Vic started to ask us where were we all staying.  We said the Embassy Suites by the ocean (about 12 miles from the site) to which Vic told all we should move to his hotel which was about one mile from site since we would waste less time getting from hotel to site.

Next Vic asked what we were going to be working on the rest of the evening as it was only 1 am.   (He’d scheduled a 9 am meeting with our ECCB clients.)

At this point the main topic of conversation was how much sleep each of us needed to remain functional.  Vic stated that four hours of quality sleep was all anyone ever needed.

I don’t think Vic ever sleeps that much. Unless you consider sitting in your room on your phone sleeping.

Needless to say, Vic talked everyone into returning to the site.  We all gave up arguing about the need for rest/sleep.  I don’t recall who made it to the 9 am meeting; the rest of us were all in a daze.

Don’t count your chickens before they come home to roast. – JPL

From dave (Ice E.R.): Mark G came by asking if I could do a Vic imitation.  I cannot.  I doubt anyone can sustain such a thing for long.  But I did point him to Shiloh, whose collection of mixed metaphors contains many uttered by VIc.

I recall when Michael and I were doing the CLU software for Amex.  A CLU send images to and from the other site by an optical-fiber network.  In fact, there are actually three networks between a pair of CLUs, all in use at once to get the required throughput.  One of the challenges was to get the three transmitting processes to work simultaneously without getting in each other’s way.

When we first got it working with one network and showed Vic, he broke into a broad grin and said”

“Hey!  Great work!  You’re done!”

He looked as though he was about to tell the client we were shipping it. So we cleared our throats and said:

“Well, actually we still have to get it working with three.”

“So what?”  Vic said, “If you did it with one, it’s the same thing to do it with three.”

Michael showed Vic a set of juggling balls (Michael juggles, Vic doesn’t) and said:

“Here Vic, if you can throw one ball up and down, it’s just the same thing to do it with three, right?”

“Yeah!  Right!” said Vic but he didn’t try to juggle them.

We’ll just have to burn that bridge when we come to it. – aragon

From michael (Your message will cost the net hundreds if not thousands of dollars to send)

My file of mixed metaphors contain many quotes that aren’t in fact metaphors.  Vic says some fine things but they’re not quite mixed metaphors,  In the course of the ARU proposal he said:

“I have to have a concrete thing.  I can’t get away from concrete.”

You can’t throw rocks and eat them too. – Reinbolt

From: mlw

The first time I met Vic was for an interview for a job.  He made the appointment for 6:30 am.  I managed to get in, needless to say the interview was interesting.  At about 7:30 Vic and I were done. I had interviews with some other people in the company.  Of course, the next one wasn’t for a few hours.  This was only the beginning.

Needless to day, I got the job.

A few months after this, I was assigned the task of putting together this thing that Vic had described to me.  It was the start of my love/hate relationship with the MSU.

We had many phone discussions about the MSU.  It started with the speed.  At first we needed twelve 12k images a second.  Then it was twenty 12k images.  These talks all occurred between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am.  Vic would call me at 11 pm and we would talk until 1 or 2 in the morning and then I would get a phone call at 6 wanting to continue the talk.  Trying to tell Vic that I hadn’t done any more thinking – that I had gone to sleep – was useless.

By this time we had built the MSU that Vic had envisioned and ECCB was starting to really come together.  One night JPL and I were trying to change the network topology.  We were going to back out the changes we were making and wanted to tell VIc.  I happily volunteered to call Vic, hoping I could wake him up.

Vic got on the line:

“Mike, I was waiting for your call!”

Then I knew I would never have the fun of waking Vic up.

A little while after this I happened to notice some graffiti on the third floor bathroom wall.  It read:

“Work = Live, Achievement = Happiness.”

I will really miss Vic and the attitude that nothing is impossible, if you miss enough sleep.

The whole enchilada is in a different ballpark altogether. – shiloh

From naqvi

Jack, Dave T. and I were in Amsterdam for the presentation of our Postbank proposal to about 30 Postbank officers, from the highest to medium ranks .  Vic joined us the night before the presentation and we spent all night discussing the finer points of the presentation.

On the day of the presentation Vic described our system and proposed implementation  in detail for about two and a half hours, satisfactorily answering tons of questions from the audience at the same time.  It was Jack’s turn after VIc to present the project plan.  Vic took his seat but before Jack could start his speech, VIc was not only sleeping, he was snoring like a mighty river.

Jack told the audience that VIc did not have much sleep after his flight, which the audience understood very well.  The customer later told TRW they would love to work with Vic.

You jumped ship just when the gravy train was coming in. -carol clarke-smith
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