TRW Chairman's Award Winners

Code Slingers the Musical

ACT 1, Scene 1

Setting: A small but trendy Italian espresso shop, Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley.  Mid fall.

They sidle up to the bar, five men all dressed in black.  Luigi, the barkeep, approaches them with care.  No words are necessary; he knows why they are there.

Malcolm lays a twenty on the counter.  He’s a compact man, short sandy hair, sunglasses covering his eyes.

Luigi nods and says to Iliana:

Five double Lattes, pronto!

Iliana is his cousin – a peach, but a silly girl without a brain in her head.  Luigi, watches her sashay in front of the Code Slingers, looking over her shoulder with a come hither look. He hisses something in Italian, the rough translation being:

Pish!  You are nothing to these men. When they know you have no brain, they will dump like garbage!  They are…the Code Slingers!

She rolls her eyes as though someday he’ll be sorry he was mean to her and starts preparing the cappuccino.

Rambler:

I wonder what the geniuses on the seventh floor want with us now.  

Rambler is a tall thin man, bent slightly over as though conscious of being so tall.

Malcolm, snarling darkly:

Who cares?  They called a frigging meeting for 8:00 am.  Who’s awake at that ungodly hour?

Malcolm watches Iliana as she places two tall cups on the counter.

Rambler (aside):

You like her? 

Malcolm:

Maybe, but there’s no woman on earth worth the risk of losing a good cappuccino and Luigi makes the best. 

They all nod in agreement.

Hear, hear!

They walk outside to claim their favorite table, a gnarl of redwood just big enough for the five of them to squish around as they watch the men in suits emerge from the Berkeley Bart.

Malcolm (regarding the business men):

Poor suckers.  I can’t imagine having to be at work every day at 8:00 am.  

More moaning.

Every morning at eight o’clock – oh no, not us!

Rambler (laughing):

Yeah, but they don’t get those calls at two am
‘Take the next plane to Beijing,
And fix the system, make it right.
Or don’t come home tomorrow night.’

Marco:

Beijing,
where there’s not a cappuccino
to be found,
at any price.

JP:

But there’s lots of rice!  

They all laugh.

One of the business men passes them with a disdainful look and mutters:
Programmers!

After sharing looks with the other Code Slingers, Rambler starts:

They say we have it easy,
How little do they know,
When’s there’s a system down somewhere,
We’re on a red eye in nothing but our underwear.

All:

We work all night,
to get it right
cause our code’s the best
from east to west.

Rambler:

All they see is the life we lead,
In at ten and out by three
With plenty of three hour lunches
And Lattes by the bunches
Oh, it may seem like a breeze
To those poor, imprisoned hourlies.

Submitted by Schip. I tried to pretty it up with HTML (as he suggested) but this editor is so limited (heck, it’s free) that this is the best I could do.  It’s all my fault.
___________________________________________________

From brian Fri Dec 14 10:46:52 1990
Subject: bling

bling bling bling
bling bling bling
bling bling bling ba bling

bling bling bling
ba bling bling bling

Move away from the bell.

…CACHUCK…

Move AWAY from the bell….

KK KK AA BBBBBBB OOOOO OOOOO MM MM
KK KK AAAA BB BB OO OO OO OO MMM MMM
KK KK AA AA BB BB OO OO OO OO MM MM MMM
KK KK AA AA BB BB OO OO OO OO MM MM MMMM
KK KK AA AA BB BB OO OO OO OO MM MM MMMM
KKKK AA AA BBBBBBBB OO OO OO OO MM MMM MM
KK KK AAAAAAAAAA BB BB OO OO OO OO MM M MM
KK KK AA AA BB BB OO OO OO OO MM MM
KK KK AA AA BB BB OO OO OO OO MM MM
KK KK AA AA BB BB OO OO OO OO MM MM
KK KK AA AA BBBBBBB OOOOO OOOOO MM MM

merry friggin christmas, ya’ll.

—————————————————————————-
I think it works better on a char terminal but
maybe you can pretty it up with html or something.

And then there is this, which I kept in a standard cut’n’paste file:
—————————————————————————-

it’s my fault
i’m really sorry
i’ll never do it again

The light is always brightest at the other end of the tunnel. – m. shiloh

Soon after Vic left, the president of the company announced that TFS would relocate to downtown Oakland, to the Kaiser Building where, as he put it, “we could all be together again.”

Those in the Milvia building were soon up in arms.  The Kaiser Building had rules and regulations:  no bikes in the elevators, no smoking (even with an air filter), and, horrors,  everyone was expected to maintain a “professional image,” which meant, yes, shoes.

Other complaints were:

  • No fresh air (you couldn’t open the windows).
  • No Euro-styled cafes where you could get a decent latte.
  • No place to play soccer other than the goose poop laden grassy areas surrounding Lake Merritt.

But the worst part was, not all of us would be going.

Nov 20 17:18 1992 t.tmp Page 1

WeIl, I have said good-bye to Greg, Owen, David, Sunny and Paul… (and, of course, Frank)

Watching Greg walk out the door was the hardest. He paused, took a deep breath, pushed upon the door and walked out without looking back.

Watching Frank carry out his boxes sadly and clumsily – the way he does everything was hard too.

And you wonder, “wiII that be me someday?” It is appropriately a very very cold day.

– Author Unknown

 

Vic left TFS in the fall of 1992 after rounds of layoffs and adjustments to TRW’s corporate regime had left many people already disheartened.  Therefore, when Sharon announced the big going away party for him,  everyone wanted to get in on the act.  Kmarx, Brian and Jim Mac designed the famous third eye Vic teeshirt (available in black, of course.)  Gloria (aka Avon Lady) wrote a Vic-themed rap song and convinced Sharon, Liz and Shawn to back her up.  Brian and Kris were such an amazing duo (Brian on piano and Kris singing) that people who came expecting “amateur hour” were stunned.  And, of course, who could forget the awesome Victimizers:  Erwin, Jim A, and Les who, with only a month of practice on the rooftop terrace, turned in a raunchy version of “Cocaine” with Nancy S. singing the lyrics from a sheet of paper.

Below is the Pixel’s article about the party.

 

Note:  If you’re getting updates via email, remember to click “Show images.”  Many of the posts are either jpeg or pdf inserts.

At one time TFS was doing well enough to have a library, complete with a librarian who was also responsible for the corporate newsletter.  The newsletter was called “Pixels.”  It was four pages long and contained articles titled: Employees Further Their Education, Maintaining the Company Image, New Employees, as well as excerpts from health magazines, interviews with employees, surveys, etc.  The following picture of Erwin is from a survey on healthcare done in 1992.  Apparently many folks were very unhappy with Healthnet’s policy of refusing to pay for emergency room visits if those visits were not pre-approved by your primary doctor.  (there was one exception: if you were unconscious – then you had 48 hours after admittance to get approval)

The next is an excerpt from “Mark Your Calendars!” also published in 1992

“The date for this year’s company picnic has been set for Sunday, July 24….The only other detail the picnic committee will release is that there will be a dunking tank on the premises.”

JPL, evidently planning who he will dunk first.  PS.  I love the palm tree lamp (or was it a gum ball machine?)

 I end with yet another mixed metaphor (sort of appropriate to healthcare and dunking):

You can feed a fever, but you can’t make it drink.

– kmarx 

 

The following are excerpts from an article given to someone by Ilan.  I have no idea of how it came to be in my possession but I got a kick out of it.

The Perils of Pizza

From Traffic School (more mixed metaphors)

when a student asked for a (simple) clarification of the insurance law the teacher admitted that she didn’t know but “that gets into a lot of gray matter at the that point.”  

on a clarification of the dmv’s ‘points’ system, she again admitted that she didn’t know because that’s a “sticky kettle of fish.”  – kmarx 

I think we’re trying to bite off too much cake and eat it too. – kmarx

Today I’m posting a few random emails.  Coming up next:

  • Hasidic Rabbis Deliver Warning on Perils of Pizza (Isan or maybe Ilan)
  • Pictures and unintentionally funny articles from Pixels
  • Layton’s Christmas musings
  • And hopefully, the Goddess string (from Carol)

From: petrov  Thu, Jun 18  13:56:13  1992
Subject:  A propos of nothing in particular..

I heard this one in 1980:

Before a Politburo meeting, an aide to Brezhnev whispers in urgent tones:  “Leonid Ilyich, look, you’re wearing one brown shoe and one black shoe.  I’ve got a car and driver downstairs.  We can quickly get you home to change before the meeting starts.”

Leonid Ilyich shakes his head mournfully.  “It’s no use,” he says, “At home, same thing.  One brown shoe, one black shoe.”

From the Hair of the Dog Chili Pepper Eating Contest:

A personal invitation (to eat a jalapeno pepper raw) was extended to JR (president of TFS).  He declined with thanks.  No “Hair on his Dog,” or should I say, “No Hair off his Dog.”  – MAL

From: carol  Tue  Sep 17 10:23:51  1991
Subject:  Re: and on top of

Thanks everyone for your review  Fri.  Brendon read them Sun.  He really liked the Ring.  As for Harley, he said “No.  Too much sex.”  My Dad read same last night, said, “They’re alright.” Said Harley reminded him of a guy he used to work with.

Guy took in a male boarder.  Said border was taking a bath, husband is gone, wife is in the back yard.

She hears the bath, comes in while the boarder is leaning over cleaning out the tub with his back to the door, of course.  She reaches for what’s dangling.

“Ding, ding, ding!  Dinner’s ready.”

Boarder turns around, she faints, husband come home to the sight of his wife laid out on the bathroom floor and his boarder buddy standing there wet and naked with a look of horror on his face.

So, that’s my Dad.  One upped me again, dammit.

You’re trying to synchronize too many sides of the football here.   – vic

The subject of status reports and what they really meant struck me as particularly amusing because one of my tasks under three post-Vic Core Engineering VPs was to collect them.

From jan: Please send me your status report.

From <team leader1>:  Please…get a real job.

From <team leader2>:  My dog ate it.

Status Reports and what they really mean

The author of this cartoon is unknown (at least to me) and I’m afraid the quality of the photo is pretty bad.  The only person I recognize is Glenn.  Because he is a suit, I’m presuming that this picture was taken at one of the sites or during site testing.  The poor guy at the computer looks like he’s already been raked over the coals.

The caption reads:  “Our crack team of software engineers always works in perfect harmony, even under the relentless pressure of the great, late ECCB project…”