Thursday, February 25, 2010

Life in the Boy's Dorm: My Career at Sun Microsystems Part 12

A Few Tidbits, Unconfirmed but, RUMORED to be True.
Or maybe I am just worried about lawsuits?

A dead camel at the bottom of a swimming pool after a Sales event in Palm Springs (Please, no cries about PETA...that spitting dromedary should not have been drinking in the hot-tub with  Joe Roebuck if it knew it couldn't swim).

A $3000 cleaning bill from a hotel in Monterey after the "Silly String" episode.

McNealy dancing on top of a piano (pick the event, based upon the rumors, he apparently did this everywhere he went, although I never witnessed it).

A manager who checked himself into a 30 day rehab program rather than face his VP over a $42k dinner and bar bill for 10.

Bill Joy was the inspiration for the character of Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park.

More sexual harassment claims brought against women than men at Sun in the first 13 years.

The guy who fell into the hole outside Mt View 4 after a Friday beer-bust; remaining there until Sam Williams found him on Monday morning.

Marriott Hotels banning Sun employees from ever booking a room in their hotels after a Sales event.

A group of Christian Brothers throwing a bunch Sun employees off of their premises in the middle of the night and then banning any Sun employee from ever attending a tasting (after a Sales event).

Ron Lloyd trying to cure his recent Salmon catch in the manufacturing test ovens in Milpitas.

Crawford Beveridge standing on the roof of Milpitas 1, proving to a group of software engineers that they could still see the Hoover Tower at Stanford from that vantage point, before signing the lease.

A Sun exec driving down 101 at a pretty rapid clip when a call came to him from a former female subordinate.  He hears a baby crying in the background.  "Did you have a baby?  he inquires.  "Yes!" she says, "and so did you."  Repairs to the car were numerous and expensive.

Kathleen Holmgren testing the new automated manufacturing line by climbing into a bin and launching herself through the process.

Wayne Rosing refusing to arrive for a departing flight any earlier than it's actual departure time.

The comedian Pat Paulson looking around at a meeting of 400 employees, spotting Scott and asking, "Who's running this place?  Beaver Cleaver?" (Oh, yeah. I know for a fact that one is true.)

More soon


  1. When the roof was being replaced on MTV04 during renovation in the summer of 1985, there was a large hole in the roof above my cubicle through which a roofer fell when he stepped backwards without looking. Landing on a flexible cooling duct like he was riding a saddle above the false ceiling saved him from straddling the top of my cubicle wall immediately below. I called 911 for assistance as Sun's Security for MTV04 at that time was a contractor who drove his blue Ford station wagon around with a hand-drawn sign of a Sun logo with "Sun Security" scrawled underneath.

  2. Keep em coming! I so enjoy reliving the past years at Sun through your eyes.

  3. Pat Paulson made the comment about Scott during the "Thanks a Billion" party in a tent at the Milpitas campus. Work hard; have fun and kick butt!!

  4. I remember every word Pat Paulson said...Larry Brown and I wrote all his jokes that day!

  5. Joe Roebuck was notoriously tight. Just before I joined Sun (so this is good for the rumor section, but I have good reason to believe it) there was a sales event in Florida. Joe chose a Chinese restaurant based on price. Service was incredibly slow and the food amazingly bad. One table of the sales guys ordered pizza over the phone and had it delivered to the restaurant.

  6. God, I loved the Sun sales this space for a piece on Roebuck.....

  7. the marriott hotel story is mostly true. it's not all marriotts, just the newark airport one where we had a sales meeting. the closing dinner included some sort of pudding for dessert, that of course was perfect ammunition for a food fight, and then there was the watering the plants from the mezzanine incident.

  8. The Marriott in Santa clara also banned us as the Christmas 86 party got... Out of hand. Bowling alley with big round cheese and beer bottles on the 10th floor might have done it.... Or it could have been when security moved everyone to the same level where the pool happened to be... Which only made things worse :0

  9. i found out about how bad the credit rating of Sun was when i tried to order (PO) some devices (Ricochet modems, if i remember correctly) for one of the first few Java ONEs and i finally ended up purchasing them with my personal credit card and expensed them.