Gary's dark past haunts him

Tiffany made a comment on my last post that reminded me of something from my dark past. Many years ago, back when I was at Microsoft, a couple of Senior Sales Critters were going to a meeting with the senior execs of Big Company. I was a techo type, yet capable of sounding mildly coherent to normal people, so they dragged me along.

Big Company wanted to integrate their wildly conflicted databases and do data mining and yada yada yada. No problem. Things were chugging along fine between the Sales Critters and the potential customer. Eventually someone asked a vaguely technical question. Since I am incapable of talking about technical stuff without drawing diagrams on boards, I picked up a pen and drew a diagram. Big Company's boardroom had a whiteboard that stretched from one end to the other, and that was a long way. They were interested and I talked some more and they got more excited and, before you knew it we'd covered the board with diagrams for how they might solve their problems.

But time had flown and The Enemy, also known as Oracle Corp., was waiting outside to have their turn. I took a cloth and wiped the board. Nothing came off.

I'd picked up a permanent marker.

6 comments:

D.A. Riser said...

In the words of Paul Harvey, let's hear the rest of the story.

What happened next? That would be an awful realization.

Gary Corby said...

Oh, the rest of it is merely sad! The only way out was to laboriously colour over every single line with an erasable pen and then wipe hard. Which I did.

Across. The. Entire. Board. While. Everyone. Watched.

It took ages. The two Sales Critters helped me and after we left pointed out I was an idiot, a viewpoint for which there was considerable evidence.

Anneke said...

Haha, life is too funny. If this is what made you decide to become a writer instead of a mildly coherent sounding techno guy, it's a good thing after all. I love your label: FAIL.

Mimzy said...

In a way I feel bad for you since that had to really, really suck. However, at the same time I find this story hilarious. Especially since when I was an intern my bosses did exactly this... But they didn't know the trick to fix it and had to buy a brand new whiteboard.

Merry Monteleone said...

Wow... just... wow....

I'm sorry I laughed reading this, but you have to admit, it would've been funny if it happened to the guys from oracle...

Gary Corby said...

Do please laugh away, I think it's hilarious, or I wouldn't have blogged it!