It was very similar to now, but also very very different…
Bob Coe once told me he did not have to interview the candidates for his Administrative Assistant position. I should simply ask each candidate to link her hands behind her head with her elbows pointing forward and walk toward the wall. If her elbows were the first part of her anatomy to touch the wall, she was eliminated from candidacy. All applicants whose breasts touched first, he would interview.
We had a Quality Director named Jim Griffin. An employee threatened to kill him once. And someone else kept pooping in his desk, really, pooping in his desk drawers (I am not kidding, who would make this stuff up?). This was not a real popular guy.
The guy who wanted to kill him came over to Mt View building 2 when he could not find Griffin in Mt View building 4. I worked in building 2. Someone from building 4 called me in my office at about 5:45 pm and said that this guy was on his way and by the way, he had a firearm. Really. So, I went to the lobby and moved the folks who were waiting there to the lunch room. Just as I was running back across the lobby to lock the front doors, the guy with the gun comes in demanding to see McNealy. I explained to him that that was not the appropriate escalation process for his complaints. No, I didn’t. I talked to the guy for about 5 minutes and he gave me the gun. The police came and arrested him. Griffin never thanked me…neither did McNealy, come to think of it. But it was my new boss’ first day on the job and she told me in that typical, passionless HR modulation that she was very impressed by how I handled it. I never liked her.
Posted by Nancy (in 2010) at Consulting Adult: Life in the Boy’s Dorm: My Career at Sun Microsystems.
HT: Andrew Gabriel