04 June 2008

The Department Mascot - Our Scorpion

Once upon a time, I came back from a Utah trip with a scorpion - actually 2 scorpions and a huge, scary looking bug. The bug ate one of the scorpions - or maybe the scorpion escaped ... not a good thought.

Our department definitely needed a mascot. The scorpion was perfect. I put it in a terrarium and brought it in. From the start, the scorpion was "under-appreciated". While I thought it was the coolest mascot on the planet, my marketing job must not have been so great. A few people thought it was sort of cool but no one was ... really excited. I kept up my marketing job though and showed everyone that walked by my office. The word spread to the upper echelons of management as I stepped up my marketing job. We needed a cool mascot, right?

Finally our 3rd level manager, Lori Shaw, stopped by to see it. My manager, Diane McGinty, seemed to be ok with it. If Lori was cool, I might be able to keep it but this was just too good an opportunity to pass up. Mascot be damned. Mischievousness is 2nd nature to me so ..

Lori walked in and I displayed the terrarium w/ a sweep of my hand. Yep, our mascot is in there somewhere. Probably sleeping at this time of day. Let me see if I can find Mr. Scorpion. I looked this way and that way but I couldn't find the little guy. Finally I stood up, stepped back, looked at Lori, looked at the floor and pointed at her feet as I quickly jumped back and yelled "SCORPION". She jumped into the aisle as I roared out in laughter. She was a good sport and quickly recovered with a better appreciation of my humor or lack thereof.

A little before my fun stunt with Lori, I started hearing grumbling from my colleagues. Nothing direct but word got around. The word was 'Thumbs down' on the mascot. Just like in the Roman coliseums but the gladiator - our mascot - wouldn't stand a chance amoung the discord. I think it was Jim Logan, my 2nd level manager, who gave the final Thumbs Down. I relented and drove the little guy home as he wagged his stinger around and cried - "I was only trying to help". That was about the time when the shit hit the fan and our project & products were sold to CSG Systems. Oh, if we had only kept the magical mascot ..

For the record, this instance of "once upon a time" was autumn 1997.

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