The Squawk Card

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In 1981, Mark was hired at a company that produced minicomputers widely used in retail establishments and small/medium businesses. On the first day, Roger gave him a tour of the plant and introduced him to his new coworkers. After shaking hands and parting ways with Walt, the Manufacturing QA manager, Roger beckoned Mark to lean in close with an impish smirk.

"See, with each system we sell, we send out a response card that the installing CE or customer is supposed to fill out, telling us about any problems with the installation," Roger said. "One time, a 'squawk card' came back from a customer with the comment, Two dead rats in power supply. You know what Walt sent back? Must be shipping damage. They were alive when they left here."

Mark laughed, but then also wondered if maybe he was being pranked as the FNG. "Did that really happen? If so, how is he still working here?"

"It did happen. Follow me!"

Roger led him to the hallway just outside the cafeteria, over to a lit trophy case. He pointed inside at a plaque with an image of the squawk card mounted on it, response and all.

"There were some people who were pissed off, but, Walt's worked here for ages and has a ton of friends at Corporate," Roger explained. "He was fine! And he's a legend around here to this day."

To Mark, it seemed a good omen for the kind of company and culture he'd signed onto. As the years passed, he got to tell the story to several new hires himself.

Through multiple corporate spinoffs, mergers, and acquisitions, the plaque in the trophy case endured. It was still there when Mark finally parted ways with the company in 2009, and we can only hope that this corporate legend still endures.

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This post originally appeared on The Daily WTF.

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