Author Archive: Timothy Lira

August 3, 2012

Work Hard, Prank Hard.

Hard work is nothing new to the SoftLayer staff — we strive for perfection in everything we do. We give ourselves strict deadlines, we always push ourselves to give the best support possible, and we make every effort to go above and beyond. Every now and then, we make sure to go above and beyond when it comes to having fun in the office, too.

I'm sure everyone has seen the 10,000 bouncy ball shower we gave SoftLayer COO Sam Fleitman for his birthday, and if you've been an avid blog reader for a while now, you'll remember the prank retaliation when John Eaves went to Hawaii and posted a picture of himself relaxing on Facebook with the caption 'Happy Truck Day.' After the rest of his team finished unloading and installing the servers that were delivered, they turned their attention to his desk. As you'd probably guess, those two pranks are only the tip of the iceberg.

If you walk through the office on any given day, chances are good that you'll see evidence of little pranks and inside jokes that we all play on each other. Sometimes it's subtle, like when a picture of a famous Canadian pop singer (No ... Not The Mitch) is posted by a coworkers desk:

SoftLayer Office

Sometime it's a little more ... obvious:

SoftLayer Office

Pretty recently, I returned to my desk to find my UFC fighters and Jersey Shore bobblehead action figures rearranged:

SoftLayer Office

Those innocent little pranks tend to get the wheels turning in the heads of the office pranksters, though: "What could be the next big office prank?" An anonymous group of SoftLayer employees heard that DAL05 Site Manager Joshua Daley (who led this DC tour) was going out of town for a couple of weeks, so he became the next target. Out of nowhere, someone came up with the genius idea of remodeling his office in Hello Kitty style, and that got the ball rolling. Soon enough, Post-it notes were worked into the plan, and somehow, it was decided that 1,000 inflated balloons would be involved.

The prank involved a significant amount of work, and it wouldn't have come together without an impressive group effort. Many technicians stayed after their shift and came in on their day off to help plan, decorate and blow up balloons, and the result was pretty impressive:

SoftLayer Office

SoftLayer Office

When Josh got back, he got a kick out the prank, and I think he had a little too much fun destroying all of our hard work:

The aftermath:

SoftLayer Office

If you walk through the office and notice a few technicians with shifty eyes, they're probably either keeping an eye out for pranksters that might be targeting them or scheming on their next prank victim. Speaking of which, I have some scheming to do ...


October 21, 2010

The Same - But Different

I recently moved from the DAL01 Datacenter to the DAL05 Datacenter. At first glance, everything is the same. I jump on the freeway and drive to a big building, say hello to the onsite security. I go into my work area, do the same job (Server Build Engineer), and bug the same coworkers. Everything appears to be the same, but there are a few differences.

A couple of differences are my daily tasks. Not my work related tasks, but my get to work and get situated tasks. The commute to work is better, less traffic and less freeways to merge over to. When I get to work my normal ritual is to find caffeine to regulate my mood (Yep, my addiction is that bad!). These days if a Red Bull in the OPs fridge isn’t cold yet, or we ran out of my favorite coffee flavor near the OPs coffee machine, I have a third option, I can go scour the Networking or Development or better yet SLales fridges and coffee machines! Nothing feels better than going into work and taking a SLales Red Bull or a Development cup of coffee. :)

A few other differences are the level of communication. I no longer have to use my Blackberry, desk phone, instant messenger or email as a means of communications with other departments. I can now walk over to the Networking area to bug those guys with questions, or find sales to get clarification on an order. In fact, I might even get some of them to assist me in big orders from now on!

In the end though, everything is the same. Same level of awesome service, speed and attention to detail!


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