October 1, 2007

Inside Oracle Chicago

Frank and I are finally back in Woodside after our week in Chicago. It was a totally awesome trip. Seriously. But I'll be honest with you: the best part was hitting the Oracle office on the 45th floor of the Sears tower. Those guys really have their shit together. Especially Nick Jensen, a young man who works in sales. Nick is straight out of college with an MBA, a 4.7 GPA, and a strong fraternity background. The guy isn’t the brightest crayon in the box, but he’s not all that stupid either. He knows that most of the people who buy Oracle products are complete nerds who have no social life. They’re the geeks and the outcasts who have been shunned and picked on all their whole lives. They’re the fat kids and the loners and the people who pick their noses in public. They don’t have girlfriends. In fact, most of them don’t have any friends at all. They need to be made to feel special.

That’s what Nick does -- he makes them feel special. Being the go-getter he is, he sets up a bunch of fun games and contests and stuff for our potential customers. These guys fly in from all over the US and have the time of their lives. Seriously. I was there. I saw it. The first thing Nick does is the gallon challenge. Anybody who wants to take a stab at getting a free Oracle software package complete with our databases and apps is welcome to drink one gallon of milk within an hour and hold it down for that hour. If you toss your cookies, you lose the free package and you have to pay 10% more for every Oracle product you buy. The stats are pretty good on that one. In fact, I think only one guy has ever been able to drink it all and hold it down for the full hour. So that’s a pretty fun game. And then everybody plays "Pin the Genitalia on the Honky." It’s a freebie game and kind of a strange twist on pin the tail on the donkey. Just put on the blindfold, pin the pecker on the fat naked IT guy who looks a lot like Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and you’ll win big. That’s 5% off any one Oracle product. Yes, I know the game is strange and a little racist against Caucasians. But so far so good. There haven’t been any lawsuits or potential customers in tears. People just laugh their asses off and have a great time.

But the best game is saved for last. Goes like this. Nick sits everybody down in front of Linux boxes with full MySQL databases and tells them to delete exactly half the entries from every table. And then he tells them to do it again and again and again until every entry is gone. But they can’t do it. It’s impossible with MySQL. You just can’t delete every entry from the table when you can only delete half the entries.

Anyway, then Nick takes everybody out to a Cubs game and gets them nice and drunk and then they go out and party and get even more drunk and then they sign their contracts. Just kidding. They don’t really sign their contracts while they’re drunk. They sign in the morning before they leave at 6 AM. Trust me, most of them aren’t hung over. They really aren’t. And the important thing to remember here is that everybody has fun and everybody wins. We get money, they get great quality Oracle products, and Nick gets a sweet commission. And my hat’s off to Nick. Keep up the good work, bro.

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