“words—
lonely written words—are all you’ve got”

—Virginia Shea

“communication happens when I know you know what I know”

—Me

Even more rubber chickens and purple boxes

Strange, happy coincidence—I met the person responsible for the rubber chickens in the purple Wam!Net boxes!

Let’s start with the sequence of events:

  • I saw the tiny rubber chicken about 15 years ago when a Wam!Net technician let me peek inside our big purple box. Wam!Net was a Minneapolis-based company.
  • A few years later I moved from Oklahoma to Minneapolis.
  • Several years later I become a consultant at 318, Inc.
  • 1-1/2 years later my proposal to speak at the PSU MacAdmins conference in July was accepted.
  • After an inspired talk with a 318 co-worker, I decided I need to incorporate chickens into my PSU MacAdmins conference session.
  • I purchased rubber chickens online to help with visual aids.
  • I took one of my rubber chickens to work to show my co-worker.
  • My new rubber chickens reminded me of the tiny rubber chicken in the purple Wam!Net box and I wrote about it.
  • 318 sent me on a job to do some training and I still had the rubber chicken in my backpack.
  • Something didn’t quite work right during the training and I pulled out the rubber chicken as a “sacrifice” to the training gods.
  • My customer asked, “Have you ever heard of a company called Wam!Net?”

Had I ever heard of Wam!Net? Of course! I had been a Wam!Net customer years ago. Then he asked if I had ever looked inside the purple box.

There are moments in life where you find a kindred spirit. I had just found one.

Original Wam!Net rubber chickenThere are moments in life where you find a kindred spirit. I had just found one.

Dan Pence told me he use to work for Cybernet, which was later purchased by Wam!Net. As a joke, he purchased about 100 6-inch rubber chickens and started strapping them into the Wam!Net boxes.

Imagine an unknowing Wam!Net field technician opening his customer’s purple box and finding this thing inside. Or imagine a customer breaking into his own purple box (a no-no) and then calling phone support and asking about the chicken. How was phone support suppose to respond to that?

Dan explained he only worked for Wam!Net about 1-1/2 years and then left to work for another company. He was responsible for installing the initial group of rubber chickens but didn’t know whether Wam!Net purchased more and continued doing this after leaving.

At lunchtime on our first day of training, Dan showed me his car key. Attached was a 6-inch rubber chicken—one of the original 100 purchased, he said. He’d kept a couple for himself. On the second day of our training he handed me the little chicken.

Thanks, Dan!

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