Thursday, April 03, 2008

Istanbul Was a Wafer Fabrication Facility

I'm sad that Sematech sold out, shut down, and shipped off to Albany. Doesn't that sound like a song? I should write a poem about it.

From November 1991 till September 2001 I worked there, so the place, as it was at the time, remains my ideal of what the corporate workplace is supposed to look like. Overall I had fairly few complaints. Just like with any place - Austin certainly springs to mind - as the years passed and the culture changed, I joined in the chorus of complaining about how things wasn't like they used to be.

Anyway, in late December 1991, I had been there a month and a half, and was (as I would be for nearly two more years - remember the "disposable workforce" of the 90s?) a temp. I attended my first company Christmas party. And the CEO and the whole executive staff opened the evening by coming out on stage in cleanroom suits, top hats, and canes, and singing a song about how Sematech was "Puttin' Out the Bits." I wish I remembered more lyrics than,

"Strolling through the shoeroom so happy,
In our bunny suits so white and flappy,
Very snappy!"

Totally random memory, but what a cool place to work, eh wot?

On the other hand, several years later, when one of the AV guys and I collaborated on a short video opening sequence for all-employee staff meetings, we ended up self-censoring all our best ideas, like having a Dalek-like trash receptacle exterminate someone who had left banana peels on the conference room floor, or getting the mailroom guy promoted to CEO for his exemplary pager use etiquette, or asking the COO to strut down the cleanroom hallway to "Stayin' Alive." And what we came up with instead - though I still have a copy of it on videotape! - was not nearly as cool.

Things just weren't like they was used to been.

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