Full Moon

Let's start with some offbeat personnel news: A former hardware engineer for Équipe Communications Corp. says he once mooned the company’s then VP of engineering, Steve Noyes.

Here's how it went. After being cut from the company’s payroll in February 2002, the engineer (we’ll call him “Mark”) was dropping off some benefits paperwork at his former employer’s office when Noyes greeted him. Mark says he was having a rough time personally and professionally. He had recently put a tattoo of a shark on his backside to “commemorate life biting me in the ass.” When greeted by Noyes, Mark says he couldn’t help but show his commemorative cheek.

Funny? Yes -- and, oddly, symbolic of the working stiff's struggle against authority, according to a sociology expert that we consulted.

"The tattoo already functioned as a bit of stylized defiance, reinforced by the ritualized pain of acquiring it," explains Jeff Ferrell, professor of sociology and criminal justice at TCU. "Showing it to his co-worker, buttocks out and proud of it, doubled the stakes and the symbolism."

We couldn’t reach Noyes for comment.

Have you got a weird workplace encounter you’d like to share with Headcount? Think of one quick and we’ll tell ya where to send it, after we cover this most recent round of interesting telecom hirings and firings.

  • The financial fun continues at Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS). This week the company gave its CFO the nebulous title of VP of business operations while transferring his financial duties to Bert Notini, the company’s president and COO (see Sonus Redeploys CFO).
  • MCI (Nasdaq: WCOEQ, MCWEQ) announced recently that it is cutting 4,000 jobs. Interestingly, the company blames the “majority” of the cuts on “the effects of ‘Do Not Call’ telemarketing laws,” which are, presumably, forcing it to close call centers because so many are rejecting telemarketing calls. Interestingly, MCI won’t say how many folks were actually making telemarketing calls, versus how many were customer service reps or administrative staff working in unrelated posts.

  • Tim Donovan, former marketing wonk for Zhone Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: ZHNE) and UTStarcom Inc. (Nasdaq: UTSI), is now senior VP of marketing for Synaptex. Other former UTStarcommers that have fled to Synaptex include its VP of finance and operations, Jeff Burkland, and VP of product management, Terry Tippie.

  • The outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas reports that U.S. corporate layoffs fell to 68,034 in March, the lowest level in nine months. The telecom sector was the second hardest hit during the month, with 9,823 jobs cut.
  • LM Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) has promoted three VPs to executive vice presidents -- the head of its access business unit, Kurt Jofs; the head of its sales and marketing unit, Bert Nordberg; and the head of its systems unit, Bjorn Olsson. Also, it announced that one of the catalysts in its restructuring program, deputy CEO Per-Arne Sandstrom, has decided to retire at the end of June.
  • Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) has sacked the president and chief operating officer (COO) of its China operations, along with a marketing executive and a finance manager. The company says it found possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (see Lucent Purges China Leaders).

    That’s all we’ve got for this edition of Headcount. Send your embarrassing, weird, and otherwise remarkable workplace encounters -- as well as any hiring and firing news tips -- to [email protected]. Please, we’re begging you, DO NOT send tattoo pictures.

    — Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

  • DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 2:05:45 AM
    re: Full Moon Nice one.
    barefoot_shark 12/5/2012 | 2:05:32 AM
    re: Full Moon
    perhaps no rich.. well clothed in a stylish light reading tee shirt.. but not rich

    echo2 12/5/2012 | 2:05:32 AM
    re: Full Moon I have been working for a startup for the last few years, and well....I WASN'T LAID OFF!!!

    I guess my options are going to make me rich!

    seen_the_light 12/5/2012 | 2:05:22 AM
    re: Full Moon I have been working for a startup for the last few years, and well....I WASN'T LAID OFF!!!

    I guess my options are going to make me rich!


    Probably weren't laid either. Screwed maybe...
    Mezo 12/5/2012 | 2:04:04 AM
    re: Full Moon Always makes me laugh echo2...
    fartupsurvivor 12/5/2012 | 2:03:39 AM
    re: Full Moon I was a software engineer at startup in Duluth Georgia ( liquidlight ). Ship was showing signs of taking water. The President ( Nie ) and VP ( Sullivan ) called a meeting to "calm the troops". They claimed to have an offer on the table to buy the company. One of the marketing dudes asked what the terms of the offer were. Turned out there was no offer. The Pres and VP were pretty embarrased. About an hour after the meeting, the VP walks up to the marketing dude in the middle of the "ballroom". He tells him he's fired. The marketing dude is stunned and asked why. The VP turns beet red and explodes in a rage, saying only, "Because I'm FUCKING PISSED OFF". Don't know what ever happened to the VP ( Scot Hardin ) or Pres ( TC Nie ). A very strange place to work. Of course, we all ended up being fired a week later. ;-)
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