Alienware Facts: Behind the scenes edition
Instead of a story for this week I will instead present some facts about my time at Alienware.
Fact: We were gamers:
Pretty much 90% of us were gamers of some sort back during my time at Alienware. Some of us were true gaming geeks playing everything from PC to Console games going back to the 80’s. Often we would have LAN parties at the office and would go to various people’s homes to play console games. As long as the work got done reading and talking about gaming was allowed (well for most of us) and this did help us become better sales, customer service and tech support agents.
Fact: We had a mystery bathroom destroyer
9 times out of 10 the bathrooms were clean and pleasant, but at least once a day someone would go in and total destroy the bathroom rendering it useless for at least an hour. You would think it would be easy to figure out who it was, but we had multiple bathrooms and the person changed which one he or she (read: he) destroyed. We even considered pointing the cameras toward the door, but we didn’t.
Fact: The Bosses were pretty cool
What made even the toughest times fun was that most of the upper management were pretty cool people. They did not have the mentality that the workers were nothing more than paid slaves. In addition they were gamers as well and understood what it is like to be a gamer and to work in an environment of gaming. This allowed the workplace to be relatively stress-free. Not feeling the bosses breathing down your neck 24/7 made going to work much more enjoyable and I believe it showed in our productivity.
Fact: The Roach Coach had no Roaches
We called the lunch truck that came around every morning around 10:30 the roach coach, but in fact the food was really good and the truck was nice and clean. The guy who ran the truck was also nice and would even allow us to owe him if we were short. Now surly you could find fatty foods that any gamer would love on the coach, but it also offered some healthy choices such as fresh fruit and 100% juices. It was a nice break in the early part of the day.
Fact: Not everyone was discreet with their desktop wallpaper
Everyone was very professional at Alienware even the younger guys for many of whom this was their first non-fast food job. We knew all the rules about privacy and we understood ourselves that we wouldn’t want our private information being seen or read by others. However, some people forgot that we need to boot the PC before we begin work. We made it clear we would format a customer’s hard drive before returning the system and warned them to insure all items they wished to keep was backed-up.
In most cases this wasn’t an issue and we knew that even if the system was backed up it didn’t mean the original material would not remain on the PC. Since we knew this we made sure not to open folders or files on a customer’s PC, but there was nothing we could do about one’s desktop wallpaper.
One day while I was working in RMA I heard a Depot technician yell out “Holy Shit!” I turned and looked through the chain link fence dividing our departments to see a picture of a woman preforming an oral act on a man. The tech quickly selected a solid color background and went back to work. The PC was fixed and formatted and returned. Weeks later we receive an e-mail thanking us for fixing his machine and he included a picture of him standing next to the PC smiling with his wife.
Funny thing, the guy in the picture matched the guy on the wallpaper, the woman did not.
On with the Show
And now here’s something you’ll really like, Cosplay.