As the unofficial Viget historian and lover of all things trivial (I am a Wednesday night Pub Quiz regular), I am often asked about the early days of Viget -- and newbies, especially, seem to enjoy learning about interesting and unusual events in Viget’s past. Here are just a few quirky facts about Viget, all true:
- Viget had quite a music industry clientele at one point. Our former clients include Usher, Shania Twain, Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Rick James, 50 Cent, George Thorogood, Kevin Federline, North Mississippi Allstars, Kid Capri, and Jewel.
- For about 2 years (many, many years ago), our office neighbor was a telemarketing firm who primarily employed felons on day-release from prison, many of whom were members of a gang not to be named here. They would terrorize us in the hallways, bathrooms, and parking lot. Scary times, but cheap rent!
- The most memorable interview candidates include the guy who sat through all his interviews wearing a blinking Bluetooth device in his ear and the guy who walked into the interview in full motorcycle apparel.
- Pop was a pilot for United Airlines when he wasn’t writing PHP code for us or wiring phone lines in our office space. On 9/11, he was flying a 737 on the West Coast while we watched CNN in our first real office which was just down the road from the Pentagon.
- We really don’t like people who just show up unexpectedly to apply for a job. Nonetheless, sometimes it happens. And, on one very rare, very special occasion, their resume was so good and they were so charming and gracious that they won us over. Zach, you continue to be an awesome hire!
- Our building once employed a man named Frankie who was: 1) an electrician; 2) a magician; and 3) a pet tiger owner who used to occasionally bring his tiger into the office. He was a fascinating man who used to lick his fingers and touch the wires before beginning any electrical work. (Do not try this at home!)
- During the frightening times that the DC sniper was terrorizing the metro area, we occupied office space in Seven Corners, right across from the Home Depot where one of the attacks occurred. In the pre-dawn hours and evenings, Brian used to dart through the parking lot in a crouched position from car to car to avoid getting shot.
- Patrick was our first “stranger hire” back in 2000. Famously, we were all out to lunch when he arrived for his interview and we found him wandering the hallway upon our return. Undeterred by our initial bad impression, he became our newbie PHP developer and, in 2005, our Development Director. We can’t imagine Viget without him.
- One of our awesome clients had a table-top version of Ms. PacMan delivered to our office as a thank-you for meeting a tough deadline. We play it to this day and have incorporated it into past charity events.
- Andy, an ardent animal-lover, once had pet lovebirds that had babies who needed to be hand-fed every four hours by medicine dropper. He used to bring their birdcage into the office every day so he could feed them when necessary. This provided endless fascination for the 3 office dogs we had at the time.
- Our first Durham office was next to a catering business with a hot-tempered owner. As several of us were walking by one day, an old-school phone came flying out the door, narrowly missing us.
- We used to have an enclosed porch as part of our Durham office where we kept our ping-pong table. We played in that sweltering greenhouse every day, even when the thermometer hit 110 degrees!
- When we were shopping for our first office space in Boulder, our options were space above, below, or down the hall from a marijuana dispensary (we went with above).
Funny and unusual events happen at all workplaces -- taking a moment to remember and capture some of them here at Viget has been an enjoyable diversion. I hope you’ve enjoyed a trip down memory lane with me.