Before I start this section, I want to make it clear that Active Software is not full of moronic employees. The people here are very smart and talented, but just like everyone, they do goofy/dumb things. The names below have been changed to protect the guilty.

So, here follows a legendary adventure of one infamous Active Software employee.

"Murray's" speaker shopping trip

"Murray" has a weakness for deals that sound too good to be true. One of my hobbies is high-end audio, so it is not uncommon for employees to come to me with stereo equipment questions. One day, Murray comes to me with a little manual. On the manual is a picture of some speakers. He asks me "Have you ever heard of this brand ? Is it any good ?" I look it over, and it looks like a manual for some really cheap piece of junk. I chuckle a bit and [I'm not making this up] say: "What, did you buy this out of the back of some guy's van or something ? I don't recognize this brand ...". He kind of stares at me for a couple of seconds, and then proceeds to tell me that he was at Wells Fargo using an ATM when some person approached him asking if he wanted to buy some "good speakers". And sure enough, Murray was brought to a van sitting in the Wells Fargo parking lot. The guy told him "these speakers usually go for $1200, but I'll let you have them for $400". This sounded like a good deal to Murray, so he bought them right there on the spot. When he was done with his story and after I stopped laughing, I told him that they probably weren't worth $20 and that he got massively ripped off.

This was on Friday. We have a free company lunch on Friday. I thought this was so hilarious that I just had to share the story with everyone. While everyone was laughing their asses off, another co-worker asked the following very pertinent question: "So, did you hook them up yet ? How do they sound ?" And the answer was "No, I don't have any stereo equipment, so I can't listen to them". Not only did Murray just buy some speakers off of the street, he couldn't even use them! One of the co-workers at the table laughed so hard he turned beet red and I thought he might collapse at any moment.

I couldn't handle this situation for long, so I immediately dragged Murray to a real stereo shop, Bay Area Audio. When we showed the salesman the speakers, and he saw the brand name, the first thing he said was "Oh, is that what they are calling these now". Apparently there is a company that makes speakers that are sold only out of the back of vans. We actually did A/B comparisons between these speakers and a pair of REAL speakers (paradigms), and yes, the out-of-the-back-of-the-van speakers sounded like utter crap. Murray went back to Bay Area Audio that weekend and bought the speakers and an Adcom amp and is still enjoying them to this day. He gave the crappy speakers to his brother-in-law to abuse in a dorm room at UC Davis.


Wednesday, 04-May-2011 23:36:44 PDT