Do I Still Have a Job?

This is Bill Macgowan.

Bill is Sun’s Chief Human Resources Officer.

Which means he works with me to build and cultivate talent at Sun.

He’s bright, well spoken, and usually exercises good judgement.


But today, he perpetrated a prank. On me. An April Fool’s Day prank.

Executed early enough to turn into a video for the enjoyment of Sun’s employees on Tuesday (April Fool’s Day). And if I have the courage to publicly display my gullibility, it’ll be here, on this blog, in front of a global audience.

The prank, like any good Silicon Valley practical joke, involved a venture capitalist, a drooling visitor, a bib and lamb chops.

Owing to the graciousness with which my parents raised me, I suffered through the prank. Without staring. Focused on the business at hand.

Having no idea it was a prank.

Until all the camera men appeared. At which point I picked up on the notion something wasn’t quite right. I had been spoofed.

Upon my humbling return from lunch, Bill caught me in the hallway. He asked, with his ill-gotten video in hand, “so do I still have a job?”

And I have until Tuesday to think up a creative response.

Remember, my office mate is the CFO, and the General Counsel writes a blog. Surely there’s an opportunity for clever repartee.

Surely 🙂


Filed under General

31 responses to “Do I Still Have a Job?

  1. Now I like that one. One more thing it shows the open work culture at sun.

  2. Sin-Yaw Wang

    Tradition! Next year, your car will be in some kind of water…

  3. AJ

    So where’s the video Jimbo?

  4. Anonymous

    The video will probably go up on April Fool’s Day – when the rest of Sun gets to see it.

  5. I’m really looking forward to watch the video!
    Without even knowing anybody of Sun I take this as a good sign for a good corporate culture 🙂

  6. It’s good that upper management shows som signs of anti stiffness and anti-perfectionism some times. Planning my phrank now for next week.

  7. Anonymous

    As a Sun employee, I find this annual ‘event’ childish and embarrassing. When *any* of the thousands of share options you’ve given me as a ‘bonus’ over the past eight years are worth a single cent, *then* you guys who are raking it in can think about messing about in public with your buddy-buddies.

  8. Sun historian

    When I joined Sun, one of the stated values (along with customer first, respect for the individual, financial success, etc.) was FUN. April Fool’s prankery at Sun is a part of the culture. Scott McNealy’s favorite phrase was "kick butt and have fun". I don’t think Bill has anything to worry about, except perhaps revenge on a future 4/1!

  9. kp

    Long live Sun April Fools Day pranks!
    And in the spirit of tradition, bring back Donut Day!!!

  10. Justin

    Presumably "" would have us all sit around moping until he or she is rich. Good to see capitalism alive and kicking.
    How much does it cost to video someone anyway? Not a lot.
    I’m just glad to have a job at Sun.. there’s plenty of people who don’t any more, let alone still have their share options.

  11. hey

    lighten up.

  12. Good To See

    It’s good to see practical people at Sun. We need *less*’s

  13. SB

    Just reading your blog made me giggle in anticipation; can’t WAIT to see the video. THANKS for keeping the fun in Sun, reminding us that not everything is doom and gloom, and for being personally secure enough to share your prank with us.

  14. I miss the days of the elaborate April Fool’s Day pranks:
    This is a tremendously creative, fun outlet for Sun execs who work hard. (Especially Scooter, who did some of the best pranks of all.) I don’t consider it immature or derailing revenue. If anything, it demonstrates a corporate culture that can be humbled from time to time. If this occured more often, then yeah, I’d be worried about derailed revenue. 😉 But it doesn’t.
    I’m waiting for Jonathan to issue the April 1st press release, stating the ponytail has been sheared off.

  15. re:

    Wow… Lighten up is an understatement. With all the turmoil that we’ve seen at Sun the last few years, I wouldn’t want to be here if it wasn’t for FUN! It’s not all about money. Don’t be so self absorbed.

  16. so are you saying you were Punk’d a la Ashton Kutcher? Is this gonna be on YouTube?

  17. NOT

    Look, I agree with everyone’s comment for ‘.211 to lighten’ up – but I think your approach is narrow-minded as well. I am glad there are fun trads at sun, and applaud this one, too. But .211’s concern and frustration is a real one, and one that is shared by a large number of sun employees. the answer would be to address both for once, not have a ‘fun’ versus’ serious’ argument. I fail to see how some of you think it’s positive development that his/her shares/options are underwater, sun has lost a large amount of their employees and fail to see how it’s a self-absorbed comment. Misplaced, maybe……

    IBM Hit With Temporary Contract Ban
    Monday March 31, 9:19 pm ET
    US Attorneys Probe IBM-EPA Interaction; Company Temporarily Banned From New Federal Contracts
    "Last year IBM’s contracts amounted to at least $1.3 billion, roughly 1 percent of its 2007 revenue."
    So, Jonathan, I hope you pursue these new opportunities at the EPA with full gusto… after you unleash your April 1st response. 🙂

  19. Randy Seidl

    As a somewhat newbee (via acquisition)to Sun, I find this yet another great display of the tremendous culture that is unique to Sun. I bet you wouldn’t ever see this level of "open" leadership from HP, IBM, or EMC. Thanks for the laugh and keep it going.

  20. Prasanth Nair

    Its magical to be in such a workplace. How about sharing the Video

  21. That was great… now, about that video?

  22. That was great… oh, and, please find some humor in this.

  23. The video was posted internally — it’s pretty funny to watch Jonathan maintaining his composure

  24. Vic

    Oh, now I get it. Duh! This blog entry itself was the April fools prank. There is no video, right? and Jonathan’s comment…
    "And if I have the courage to publicly display my gullibility, it’ll be here, on this blog, in front of a global audience."
    was just designed to keep us all in suspense and anxiously waiting to see just how gullible the CEO of a big tech company like Sun can be. Go on, admit it, this is a prank, right?

  25. The correct response is, "Yes, you still have a job. Just not the same job. You are now a quota-bearing sales rep for our new Amish GEM. Good luck."

  26. Tijomon

    Hey ,I am really looking for the video ,from where i can get it , youtube ? 🙂

  27. It is taking me some time to understand how this free source thing works. Like Google do you get paid by the advertisements, which is a simple economic thing. I have just started reading these posts and the one about the supercomputer is simply wow. Apart from the economic perspective there is a very different revolution happening , which will forever change the world. This is enabled by IT but is at most human level. There are support systems being woven across the net. There is a never-before understanding among the people from across the continets and the steriotypes are fast dissolving. For some it can make a difference of life and death. True the potential is formidable, as I see hungry children tugging sleeves for food, this seems like the solution. Empowering poorest of the poor with this economy that consumes little but the output is massive. The green supercomputer thing and specially the was the vast untouched potential of e-learning. Just like the fertilisers boosted the agricultured economy. This medium can empower the entire population if the infrastructure is in place and the philosophy remains of sharing not monopolising. I relate this gradual build up to a utopia like existence. The very basic idea is positive and the ripple effect might create a positive culture. Blessings and amen to this wish. Where do I understanding the working of a freesouce base. I mean how does it sustain itself?

  28. Amusing , these blog.

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