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RE: What ever happened to... DEC?


>                               [The Telegraph]
> Date: 6/11/98
> DECies prepare for end of era
> Digital employees hold clandestine gathering ahead of today's vote to
> sell company to Compaq.
> Telegraph Staff
> NASHUA -- Employees of Digital Equipment Corp. swapped war stories,
> reminisced about what was, and hoisted pints of beer at a so-called
> "closure" party last night at the Skyview Cafi in south Nashua.
> By the end of business today, 40 years of Digital history comes to an end
> when stock holders are expected to approve the $9.6 billion acquisition
> of Digital by Texas-based Compaq Computer Corp.
> About 3,000 Digital employees work in Nashua at the company's Spit Brook
> Road software development facility, the largest contingent of Digital
> employees left in the state. Once, in the 1980s, Digital was the state's
> largest private employer.
> At Wednesday night's gathering, a word used repeatedly to describe
> Digital and the people who worked there was "family."
> "There was a human way of talking to people. It was special; it was
> unique. Now it's over," said a man who works in the marketing department.
> Like all the other employees -- concerned over losing their jobs -- the man
> asked not to be identified. Compaq is expected to announce layoffs of as
> many as 15,000 Digital employees -- a quarter of its work force -- soon.
> "People always took care of each other," said one woman, an 18-year
> veteran with Digital. "People were an asset to the company. I don't know
> if they still are," she added.
> While the company hosted parties at it's plants, the clandestine
> gathering with friends and co-workers struck at the "heart" of what made
> Digital special.
> More than two dozen engineers, contractors, support personnel and former
> employees from years back met on the patio of the Skyview Cafi to talk
> about old times, when the company was a computer industry powerhouse and
> people working hand-in-hand wouldn't think anything of celebrating a
> project's completion with a party.
> Company leaders made it known they didn't want the gathering to take
> place. An e-mail memo canceling the party quickly followed the memo
> announcing it, after company officials caught wind of it. One of the
> organizers said in so many words his job was threatened if he didn't
> cancel the party.
> "It went, like, around the solar system," said one of the organizers
> about the announcement. Hundreds responded last month, applauding the
> idea before the cancellation.
> A digital camera was active, as people took snapshots of the backs of
> friends' heads and pictures of people, but avoided their faces as
> evidence of the last hurrah.
> "DECies" as the employees affectionately call themselves, talked
> nostalgically of the "free-flowing," university-like atmosphere the
> company used to have. Frequent breaks for coffee weren't seen as wasted
> time, but an opportunity to network and exchange ideas.
> A video-conference telephone call is scheduled for this morning. It's
> expected that leaders of Compaq will address the former Digital employees
> and talk about the future.
> Meanwhile, the flags with the Digital logo were taken down off the flag
> poles at different plants and plaques were taken down off the walls, too.
> Several employees said with the tight labor market and technical skills
> in high demand, they aren't too concerned about getting a pink slip.
> People said the company's culture changed about five years ago, when the
> layoffs affecting thousands hit hard. They resented what they saw as the
> planned dismantling of the company by its chairman Robert B. Palmer.
> Palmer announced Wednesday he was leaving the company, taking a $6.45
> million severance.
> "If you run a company, you should be taking care of people who work for
> you. Not doctoring it up to sell off," said one contractor.
> Andrew Nelson can be reached by calling 594-6413 or by e-mail at
> nelsona@telegraph-nh.com
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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> E-mail: webeditor@telegraph-nh.com                              [Image]
> Copyright ) 1997-98
>  Last modified: June 11, 1998