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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Happy, Sad Tale of Tom The Turkey

Jim Stroud of Microsoft

The Happy, Sad Tale Of Tom The Turkey

I recently visited the Atlanta offices of Microsoft to check-in with my employment cousins. I found happy, smiling faces on almost all I met. The receptionist greeted me with a Dentyne smile, Sponge Bob winked at me from a couple of cubicles and my fellow recruiters were all worker bees. Inside the conference rooms (each named after an Atlanta landmark) business was being handled and not too far from the Finance group was an advertising of after hours drinking in salute of the pending weekend. It felt like a Norman Rockwell painting of productivity and I wondered, how could such a perfect work environment exist? And then I heard the rumors... Someone half-heartedly laughed about the lurker on the grounds and another person gruffed at being a prisoner in their own car; I thought it all strange. I inquired deeper and discovered an issue that was polarizing my co-workers. It seemed that "Tom" was a popular character who frequented the Atlanta Microsoft office. Tom was a curious sort of fellow to learn about because he was hated by some, loved by others and misunderstood by all. Fascinated by the disparity, I took it upon myself to learn all I could about Tom. I wanted to demistify him, locate his soul and share with you a tragic figure worthy of Shakesphere.Dear reader, I would like to introduce to you - Tom The Turkey.

Tom The Turkey - Unofficial mascot the Atlanta office of Microsoft

Tom, I hate you!

Attacked by Tom The TurkeyThat is what I expected to hear from "C," my employment cousin who was recently attacked by Tom. To understand the attack is to understand a few things about Tom that all are in agreement on. Tom lives in the nearby woods surrounding the Microsoft Atlanta office. Tom also claims several sections of the parking area and is often seen blocking parking spaces and even entry into the complex itself. On more than one occassion, Tom has been known to present his dissatisfaction of tresspassers with a fierce "gobble" and sprint towards an opening car door. Blowing your car horn will not dissuade fearless Tom from protecting what he believes is his home and neither will a vigorous "shoo, get away." All who work in the Microsft Atlanta office know that they park and enter the building at the whim of a less than benevolent bird. Unfortunately for "C," she suffered the misfortune of confronting Tom on one of his "bad days."

To recap the story, "C" had just parked her car and was exiting her car when she met Tom at his most terrible. His wings were outstretched, his beak uplifted and his throat blowing in the majestic wind. This was the Tom of legend, a wild turkey of strength who had decided at that moment to exert his ferocious turkiness to all who would witness it. Who could withstand such a display? Realizing an emminent threat, "C" lunges for the complex entrance with the speed of an Olympic champion. Sanctuary was within reach until fate intervened and "C" slipped and fell to the ground. Seizing the moment, Tom stretched his wings wider and pecked at the open air. His statement? "I am Tom! I am a Turkey! Fear me!" And (perhaps) fear him she did, with the reflexes of a cat "C" initiates evasive manuevers and manages to elude Tom as she enters the building from a side entrance. A rip of stocking and minor abrasion accompany her testimony of her ordeal.

"Do you hate Tom The Turkey?" I ask her during our interview.

"I don't hate the turkey," C says bravely, "but I don't want to be near it. As a vegetarian, I would not eat it but may very well kill it."

Tom, I am going to get you!

Is there a conspiracy against Tom The Turkey?

That is what I heard in conspiratorial dialogues that I managed to overhear. Some said that they would kidnap Tom if they were assured of ransom; whereas others wanted to capture Tom so he could be released to the wild. It was also commented that someone would bring their German Sheppard to say "hello" to Tom in a most heinous way. When I asked why animal control had not dealt with Tom already, I was informed that due to some loophole that Tom was granted immunity from their intervention. (Does Tom have influence in quiet, dark places of power?) Be that as it may, Tom seems untouchable and all speculation of his capture has so far been the fodder of watercooler chats.

Tom, I think I love you!

Tom The Turkey has a fanclub!That is what I heard from the pro-Tom-The-Turkey side of the office. This faction regards Tom not as a menace, but as a loving protector of Microsoft employees. He has been billed by some as a "Security Turkey," a tireless defender of the loading dock from unwelcome characters and smokers who choose the loading dock as their haunt. (Tom is most assuredly anti-smoking.) Tom is a goodwill ambassador to the pizza delivery guys and caterers who frequent the Microsoft Atlanta office, insuring them safe passage from truck to door. Furthermore, he is considered a mascot of the Microsoft Atlanta office. "L" mentioned to me how she has introduced Tom to her 3 year old son and watched them exchange gobbles from the car to each other. (Tom loves the kids.)

Tom, I understand you!

Tom The Turkey's lost love?

This is what I heard from Tom's most ardent admirers. They were the ones that explained to me how misunderstood Tom was.

"Tom was here before Microsoft moved in," they said. "He has a history with this area. Some time ago, Tom met and fell in love with a goose that has since migrated away. Since that breakup, Tom has lost weight and become embittered."

I asked, "Is this why he patrols the parking deck, loading docks and other areas around here?"

"I believe so," was the reply. "Perhaps in his own way, he is looking for the goose that flew away."

Tom The Anti-Hero

Jim Stroud reports on Tom The TurkeyAnd there you have it dear reader, Tom is not a menace and not wholly a love figurine. He is (at heart) a creature wounded after love's embrace. He seeks solace wandering on the very grounds that he and his lost love shared and when he does not find his goose, he gobbles in the angst of unrequited love. This is why (perhaps) he confronted "C." It was not to assert dominance, but rather Tom was crying out for his beloved goose. Quite possibly, there was something in "C" that drove Tom to painful recollection and the reaction was... what it was. A hurting Turkey starving for affection.

"Don't hurt the turkey!" is a slogan adopted by the fringe group of Tom supporters. Perhaps in recognizing the hurt experienced by this fowl, it would be better to chant in Tom's defense, "Haven't you been hurt by love? Save Tom"

Thank you.

Tom The Turkey is an anti-hero.

P.S. Click here to buy your "SAVE TOM" tee-shirt. (Available while supplies last.)

Comments:
See, this gives me an idea. I can capture Tom and do a copycat site of savetoby.com ! Yes!
 
Post a Comment

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