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Archive for January 26th, 2012


This week, meet John – our VP based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

What is your funniest experience at work?

I work virtually most of the time and usually from my home. Our 15-year-old cat Maynard has a touch of arthritis which slows him down. He likes to sleep on top of the heater grates to feel better. His favorite spot is on top of the grate right inside the door of the downstairs bathroom. He goes in, gets up on his hind legs to push the door shut and then settles down on the grate. It’s a small space and with the door closed it becomes a sauna which he seems to really like. He is in there for hours. When he wants to leave, he puts his paw under the door and pulls it open. The funny part is that when he is in there I can’t use the bathroom. He pushes back on the door and cries. I have to go upstairs. I find that amusing.

How do you spend free time?

Acquiring skills as a videographer is my current top avocation. I enjoyed making movies as a kid but film was expensive, projectors were hard to set up, editing was messy – it was hard. Now with a iMac for editing and using my iPhone camera I am having lots of fun and it’s easy. I am also gaining experience using more advanced cameras and I look forward to getting myself one that will allow me to do really interesting work.

What job or task do you believe you have had your greatest impact at ALU?

I like to think that all my jobs have had impact. Being in communications it is difficult to get hard, objective feedback but I know how important it is for people both inside and outside the company to know and understand what is going on with ALU. Currently I am a member of the corporate communications writing team. I have had a variety of responsibilities over time but writing is my passion and I am delighted to not have to use a hyphenated string of words to describe what I do but instead just say I am a “writer.”

What triggered your involvement in EQUAL?

I recall that I joined EQUAL soon after I joined Lucent eleven years ago. In my career I have never tried to hide my sexuality but having always worked in relatively small companies I had never had an opportunity to belong to an LGBT organization. When I learned of EQUAL I knew it was something in which I wanted to participate and I am very glad I did. It gives me an opportunity to interact closely with colleagues I would not meet with otherwise and enables me to support our community which I think is very important. I am sorry I never had the opportunity to belong to a local chapter but being part of the ‘At Large’ chapter gives me the chance to get to know people in locations far from Raleigh, North Carolina and that’s fun.

Which movies made you laugh/cry the most?

I am a sucker for the big cry fests of the 80s, especially E.T and Terms of Endearment. I am looking forward to seeing War Horse. My grandfather was a surgeon in the trenches during World War I and the scenes depicting what he experienced are very vivid according to my aunt who has seen the movie. I saw the play on Broadway and was very impressed. Just seeing the War Horse trailer I started to tear up so I expect the full experience will be enjoyably cathartic.

The original La Cages aux Folles still stands as one of the funniest movies I have seen. I remember a friend saying that it was good the movie was subtitled because the audience was laughing so loudly it was very hard to hear the dialogue. I’ve seen three Broadway productions of the show but the original movie is still the funniest.