Mitch Barrie, former Cisco employee number 3076, has the Cisco logo tattooed on his arm and his dog answers to the name, Cisco: Mitch Barrie joined Cisco in 1994 when his employer - Newport Systems Solutions - was acquired by Cisco. According to Mitch:
"I was the worldwide sales dude at Newport (plus I even managed to do some technical support), a pioneer in the NetWare office WAN biz, until we got a guy to handle North America, at which point I became the international sales dude. Then I moved to London and became the EMEA sales dude. Thank god we were acquired by Cisco before my territory was reduced to the Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames. "I'm not really sure what I did at Cisco, but I was doing it in Europe for almost a year before they asked me to move back to California to do it here. Whatever it was I did, it wasn't technical support."
During our phone conversation, Mitch pointed out that Cisco was a different place in 1999 (when he got his first tattoo, the Cisco logo, at the age of 36), then when he joined Cisco in 1994. Although Cisco had been very good to Mitch, there was an influx of new people who were quite different from those who had made Cisco successful, and by 1999 when Mitch had his left arm tattooed with the Cisco logo for his own personal and quite subtle reasons, he felt the time was nearing when he should consider the possibility of moving on. So how did Mitch Barrie get the Cisco logo tattooed on his left arm? Well, according to Mitch, the tattoo artist xeroxed Mitch's Cisco identity badge and blew up the Cisco logo to the smallest possible dimensions with which he could work. Mitch didn't have big fat biker arms so he didn't want a colossal tattoo. But the tattoo artist couldn't go too small and still maintain decent letter quality. So the Cisco logo had to be about 2 1/2 inches across. Then the Cisco logo was xeroxed onto some kind of transfer medium, like the stuff kids use to transfer temporary "tattoos" onto their skin. Then Mitch was invited back to the tattoo artist's station where he took his shirt off so the artist could position the Cisco logo properly. The first time the artist tried to transfer the Cisco logo it came out crooked, so he had to try again. That one went on okay, so Mitch verified the design was where he wanted it to be, and the tattoo artist got to work with the needles. As you can see below, all the artist had to do was follow the design transferred to Mitch's skin. Of course, he had to have a very steady hand to do this. He started with a black outline, which, while not part of the Cisco logo, was needed to keep the color from bleeding out. Then he changed needles and filled in the colored areas. Then he changed needles again and outlined the black with white pigment. The white is an attempt to make the black outlines appear lighter. And, um, that was it. After working on Mitch for about an hour and a half, the tattoo artist taped some paper towel over the tattoo and said he was finished. He gave Mitch some care instructions and also told him his work was guaranteed, so if the design started falling apart (for whatever reason) Mitch could come back and he would fix it. Mitch paid the tattoo artist $120, plus a $20 tip. Then Mitch drove to Hooters, where he feasted on Buffalo wings.
Naturally, I was curious to know how his fellow Cisco employees reacted back in 1999 when they first learned that Mitch had the Cisco logo tattooed on his left arm. Thankfully, Mitch indulged my morbid curiosity by revealing the following emails that he received from Cisco employees:
From: Cisco Employee Number 6913 Man, I could have sworn you came with an acquisition in about 1996. Mitch responded: Clearly this fellow is unhappy that my employee number was so much lower than his.
From: Cisco Employee Number 5001 If this is real.... This guy was recruited when we were claiming to have the 10% rule right? I guess he's the one who slipped through. Get a life. (Strange why Mitch's name is at the bottom of the page though. Has anyone actually seen Mitch Barrie? I know he's real 'cause I spoke to him. Why hasn't he enabled his 'photo on The Company Directory?) Mitch responded: The Company Directory is an internal Web resource at Cisco, where you can find out everything you need or want to know about another employee, except maybe his salary. You can even put your photograph in the directory. It can be a little shocking when some people do this.
From: Cisco Employee Number 6913 Mitch, Hey! - you are one of the people who says (sarcastically), "Yeah, he's a top 10 percenter" all the time. Furthermore, you said yourself once, "Cisco would never hire me if I didn't come with an acquisition" [this is true - Mitch]. So, I'd say that between your employee number and the fact that you have a Cisco badge at all, "You are one of the LUCKIEST M&^%F&^%^&^'s of all time!!!" Also, I have to say - for a tatoo - this one's ok...even though I'm not much into them. No response from Mitch.
From: Cisco Employee Number 10436 that was enlightening. very cool. i want a tattoo on the bottom of my foot that says "made in the usa". Mitch responded: A Cisco employee with a sense of humor. I liked that. There were so few of us left.
From: Cisco Employee Number 44088 I wonder what the keepers of the corporate logo think....................... Mitch responded: Me too.
From: Cisco Employee Number 5705 Damn! And to think I won't even get a license plate _frame_ with a Cisco logo for fear that I'll get fired the next week and have to take it off. Way to go, G. Hope the chyx dig it. Mitch responded: Of course the chyx dig it. The only chyk that matters, anyway. And what's all this about taking it off?
After retiring for several years, Mitch Barrie is now the owner of Mesa Tactical, which was formed in 2003 to provide high quality tactical accessories and gear to law enforcement, the military and civilian shooters. Mitch Barrie's Mesa Tactical specializes exclusively in enhancements for the tactical shotgun.
Do you have any questions for Mitch Barrie and do you approve of Mitch getting the Cisco logo tattooed on his arm? BradReese.Com Cisco Refurbished - Services that protect, maintain and optimize Cisco hardware Contact: Brad Reese Twitter: http://twitter.com/BradReese
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