Curly – Office Mascot to Office Martyr

Posted May 2001

Many years ago, Account Specialist Jim Conlin was followed home from the Chicago AWS show by a friendly little orange foam-rubber ball with the unusual marking of “Hobart” as his only distinguishing feature. For years the little orange foam-rubber ball was delighted to adorn the desk of Mr. Conlin in a life of quiet inertness.

When INFONETICS moved to it’s new location in August of 1999, the little orange foam-rubber ball found the openness of the workspace – with cubicles instead of offices – inspiring and liberating. Almost immediately the little orange foam-rubber ball developed the ability to fly through the air from cubicle to cubicle and would do this several times a day, so happy was the ball just to visit with the fine folks that made up INFONETICS.

And the folks embraced his visits, giving him a place of prominence within their area during his visit. Shortly, the little orange foam-rubber ball sprouted eyes, then a nose and a mouth. And with that, a personality of sorts – and even the perception of an intelligence somewhat higher than that of the average foam-rubber ball surfaced.

Life was grand for the little orange foam-rubber ball. He began to enjoy making surprise visits to his co-workers, flying into their cubicle while they were on the phone, bouncing off their keyboards while they were trying to type and bonking them on the head when they least expected it. He would be found in the strangest places just waiting to jump out of a cabinet or be found lurking in the parts department, the kitchen or the bathrooms. He would become the central figure in a rousing game of cubie-wall volleyball. There may have been the odd tip of the pop can, perhaps a bounce though someone’s meal at lunch time, the occasional dip in the morning coffee but, all in all, “Curly” as he became affectionately known, lived a carefree and happy life. He grew freckles, eyebrows and hair (well, one hair actually) and was healthy and felt loved.

But, as we all know, popularity can be a fickle thing. Somewhere along the line, things began to change. Once, after Curly had been missing for two weeks and an All Points Bulletin was put out on him, he had to be rescued from the very bottom of a full trash can! Curly never visited that cubicle again – and who could blame him.

More recently however, new dangers have confronted the once-loved orange orb. In recent months Curly has been smashed, mashed, impaled, burned, a razor knife pressed against his face in an act of terrorism and other unspeakable atrocities threatened against him. (And you think you know people!?!?!) But through it all, Curly has never lost that innocent, inquisitive smile on his face. Still pleasant and eager to please in the face of unprecedented evil in his little round life.

Curly is now in protective custody but while safe, he’s not content. He belongs in the open office, roaming the floors and desks and workbenches at will. That is why the “Be Nice To Curly” campaign has been initiated. And we can use your help. Next time you call into the Grove City office for sales or support, encourage the person you’re working with to give Curly a break. Encourage them not to “take Curly out back and cut him into pieces” but to shower him with friendship and understanding. Let them know that it’ll make them feel better, Curly feel better and YOU feel better.

With your help, maybe Curly can once again live a life of peace and harmony.

Thank you.

– The Be Nice To Curly Committee