Denali: Welcome to the ‘Burgh

It's not too often that you see a consultancy -- or expert staff augmentation firm for that matter -- open a new office in Pittsburgh, of all places. Even McKinsey, which has a long history of advising executive management at industrial companies, could not bring itself to dedicate an entire office to the city (the Cleveland/Pittsburgh office was run as a single group, at least back when I knew these sorts of things). Still some folks are moving into the 'burgh, despite the recent historical trend of the post-graduate talent drain away from the area. Like sourcing firm Denali, according to a recent announcement.

While I was at FreeMarkets, I spent nearly three years in Pittsburgh before moving to a different office. I can't say I had any complaints about my time in a city where they like to put French fries in sandwiches and where the yinzer -- as in "how yinz doin'? -- accent made ebonics look like spoken Shakespearean prose by comparison. Yes, I did gain almost twenty pounds and my English did, undoubtedly, slack off a bit, but all in all, it was a great few years of urban Appalachian cultural discovery. However, not everyone agreed with me at the time. For any prospective Denali employee considering relocating to the area, I feature, below, a snapshot of an exchange between two FreeMarkets market makers that accidentally got forwarded to the FreeMarkets online bulletin board (this had the whole company up in arms at the time, mind you).

And lest anyone worry about the cultural insensitivity of one of the comments, the person who said it had relocated from Chicago and Pakistani antecedents, while the other was a transient from Philadelphia. So see below, without further ado...

Some FMKTER: Anybody up for wallyball?

Market Maker # 1: Wallyball? What in God's name is Wallyball? Is it that the locals here can't spell volleyball or is it some God forsaken mutation invented by these plebes? [more derogatory comments about PGH]

Market Maker #2: I view living in Pittsburgh as akin to living in jail with occasional furloughs (e.g. weekend trips, etc.)

Market Maker #1: Yeah, I despise this place with every fiber of my being. I tell these proletarians that I have lived in a third-world country for seven years and this place still sucks. It has turned me into a nattering nabob of negativity. [continues on from there ... mentions how he hates the bulletin board, etc.]

Then, of course, the message exchange gets accidentally forwarded to the company's online bulletin board. And you can imagine what happened next! Over 700 people received this email. These two clowns then tried to recall their email exchange and that created a vicious email loop thereby jamming the email server and shutting down the whole company's email system for over an hour.

Regardless, welcome to the 'burgh, Denali. I have two great executive resources for you (one in a leadership position at a company today in procurement, the other making his fortune as an energy trader) if you want to bring in a duo to educate new transfers to the office in the finer points of burgher life. Regardless, now yinz get down to sourcing work n'at.

- Jason Busch

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