operation codename project

i have never worked for a large corporation, the government, or the military, anything that could be considered an ‘institution’. the biggest company i ever worked for was a plant rental company that had four offices in the bay area. come to think of it that was probably a front for some form of corporate espionage, delivering “potted plants” to various office buildings, which could have had entire spy systems woven into the rootsystem, but i digress.

what got me to thinking about this is that on this morning’s news, they were talking about enron’s memos with project codenames like ‘death star’ and ‘get shorty’. i’ve never worked for a company that had projects or codenames. it just sounds so… megalomaniacal. like some evil overlord agency out of a superhero comic book. remember microsoft’s ‘hailstorm’, which was the secret codename for their evil world domination scheme now knows as passport? and the military right now is running an ‘operation snipehunt’. yeah, these codenames sure do inspire confidence.

you know, if they’re trying to have some secrecy, it seems to me that giving something a codename would be bad. once the ‘enemy’ found out the name, it would make all intercepted communications about it much easier to trace. to me, if you’re up to something secret, it would be smarter to refer to it as ‘you know, that thing we talked about’, giving a nudge and a nod to indicate that the conversation should be continued somewhere private.

somewhere without plants.

16 thoughts on “operation codename project

  1. Operation “Fashion Blitz” and a short dumpy man appears in a lime green silky Murano shirt, and glittery studded black polyester pants.

    *The horror* ..

    I’ve worked with many large corporations as a consultant, and the many types of operational lingo amazes me from one place to the next.

    I knew that fake ficus bush was bugged .. I just knew it!


  2. At my former company, a big corporate debate ensued over what to call our new conference rooms. Should we name them after trees? Plants? Earthquake faults? We settled on streets in San Francisco, which I said showed off our inferiority complex (we were based in Oakland).

    And our servers were named after various monsters in the Godzilla movie genre.

  3. all my hosting company’s servers are named after star wars characters. they’re such geeks, i love that in a hosting company.

    see, i didn’t even know these codenames had themes and stuff.

    so what would microsoft’s be? they had hailstorm, and ‘whistler’ for windows, i don’t see a theme there. maybe that’s part of the conspiracy — codenames without themes. huh.

  4. My old company always wanted codenames, but they always fought over the “theme” to use. Talk about fucking stupid! They almost went with candybars but figured the engineers would get to hungry.

  5. lol — what is your progress on project ‘snickers’? uh, wait, i have to run to the vending machine. funny.

  6. I worked for the US Government when I was in my early 20’s. I had the balls to tell my boss that I didn’t like their code name, and I thought all this research was boring..
    Oh yeah, I was definitely government material!..
    Didn’t last long there..

  7. It’s all actually boring an uninteresting and only sounds interesting because I’m not allowed to repeat them, making them seem mysterious and exciting. They were boring, unless you love diseases…At my old job that had so many weird codenames for things. I love your wink and nudge idea, hillarious. I was soooo not cut out to work for the government. Yet, academia is just as bad. Did anyone see Sunday’s Dilbert? That’s my workplace. *sigh*

  8. i worked on a cellphone snooping hardware/software project called “assfucker 2000”. well, ok. that’s just what my division called it. we tried to get approval for t-shirts with the code name but that request seems to have been ignored.

  9. (paranoid voice) are they snooping on our cellphones? of course they are. of course they are *puts on tinfoil hat* ahh, that’s better.

  10. At one of my jobs, the conference rooms were code-named after various Boston landmarks. “Fenway Park,” “Faneuil Hall,” “Newbury Street”… it was all pretty trite.

    I sometimes think that my life is one big “Project Make Things Difficult For Others,” also known as “Project Calvin & Hobbes.”

  11. i have this “friend” and she works at a certain big company. anyway my “friend” sometimes tells me about the codewords that get used at “her” company. this year the theme is outdoorsy places, things like “big sur” and “walla walla” (although those are not the actual names, “she” assures me). anyway, i think it makes the engineers feel like they’ve been outside and done something with their lives instead of sitting in here, oops i mean in “her” building, letting the cobwebs gather on their glutes.

  12. i would think it would make the engineers at “her” company feel sad and wistful, thinking of all the places they could be instead of where they are. better to name things like “mojave desert” or “south pole” — which would make them think, oh, isn’t this climate control nice!

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