I joined Texas Instruments as a chip design engineer in 1980, straight out of school. I had thought we partied hard in New York; I realized how wrong I was when I moved to the Lone Star State.
Open containers of alcohol and drinking while driving were actually legal in Texas, back then. That's right, you couldn't drive drunk, but you could pull up right next to a cop with a beer in your hand. Wild.
Lots of guys--including our manager--would sometimes go out drinking at lunch. I'm not talking about a beer with lunch; I'm talking about pitchers of beer with maybe some food. In case you were wondering, we worked on defense projects, like missile and radar guidance systems. We all had secret security clearances.
Our manager used to throw annual keg parties at his home. They were a blast and great for morale.
The timeframe happened to coincide with America's country-western phase. You know, when Dallas was a hit show and everybody wanted to know who shot J.R. A bar called The Corral served, not two-for-one, but three-for-one happy hour drinks. I wish there was a videotape of all those engineers from New York and everywhere else trying to do the Texas Two-Step after a few triple Jack and Cokes.… Read more