Not quite what he thought success would sound like

Flashback to the mid-1990s, when this electronics manufacturer is trying to get a Japanese supplier to cut its component prices -- but it's not going well, says an IT pilot fish on the inside.

"We had a senior purchasing manager, a no-nonsense, hardcore professional, who decided to fly out to meet directly with the supplier," fish says.

"He needed a laptop, which at the time weren't common in the company. But we had just purchased 20 new laptops and we had yet to distribute them. I was on vacation, so my intern pulled one out and set it up for him so he could leave the next day."

What the intern forgets is that he and fish frequently add startup and alert sound files to personalize new computers for users they know pretty well. Those sounds are already set up for a different user when the intern grabs the machine for the purchasing manager.

A few days later, fish is back at work when his phone rings. It's the purchasing manager, who says he arrived at the airport, drove straight to the supplier's offices, met a translator at the door, walked into the meeting room and powered up his laptop.

That's when the startup sound played -- the voice of professional wrestler Ric Flair screaming, "Ladies and gentlemen, to be the gotta BEAT..THE MAN!!! WOOOOOO!"

So much for the negotiations, the purchasing manager thought. All the businessmen on the other side of the table began talking to each other. Then they called the translator over and talked to him.

Then the translator walked over to the purchasing manager and asked, "Was that Ric Flair?"

Purchasing manager let out a sigh and said, "Yes, I..."

Reports fish, "The translator cut in: 'They love Ric Flair! They want to know if they can have a copy of that sound file!' The purchasing manager looked over and one of the Japanese businessmen grinned and gave him a thumbs-up.

"Negotiations went well and a deal was reached. The purchasing manager told me to send him an email ASAP with all Ric Flair sound bites I could find.

"When he came back, he gave my intern a gift: candy-covered bugs."

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