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The Story Behind BlueRock Energy's Award-Winning Pac-Man Post-It Note War Design

Thursday, October 4, 2018

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On a sunny day, it looks like the neon-colored Pac-Man characters surrounding the eighth floor of the Barclay Damon Tower are glowing as they watch over the workstations of 50 BlueRock Energy employees. Seven ghosts, three bunches of cherries, two strawberries, two power-pellets, 53 gobble dots and of course, Mr. and Ms. Pac-Man, help “power” the office. It took 2,077 Post-It notes to decorate 33 windows with the award-winning design.

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“We had so much fun doing it,” said Pam Conner, the mastermind behind the effort, and BlueRock’s Customer Administrator. “Our colleagues got really into it when they saw the first couple of designs go up. They were like, ‘What are you doing next?’ and ‘Wow, my desk looks cool!’”

A few members of the team had seen a similar “battle” happening between two buildings when they were visiting Boston. “We thought it was so cool, and were super excited to hear that something like that was happening in Syracuse,” said Mackenzie Naum, BlueRock’s Event Coordinator, and tasked with the all-important task of ordering the fleet of Post-It Notes.

Pam and her colleague, Cindy, started brainstorming what design to make as soon as they heard about the Downtown Committee’s inaugural Post-It Note War contest, originally thinking they would try to create minions in the windows. But then, a lightbulb went off in Pam’s mind. She remembered that Pac-Man was created in 8-bit (a square-type of graphics introduced in the 1970s), and thus, would be compatible with the 3x3 Post-It Notes required to create the design.

“That night I went home, and looked up the shapes, and I found these little grids,” Pam explained. “I checked our windows and they seemed to be about the right width. I found a piece of graph paper that was about 13 squares wide, and I started graphing the characters.”   Using the graphs as templates - an example is provided here (at the bottom left) - the design crew scaled the window dispaly to size. It was a precise science. “We had a tape measure, and I even downloaded an app to help make sure it was level too,” Pam smiled as she explained.

The designs themselves were fairly simple, but the crew encountered a few small hurdles. Sometimes it was trying to maneuver around a tight space to get to a specific window, or having to inconvenience a co-worker to climb on their desk. Standing in the path of the sun was also a challenge. “One of the biggest issues we ran into was how hot it got standing there [in front of the windows], with the sun beating down,” said Mackenzie.

However, the biggest scare came the night before the team was supposed to start creating the design. The Post-It Notes - in several vibrant colors - had been ordered, but they weren’t included in the shipment of office supplies that arrived that day. In fact, the only thing missing from the order was the Post-It Notes! Mackenzie got on the phone right away, and the delivery was promised the next day.

“Everybody pitched in. Some of us came in early, others worked through lunch, or we stayed late,” said Pam. “If we didn’t have the support of the company, there’s no way this would have happened. It was a lot of fun.” The design will stay up for as long as building management allows. If you don’t have any meetings with the team coming up to check it out for yourself, you can vitrually walk the length of the design by visiting BlueRock Energy’s Facebook page.  

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