Totally Awesome Computers Closes Its Doors

The talk of the town around here is the announcement by “Super” Dell Schanze regarding the closing of his Totally Awesome Computers stores.

The reaction by a good number of the people around me has been quite surprising. Believe it or not, people are joyous of this sad occassion. I hear comments like,

“He’s an idiot.”
“He’s annoying and I don’t care.”
“I hate him anyway.”

I used to know Dell personally. I worked out with him back in his pre-Totally-Awesome-Computers days. I’ve met his family. I admit that the last time I talked to him was in 1999, and it’s quite possible that he’s changed since then.

But the Dell Schanze I know is a good guy and I have absolutely nothing bad to say about him. To be surrounded by people who only know him from his TV commercials trash his good name… well frankly, it pisses the hell out of me.

Sure, there may have been some bad decisions made, but what one of us wouldn’t have been equally upset if you were treated by the media in the same manner?

My every experience with Dell has been a positive one. When I talked to him in 1999, he didn’t remember me. Nonetheless, he treated me with the utmost respect and professionalism. If I treated him disrespectfully, I’m sure that would have changed. After all, I can understand. I’ve been fired from customer support positions twice in the past because of my tendency to “fight back” when a person gets in my face or insults or offends me.

And who doesn’t want to stand up for themselves when the world around you (most of whom don’t even know you) is saying bad things about you?

Dell Schanze has my complete support. And I’ve already been insulted by people that never met the man because of it. Nations have gone to war because of false judgements. In a town that is nearly 90% Mormon (and 100% of us a hypocrite to some degree), when are we going to learn to reserve judgement and be kind to our fellow man?

I spent some time reading several media articles regarding this story. Nearly every person interviewed that knows Dell personally had only good things to say about him, albeit they were also apologetic of his antics. Now why would the people that know him best have only good things to say about him even while the rest of Utah is trashing him?

6 thoughts on “Totally Awesome Computers Closes Its Doors

  1. StuTheWise

    Yes, I’m quite angry in case you couldn’t tell. And why shouldn’t I be?

    I’ve defended the name of other friends, including some of those I work with here at Doba.

    Yes, it’s a sad fact that people here at work talk about other people behind their back. There’s no doubt that I’ve been a target as well.

    But I hope that my defense of Dell lets my friends and coworkers know that I will defend, and have defended, their good names.

  2. QueenMeadow

    I knew Dell too, he is very hyper and outgoing. A great guy that would do anything for a friend. I hope people chill out about it all and realize that there is more to someone than just a tv ad.

  3. Captain Kid

    Aside from thinking he’s an annoying idiot because of his TV commercials, overpriced computers, and predatory sales practices, my bias against “super” Dell also stems from a story I heard about him that may or may not be true. Since you seem to know Dell so well, maybe you could confirm or debunk the rumor. In so doing, you may (or may not) help me think better of him.

    I heard that at some point in time he was driving one of his many expensive sports cars through a residential area at speeds exceeding 80mph. When concerned residents managed to corner him and stop him so he wouldn’t cause any reckless accidents or run over their kids, he pulled a loaded gun from the glove box and pointed it at many of them issuing threats and demanding to be let go. Any truth to that?

  4. StuTheWise

    He was indeed speeding. Very foolish I agree.

    Then it becomes he said/she said. Personally, I tend to believe Dell’s account, but I will tell both.

    When Dell stopped and was confronted, the people were understandably very angry. One guy was angry enough to pick up a large rock (huge according to Dell). According to the angry man’s account, he was going to smash the tail light of Dell’s Jaguar.

    Dell, by his account, had no idea what the man was going to do with the rock and felt that he was being threatened, and that the life of his daughter who was with him was being threatened. He flashed his sidearm (which was on his body) but did not draw it.

    By the angry crowd account, he withdrew his weapon and pointed it directly at them.

    By any account, Dell was acting foolishly by flying through a residential neighborhood, that I agree with. The angry crowd account of him withdrawing his weapon and pointing it at them I do not believe.

  5. StuTheWise

    I should also say that Dell was very powerful (by local guy standards), being a huge contributor to the pockets of Utah republicans. It’s quite possible the fame and power he experienced was more than he could deal with, but it’s not really my place to say.Like I said, it’s been since before his TAC days that I ever got to know him to any extent.But he was also incredibly good to his employees. Despite the rumors of a non-Mormon expulsion from his company, one of his officers and most ardent supporters is a long-haired and tattooed non-Mormon.

  6. stuthewise

    Update: I just read on Dell’s personal blog that he drew his weapon (in the speeding incident) but never brandished it. Always better to get the story from the source.

    Others involved in the incident have other things to say, but like I said, I tend to believe Dell because of my past experiences with him.


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