Glenn’s new world

ImageThe green apple apparently indicates full-time regular staff, as opposed to part-time, or contractors.  Everyone’s badge is first-name only.

Yesterday was his first day at his dream job at Apple Computer, here in Cupertino California.  It was apparently every bit as wonderful as he had hoped!  Mid day, he texted me to say that he has his own office!  Wow, that was unexpected!  He figured that he, as just an engineer, would be in the usual cubicle farm.  But Apple being Apple, does not have cubicle farms.  Almost everyone has their own office, all located around the perimeter of a central open space, almost like a courtyard.  But to really understand these offices, you have to picture something that is more the size of a dog run:  6 x 8 is how Glenn estimated it.  Oh well, it’s an office, complete with a DOOR.  Not to be facetious, but I’m picturing a cage….  ;-).  

All the newbies gathered in a central location to have their pictures taken, and be given their ‘welcome packages’.  This included t-shirts emblazoned with “Class of 2014”, and a set of announcement cards the staff member can send to friends and family, saying “Yes, I get a friends and family discount.”.  He was delighted to note that there were several other grey-haired newbies, confirming what he had learned over the interviewing process:  experience is heavily valued at Apple.  Most things that the company circulates amongst staff shows a gentle sense of humor, to indicate that they don’t take themselves TOO seriously.  However, security within the company is extremely tight!  Everything is on a ‘need to know’ basis, and projects have cryptic code names, like C76 or P378.  Often managers do not know specifically what their direct reports are actually working on, other than the code name of the item.  Staff badges are coded so that individuals cannot wander around into areas that don’t concern them.

Today, Glenn’s first meeting is a project meeting in which he will actually find out what the project is to which he has been assigned.  So, by this evening, he will technically be able to tell me what piece of what widget on what accessory he is responsible for.  As if that will make any sense to me!  He is very excited about everything at this stage, and I certainly hope that this continues.  It is SUCH a nice change to see him head off and come home from work with a big goofy grin on his face.  What a change!  I can tell that his blood pressure is way, way down from where it was, which is a huge relief!

In his former life, i.e. at Aeryon, things are going from bad to MUCH worse.  They have laid off all but one engineer, and their production/manufacturing staff are most disconcerted.  One quit last week, and it doesn’t sound like that is going to be an isolated incident.  Sean, the ex-Blackberry now VP Engineering, is going through his cronies from RIM, hiring them, then letting them go within weeks.  The latest engineer to be cut, Troy, contacted Glenn on the weekend, to see if he knew of anyplace that was hiring in KW.  He told Glenn that Sean is just continuing to decimate both staff rosters and morale, without giving explanations or reasoning for his actions.  Meanwhile Dave, the CEO, just seems happily oblivious, saying that they are moving forward….

As for me, I have signed up to help the local MS Society with their annual fundraising WALK, in any way they need help.  Since I have been involved in the registrations several times in Ottawa, Tara felt that this was an ideal spot for me.  That’s fine, I’ve got  a grand sufficiency of time these days!  I also heard from Hala, the rental agent for our new house, with a message from Joy, the homeowner.  She wanted to give me some pointers to where I could learn more about gardening in CA, including some information about succulent gardens that I could visit.  Since Hala forward the note to me, I now have Joy’s email address, so messages don’t need to go through an intermediary unless they concern the rental per se.  I have a couple of questions about plant names that Joy told me when we were going around the yard, but I don’t recall what she said the common name for the huge tree in the front yard was.  I know ‘hickory’ was mentioned, but later she gave me a name that I didn’t recognize, so don’t recall.  I’ve got to nail that down, as it is annoying me!

I have also signed us up for a weekend tour of various homes in the area that are devotees to planting native plants.  Since my gardening knowledge needs to be supplemented with this type of information, I’m quite anxious to visit.  A few of the houses are in Santa Clara, so I need to sit down with my map of the whole area to figure out if any of the locations are within walking distance.  That would be quite ideal, as it would give me continuing access to people that obviously feel that native plants are the best choice for gardens here.  They also would be the best ones to recommend nurseries that support this philosophy by stocking these sorts of plants.

Having met the homeowner, Joy and Bill, we decided that they are going to be fine landlords, but as first timers, they will need to be eased into any idea of changes we might have for the house or the garden.  Hala has already agreed to provide some new paint for the rooms that we felt were patchy, and had walls that needed repair.  Since Glenn easily volunteered to do the work himself, Hala was happy to acquiesce.  I guess its not often that a tenant just asks for the raw materials to do repairs, and does the work himself!  It isn’t a huge urgency, just something that will annoy him every time he looks at it, until he does something about it!

As if little annoyances were not enough, our new bank HSBC that was so generous in theory, is being a huge pain in the butt.  Our investment guy of many years, Steve LaPorte, cashed out the requested portion of Glenn’s Whole Life Insurance, and deposited it in our Canadian account with HSBC.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean we have access to these funds!  The Canadian branch has to wire the money to the US branch, but somehow this takes time.  So the money, which we need for our deposit on the rental, is currently inaccessible to us!  Meanwhile, you’d think that HSBC here would give us a line of credit to use, while this money is floating around cyberspace.  Even though he provided them with copy of his offer from Apple, showing that his starting bonus of $35K would show up on his first pay cheque, it was a no-go on the credit line.  There is a total of over $50K due to go into our account here very shortly, but HSBC can’t see their way clear to give us the credit line.  Hmmm….thinkin that this isn’t somebody that we really want to continue dealing with!

The rumor is that we’re supposed to get heavy rains here this afternoon.  YAY, we need it!  It still won’t be enough to get rid of the drought warning, but every little bit helps.  I wish we had that rain barrel set up!

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