Although I am periodically jealous of all the excitement in his career at Apple, and the sheer joy he takes in it, I’m awfully glad to be in the observer’s role in his life. Times like this morning, when he is bustling about gathering his work stuff into his backpack, and heading out the door in a flurry, bound for an 830AM meeting, I’m relieved to see him off. Just watching him, on these mornings, is exhausting. He chatters a mile a minute about his extensive to-do list for the day, as I cradle my cup of coffee, and rock gently in my chair.
He has always enjoyed being able to tell me about all of the drama and political wrangling he sees, punctuated with his opinions of right and wrong on the corporate stage. Little does he know that I treat this blow by blow account of an event in the same way I always did Evan’s versions of events. My opinion on things is sought without deliberate asking, but my responses are now as they were then, with the intent of gentle persuasion. We would often laugh in retrospect that we would get our proclamations fed back to us many days or weeks afterwards, then phrased as HIS ideas.
This is how I could ensure that my thoughts and opinions were heard, by letting him feel that they were HIS independent conclusions. This was always be followed up with nodding acknowledgement, perhaps interspersed with positive comments so as to affirm his canny intuitions.
I don’t mean to make it sound like I am playing mind games with him! This is just how I have learned to operate with smart people, particularly males. Having raised boys, I don’t really know if this would apply to girls. I suspect not, as they are more cannily intuitive, and would likely be able to sniff out manipulation, whether overt or merely suggestive.
In any case, the backseat is a perfect place to observe from. High technology is full of drama and intrigue, especially when you are in the midst of it all. Watching Apple quietly plot their next moves behind the scenes, expecting secrecy from thousands of people that are in positions to know everything that goes on behind the scenes. Observing their new ‘spaceship’ headquarters slowly rise out of the parched earth is like seeing a bloom evolve from a desert, slowly opening and spreading its petals.
Yesterday after my shift at the Senior’s Center I met up with a woman whose family was instrumental in bringing the Forty-Niner’ers, back to Santa Clara. They are the football team whose fans are like religious fanatics, proclaiming their superiority and donning their colours passionately. She confided in me that SO much more than repatriating this team has taken place behind the scenes, with mind boggling growth set to happen momentarily. She suggested that this little city could eventually become a San Francisco-sized entity if the planned growth is realized.
Although this sounds somewhat fantastic in dimensions, there are a lot of other factors that support this idealization. There is already far more population than there is accommodation in the Bay area. Apartment buildings are springing up in every vacant lot you see. Rental accommodations are the home of choice in this rich competitive market, where rents START at two thousand dollars per month.
If you would rather BUY a condo apartment, plan on laying out half a million dollars or higher, for a small one. If you would prefer to invest in a traditonal 3 bed 2 bath house, you had better have the ability to spend a million dollars or more. The closer you are to Cupertino, the higher the prices and the more intense the competition. A well staged home will likely attract at LEAST half a dozen offers, ending with the sale price being several hundred thousand OVER asking. A recipe for heartache and stress to be sure!