|Welcome to my musings about the workplaces I've inhabited. These pages follow in the tradition of my travel pages. I market myself on the pages dedicated to my résumé. The two ought not be confused.|
In December 1998 I was awaiting the impending birth of my son, Isaac. My darling wife Rose and I were feathering our nest, reading books about infants, etc. Our baby was due in about ten days, and we had our work cut out for us.
As we were looking around the appliance stores for a new refrigerator - the old one had only slightly greater capacity than did a college dorm room beer cooler - my pocket phone rang. A headhunter wanted to know whether I'd be available for a very short stint in Santa Cruz, California (about ninety minutes away by car).
Our first impression, as the salesfolks scurried around us with brochures and price quotes, was a resounding "no". After all, we had our hands full. We talked about it on the ride home. The short duration of the contract and the respectable rate of pay was enticing; it'd pay for a bit of time after the baby was born. So we came to an agreement: I'd do it with the restrictions that (1) I'd not overstay the original term of the contract and (2) that I'd break off immediately should Rose experience even the first signs of labor.
So that evening I packed my travel bag in a way that I hadn't in a while, since my frequent business trips to "Arizona". Very early the next morning I jumped into my rather well-worn VW Fox (you may have seen its dusty exterior in some of my Burning Man photos) and headed south, with a caffè latte wedged in the ashtray.
Most of the ride is terribly routine for those who suffer the Silicon Valley commute. San Francisco. Burlingame. Santa Clara. Palo Alto. Mountain View. San Jose. Only at Hwy. 17 does the ride get more interesting. Winding roads, seasonal wispy fog through the deep green forests on both sides of the highway. Cheerful. Take the exit for Scotts Valley. Almost there.
The first thing I noticed as I walked through the front door was a sign saying "Thuridion Welcomes Michael 'Mickey' Sattler". A very classy touch, guaranteed to give a warm and fuzzy feeling, guaranteed to keep consultants productive. (Not that we have oversized egos... :-)
My time with the folks at Thuridion was a pleasure. We installed databases and JDBC on a variety of boxes, making notes, training staff, spending a good amount of time with technical support folks at Informix, Oracle, and Sybase. We got everything running long before the deadlines, long before Rose went into labor.
One of the delightful touches about my trip south was the view of the pond from the office.
Less enjoyable was my time in neighboring Santa Cruz.
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