After about two years in Quincy, I accepted a gig on a major Oracle project with MT, Inc., most of this was based in France, but some inter-european travel gave me a more wide ranging perspective into European thinking. Half my time was spent in Bracknell, near London. I stayed at the upscale Coppid Beech Hotel and learned to drive on the ‘other’ side of the road thanks to Nicole from Wales who, with eyes clenched, held out her personal car keys, relying on some measure of my character as proof that I would return her carriage without scratching her boot. (me too, I did, btw) Then there was the rest of my team, (I sadly can only remember Glenn & Jerrys’ first names, but I can picture them with their idiosyncracies as though they were right here with me now. I’m sure their names will invade my thoughts when least expected, later tonight. I’d even say their full names will arrive with questions as to their validity.
I could write a book reminiscing about my Europe engagement. I will say I loved my time in Europe and the people were, for the most part, personable and engaging. I must say that after finding out I was American, I was given plenty of rope with which to either hang myself or create Rope Art.
Just to share one encounter: M. DontRecall, the Belgian responsible for the Belgian Marketing Office of MT, Inc. was on the phone discussing some issue with Stoke-on-Trent. They told him to discuss the details with me. After hanging up, he told us that he did not speak English. Afraid that I was working against his interest, his initial impulse was to obstruct. We soon became friends however and all worked out. When working together we crushed it.
And also, we were limited to reporting 50 billable hours per week although most work weeks were closer to between 80 and 100 hours.
Also my arrival in France was special. I missed my morning flight from England, so my only connection was to Lyon. Lyon Hertz had no rental cars available and my destination, Clermont was close to a 4 hour drive.
Luckily, I must have shown my confusion, because a local had pity on me. First, he directed me, in English, to take a bus to the train station. Not only did he direct me, he joined me for the trip. When we arrived at the train station, he brought me to the ticket counter, arranged my purchase, then directed me to the train car. I think I still have his card somewhere.
I arrived in Clermont after about 6 hours of local, non-air conditioned carriage. Since I knew no one and it was late (10pm,around dinnertime in France), my travel reservations from Oracle Denver were not kept. I told the cab driver to bring me to St. Nectaire, an area known for their blue cheese. I did not realize that it was about 2 hours by car. We negotiated for a local hotel. My first trip to France.
Here are some remembered highlites.
DayTrips from Bracknell
Denver Broncos late night in England on Tellie
Glenn and wife, met up with in France
Code head – Clint?
Ed?-Short stocky team leader- had a share of a Johnnie Walker Cask
Casino on Mountaintop
Clapton in Paris
Expensive 10 course
Haircut in Clermont
Taxi ride in Belgium
Hotel in Belgium
FrontDesk Girls at Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn bar and petit dejuener (breakfast)
Mercure v. Holiday Inn
Champs Eylsees, Arc de Triomphe, and Paris old neighborhood
Dublin, Guiness, River walk
Amsterdam New Years guys didn’t show
Basement casino in Budapest
Museum in Budapest
Paris museum visits
Notre Dame and the Seine
Walk through Muslim neighborhood in Paris
Parc de Volcans
Clermont Bar Exotic Dancers
Hashish before Iron Maiden concert
Trips from Stoke-on-Trent
Car Accident – rear ended parking post in Manchester
Phillipe lent me vacation condo in S. France where I recorded my album “Ready, Aim, Fire”
Snow Storm in Paris
Concord Crash while at Heathrow, long delay
Arrival in France
Thanksgiving Feast Hall
Phillipe and Guy
The Old French warehousing Site
Iron Maiden Concert in Clermont
Bowling with Anita and crew
Bar in dive hotel in Stoke
Crappy Hotel with loud disco
M. Alain DC.
Canadian Jeannie W. and French Interns (Stephon,cute French Intern, Maggie)
Dutch, Jan had Ntl Gas Vehicle
Had to speak English for me in meetings
Holland, Pietr Z.
UK expat to Switz., Allen
Volker, Offensive German
Spanish dude w/ rolex
Barbara, German GL
Anita S., English-Indian GL Cons.
Stella, English Blonde from Stoke and husband
Wayne-Australian Bloke, kinda annoying
Anglo Girl from Rutgers spoke Chinese
Sandro, mostly Italian Inventory guy
French Inventory Girl was Stephon’s mother
Italiano, very involved ?Franco
Greek, Nilo P.
Project Leader, Mr Roll… only met once
Interviewed to stay in France
Drive to Stoke, through industrial estates
Shakespeare Home, Butterfly Conservatory
London walking, museums, Picadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace
Edinburgh haggis for lunch, castle
Golf at first Brit Open Course
Golf at St Andrews
Golf in thunderstorm at Rider Cup Venue – British National Course in a town E/SE of Manchester
1997 Started Indicor
Jim & Fiona wedding
Then, I moved to Greenville, South Carolina.
Greenville SC: People
Frank Indian DBAs Dave M. Scott and Lauren Chris and Cathy Ross and AnnMarie Zoraida Kent Indian developers
HQ Building Dothan, AL Marc-Research Lab Anderson Atlanta Bread Company
Project HQ In Clermont Bracknell HQ Stoke Mfg. Belgium Mkt HQ North of Paris, offices Philippe’s Apt Bulldog Cafe, Amsterdam
Charles Degaulle Clermont-Ferrand Orly Brussels Heathrow Gatwick Manchester Lyon
England/Chunnel Amsterdam Gare de Nord Gare de l’Est Lyon Clermont-Ferrand
Park, Clermont Holiday Inn, Clermont Mercure, Clermont George IV, Paris Holiday Inn, Paris Republic