Today is the last work day of the decade for me. I’m still working in the office in Lab 9, as I have some work to complete before I leave on vacation. I end the decade only feet from the exact point where I started the decade.
Jan 1, 2000, at 12:00:01, I was here at work, in Lab 6, as part of Nortel’s Y2K task force. We were all carrying pagers, waiting by the phone and basically doing nothing. For me, it was a non-event, as our software had been updated in the months before, and patches sent out to all of our customers. At the exact moment of the new millennia, I was in the cafeteria, where Nortel had brought in some light snacks and (secretly) handed out glasses of champagne to anyone working to celebrate. I did wish I was downtown though – I’m sure it would have been quite a party.
At the start of the decade, the US elections were in full swing. I told anyone who would listen that Bush would set the US back by decades. Never did I expect that his performance after becoming president without winning the election would have been worse than I anticipated. Of course, no one could have expected 9/11, except for the US agents who specifically told Bush 4 weeks before that an attack against the US was being prepared. And who would have guessed that the US would have invaded a country who had nothing to do with the 9/11 tragedy, other than Donald Rumsfeld who said on 9/12 that the US should attack Iraq because “there aren’t any good targets in Afghanistan“.
The year 2000 was also the start of the layoffs at Nortel. The earliest reference I can find is that they started in October 2000. This was my life for the next 9.5 years. I made it through the first year of layoffs before my entire team was cut 2 months after 9/11. I returned and worked for CDMA, dodging more than a dozen layoff rounds before being picked up in the Ericsson purchase a few months ago.
The time at Nortel was good in one respect. I was introduced to the love of my life at Nortel: a blind date over lunch in the Lab 6 cafeteria. Rosa and I talked for 2 hours that day, and we knew immediately that we had found who we were both looking for. Seven months later we got engaged in Paris, and on Jan 3, 2007, we married in Rome.
I’ve traveled more in the last 5 years than I had in my entire life. Rosa and I have visited Halifax, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Naples, Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice, Istanbul, Ankara, Athens, Warsaw, Krakow, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Jerusalem, Amman and London. In 2 days, we leave for our next trip: Berlin, Prague, Budapest and Vienna. Before Rosa and I met, I had also visited New York, Toronto, Montreal, Dallas. 2 years ago I had a business trip to Bangalore.
I seems like I have been racing for so long, but it was only in 2001 that I became a licensed marshal and 2003 before I received my race licence. I have raced in a 1971 Datsun 510 (“The Pumpkin”), 1991 Nissan NX2000, Nissan Sentra, Honda Civic, Formula-1600 and this year multiple Acura Integra Type-R’s. I also became a Secretary of the meet for 5 MCO Race Schools and 5 Ted Powell Memorial Race Weekends, including the first full race weekend at the new Calabogie Motorsports Park.
I’ve starting learning French, so I may become a bi-lingual Canadian. And I started to kayak.
I wonder what December 2019 will bring?