Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bussines As Usual

Since Sunday, the guideline at MegaCorp has been that if you can work from home you should. Only workers who must come to the Haifa office should come in. Luckily, I can work from home and to a lesser extent, can work from J &E's house. Another option is to show up to another MegaCorp site.
Today Adi and I took that other option and came into a MegaCorp office located in a developement town very close to where we're staying (the big Y, to those who know!). It felt great to be in a semi-familiar environment with cubics, air conditioning, free coffee, and network connectivity.
I made contact with some fellow tech writers I'd met at a cross-site get together. They were warm and welcoming, providing familiar friendly faces and orientation. There's lots of room here due to recent re-orgs so we happily settled into desks across the hall from our pals.

After a while though Ms. Efficiency came around and told us that refugees were expected to all work together in a particular conference room. Bummer. I felt like a refugee again and nearly cried. (It also clearly wasn't true that everyone was there, since only 3 other people were in the room and we'd seen others, quietly spread about. But there wasn't any fighting it once we'd been singled out. )
"But I work with so-and-so," I protested to Ms. Efficiency, a slight stretch of the truth."I'd like to be with people I know."
"We're nice here too," said a fellow refugee. And they were. They helped me get my computer connected. Ms. Efficiency took our lunch orders which was also a good sign.

I also wanted to keep a low profile because while Adi *is* a bonafide MegaCorp employee, technically he's a contractor and a student at that. I was afraid they'd try to boot him out. Not working on his laptop, he was reading a book I hadn't let him take that book on the plane with us to NY for a course on Terrorism in the media entitled "Jihad in Paradise" about Sri Lankan madness. Luckily they weren't checking us that closely. And happily, Adi's own ID tag did open the door to the building.

I could finally really focus on work and it felt great, nearly normal. Cholent and I enjoyed exploring the slightly different range of snack foods available here: fresh fruits, cheese toast sandwiches, cold water, cottage cheese.

Lunch came and us about 16 of us refugees sat together at a long table, sharing salads and soft drinks. My order got messed up so instead of foccacia I had a cheese burekas and a hard-boiled egg. It was greasy, decadent, and DE-licious! Adi had fries "cooked in motor oil" and a rubbery-looking burger.

After lunch Adi began another discussion about our next move and I got tense again. Grrr. Then Yael called and invited us to Zichron for shabbat. I gladly accepted and told Adi the good news. I was feeling quite mushy and emotional from all this already when Ms. Efficiency came in with beautiful bouquets of flowers for all (non-contractor!!) employees. These were a gift of a florist (who happens to be the brother-in-law of the guy who sat next to me at lunch) who was unable to unload them due to the "situation" and instead donated them to all sorts of institutions including hospitals and apparantly, MegaCorp. I was so moved that the tears were rising in a big wave when Kineret called. Saved by the bell. Her call gave me an excuse to run to the hallway. She had just today made her aliya (imigration to Israel) from Canada.

Bravely, Kinret came here with "Nefesh b'Nefesh", a group [crazy] Chrisitians who believe that you-know-who will come when all the Jews are in Israel. The cool thing is that they're willing to sponsor Jews who are willing to move here, paying for plane tickets, providing job help and financial services to back their beliefs. Right on!

During her call my mother called. I got way choked up when I tried to tell my mother about the flowers. I was sitting in the lobby now and the security guard brought me tissues and cold water and southingly said in English, "Don't worry, everything is going to be OK."

I tried to tell him that I knew that and that emotional due to pregnancy. By now I'd taken refuge in a little cafeteria behind the lobby and was regaining composure while talking to my father. A cleaning lady appeared and said, "Not sure if you know, but this [front part of the building] is not a secure area."

I ended the call and went back to work, revitalized.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I, too, have become your blog junkie, and we barely know one another. We have not seen one another for years, since you and my daughters were very young - but I feel as if I know you and now Adi too - knowing your mother so well, and, most recently, having seen your wedding video when we both went to Castine last month.

I send you, Adi and Cholent my love and good thoughts.

Carol in Santa Monica.