What a time it is!

Crazy times if you think about the politics going on. We are spending so much energy not in thoughtful construction but more into delving on the fallacies of the current Presidency. It is a pity we have a leader who is not a role model. I was willing to give him a chance despite his demonstrated shortcomings before the election – the rant against handicaps, targeting people of race or ethnicity or gender, name calling like someone still in elementary school, etc. I was hoping he would learn from his mistakes and take good advice. But he has failed on both aspects. His latest on implicit support for Neo-Nazis and Supremacists is the icing on the cake. I can’t wait for the day when he quits i.e., he fires himself!

Being a Program Architect at Salesforce is a kind of job you will have to like to do. You won’t be managing people. You are unlikely to write code. You will be providing a lot of direction and helping the success of the implementation, thinking strategically and aligning your thoughts to your client’s needs. You have to establish yourself as a Trusted Advisor. You need to know the full breadth of the ecosystem and the services that are provided to clients. You sometimes have to take crap from the client. I worked with a client who was never satisfied with anything delivered. He hadn’t subscribed to Professional Services but wanted consulting help all along. He expected services with his yearly subscription to the product. Normally, with just the license a client is on his/her own in implementing and up-keeping the system. Of course, there is plenty of community support and help and training one could take advantage of – lots of it free. But this client wanted everything done for him. And the fact that his yearly subscription price was the price of a monthly services engagement tells how dear services can be.

All these years, the most visited cities for me was San Francisco and San Jose. Yes, on the other side of the country, at least 10 hours door-to-door, huge change in time zone, long working hours. Now New York City is going to take over. I have been visiting the city for a project for several weeks now. It is just mind-boggling – it is both a mess and a delight. It is a mess because it is everything that nature wouldn’t create – building stacked side-by-side, millions of people scrambling to their jobs on subways, subways cramped with people that you will have to deliberately miss trains, hordes of trash bags out on the pavement every evening or early morning – a disgusting sight to walk by, too many homeless people and people just walking by, many trying to make a subsistence – I saw an ethnic women dig into trash to pick out the used soda cans so she could get 5c of each and she had quite a collection and many more. It is a delight because people from many countries try to work together like nowhere else and support each other, the choice for work or food, the management of the city making sure things are running and public infrastructure managing to keep up. Most of all it is about the landscape of people from different countries each trying to make their ends meet in their own way – a real proof of what a positive human spirit can achieve. I had a lovely July 4th extended weekend watching the fireworks over the Hudson for the first time in 20+ years visiting the city.

I had never thought I would commute to work in trains like many millions of people do across the globe daily. But the city gave me that chance. Taking the sub is an experience in itself. It takes a while to get used to it, to figure out which trains to take and where to get off. I have taken trains going in the opposite direction at least a couple of time before I realized I was on the wrong one putting my memory and judgement into serious doubt. And once you get out the train, climb out of the deep underground onto the street, you can be very disoriented. It took me a few weeks to figure out the right direction I needed to walk to work after the subway ride. And given that there is more than one train to go from point A to point B and each has a different stop, though close-by, you need to become a New Yorker to be the master of you daily commute. One week, I even drove into the city though I came in late evening which was easy. But getting out after work was a nightmare even though I started after 7:30 PM! The roads aren’t marked clearly, many are hidden from view or just sloppy. I exited the parking garage and took I believe 60th street going to 12th Ave. It was deserted. At the end, there was no 12th avenue but a connector and it was blocked. I was sure I saw a car take the turn and proceed just a few minutes earlier but I was hesitant as there was a no-entry sig. Moreover, an empty police car impeded me from being bold. I had to finally make sure cars were going in the direction waiting for more than five minutes before I took the turn. And close to Holland tunnel, the directions are again misleading. There is this clear sign around 41st street directing you to go towards the tunnel, but on the right side there is another sign slightly ahead indication direction to the tunnel. I headed the latter and found that I had to take a U-turn to come back – just a waste of time amidst the traffic. And if you aren’t watching your blind spot, you could run into that seasoned taxi driver speeding past the annoying slow tourist drivers (ask him and he will tell you that). Huge trucks block your vision and make it hard to read the signs and if you miss a turn you can be sure to be circling around for a while trying to get back, waiting for the tourists to cross the pedestrian walk at their own pace at the turns while grudgingly bearing the honks of the locals. The energy in the city, though, is something that can be addicting to dive into and swim along. I can’t wait to get back there this week.

Here is a montage of some recent events.

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