Chance encounters

Five twenty AM is way to early for any sane person to be awake, much less out of bed and getting ready to travel on an airplane, yet somehow I found myself doing this very thing today. Call me crazy, and you wouldn’t be the first to do so, but it is definitely not my idea of the ideal way to begin a new job. Regardless, 45 minutes later I was on an airplane, my first of two for the day. It also happened to be the first of four to happen in three days and the first of many many many more I will undoubtedly be on during the next few years. But, this is what I signed up for and none of it was a surprise… or so I thought.

Standing in line for a cab, trying to get from the airport to my hotel, the woman assigning passengers to cabs asked if I was alone or sharing with the person behind me. There is someone behind me? Thinking that maybe he just happened to be a new Oracle hire like me, I turn around in hopes that we could share the cab to the hotel.

What does my eye strike upon as I turn? The man behind me happens to be wearing a Lexmark badge. He’s a sales guy whose name I had heard a time or two but had never met. The opportunity was too good, I just had to introduce myself. What are the odds?

The rest of the day was rather uneventful. Three hours of classroom training, taught by two men, one an obvious long-time Oracle employee and the other a former Peoplesoft employee. I didn’t even need either one to tell me who they were; it was that easy to pick out. The Oracle employee had a nice, collared shirt and slacks, well pressed. The Peoplesoft employee had an old company t-shirt and blue jeans. The other new hires were just as easy to pick out: pony-tail was Peoplesoft, smartly dressed woman was Oracle ERP, guy in the suit was obviously JDE old-school.

As we discussed what our specialties were, I came to realize that of the 40 new hires there, I was the only one for the Siebel practice. Its strange, knowing that all the people who are learning the company with you are likely to never been seen again by you.

At the end of the day, I had spent maybe 30 minutes paying attention to what the instructor said and the rest playing on the new laptop. I must say that I like it a great deal.