Good News, Bad News…

Let’s start with the bad news…

This needs a bit of context so here it is: Sunday night, I go do my laundry. The small plastic laundry bags that hotel give are kinda crap so I decided to use a paper grocery bag from Whole Food to carry around my stuff. Flawless plan, right? All my stuff is dried and folded but I was kinda lazy to put them back in the drawers that night so I left them in the bag next to the desk in my room. Completely forget about it on Monday and I though: “meh, I’ll do that quickly tomorrow morning before going to the office”. This Morning, I wake up and realize that the bag had disappeared! I didn’t move it, my stuff was not in drawers, and my room is small, couldn’t have missed it while looking around! Conclusion: while I was at the office yesterday, the cleaning staff threw my laundry out thinking it was garbage…

You read that right, they threw it out! Most of my under-wears, socks and a couple t-shirts were in that bag! How crazy is this!

On the flip side, the management apologized and agreed to reimburse me the cost of buying replacements, which is kinda nice but still suck. I have now replaced about a third of the clothes I initially brought with me… what a mess.

I won’t have to surfer long though, because good news! I got an Apartment! YAY!!! And I’ll have my own laundry machine and dryer! YAY!!!

I still need to buy some basic furniture but I’ll have a place to call my own. I’ll post some photos of it at some point as well. I won’t move in until next week.

In other news, my employer decided to change its pay schedule and will being paying us twice a month instead of once a month! WOOH! I still can’t leave the office early without taking half a day of vacation though…

Day 10: I should buy some curry…

Do they sell golden curry brand curries at Whole food? I am pretty sure they do… I would really go for curry right now…

In other news, things are going well. I did not do a single thing at work but what can you do. It took them a full week to finally grant me access to the Mainframe, which is the thing I’m supposed to write programs for. Most of my first week was me reading manuals, docs, looking for a car (until I bought one on wednesday) and car insurance (I went for Geico because it was one of the few that actually gave me a proper quote online without forcing to call an agent). Mind numbing but some proactive i guess? This week is probably not going to be much more exciting, since i’ll most likely just learn how to use the mainframe 25 years old interface. Remember those black and green screens you see in all those old movie? Yeah that kind of stuff. Can’t really blame First Data, the languages their using date from the pre-historic age of computer (Assembler and Cobol). At least I’ll get paid to seat at my cubicle all day.

The weird part of being a contractor/consultant is the how we are paid. There is a base pay that is guaranteed and then there is a “daily bonus” for everyday you go to work. There is a full day bonus and a half day bonus, You get the full day bonus if you work for 8 or more hour in day and the half day bonus is you work between 4 to 8 hours. This means you only get the half day bonus if you work 7 hours and 59 minutes but won’t be paid for any extra work you might do after your 8 hours a day. Overtime is only given in “special situations”, so who knows.

I drove around a bit In my new car on sunday when the insurance coverage started, and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. It still feel strange to think that I own a car and yet driving felt very natural… Deep stuff. I still need to get real license plates.

Trader joe is not as good as whole foods by the way. Also the entire staff wears tacky hawaiian shirts.

The apartment hunt begins! WOO!

Random defragmented thoughts!

Also, people here are really proud of their state university. The Yonkers store at the mall has an entire section of merchandise, people have stickers on their car, heck I even saw a car with a license plate that read “ilive4un” i.e. “I live for U. of Nebraska”. freaky stuff. I guess their football team is descent? Or maybe their baseball team? I don’t really care.

How hard could it be….

Alright time for a “little” update!

As hoped my two colleague have agreed to car pool and it has been really nice having someone that I know around the office for such things. Talking about the office, things are going really nicely there. Also, my credit card has been approved! Now I’ll be able to start my credit history, but more on that later. My team is made of really nice people and they have been supportive so far and made me feel like I belong in their team. I haven’t started working on anything yet as I am still waiting for my mainframe access and current project my team was  working on is on its installation week. This means tis friday the code will be delivered to the client and if anything fails, they won’t leave the office until it works! My manager will come in at 4 in the morning on friday and will stay until midnight to make sure everything goes smoothly.

So far I have mostly been reading testing documentations and Quality Insurance stuff but things should start picking up next week as preparation for the next project will start. Apparently I’ll be working on back charges and retrievals systems, which sounds interesting. Also I found this cool image in one of the docs, which dates back from 1995! It is a famous meme now but I never thought that it existed before the internet was what it is today!

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Remember how I said my credit card was approved? Well I still don’t have it yet, so my credit history is still non-existent. And yet, I have managed to do THE IMPOSSIBLE! My original plan was to buy a used car first and then get a lease later when I would have save some money and had an actually credit history. FORGET THAT! I BOUGHT A BRAND NEW CAR TODAY!!! WITHOUT HAVING A CREDIT HISTORY!!!

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That wasn’t so hard, wasn’t it? Remember me complaining how things are so far apart? Meh, It could be worse. It is a 2014 Ford Focus hatchback! I got to go on a test ride on it and oh boy is this thing awesome! What’s that? My interest rate you ask? 0%. I can barely contain my joy!

Last thing on my hit list is an apartment, which should not be that hard, right? Right.

The first few days…

Just arrived in a foreign land? people asking for update? Write a blog on it!

As you may have guessed, or were already aware of it, I just moved to mysterious land of Omaha Nebraska! Why? Because I landed a job there for First Data, the leader in electronic monetary transaction (credit cards stuff).

Now that we have the simple question out of the way let us sidetrack some more with this cool anecdote:

When I checked in for my flight at Newark to get here one of my suitcases was a couple pound over weight. The staff at the counter told me to remove something to lose the couple extra pounds so I decide that I would take my computer out of the suitcase and travel with it. The staff lady said it would not be necessary. She printed the two tags, tagged the two suitcases and then prompted me to put my computer back in it. It won’t print the tags if the suitcase was too heavy, but with the computer out, it was good to go! So I managed to sneak my slightly overweight luggage with the help of the  staff lady, how cool is that!

So how am I doing in Omaha? Well, so far so good I guess. I managed to open a new bank account, which is really helpful. The hotel that my employer has book for me is not too shabby, and is a relative walking distance from two malls. The main problem is that everything is design to be accessible by car. There are side walks and traffic signal but sometime crossing the road is a bit intimidating. One of my priority will be to get car, so I can move around more easily. There is a bus system but it would much slower than having my own car, since the busses apparently only come once an hour. Some places are faster to walk to than to take the bus!

Tomorrow is the first day at work, I am really excited to see what kind of project I will be working on. First Data is the company in charge of the Apple pay system that will come out soon, so who knows? maybe I’ll work on that!

I’ll try to post every so often or whenever some cool stuff happens. See you next time!