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Geek: Intro

Indonesia 1

In 1993, I was offered an opportunity to live and work in Indonesia for Bank Danamon.  My parents were happy to babysit Michelle until we returned, and we went to Jakarta.

The first night in Jakarta was interesting.  We were assigned a hotel called Hotel Cipta, a reasonably nice looking hotel, but with little water pressure for taking a shower.  With the heat and humidity in Jakarta, showers were critically important.  We decided to change our location to the Hilton for the next night just to have a chance to be alone together, and then for the remaining time we stayed with Nellina’s parents and sister.

I went for my interview with a French consulting firm for Bank Danamon.  Bank Danamon wanted to expand their operations across Indonesia and needed someone to help with establishing database connections between the offices.


A young woman in the IT Department tried to size me up asking, “What’s your specialty?  Making resumes?”  I laughed it off.  Then the team let me know they had been struggling unsuccessfully to get an SCO computer to speak to an Ingres database on an HP Unix system.  Apparently the team did not know how to make it work with C2 security, and I fixed the problem almost immediately.  Meetings seemed spurious and frequent, and it felt more like a startup environment than an organized environment.  These days that might appeal to me, but I found it difficult to deal with the fact they were already talking about yanking out the HP system and replacing it with a VAX/VMS based system.

In retrospect, I should have taken the job anyway for the experience working as a consultant in a foreign country.  Since Indonesian was my second language, it would have been a perfect fit.

But I returned to the U.S. and to Ingres. My manager and friend left for another department, and the woman who was hired to replace me became the manager of our team much to the team’s disappointment.

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