18 July 2020

What a wonderful hour and a half!

Greg and I had worked together long back. Like I mentioned in a previous post, even run together. (Strictly speaking, I think it was more like we started together and then he waited for me to finish up on the other side).

Today, we kept an old promise to motor bike together. And that gave me an hour and half of pure Greg time. And I am incredibly happy that I got it.

We immediately bonded over our dads. For the last few days I have been struggling with the fact that my dad has had yet another stroke and this time he has lost his speech. And I cannot even go see him – for another six to twelve months. Looks like Greg was very close to his dad – who is unfortunately no more. We exchanged notes on how dads are the ultimate influential figures for kids. Every dad is a first hero that a child ever knows.

But what I will always remember our morning for is Greg’s “Never Say Die” attitude. After he left the company we had both worked in, he took what looked like a great role across the other coast. I recollect talking to him before he took the job.

A few months later, I saw a post he had written on Linkedin on how his move did not work out and that he was not going to let this bring him down – instead he was glad he took a chance and now he is going to learn from it.

Reading his post, I remember thinking thru if there was some place in our company that he could be awesome in. Well, somebody else (who I do not know) also read that post. And one thing led to the other and Greg now has a job made in heaven for him. It was not just the job. It is the current virus led situation that has opened up an opportunity for him – and he has hammered it home to great success.

To think – if he had not faced that severe set back (and kept his chin up), he would have never had this dream opportunity!! As the old story from Taoism goes… you never know what is good and what is bad…

Although, Tao be danged, I know Greg is pure goodness!!

18 July 2020

We have worked together and we have run together…

Today we rode our motorbikes together. For the first time.

I think it was more than two years back when I had run into Greg and his wife Colleen in Alpharetta Green Way after my morning run and I found out that Greg is a motor biker too. I always knew him as a great colleague and an amazing runner. He and his dog runs about twice the distance in the same time as I do. (Here is a previous encounter with his dog). He and Dan Parzych were the first ones, I remember, who had encouraged me to run a marathon.

That day we had said that we should ride our bikes together sometime.

Fast forward a couple of years. This Tuesday, I ran into Greg again while running in the Big Creek Greenway. In fact, I ran about half a mile with him… at his pace!! He suggested that we should go out for a bike ride this weekend. I was so out of breath, I would have agreed to anything 🙂 Just kidding! Of course, I was excited by that. And I could not believe that we had not done it already.

This morning, Greg Jones and myself went up to Dahlonega for a great breakfast and a 100 mile ride! Turns out we are both Honda brethren. He is on a Honda 919 and I am on my CTX 700D!!

17 July 2020

Chris Stein!!

We live no more than a twenty minute drive away from each other but we do not get together as often as we should. Chris and I have worked twice together and have had to live thru some tough business situations together. Took the opportunity yesterday to meet him in Halcyon – where they have done a great job of seating arrangements out in the open for social distancing – and catch up on our families.

There were a lot of friends and updates we went thru from our past to be able to cover in one evening but we gave it a shot anyways. Chris might have dropped about 45 pounds in the last few months but none of his sharp sense of humor, for sure.

“Are you ready to jump back into the corporate world?”, I asked Chris who is enjoying time off from work.
He thought for a while and then added – “I think so. There is only so much of being a trophy husband at home I can take!”

That is the sharp wit I miss when not around him!!!

17 July 2020

When in Roam, do as Indians do!!

Roam is one of those Wework kind of shared office spaces in Atlanta area. I think they have six or seven locations now in Atlanta area. I have had a membership for at least 10 years and whenever I am not traveling, I usually work from there. Consequently, I have gotten to know all the staff here over the years fairly well – and I think I joined here before any of the existing staff.

I have to admit this is one of the most friendly, helpful and professional staff I have had a chance to interact with during all my travels and work life. Thru the virus days, they kept the place open for people like us to work, opened up all offices free for members (usually you have to book and pay), put social distancing, sanitizers all over, re-tooled the doors so as to minimize contacts. And somebody from the staff would show up every morning before anybody else to make coffee and stack up free snacks and food for anybody who would show up.

Most of the days the whole huge place used to have two or three of us and we barely got to see each other. Now things have changed a little. There is still masks and social distancing. But we have more people working here.

Sharmila and I had decided to treat the staff to Indian lunch some day to say Thank You! Today was the day.

I was certainly a bit worried – given that Erin had not had Indian food before and the one time Micalah had Indian food – let’s just say it did not stay with her for too long! Katie, however cooks some Indian dishes at home and Zach is fairly well experienced in different culinary tastes.

The good news is that it worked out great. Everybody seemed to deal with the spiciness and flavors very well. Micalah even came back for more!

The conversations were even more enjoyable. Katie talked about her trips to India and Bali and we exchanged notes from our family trip to Bali a few years back. Zach’s family (I think he said his sister and her family) has been missionaries in Mongolia for the last four years. That brought back a lot of memories from Roger and my trip there three years back. And I found out that Erin’s best friend for 20 years is an Indian girl. Still have not figured out how she managed to escape without any Indian food for so long!!