United States, Cuba, Basketball discussed on Unstructured Interviews
Sleep and and that stuck with me for for a long time and it's It's a it's a struggle that This the daily struggle not to come to it. And I can't. I can't pictured I can only intellectually imagine what you went through crew but the isolation that you feel or felt It had to be profound because you were literally truly a fish out of water all right. So here's the thing I slowly wandered into this isolation saying And that he used to it. It's like you know that frog that is in the blue water. Slow boil saying because because I actually grew up as an an extrovert. I was the class clown. I was the leader of a band. And you know I played basketball. I love my team. I I was a student leader. What instrument did you play in your band guitar and I sang because the other three guys didn't want to horrible? Remember when we made a lot of noise so then I moved from a place where there was a team but was basketball team at work in basketball will and I moved to Berlin all of a sudden I was by myself B because all my training was on one I didn't go to work and the the friends did I acquired. Were sort of part of work because my one of my tasks was to just get to know people that I don't know in Macomb mm-hmm into friends and and write profiles on them. This is part of what part of the training. Then they send Moscow. That was probably the worst two years of my life. Because you know I went to a country where I didn't speak the language I understood stood well enough to to get around no friends. Nobody the only people I met whether people that I was working so so as I entered the United States it was almost a relief because I could at least speaks the language which which which did not you know get me out of the lone wolf mentality because he you know the first year in the US. I didn't work so because I needed to get my documentation to be able to get a job so I spent one year living. I'm by myself in a hotel and so what I did in order to not to Raise any kind of suspicion I would get up in the morning. Leave the hotel at eight o'clock and don't come back until six. I did whatever went to the movies. I went to explore the city but but I really didn't didn't have anybody to talk to him. There was no provision made for me to have any kind of contact with voice with Moscow. The only contact was two shortwave. Radio and then I worked two years as a bike messenger now. That was a group that I couldn't really relate very well to which is probably elite. Good though because as you put it they didn't care about you either. Everybody was so into their own thing is that they wouldn't even notice. If you did slip up correct and I I just by sitting and waiting in the office for another delivery and listening to their conversation and then going you'll be finding another another dispatchers in going to the race track with him and you know hearing about sports and the Yankees the giants. I learned the basics basics of being an American in idioms and different. Oh absolutely absolutely you. This is the kind of stuff you just can't learn from a country and eventually you know The first the first time I became a member of a team that was when I had my first job by first professional job as a computer programmer. But I've never lost my lone wolf mentality which is not good because I have been trying my entire life to fix all my own problems problems and sometimes you need help. Oh absolutely and I did WANNA follow up on that with the effect that you went into the it world you have mentioned that you're very much core German and have kind of an abrupt or in your face. Personality like German and Dutch are known for having. Did it help that. You are working in the it world where you had some aspirin jerseys type of people who kind of a little off kilter socially quite often anyway and might have been abrupt themselves else. I can talk about this for at least in Alabama. I give you two examples where. It wasn't helpful helpful the way I communicated and and WED was. I spoke English perfectly. I write it better than most Americans I still have have a residual accent but that was easily explained My mother had a German maiden name so I was not aware of my communication style and I had worked at my company for about three four years and I was doing really well. I love programming and one day. A friend of mine takes me and I still remember that day. I even remember where I was. It was on the second floor at Novus an empty room. And he says Jack I gotTa tell you something I am not gonNA curse on. That's fine on your show. I gotTa tell you okay if I may use a mild curse word everybody thinks you're an asshole and I don't have a clue was talking about so I was trying to be less of an S. O. but I didn't know where this came from now. Here's here's the flipside of the coin. My first management job. I got hired to fix the situation in a place where I didn't I know the people didn't know the technology I didn't notice city I was picked out by a new manager. I hadn't I think you can do this. Come over here in fixed scope nope and in in that situation might direct communication style might brutal honesty. Cleaning House did did very very well and I had three more in succession situations like that. The only problem is once house was cleaned. I was not longer longer needed. I was not longer wanted so I I. I've been telling my wife how this works. You know I I used to get this. Initially Amandus guys is like a breath of fresh air and then after about a year year and a half the air got a little stale and after three years it was a foul stench that had to would be removed. You know what I think. You are actually very entrepreneurial in personality and and by that let me explain for second. I'm guessing that you enjoy creating something and then moving onto the next item because you're intellectually always seeking the next challenge idea cetera but sitting there in actually having to manage what's already existing or what you've created. This is your worst nightmare. Maybe not the worst But status quo. Yeah I had A. I had several interviews for for a new job where I got along really really well with the the decision maker and at the end they would say you know what we we. Don't we need somebody to manage the situation. You're a change your change agent you. You wouldn't workout. You're you're right. I like to go into a situation and fix stuff. You know away I should. I should have paid a little more attention to fixing me and we all everybody has has things that work and you had external forces to. That's why I definitely am sympathetic. Obviously haven't been and through it again talking to the folks in Cuba and learning them and in Cuba to I had a an individual who was marine as a US marine. WHO's a Russian? So so he moved to the states when you seventeen thereabouts and he had a funny story which I thought you can relate to. Are you familiar with the United States Marines and basic nick training. And I know I know some I know submarines okay. That's the toughest training that I could imagine. Well they have something about out there. They're footlockers as in their footlockers. had better be secure or I mean it. It's one of the biggest crimes you can do. All Hell break loose. And he talked about how he left his footlocker on locked in basic training. And the drill. Sergeant just lit him up bringing the whole platoon. What is wrong with you? And screaming at him and he had to explain that it was a combination lock and he didn't know how to work okay. Eh described the drill sergeant having been down on the floor and go and go left go right after screaming at them up and down and that made me think of your twist off bottle cap story. Yeah that's another moment that I remember. I'm very vividly. I believe and you know sometimes memories of false but I believe I said at a table with four chairs and I can picture exactly where it said in an how the way to cut came up when I wave them over Anita bottle opener and he he was looked at me like making trying to make fun of me and he took that bottle in slowly twisted the capital of with a floor. Yeah I mean maybe he was playing along maybe he was thinking. What an idiot Maybe they don't have bottled doc. Twist off bottles where he came from and I spoke already like ninety percent clean English at the time right now what I wanted to ask you were there any other instances like that that tripped you up because I know that one spy got caught because he was holding flowers upside down when walking on his side no I can't recall any similar situation but I I can. I could tell you a number of situations that coulda tripped me up but nobody ever paid attention like you. You try to make me play in a softball game and I look like an idiot. I can't I can't swing a bat now you you put a soccer ball in front of my the right foot and watch me kick the ball. Because I just can't help myself so this is all very deep in the DNA and this would require somebody with phenomenally sharp skills to observe But I I can't recall offhand now. Another situation that made me look that stupid. Oh maybe here's one one so I come to the US. And I. I live here for about three months. And I'm going out and I meet a girl and we have dinner and I paid for dinner and after I paid for dinner See us. Oh so what do you do for a living. I said I'm unemployed employed and I I say I set this with a sort of pride no insertions. That's the word that comes to mind. Okay like you know. Like I don't really care Gotcha. And she went like oh I should have known I would have paid for the dinner. I didn't quite quite relate to what unemployment means. I know that's interesting. It did some of that helped culminate or change your opinion over time because that right there would imply something very different than the greedy capitalist. Well you know I I had to learn viscerally. WHAT UNEMPLOYMENT IS A? Ah Anna and I it was just something theoretical now now what changed my mind. The greedy capitalists is the way My my first company treated me. And that's on the record so I might. As well mentioned. The name of the company was met life at the time a very Turner Listrik Mutual Insurance Company but they were so nice to their employees. I mean they were really nice. We had free lunch and they paid well. All in the atmosphere was good started changing my hardcore attitude towards capitalism. Yeah I talked to Different people behind the Iron Curtain Otakar clicky of former guest and she had talked about how they had made up jobs. Like she knew this She had a friend who her only job was at a is like a carpet factory career blanket factory. Something like that and her job was to just turn it over on the loom every past hour or so and she loves the job because he just sit there smoking and joking with Oliver Friend rent but there is a lot of hate to say BS jobs like that did you have that kind of situation with the Everybody employed all we did and not I have first hand experience We my generation and year after us were in experimental to kind of program in high school where they The Communists Lena's thought the you know the future of the country should be members of the working in class to learn how you know what it's like to be working class so we went to school for three weeks the out of the month and then we went to a factory. In this case it was a large combined works whether you know whether liquefied coal and generated electricity until four thirty smelling big big planned and we learned to be machinists and I swear to God at least craft guys who were standing around. I did nothing nothing because all it took these things were fully automated. All it took to supervise. What was going on? There was reading the gauges into making sure that everything's imbalance. We we we we eventually got so bored be was also shifted ball by we let so bored in the summertime sweet four of us as snuck out of the plan and hung out in the woods all day. Nobody noticed that we weren't there. They probably were happy to have fewer to manage. Well we learned that you really don't have to work hard to to get paid in existent country now that that did not apply to everybody. Because as weak as the sermon economy was it wasn't as bad as some others that means somebody must have produce. Something wow I i. I'm so blown away by that. And I spend a little time in the army and that's why I was in Cuba but I was out at Fort Irwin. And we used to train as the CO op four because it was sort of like a desert training but we studied Soviet tactics and I learned different things in there like one on the Soviet tactics were phenomenal. Probably better than anything in the world except they had such a dependency on a chain of command that they would be paralyzed on the field. Oh was part of that tactic also to shoot people in the back. I'm guessing that's possible where they did their World War Two..