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April 18th, 2013

HR woman emailed we NEED to be at the 8 am broadcast because it will be chock full of IMPORTANT INFORMATION. The occasion was the formal announcement that Motorola Home is now Arris.

A tiny bit of background: Motorola Home is the group of Motorola Mobility which had nothing to do with cell phones. Google had no idea what to do with us (we were the division making money) so they split us off, and sold us to Arris before the split was barely started. Like Home, Arris is in the industrial cable TV equipment field.

They started 15 minutes late. Unforgivable, considering this was broadcast from PA, where it was 11 am on a Thursday, with 4 working days to prepare. No reason was given for the late start. We on the west coast who dragged in at 8 am were not amused.

The only piece of information which needed to be on a live broadcast was the tangential remark that the shyster Nice Man Google had hired to head Motorola Home and find someone to sell it to, had lost his father this weekend. He used that tidbit to personalize what he was going to tell us anyway, which was he was no longer part of the company and we should continue to do whatever it is we had been doing.

The next 45 minutes was a nightmare of department heads rushing through the 5-minute presentations (which mostly took them 10 minutes) and were illustrated with org charts too small to read. Arris' CEO was visibly shaking when he told us he was sure this merger of us (a 6,000-employee company) with Arris (a 2,000-employee company) was a great fit and was bound to do Great Things, even without the backing of Motorola or Google. I don't think for a minute he believed that. He may as well have tattooed on his forehead "Be careful what you wish for".

It may work. In fact, if he's smart enough to leave the Moto Home sales and engineering groups alone, it probably will work.

After the presentation and completely bogus Q&A, we lined up to turn in our ugly red Moto badges and get a hard-to-read but fairly attractive Arris badge. And a "goodie bag". It would have gone quicker if they had the badges out of the alpha organizer folder before we started lining up, and split it alphabetically between the two HR people, but they didn't. There were only about 70 of us, so no big deal.

In the goodie bag, which was a black cloth bag with a white Arris logo, about the size of those smaller gift bags:
An Arris lanyard
An Arris plastic cup, lid and straw (about 12 oz)
An Arris branded ball point push-push pen
A multi-colored Arris pin with pretty blue and orange logo. HP gave me one of these types of pins on my 5-year date.
An Arris-branded small spiral notebook, suitable for writing recipes, or suicide notes

Ho hum. Except for the pin. It's a very pretty pin.

Prior to the broadcast they had a very generous layout of danish, coffee cake and fruit trays, plus bottled water and juices. Better then the usual HR fare, which has always been good to begin with.

After this adventure, it was back to work. Which for me turned out to be another surprise re-run of automation scripts, except this time it was for a very long and complicated set of tests, each of which took between 2 and 3 hours. One was completely broken thanks to some crap Google IT had pulled in our lab. I went out to lunch while the second one was running.

In this case lunch was the Starbucks on Lawrence & El Camino, the largest one in the area which is usually chock full of students, but today was only half full, a mix of older students and the unemployed. I was able to get a table near an outlet, which was good because it has been 2 weeks since the laptop had been plugged in, and it needed some juice for the updates. I ordered a hazelnut mocha, he made a hazelnut macchiato. I thought he said amontillado, so I made a Poe joke. He got the joke, but not my poor hearing. After asking if I knew anyone who might want a hazelnut macchiato, (no) he made the mocha for me.  I also got a chocolate croissant, which I still have not touched. It is on the front seat of the car, fermenting.

Back to work, went to enter the passed first test into the database, saw it was already marked as passed. Asked Automation guy, he said "oops, they re-ran the tests". I'm off the hook.

Passed an entirely different test based on the results of a bug I had commented on, and that was the end of useful for me for today. Out of there at 5:30.

Which was good, because it meant no waiting for a manicure. I got the woman with the very thick mask, whom I cannot understand. Boring. She does okay with the nails, but it might be time to look elsewhere. None of the staff at that place is much of an artist with acrylic.

Home, shooed the cats away from the bedroom door (which has been closed since Kaan pooped in front of the front door - he has also been getting out of hand waking me up too early to play fetch), ducked inside and took a lie-down.

Dinner was microwave Swedish meatballs.

Gave the cats their crack, but Kaan got his in the livingroom instead of the bedroom.

Caught up on email & FB & sent Amazon a nastygram about Ontrac.

Tried out the newer, cheaper seltzer siphon, it works better than the expensiver one.

In the mail was a new Kaiser card, since I'm on Arris' dime now. A dental card would be more useful, since I actually had to change companies/coverage for that.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
pretend it's Friday.

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