Archive for November, 2018


Montvale NJ

Nov 20, 2018 in Life

Was my first trip to the US of A. Late 1987. KPMG decided it needed all new audit software. Project Watson. And I was to be its lead engineer.

I was very excited. I was going to live abroad. There was someone from the UK office on the team, someone from Canada, a few from the US. We were the initial skeleton crew charged with building out the team.

I was going to be living abroad, did I mention that? I was very excited.

We traveled to various KPMG offices in the US, to Paris, to Oslo, to Stockholm, to Frankfurt to get input what that next generation software should do. I spoke with accountants from Nigeria and Kenia who used the Mac apps I had written.

During the next trip to Montvale I met with a real estate agent who showed me around. We saw a house in Bergen, one in Hackensack, an apartment in Englewood. And Fort Lee, a high rise on the riverfront, 12th floor apartment looking east and south over Manhattan.

I took an option on that one. I was very excited, I was going to be living in another country! Did I mention that?

“How is your work visa application going?”, Eric asked, the Canadian team member.

My what?

Never had I heard of such a thing and that you might need such a thing to live and work abroad.

The Dutch office had only placed accountants abroad – the company’s main profession. It knew how to get work permits for those. I was a software engineer. I didn’t have a college degree. That didn’t help either. Was KPMG worldwide one firm or was it more like a franchise? Can it and I apply for an L1 (fairly easy) or had it to be an H1 (much harder)? Its lawyers didn’t know.

Ah, I was so deliciously naive then. Not the cynic you all now adore.

A year and a half later I withdrew from the project. I was not moving abroad.

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