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.
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.