Saturday, March 31, 2007

It is not nice to see a closed office... or end of an era

After twenty years faithful service, our office in Tefen was closed on Thursday. The rooms were emptied, useful equipment shipped to elsewhere, anything else was donated, the paper and other "junk" shrewed and the building was returned to the industrial park.

I worked twenty years in the place, in 4 companies - without leaving my room: in Informatics, in PMSC, in Sterling Software and finally in Computer Associates (CA) (actually I worked in three different room in the building).

I don't show the office's last days - I want to remember it as it was in its glorious time: home to most of us. I will miss you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Looting the office..

Our office in last couple of year (and even decades) is going to be closed at the end of the month. Not only most of my colleagues are fired, but the place will be cleaned up and returned to the industrial park. All the equipment, furniture, flowers, pictures, all the history of 20 years will be gone.

CA decided to sell part of the equipment and donate anything else remaining. So in the last couple of weeks we were fully occupied dismantling the place. Everything movable was moved: desk, chairs, computer tables, cupboards, pictures and so on. Actually only the carpet remained untouched. In spite of the fact we took everything with permission, my feeling was like looting a place, just like in the old times during wars: the barbarians occupies the city and take everything movable. When a cupboard was taken, all the documents, disks, books were spilled out to the floor. Sometimes I fee I am walking on Dalfur's streets.

Yesterday the company's technical staff came and started to wrap up H/W: computers, phones, cables. They piled them up and packaged them for shipping them out. Rooms were filled up with 5 and 10 year of computers before some charity organizations came and took them away.

My heart is bleeding: this office was like a second home. It is sad to see it raped and plundered. But this is life, and life will continue. I will move home and will start working from home. At least I can go to my "office" unshaven:(

So long Tefen! Thanks for your service and your facilities. You will be definitely missed!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Farewell and good luck!

Last week we say good bye and good luck with a final trip and with a farewell party at Oded, our director's, place.

The folks are getting to be positioned. In a couple of days or weeks, nobody will remain unemployed. So the atmosphere at these departing events was good. But still, sadness was in the air.Good bye and good luck to everybody. I will miss you!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Closing an era... and an office...

I came to Tefen more than 20 years ago, in November 1986. I worked during this time in 4 different companies, but without leaving my office. I started at Informatics, which was overtaken by PMSC, who sold us to Sterling Software, who was acquired by Computer Associates in February 2000.

During this time I worked with a lot of people and in different projects. We had our ups-and-downs; we had our successes and failure. Now it is over. The era of Tefen is ended and a new period is started today: era of post-Tefen.

About a month ago we were in formed that our project is canceled, as the company decided to leave the market. Due to financial problems the company tries to minimize expenses and as a result our positions (at least most of us) are terminated. The official layoff papers were handed out today. Except some handful of people most of the team is going home. Some colleagues move to another office in CA, in another part of the company. Me and two of my colleagues are remaining (temporarily) in the office for a short project in another group in CA. Of course the office will be closed and we will be relocated to another office or will continue working from home - nobody will maintain an office planned for 30-35 persons just for three of us.

So the Tefen Lab, in the Tefen Industrial Park has come to its end after 20 year of service. Rest In Peace! You provided us a good place to work in; you had a good company to work with. You will be always remembered.

/* Thanks Asi for the pictures! */

Friday, October 27, 2006

End of an era, at last

My son Asa left home almost three years ago, starting his journey in the army. Yesterday he closed this adventure. He will discharge from the army in the middle of November, but de-facto he is a civilian again, starting his dismissal vacation yesterday. He returned his weapon, his uniform and came back home.

The last three years were not easy. For 18 years we defended him, hardly letting him to cross the road alone. And suddenly he left our safe and warm home for taking part in defending our country and controlling life-and-death of others. Suddenly, without any warning and any preparations, he was pushed into the melting points of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

We watched from a distance how he transformed from a spoiled lazy boy to a charming and attractive grown up. Three years ago he was a teddy bear; today he can be a model on a fashion magazine's cover.

He started the army without any required physical skills, as most of his school years he spent in front of computers. But after half year of intensive training and exercises he lost about 20-30 kgs, discovered his mental and physical strength and even started to enjoy the warrior's life.

Most of his army duty was spent in the occupied territories: more than a year in Gaza Strip (in the isolated settlement of Netzarim) and almost a year in the West Bank, near Jerusalem. He didn't told us everything he and his unit did, but we all knew what kind of job he was doing: babysitting the settlers, watching roads and transportation lines, working at checkpoints, venturing into Palestinian villages for arresting terrorists, patrolling in the dunes and the orchards, shooting here-and-there. In short, participating in a war.

Our terror was two sided: we feared for his safety and at the same time we feared for his soul, hoping he will not be involved in inhuman act, terrorizing innocent civilians. Fortunately he was more babysitter than a fighter, so his contact with the locals were minimal.

Now he is home again, starting a new journey, hopefully less dangerous and more enjoyable.

My dear son, I wish you to find your way, your place and purpose in life. The world is at your hand. You can do whatever you want, you can achieve what ever you dream of. Knowing you, your strength and will, I am sure you will succeed!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dead by Chocolate

Life is difficult. You can just die ... by chocolate. But if this is our destiny, at least with a lot of dark chocolate, topped with chocolate mousse, covered with chocolate syrup and sweetened with some Brazilian chocolate drink.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Glimpse into a leftist's mind (or results of an ugly war)

This week we came out from the shelters we were forced due to the war between Israel and Hezbollah. After about four weeks of fights, silence and normality returned: refugees came home, streets became crowded again, lights were turned on in houses at nights and the queues are returned to shops.

I don’t want to talk about the war, about its geopolitical consequences; you can find a lot in this subject in a number of sites. I want to concentrate on my personal feelings, views and ideas as they are reshaped because of this war and the one in the South with Hamas.

I consider myself as a leftist. I believe in human rights, equality to every person regardless of origin, skin color, gender, religion or any other criteria. If there should be any favor to certain individuals it should be based only on contribution to the society. As a leftist I am against the occupation of the Palestinian territories and I am against the settlements in the occupied territories. I believe in the two states solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But at the same time I believe in a peaceful solution. I cannot accept I cannot justify terrorist act, suicide bombing, and Qasam or Katyusha rockets launching on civil population. There is no justification what so ever for any terrorist act against civilians. Moreover, any nation seeking for independence must lose its natural right if it uses illegitimate methods. I believe that means justify the goal and not goals justify means.

In the last decades leftists fought for these ideas. Slowly these ideas took roots, and even non-leftist recognized the reasoning and understood that our mail goal is a free and democratic Jewish country. And it cannot be reached with continuing the occupation; we have to relinquish Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

So Israel disengaged from Gaza, removed all settlements and with all the troops. The Palestinian answer was launching hundredths of Qasam rockets in South Israel. Just as the Hezbollah answer to Israel’s withdraw from South Lebanon was organizing a number of kidnapping, violating the blue line and launching massive rocket attacks on civilian targets in North of Israel. I stayed in my village; during the war more than 600 rockets hit the neighborhood. There is no single army installation around my village, just a small city (Ma’alot) and a couple of small villages. The only reason to launch rockets on us was to kill and terrorize civilians.

So where is my leftist belief standing? Do I still believe in the same solution as before? Yes, I do. But I don’t believe reaching this goal shortly. And I don’t believe we should do any more unilateral steps reaching. Every time Israel unilaterally withdrew, the Arabs interpreted it as weakness. They never interpreted our pull-out as opening a door for negotiations for peace talks.

So we should stop any further withdrawal. We have to express our will and eagerness to a solution but at the same time we have to take any possible steps guarding ourselves, including building a security wall even if it hurts some Palestinians access to their land. They should fight the militant terrorists if they feel this wall harms their life.

I am not the only leftist (radical or liberal) feeling this way. After years of demonstrations, Peace Now activities, the Palestinians paid back us with terror and more terror. So now they are alone, without our support and without understanding.

For somebody who disagrees with me, I attach these pictures. They were taken in the Tefen Industrial Park (about 5 km from my village), hit by a Katyusha rocket. Fortunately it hit an open area and it broke only some windows. But the same rockets killed a number of people when their car or flat got a direct hit. Tefen is an industrial area. There is no army installation there, only hi-tech companies with people wanting only peace and a decent living.

So, dear Palestinians, until you are not ready for a peacul solution for an acceptable compromise, forget about me. Call me only when you are ready!