The MySQL All-Company Meeting in Orlando is now over. Many are already back at home (= back at work), and others are in transition. What a meeting!
One of the mildest surprises of the week were the name tags carrying a flag that represented the country of residence, as opposed to nationality. These matters are emotional. While I happen to like Germany, it's not as if I were German. Teased by others for deserting my native country of Finland, I spent time retaliating at innocent fellow countrymen for their "even more foreign" flag than mine. Max Mether had a French flag. Birgitta LÃƒÂ¶fberg had a Swedish flag (OK, that's the least foreign, but still foreign). And, for the largest distance from Finland, MÃƒÂ¥rten Mickos carried a US flag. Eminently teasable.
Also, on my initial name tag, I had the title "Sr. Director Sales Operations". However, it turned out not to be an innovative way for HR to tell me about being transferred to a new position, but to be a mere mistake. I must have complained too loudly to our All-Company Meeting organiser, Michael Schiff (whose daytime job includes being "Sr. Director Sales Operations"), since he "rewarded" me by handing out a new name tag:
I happily carried that name tag on the flip side of my real tag throughout the conference, and I got many more jokes and laughs out of the flag that I carried, than the title "Schiff's Admin.". Ah, flags have so many connotations.
Michael Schiff: You did a superb job arranging the All-Company Meeting! And remember to calibrate that against the Scandinavian scale, where "not bad" in Scandinavian translates to "great" in American. Thank you! Happy to be your Admin anytime!