My Magical Visit To The Consulate General of France in New York
Today was a great work day. I had an installation job at The Consulate General of France in New York. The job was to install a primary and backup router on their network. They have a beautiful 5th Ave address with Central Park across the street. With living a minimalist lifestyle I decided to live like a tourist everywhere I go now so you know where I will be going after this job to set up office. I will be enjoying Central Park as I have been visiting and working in New York City all of my life and I can count on one hand how many times I can remember enjoying the Historic Park. Read further and you may agree why I consider this a great work day.
Trouble at The Consulate General of France in New York
Upon arriving I was met by the local IT person. I promptly asked him if there was a new circuit associated with this install as I did not have one in my work order. He was pretty short with me as he told me he did not know as I should know this information. Then I thought to myself “it’s going to be one of those days”. Well, I am an old pro that cut his teeth as a cable TV tech with Comcast. Who is hated more that the cable company tech from Comcast? The field personnel are the only cable people the customers can get their hands on and occasionally choke out. Well right then and there I began to use my kill him with kindness strategy but he showed not signs of dying or being won over.
Knowing whether there was a new circuit associated with this install is crucial and it would dictate how I would proceed. That is when my counterpart from France called. He was the Engineer that planned the install and would oversee these upgrades worldwide for this customer. His English was 100 times better than my French but we still had some language issues. I asked him about the circuit and he just told me we were going to install the backup router and that was it. In my mind, I said to install it on what? I need to know what we are doing.
Things Get Worst at The Consulate General of France in New York
I rack the router and found I had the configuration already on it but it was configured for different hardware then that is installed on the router. I relayed that information to my counterpart in France. He then gets on the phone with the local tech and they shout a bit come up with a solution. We will take the needed part from the existing old router and install it in the new one. Every time I try to remove the part from the existing router the local tech actually slaps my hand away and yells “Wait”.
He then gets back on the phone with my counterpart in France and then says it is OK to remove the part. Then he slaps my hand away again and yells “wait”. This goes on a few more times before I politely ask him what is the problem? He says he does not want the network to go down. I explain to him that is why we are working with the backup router as the network should be up on the primary router and would no be affected. He thinks about it looks me, he loses his French accent, gains along Island type of Brooklyn accent and says “I don’t care”. Now we are at a standoff.
It Gets Even Worst
The local tech finally allows me to take the part from the existing router. I install it, reconfigure the interface and the connection comes up. I begin to work with my counterpart in France and bang. The local tech gets cold feet and grabs the phone. I don’t know if my kindness is freaking him out or if he is just changing into a New Yorker in front of my eyes because he is freaking out on the phone.
If he spits a few Jay-Z lyrics I am out of there. Finally, he hands the phone back to me and my counterpart tells me the local tech would not like to proceed and we will fall back to the original state. I grant his wishes and leave the site to return when the needed part is delivered.
Here Comes The Great Day Part
When I leave The Consulate General of France in New York I cross the street and enter Central Park. Before living a minimalist lifestyle I would have hopped in my car or immediately jumped on the subway heading back to New Jersey. This day I grab a bench in Central Park and set up office. Remember this is New York City and I have my laptop up and online in no time.
I have my mobile phone charging with an external battery. This elderly gentleman with a heavy Jamaican accent asked me if I was a television producer. I know, what the hell? Where did that come from? I told him no I was not. He then asked if I was a music producer? Ok, he must be just messing with me. I said no. Now I am thinking he was joking. Then I realized he was not.
I come to find out he believed I may have been spying on him with all those wires and computer equipment in the park. We began to have a great spirited discussion about news, politics, 911 and conspiracy theories. He was a war veteran that owned one of the vendor carts in the park. I got no work done by the way chatting with him.
It Got Really Weird
This gentleman began to tell me about my life like a palm reader. He described how my life began to change 14 years ago. He said I was coming to the end of, particularly hard times. He talked about me being in the process of changing my life and how God was guiding me and thinks would be great real soon. Most of that was correct and freaked me out. He saw that I was uncomfortable and trying to change the course of the conversation so he said let me just say one other thing. He suggested that I read Psalm 5 every day in the morning and at night before bed. He then began to cite the Psalm word for word verbatim. I told him it was time for me to leave and I would check it out and read it.
New York City Dirty Water Dogs
I pack up my outdoor office and walk down 5th Ave to the entrance of the park. This is across the street for the iconic Apple Store. Then I enjoyed a few hot dogs and people watch in the nice weather. I watched and behaved like a tourist. The children playing in the park made me laugh and the hustle and bustle had a calming effect on me. It was like having an out of body experience as the energy and excitement buzzed around me but I did not feel the need to be a part of the action. The year of taking public transportation, purposely experiencing all my surroundings have to offer and living with less clutter has a zen-like effect on me. I even thought about walking the 40 blocks back to my office to really enjoy the day and my surroundings but quickly decided against it. New York City is not going anywhere and there is always tomorrow.
5 Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.
5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.
9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.
11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.