Five years and already a liferay of memories
Company Blogs March 15, 2010 By David Truong Staff
This month marks the fifth year, I've been with this company. A quick warning: I'll be sharing some personal thoughts so if you are looking for something more technical check out Ed Shin's post for that (we started at the same time, so it is his five year anniversay also).
Liferay was my first real job. I was 22 when I accepted my Liferay position and they gave me 3 days to move to LA. It was the scariest decision I had made in my life but it has turned out to be one of the most rewarding.
I remember the first day I arrived thousands of miles away from home (I'm from Chicago), I walked into 6 guys in a tiny cubicle. On that day I connected with my ancestors a little bit more as I tasted what they must have went through working in Chinese sweat shops. That though was not the biggest shock of the night.
I was told that they would provide room and board when I went to LA. They told me a hotel or some alternative would be provided. The alternative was provided. The alternative was Brian Kim's friend's apartment floor. Yes, Brian Kim's FRIEND's apartment floor! This floor was to be shared by Brian Kim, Ed Shin, and me... If you are wondering how I made it past that first day... I've wondered that same question many many times.
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Things actually got worse. A few days later, I discovered BKim's friend was a trader and went to sleep at 10 pm and work up at 5am. The bathroom was conviently located in his bedroom. It was 10:30pm. I needed to use the bathroom but I was afraid to wake up his friend so I just held it.... until the morning. I never fell asleep that night because I was afraid I would accidently pee in the queen size aerobed I was sharing with my coworker Ed who I had met yesterday.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Things actually got worse. So I let Brian Chan and Brian Kim know that I was uncomfortable living at BKim's friend's apartment floor. Ming-Gih one of the other new hires let me know I could stay with him. He lived at his friend, Wilson (who eventually joined the company)'s sublet room floor. It wasn't much of an upgrade but at least the room was private, the bathroom wasn't located in some strangers room, and because the friend was going out of town, I could sleep on the floor by myself. We stayed there two days before the police came and informed us that Ming Gih's windshield got smashed over night. Wilson's landlord thought we were part of a gang so we left in search of a new home where we could rest our feet.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
The next day Mike Young graciously volunteered his home and took care of us the rest of the weekend. That was my first week in LA. Honestly at the time, I was ready to go home already, but I'm glad I didn't. Looking back at it now, I laugh and realized it made the rest of the journey that much more memorable. That was just the beginning and definitely things could only get better from here... right?