I’ve learned quite some time ago that everything happens for a reason, you might not see what that is from the beginning but every now and then you get a chance to understand and put it all together.

This is one of those moments: Apple is something that has always been in my life and I decided to write it all down here to share it with the world and myself.

First part of the story starts with the beginning of the ’90s

When I was a child my dad went abroad for a couple of years, he took a two year trip to the USA and another one to UK while I was in my first years of school.

Every-time he came back he brought all these cool things that you had no way of purchasing from Romania: BMX bike, Vinegar Chips (I tried them for the first time when I was 9 or 10 and the second time was more than 10 years later – currently they still don’t sell ’em here in Romania), original CD’s, etc

But one of the coolest items he brought us was the original Macintosh computer (a sort of a box, tiny black and white screen with a keyboard and mouse) – it was pretty amazing at the time and I think it still easy an interesting piece.

This was the first computer I ever used: mainly for playing brick games and trying to write words in notepad but it was fascinating.

My brother and I were often fighting about who gets to sit and for how long, we were desperately trying to play games for two players just to keep it in control πŸ™‚

me and my brother

After a while we replaced this with a new Windows PC that had color screen and much improved performance, this was only because of a newer version and things evolving so fast. Even at that transition, comparing the way the system worked I felt that Windows I something for stupid people…but eventually I got used to it and only met the Apple mac again some years later.

I’ve always been good at technical stuff, setting up a machine, getting to work it and being intrigued by things I thought could be possible and I usually didn’t stop until I found the solution – I guess I do have an engineer side.

My dad was always a fan of the brand, he was always up to date with everything Apple released and he was so happy when he managed to get his hands on one of those Apple Snow-white ProBooks from the States.

He got the iPhone as soon as it appeared (in the USA).

Visiting the Apple store

In 2007, along with 10 other people, we went to visit Liverpool and London. Up to the day this was an amazing experience (even if it has some very strong competitors :)…

But to stick to the story, once in the middle of London, on Regent Street we went in to the Apple Retail Store for a quick visit of a couple of hours :).

We checked out every single item in that store and each of them was more fascinating than the other, my mom who is not as technically inclined as I am discovered the “new iPod nano” sector that was just out.

That’s when she discovered “Wake me up when September ends” and she told me that this iPod is a lovely gadget and music just sounds better from there.

Getting the first iPod

Our route was: flying into Liverpool, going by bus to London the next day, 5 or 6 days in London and then back to Liverpool for another couple of days to visit Anfield stadium and spend some nights in the house of Brian Epstein (manager of the Beatles) that is now a very nice B&B.

It was a lovely vacation and on the last day – in Liverpool, while my brother was dismantling a fancy blues guitar he found in an old music shop and deciding how are we ever going to take it on the plane (the griff was checked in and the body was in the hand luggage – or the other way around but I’m not so sure now, it was funny), anyway, while we were having some cottage cheese potatoes on a bench in the middle of the city I knew.

I had some money left from the budget and the only way to spend it was to go into the Curry’s shop and buy one of these iPods. I had the butterflies:

I chose the gray one and that the day I started having a soundtrack to my life πŸ™‚

I ordered two cases from eBay, I used that gadget for everything it could do: calendar, watching the time across the world, watching videos on the train, or in the subway, mobile photo album, I even included travel guides on it for every time I visited a new place, it was used on numerous occasions for playing music at parties or while driving.

My best friend back then was saying that life is much more beautiful when you listen to music on the go, partly because you don’t hear stupid things people are saying, the traffic that can irritate you even if you don’t realize that and it brings a special touch to your walking, you’re walking in style. It is true, she has a classic iPod and she managed to get her own black MacBook that I was always curious to play with.

Working with Apple

And so life went on with goods soundtracks. Finished school, went many place, finished job πŸ™‚ not such a happy news, and started looking.

A little after the beginning of 2010 I went to an interview, two months later I got the job.

It’s not that surprising for someone like I am to get a job at HP. An awesome one!

I entered the Operations team for the Retail department for UK and Ireland.

Lucky enough, one of the accounts included here is Apple and even more lucky just at the point I came there was an opening for this account and I was put in charge.

This was a great motivational start-up, I love the job and the people, the things I have to do and more importantly the people I work with.

In 3 months everything was going better and better and I can say I started to have a very good relationship with the people involved especially one located in Germany and another one located in Cork, Ireland.

September started some talks about a possible meeting with everyone in Ireland, October confirmed it and on the 2nd of November I boarded the plane for Dublin.

AfterΒ  a night in Dublin, I spent three days in Cork at the Apple headquarter. It was an amazing feeling to actually get to the heart of it, where it all happens, to see their office and the people who work there.

It was a lovely opportunity to meet and spend some very nice time with the people I only heared on the phone or by e-mail.

I also attended an Apple Vendor fair where big suppliers for Apple brought their goods to have a more face to face type of presentation.

Obviously HP was there and even I talked to some people about the HP mac-connect.

I feel so lucky to be in this position! I met some wonderful people and I feel enriched in so many ways after this…I could say development journey.

On the way back I gained an improved soundtrack to my life with a beautiful playlist that I still have on this amazing tiny music box:

From Cork I went back to Dublin, from Dublin to Madrid to attend the FanWalk Reunion, we were also very lucky to recieve tickets to this year’s MTV European Music Awards at Caja Magica.

After the show ended I had to make a run for the airport, got the 2 am flight, arrived in Bucharest and when straight to the office because I had only 1 week of training for a new extremely challenging opportunity at my job – remember the Curry’s where I got the iPod from Liverpool?

Everything happens for a reason πŸ™‚ and it’s most often a great one!