Yesterday my co-workers kindly threw me a little going away party (or a “leaving do” as the Brits call them). Below is the text of a poem I wrote to mark the occasion.

Caveat: it’s chock full of inside jokes and references (e.g. the name of the project is “Alaska”).

The Road to Alaska

I took a trip to Alaska, one February day
But I didn’t have directions to help me find my way.
I checked into the Holiday Inn, from there to Voyager Place
Which sounds like a name for something that comes from outer space.

I spent my first morning there with a guy named Jason Beard
And when we finished talking, things were worse than I had feared.
Jason summarized the job, software geek to geek
Then he gave me a year of work to finish in one week.

“I’ll have to think on that”, I said, “but let’s be very clear:
Usually a year of work takes me about…a year.”
“But you don’t have a year”, he said, his eyes all a-flicker,
“With our British bank holidays, we have to work much quicker”.

So get to work and start a’ codin’ and don’t stop till you’re done.
And if you’re still here in June you might even see the sun.
So off I went to find a desk and chair to call my own.
Thano took some pity on me and offered me a phone.

An Irish guy named Jim stopped by, to help with IN-VIEW
He liked to debug Javascript and drink a beer or two.
He took me under his wing, and became my friend as well.
Since then I’ve moved on, but he’s still in IN-hell.

Simon helped me learn the ropes, with mediator lore.
But he had a knack for vanishing when things went wrong with core.
He’s always up for taking an hour break for tea
He’ll even answers questions while performing surgery.

My sometime desk mate Nigel taught new words to this here yank,
Sophisticated English terms, like “bugger me” and “wank”.
But I got the last laugh on him, which is why today I’m all smiles,
‘cause when he wasn’t looking, I deleted all his files.

One day a big door opened, and Turkish people came
Ersan, Borga, Erdem, and some I still can’t name.
Serdar, Serkan, Deniz, Fatih and Dilek too,
Huzeyfe, Guvenc and Sumeyra, just to name a few.

It’s not easy coming here, they’ve traveled very far,
And one who shall remain unnamed, can’t seem to start a car.
These guys are fun to hang out with, and always on the go.
And they’re easier to understand than most of the Brits I know.

So now my trip is over, my adventure nearly done.
Now I’ll take a little time for playing in the sun.
I’m excited to see two girls I haven’t seen in quite a spell.
But I’m also a little sad to have to say farewell.

I never really made it to Alaska all the way,
I don’t know if we ever will, though I’m hopeful on this day.
With Paul and Ian at the helm, I think we’re on our way,
But remember: the game’s not over till we get the customer to pay!

Marc Cohen