Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Last Call at Redwood Shores

This evening, I finished packing up my cubicle at the Redwood Shores office of Menlo Worldwide, changed my voice-mail greeting to warn people not to leave messages here and to take note of my new number, labeling computer equipment for relocation, and otherwise getting putting the final touches on my part of moving out of the building where I've worked for much of the past ten years.

I'm one of the shrinking number of employees of Menlo Logistics who actually worked for the company in their Menlo Park office. When they outgrew that office, they moved up to Redwood Shores, where they subleased half of the third floor from their sister company, air freight company Emery Worldwide. At that time, we were both subsidiaries of CF, Inc., which also owned Consolidated Freightways (the original parent) and Con-Way Transportation (a separate trucking company).

Over the ten years that followed, there were the following corporate shuffles:

CF Inc. spun Consolidated Freightways off as a standalone company, and the parent company changed its name to CNF Transportation (later shortened to just CNF, its stock ticker symbol).

A couple years after being spun off, Consolidated Freightways went out of business.

CNF created a new business entity called Menlo Worldwide by doing a "virtual merge" of Emery Worldwide and Menlo Logistics. (Technically, they formed Menlo Worldwide as an LLC owned by Emery and Menlo. The two pieces of Menlo Worldwide begin doing business as "Menlo Worldwide Forwarding" (the former Emery) and "Menlo Worldwide Logistics" (my part of the company). The physical wall that separated Logistics' half of the third floor from Forwarding was torn down.

Last year, CNF sold Menlo Worldwide Forwarding (former Emery) to UPS, who wanted a stronger foothold in the international air freight forwarding business. The wall torn down when they formed Menlo Worldwide LLC was put back up. Apparently UPS has a certain period of time during which they can continue to use the Menlo Worldwide Forwarding name; however, it's clear that the way in which UPS has been using that name has led people to think that Logistics (my part) was part of the sale, which it was not. Logistics is still part of CNF Inc.

This year: CNF decides to combine offices with Menlo Worldwide Logistics and to move out of the Redwood Shores office. (It was probably strange to be renting office space from a company that is owned by one of your competitors anyway -- I presume we were going to have to leave sooner or later, being the smaller company.) I was asked to do a study of where our employees live (no personally-traceable information, of course; just zip codes). I concluded that the centroid of our employees was almost precisely where our old office in Menlo Park used to be. (That office building on Marsh Road has since been torn down.) CNF announces that they've rented the second and third floors of a building in San Mateo.

Sister company Con-Way Transportation remains where it is, with its headquarters in Ann Arbor MI. The move of the CNF/Menlo offices to San Mateo suggests that CNF does intend to keep its headquarters here for the medium to long term future, despite actually having more employees in the offices in Portland, Oregon.

I feared I would be in here all night cleaning things up, but apparently the work I did last week, dumping many boxes of old files and packing things away, worked, because I was done at around 7 PM.

And so, farewell to the Redwood Shores offices. I think I'll miss them. I'll certainly miss having such nice walking paths available such as the 3 km or so path around the Oracle headquarters. I haven't been to the new office yet, so I don't know if there are convenient walking paths near them or not. That will be among my tasks when I return next Wednesday after CascadiaCon.

And speaking of which, I'd better get a move on, because I need to finish packing for NASFiC tonight. Tomorrow I hope to catch an earlier flight than the one on which I'm currently booked, not only because I would prefer to have more time to set up my GoH exhibit, but because the currently-booked flight has an on-time rating of 10%.

Normally I would catch a bus near my house to the BART station, take BART to Oakland Coliseum/Airport, then the AirBART bus to Oakland Airport. However, I'm traveling a little heavier than usual (computer, briefcase, rolling luggage, and additional piece of luggage with pieces of the exhibit), and AC Transit buses are not much fun for transporting luggage. (The AirBART bus has luggage racks.) As I live within easy walking distance of the Fremont/Centerville train station (conventional trains, not BART), I checked the schedule, and determined that I could ride the Amtrak Capitol from Centerville to the new station at Oakland Coliseum, then catch the AirBART bus from there. (The BART and conventional rail stations are about 100 yards from each other.) This means one less transfer, and a quicker trip overall, but it does cost slightly more ($4.50 on ACT/BART, $6.75 on Amtrak net of my National Association of Railroad Passengers discount). OTOH, I think it's an easier trip. I'd use the Capitol more often, but there are only four trains per day each direction. It just happens that one of them comes tomorrow at a time convenient for me.

Of course, if all the flights are full, I get to spend 5-6 hours hanging around Oakland International Airport, but I still need to reduce my thoughts on a GoH talk to writing, so that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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