In terms of IBM Sweden, I managed to talk to that other American expatriate in Sweden this week. She was a wealth of good information and good hints and tips for dealing with the Swedish culturally, professionally, and socially. She and I will be meeting for lunch just as soon as I get my resident/work permit approved, which is a story in and of itself.
For the past few days I have been asking the IBM Sweden Resource Development Manager (RDM) to contact the Swedish Migration Board to speed up the review of my application -- which is what the Swedish Consulate in New York recommended. However, to make a long story short, he basically refused to call them, probably because it was not in his job description. Ultimately, I had one of my friends who speaks Swedish call and they told her that they would do everything possible to speed up the review. What pisses me off is that I went to the RDM for help and he said no. Basically, I feel like I would not be able to rely on his if I needed is his in a critical situation. But I will work out an arrangement where hopefully I can work with his United States or others instead of going to him. In effect, he has probably helped cost IBM money because if he had acted sooner on my request (I contacted him earlier in the week), I have every confidence that the Swedish Migration Board would have placed my application further up in the queue. I think they did anyway because of my friend making a case, but the sooner the better. I think that time will bear me out on this one as being correct.
Anyway, this weekend I have a goodbye party to go to being thrown by my family, and on Sunday, I have to make a lot of forward movement on the packing and storage and stuff. I'll probably write some more on Monday.