Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thinking of the transfer

Yesterday evening I meet with my fellow officers of our speaking club over dinner. I mentioned casually that I may be transferred out next year. We started to talk about some ways to help my sons move out considering their obligations at school. It was a good meeting and we had an interesting discussion on how to improve the club. I like this type of sessions where we could discuss and talk over good food in a relaxed atmosphere. In the past, the discussions where almost always fuelled by alcohol. Last night was more relaxed where everyone was just talking freely. We talked about the financial crisis, those affected here, possible impact on local banks and, finally the fortunes of our club.

I proposed some ideas like sending out a newsletter every month and having group evaluations instead of indvidual evaluation. I like it that I could implement my ideas in the club. In fact I set up a blog site for the club last year to have a presence on the internet. Now sending a newsletter, with the blogsite as the base, will be another interesting project. These small projects allow me to exercise my skills in a different environment. I wish I had joined this club much earlier. I especially like the social networking and the fact that I could visit many clubs and meet a lot of people. It's also a challenge to learn and solve club problems. We have a problem right now in increasing membership. So these projects are planned to improve our recruitment.

Yesterday afternoon I chatted with my old boss. He has helped me get my new posting overseas. He is at our European head office and we chatted online. He enquired about the status and I sent him the mail I had sent to the overseas team after our meeting last week. He told me to wait for their response. He seems to be confident about my prospects and said that I will be OK. He emphasized that I focus on the family and not on the money. It's more the long term benefit. I agreed with him and if this deal will push through it will be good for my family as well as my future. I can't help feeling like Kim in Kipling's book where powerful benefactors are working to further your future.

I can't help feeling that transferring to my new overseas assignment seems to be so easy. I am always wary of the easy job. I always think there is something out there to ambush me. But I guess that it may be a character flaw in my part, for instance pride or recklessness or vice that could derail any project and not an external enemy. I guess for this case, it may be more my kid's circumstances and their move to a new school that will be the key challenge. So I should strive to work towards overcoming obstacles in this path. I am glad that I was given this opportunity and I pray that all will go well. I think I have prepared myself well and that I did not waste my time.

Reading Kipling's Kim is an eye or ear opener. It is only when one reads the great books that one sees the world anew again. I now realize that Kipling is the father of John le Carre and other novelist like John Buchan or even Eric Ambler. It's not in the pop agent mold of Ian Fleming. But Kipling is more than that and his books is not also about spying and 'the great game' but also about life in general. It seems like the voice of India is well represented here; the English sahib, the mystical llama, the Hindu Babu, the Afghan Pathan trader, the ruffians in the markets, the wandering sadhus and all those amazing aspects that make up the great continent of India. It's really a joy to listen to this book.

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