Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dinner in Chinatown

I had dinner tonight with my old friend. We used to worked together in a project before he left the company. We had dinner in Chinatown of spicy stingray, prawn omelet, kangkong vegetables, seafood fried rice and beer. We had a good conversation discussing about life. I like talking him because he is one of the few persons whom I can speak sensibly with. I will miss his company when I move overseas. I received this morning the documents to process my visa application. Things are beginning to move forward now. I started to look in the Internet at the houses for sale in the location of the new company. I like what I see and hope I will be successfully in my plans.

The conversation last night was about life, relationships and marriages. I spoke from my experience after being married for nearly 18 years. These days I am the old guy, the veteran at work. For instance, we had a meeting with my department where we shared our thoughts and spoke with the new team from the outsource agent. Most of the people around the table where quite younger than me. They all shared their stories and thoughts. When it was my turn, I said that I was with the company for nearly 14 years. It seemed like an incredible achievement these days. Sometime I wonder why. Is it because in today's culture, spending this length of time is an incredible task?

Sometime I sell my self short by thinking that I did not have the courage to move to a new company. But my old friend would always tell me that I have a wealth of experience. He is right but I don't have the mindset or gumption to appreciate what I have. My mind is always at the present tense, not thinking deeply of the past stores of experience that I have in me. I guess that is a problem because I always shoot at the hip without any serious thought. I always realize when ever I meet my old friend wherein he bring out in me my inner most thoughts and confidence. It was always a pleasure to work with him because he could size up a person well and understand exactly how that person can be best utilized, to bring out the best in him.

Today was a sort of sad day. A few of my colleagues from the old office in Manila are returning home tomorrow. We may not see them anymore as they have transferred their knowledge to the new outsource team, or will be working remotely in Manila or at another location. They may not have another opportunity to work in Singapore again. So we said our goodbyes and they went on their way. I tried to organize a dinner but could not reach a schedule where everyone was available. I went to the room where the knowledge transfer was being done with the boss man's company. We talked and had a good exchange and, finally, said our farewell to the staff who will be moving to India to continue the shadow support.

I was glad to speak before the team although my role has drastically been reduced. The Indian team touched me by saying that I was the only friendly person here in the company. It seemed that I was the only person the outsource people could talk to. I seemed to be always smiling and having a good time. I liked that and I am glad that my seemingly good nature has enabled them to enjoy their work. I jokingly said that my job is to entertain them to make sure that the real job gets done. So that I guess is my present role at my age and stature. With my length of service, my true role is to coordinate, lead, entertain, coach and guide. I may no longer be fit to do the actual work because there are other people who are smarter and more hard working than me.

I think that I have risen above the level of being the jester or comedian. I realize people not only look at me for humor but also for direction. Perhaps this is leadership when one can achieve it due to dint of age and experience. On another subject: it is difficult to read William Faulkner's books. His game is at a more difficult level and deceptively simple. His works are more difficult to understand if one just listens to it. But his work is relevant because it is new and chart's new territory. His work is like Picasso's cubist paintings which represented the avant garde at that point in time. Now my problem is trying to look for relevance in a world of change and young people. Perhaps to do something new and avant garde like Faulkner due to some inner insight or experience.

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