Friday, January 16, 2009

Be Authentic

The very first application support issue has surfaced last Tuesday. It still hasn't been fixed. It has been four days (with a holiday in India last Wednesday) and still the problem is still there. I have been on the phone with the outsource staff. I am in a worst situation than I can ever imagine. Both the Thai customer and Indian support staff are new in the job. They both were discussing endlessly today with nothing getting done. They are both waiting for some solution to miraculously happen. I realize that I have had an excellent team in the past who were motivated and technically competent to resolve application problems. Now I am back to square one in trying to build a new team.

Earlier I could not help them because I had a meeting this afternoon. I also had to write a few important emails; one to the boss man which was the minutes of yesterday's meeting. I also took some time to write another mail explaining a budget overrun for a project. Not a large amount; in fact a very trifling amount compared with other projects. The variance is equivalent to one month's salary of some of the people here. So I dashed out a few mails, called the outsource team to try and direct them to the proper direction and continue with my work. At the same time trying to monitor the situation via chat.

It's nearly 8pm and still no word. In this scenario, with new people trying to solve complex problems, it's a nightmare. I have no choice but to lead and supervise. My lady boss also gave me some tips. It's her last day in the office as she's moving to Shanghai on Sunday. I realize from her stories that she has more problems than me. The many application she handles has more issues. So she needs to coordinate with more staff as well. In this situation, we both have to use email, chat and phone calls to the staff in India to direct, motivate, guide and support them to solve the issue. What a mess. Life is truly getting to be difficult.

This morning I was thinking on why it takes a lot of effort for me to express myself in front of other people. Even when writing emails. I realize that I have a persona to maintain - to speak or write competently or in a manner that is not foolish. So I am not relaxed or being true myself but playing a role. Then there was this sentence flashing in my mind - BE AUTHENTIC like some magical mantra leading me to salvation. So being authentic is the goal and ultimate new years resolution. I have been trying to lead myself towards many directions - trying to be a good investor like Warren Buffet, trying to be a great writer, trying to be a golfer, trying to be a sophisticated traveller who appreciate art and literature. Hence a snob.

So not meeting this many desires has frustrated me. So I try to live up to delusions in my life as well as succumbing to temptations. So I end up being mixed up when I really should be authentic. My good friend always told me that I should be authentic and I never could understand what he was talking about. I then realized what he was saying this morning. I had an epiphany. I knew that being authentic means having a relaxed down to earth personality, no more desire to be someone else. No need to borrow so many books, go to different places and watch so many movies in order to be someone else. Being authentic means looking into yourself and determining who you really are and just be it.

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