Friday, March 6, 2009

Another Short Wait

I was supposed to meet the local personnel staff to go over the draft conditions on my transfer. Unfortunately he is on medical leave so I have to wait a few more days before I find out the details. Maybe I should have suggested that he send the letter by mail. I was thinking of replying to his earlier mail about meeting today and suggesting that he send the letter by e-mail and maybe ask again about the visa timing. The overseas staff is in copy of the mail so I can alert her indirectly. But I am tired of playing this game and I hope that the conditions are good for me. I guess I can be patient and wait because I am fortunate to have this assignment.

We had lunch again at our usual Thai restaurant near the office. I had chicken curry. Our dear friend came over from his office. We talked about his son who he recently adopted. The last we met together as a group, we were talking about recovering from heart surgery. From such serious topic, we move a month later with a more joyful topic - raising a baby. It was fun and a sudden shift of subject. He is an amazing person to adopt a child with his challenging circumstances. But it seems to be a rebirth away from the concern and gloom. He also talked about the situation in his company. They will be laying off about 40% of their staff in the region. Things are getting to be drastic.

Yesterday I wrote that things seem to be turning a corner. But just last night Citibank shares have plunged to below $ 1.00. What a tragedy for the once largest bank in the world. How the mighty have fallen swiftly. This morning despite such gloomy news, Obama announced a sweeping health care reform by the end of the year. He held a summit with both parties and declared a bipartisan effort to undertake reform. What a strong position to take despite the crisis. The guy has got guts to take on such an enormous challenge. But actually he has a chance because both houses of congress is dominated by Democrats. He seems to project focus and drive despite the enormous economic crisis.

Things are a mess with the outsource team but we have achieved a certain rapport. I can call the staff in Shenzen and discuss the project despite his very poor English. I get to practice my patience a lot these days especially during the daily training session with my team. The lady in India has a difficult time sometimes in the topic because of the complex planning process in the factory. But I think I explained well and I hope that I can simplify the topic to increase their understanding. Communication is very important these days when working with off site, virtual teams spread out the world.

I received an email the other day of my former colleague who is now based in the overseas office I will be transferring to. He offered to pick me at the airport. It was a nice gesture and I am glad he initiated the move. I was told to contact him to get some information on the place but I hesitated while waiting for the final details.I did not like to preempt the conversation until the deal is firmly done. Listening to the doom and gloom, factory layoffs and protectionism, one can't help but have some doubts. I guess it's an instinctive reaction for me to prevent myself from being disappointed. I guess I grew to be a cynic in college when I lost my first girlfriend. I wonder if my cynicism started way back then with this event. Who knows.

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