Thursday, April 30, 2009

The First Meeting

I had the first meeting with the business project leader this morning. There about 5 more participants in the meeting and I contributed in some moments. I understand the process but not the specific details. I followed the discussions but my mind wandered a few times. Clearly I need to learn more about the specifics but I think I am doing good these past days. After all, I have been here for less than 15 days and I am glad that I could follow and contribute to the discussions. It was an awkward few minutes and I mostly kept quiet listening to the discussions. But I have no choice but to move forward even though I make some initial mistakes.

My boss, the project manager is not here for the week so I am trying to find my way. But I am more calmer here than in Asia because people seem more fair and there is no grandstanding and politics. I think there are subtleties around and people do work behind people's back but I feel that people are more decent and upright and calm than in Asia or Europe. I realize that the Americans have the best qualities that any modern people can possess. The idea of citizenship in the classic sense it a living and breathing reality. Fairness and equality are not some abstract concept but an every day principle of life.

I feel it in my bones in fact when I walk in the office and start working. It is not just the efficiency but the value that the system places on the individual. For example, I was able to buy a car, have my desk and computer set-up, my company badge made the next day I reported to work, my desk keys replaced with new ones, buying a home and getting a loan. So the system works to give people the best that life and work can offer. There is also a feeling of change and freshness maybe with the new administration in the government. I think the reality of the first African-American president is permeating all walks of life in the country.

Some news stories say that the recession is easing. So I am glad that I got in at the right time. I slept late last night wasting my time. I should have focused more on my project. But my senses is always excited with the newness of life here. I think I am overstimulated that I cannot sleep in my normal equilibrium. Despite doing more tasks here than in Singapore, I seem to have more energy in the evenings. Last night I slept at nearly 1am and I was sleepy the next day. I was struggling in the afternoon but I think I did well on average considering I am just new here.

I am again multi-tasking, completing the car purchase, working on the home financing, car insurance and checking the courses of my son's college. All these personal stuff plus the project that I am doing at work. I am making major decisions based on logical constructs that make reasonable sense. I think that is the magic of this place because the people are practical, logical, decent and straight forward. I guess that is why I feel less threatened and less stressful here than in Asia where emotions and personality relationships seem to influence decisions. There is more professionalism and fairness than anywhere in the word I believe.

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