Saturday, June 27, 2009

Meeting Place

People love to organize and attend meetings here. My friends warned me back in Singapore that that most of my time will be spent in meeting. Earlier I did not like meetings and prefer to work on my own, working on reports and deliverable products. But later I realize that people meet in order to make collective decisions. I think people people seldom think in a deep level here. It is via the forum of meeting that their thought processes start working. I think very few people can work effectively alone here. It's because their darker and selfish natures come to fore. But by working together, the best qualities rise up and their better natures take over.

I think it is also the feeling that one should share oneself. I think people genuinely want to know you more. To get to know you and know your ideas. By this way they can grow themselves and learn new worlds. Maybe because people do not really read here and prefer to watch television. But I am making assumptions because I just joined their library system The libraries here are great, perhaps as good as the one in Singapore. But I noticed that most of the people there are children though maybe because I went during lunch time. Maybe more adults go there on there after office. I am still exploring their resources but it seems that it is a great one considering a lot of audio visual resources in almost all of their libraries plus an online catalog. Let's see.

I think people here love to talk but talking here is a subtle art. I love to talk myself but sometime I end up blubbering nothing. Just noise coming out although I am a better writer than a speaker. I am thinking of joining the local Toastmaster and the main goal is to network, learn their local culture and way of speaking. I think the general goal of speaking with confidence has been achieved it's just the adaptation to local sensibilities is needed. While speaking during meeting, I still get excited and I tend to rush in and speak my piece without regard to the circumstances. I think I need to control myself more and provide a more relaxed and measured performance.

My boss and I are entering in a kind of holding pattern relationship. It's 2 planes circling each other, maybe before collision. But he is a nice guy. I suspect that he does not know how to assign me. I understand his position because I think he has a lot of people he would like to manage but he is eighter disorganized (in a charming sort of way) or the people who works under him eigther don't care or are not motivated enough to meet aggressive goals. So I think he is stuck trying his best to lift the project off the ground in the sort of seat of his pants methodology. But he is really much better than most of the people I used to work with back in Asia. He has been with the company for more than 20 years I think so he has the gravitas to handle projects.

As for myself, I have to be careful on how to conduct myself and prevent myself from getting burned or making a fool of myself. Again there seems to be some pressure on the office on reducing some people and I suspect that the contractors will be hit. I am not that concerned because the company has spent a lot of money getting me and my family here. So I am not worried because I think the company needs me for basically the following reasons: a lot of people are retiring soon, most people have long histories in the company but are not as productive following the new ways and, finally, a risky dependence on outside contractors. So I think there is a general lack of good people around.

My wife and younger son arrived last Monday. They missed their connecting flight but took the next flight the next day. They are recovering from jet lag and spend most of the time sleeping and waking in odd hours. I enrolled them last week in the local technical college but still need to get their grades from Singapore sent to a company that does the assessment to the US standard. My wife like the house and I am glad they are adjusting well. My younger son keenly wants to join a local soccer club and I am trying to find the best and cheaply priced ones. I also bought a new car (which is so easy to do here) the other day because my eldest son has difficulty driving a manual transmission. I bought that latest Kia (which is the cheapest car here) with automatic transmission. I am always careful in my expenses but suddenly that night I felt buying the car because I could and I needed to anyway. Possibly the key to the American way of life here.

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