Sunday, July 26, 2009

Changes Cometh

There was significant news at the office today. The reorganization plans have been completed especially for Asia. My former office and department will be operational until end of 2010. At least there is a year for my former colleagues to prepare for. I had an online chat this morning with my former boss who is now in India for a project. We chatted briefly about the future. He assumed that I knew about the news but I didn’t. I read the official announcement near noon and I was surprised how sweeping and conclusive it was. (I guess I made the right move). I also had a chance to speak to my old friend who is now in France. He is in a powerful position and he blocked the project I am working on. But I think it will eventually be un-blocked.

There was also news about changes in the local office. It directly affected me because it concerned a person I knew who seemed to have a demotion as he went to a lower position. But I think he is a good guy and won’t mind the move. I think the writing on the wall is clear. The preparation for the contractor’s departure is being planned and management is making sure that risks are addressed. I wrote yesterday that some big changes are expected and I did not think it would come so soon – the next day in fact. I had a chance to talk to my boss at the end of yesterday and he seemed to be OK. But he also looked preoccupied which I guess was today’s news. I think the contractor staff from India will be impacted.

So the big news for today was the reorganization in both Asia and here in the USA office. One wonders if my functional boss will react or just roll over and take the punches. I saw him this morning but I think he left early. I guess the meeting at lunchtime with my old friend was rough. My old friend does wield a big stick and I don’t think my boss will feel good afterwards. In the afternoon, I met my hierarchical boss for our weekly and monthly meeting. The goal was to set my objectives for the year. But I think it was also to inform me about the changes. She assured me that it had nothing to do with me and I feel the same although it affects the project I am working in. It was a good meeting and I think she was making the extra effort to show her transparency to get any lingering thoughts from my mind.

But after having worked in a difficult environment like Asia where back stabbing seems to be an every day sport, the politics here is like child’s play. The main reason is that people are more decent, frank and straight-forward than perhaps anywhere in the world. To emphasize this fact, I am listening to Doris Kearns ‘Team of Rivals’ about Abraham Lincoln. The events described by the author are really politics at its blackest heights. But despite the black hearts of the protagonist, the efforts of Lincoln have proven to be enough to changes hearts and minds and given the people involved an opportunity to rise above their normally mean selves. The better angels of their nature have shined through. I guess there has not been the same circumstances in my mind where the people of Asia where ennobled in a manner that Lincoln has done for the American people.

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