This week, I am trying to get on the track to enforce the mindset of this happy project. With two of my project managers on vocation, work has been really intensive plus I was scheduled to go onsite to technically close my project with the company of two colleagues. Pressure is everywhere, for this week. I have to convince myself not to fear, treat it casually but also try my best.
I am glad it is over with decent results. There is a saying that "pressure is from things that you are not passionate about. For things you love, it is called motivation or excitement". Most of the time, I am experiencing neither one. Frequently, I can feel pressure. Occasionally, my accomplishment comes with motivation and excitement.
I had a girl colleague who is working part-time on marketing, a sweet and girly young lady, who in my mind has definitely changed the stereotype of German lady being extremely tough and industrious.
Most of the days, we have lunch together in the beautiful P&G garden. Sunshine, breeze, flowers, grassland make the lunch hour enjoyable. She shared lots of her memory from her everyday life, past and present. Her grandparents have a house in Germany with a huge garden that she used to invite her friends over for party. She has friends who refused to work after graduation, with the funny excuse that she only wants to work for P&G, no other company. In September, she is planning her annual vocation with her husband to Hawaii.
Recently, with the hot weather outside and us both tired by lunch hour, the conversation was frequently lead to her expressing the comfort of staying in the pool after work at 2pm. That sounds definitely so enjoyable and I am happy for her that she get rested. I'd like to work part-time as well, however, opportunities are not like that for engineering background, at least for now.
Some time this week, I began to strongly dislike to discuss the topic of relaxing in the pool after work. On one hand, talking over the same thing is boring me out plus this topic is not that informative after all. I was wondering when did life turn into such a monotonous topic that enjoyment becomes the most favored topic. On the other hand, I felt miserable that work makes me want to run away and finish very soon, instead of enjoying the process. That might be a job, but not a career.
Time passed away, I know it would. Not too fast because it was not that fun. But it is still ticking and I need to stick to the end that I am looking forward to. Even though the end might has challenge in itself, I believe I will take it on in a better mood. This week seemed so long. Just five workdays, I felt like a month, or even longer...
Day1 Beautiful Pharmaceutical Company
Monday morning, I was on the way to this pharmaceutical company to audit and close a project. I arrived early at 8am. While waiting for a colleague there, I took a closer look at its yard. Trees, flowers and grass everywhere, it is as beautiful as a school campus. The front-desk lady later told us that this company has donated half of their land to the University of Cincinnati and that is the Reading campus. No wonder! In the lobby, I spotted another fantastic book with all panoramic pictures taken at different places of Cincinnati. Never before have I seen such a collection of amazing pictures portraying this city.This reminds me, that I am gonna to miss this place so much after saying goodbye in a few months. After all, this is my first hometown in US, where lots of stories took place.
My first time to be a pharmaceutical company. Inside is super clean and organized. We had to wear lab coat and mask to enter. Super 5S and the cleanest one among every manufacturing environment I've ever been to before. It was interesting to see how the medicine bottles come off the packaging line as well.
This is the same project that has been torturing me during the past two weeks and I devoted lots of time trying to make it happen. And it did. That's why the closure turned out to be such an easy and happy part. Afterwards, we went back to office happily. This was the happiest Monday, ever. And I am proud of myself.
Day2 Unexpected End
This is the day before my onsite visit to close a pilot project. We waited till end of the day to evaluate the progress on the customer side. No suspense, their experienced electrician there did a great job and we were fine to go the next day.
In the afternoon, I had been configuring the customer system and was frustrated with some minor details. Not willing to spare his time on this, my colleague responded to my request with a very cold attitude plus the comment that I like to worry about small things. Well, if that was right, then I stopped worrying the moment after.
By the end of the day, right before I was about to leave office and agreed with my two colleagues that we will meet the next day at 6am to drive to the customer. An email changed the plan. Project manager of the customer told me that he was concerned that their IT might not be ready and we decided then to have an IT test early morning the next day, then to decide if we are gonna go or not. I was somehow disappointed in myself not able to make this choice very quickly. Well, I guess I have forgive myself in being inexperienced.
I had to stay extra longer as my IT colleague want to "play around" and take some preventive measures. Leaving office after 6pm, I was angry that I was working that day from 7am to 6:30pm. That's almost 12 hours...
Anyway, this day ended with an uncertainty. We all like to plan work-related things, but there is really nothing I can change about it at this moment. Maybe next time, be more cautious in trusting the customer to be ready.
Day3 A Huge Day
After the successful IT test, we were on our way. A whole day agenda was then cut off by two hours but we still need to manage to get all the work done, thus it has been more intensive. We split to work on different topics. I was mainly doing training. And my two colleagues were on the shop floor to audit the machines. It was super hot, humid the noisy on the shop floor and my colleagues has coming out all sweaty after 20 min. I was very thankful to have them on my team...
Their IT structure was indeed very weak. Therefore the training and audit met with more obstacles. Luckily, we managed to achieve most of our goals by the end. The customer signed the technical acceptance, the main goal of our visit. I then left happily with my laptop.
Day4 A Roller Coaster Day
Coming to the office with emails waiting for me in the mailbox, one is from the customer yesterday telling my boss that we did a great job yesterday and his team really appreciate the effort. How nice to be appreciated and encouraged. This is top of the valley.
The next moment, I realized that I was missing something. It did take me long to realize that I have forgotten my document folders in the conference room at the customer. I was careless, I know that. But in the professional world, this is such a premature and unprofessional behavior. Had others know, I am pretty sure that this will affect both my personal image and maybe my company's as well. Luckily, there is no secret stuff inside. Otherwise, I am not dare to image the consequence.
Still need to get it back though. No other choice then, I avoided to contact the project manager but instead called a friend of my colleagues in that company to help me check. No surprise, my folder was still there. And he is such a nice guy that he mailed it back to me immediately, refusing to take my check for the mailing. I was a little relived getting his message. Let's just hope that it will arrive soon and this nice guy won't tell others too much about it...
End of the day, my colleague who was cold to me on Tuesday told me that he didn't do it on purpose. He wanted me to be challenged with my project and quickly learn a lot. He wash't trying to be mean to me. Well, I agree with his opinion but there is a nicer way to challenge others. That was comforting. And I again was happy about the fact that I didn't care too much after others not-so-nice attitude at work anymore.
Day5 Controlled Work Emotion
I had a discussion with my colleagues to address the open points from Wednesday visit and implement it on the customer system. Just when I was feeling glad that they were very supportive, I had a response from the project manager that he had seen a major inconsistency in the system. And we need to correct it before we can move on with this project. Well, this email was composed of maybe just two sentences. However, reading between the lines, I sensed the strong and harsh emotion from the other person. I then did the investigation and responded professionally.
If there was an issue, we are then to correct it. However, this did teach me never to be emotional at work. Don't be too proud, too happy when things go well, cause next moment things unexpected can go wrong. Don't be too upset when things go wrong, cause there will always be an alternative and a way to fix the situation. However, being emotionally involved definitely makes a dramatic and unprofessional person. Maybe that is the same lesson in life as well, if one wants to be mature.
My friend finally managed to stay the whole Saturday with her ridiculous advisor correcting her paper just because she was wearing a clothes he likes. It was good that he was an old man and therefore cannot do anything bad. Thus, our Saturday date to spend the fun evening at my place died. I went to the market alone, baked salmon along and watched entertainment shows the rest of the evening. That's my plan to treat myself well even when I was alone.
In the evening, one of my college classmates started a group chat hoping to celebrate our three-year college graduation. He advocated us to post pictures before and after college. Not too many listened then. He told me privately that they didn't realize that he missed them. I told him that they must have been busy with other things due to the time difference, and be prepared that contacting them might be tougher after they all started work life. And at that moment, I understand more about the loneliness behind life abroad, or maybe the general adult life.
Sitting at Starbucks again, staring at scenes outside through the glass window, sipping my Chai Tea Latte, I like this weekend.
Ups and downs along the way, even in one day. During time like this, always remember: control your emotion and try your best to be happy. That's the top priority.