I looked at my “Blog” the other day and realised that I hadn’t posted anything since last August. Shocked at the thought that apparently nothing had happened in my life since then that merited a comment – no trips, no nothing – I decided sit down, think back and take stock of everything that could have happened since then that’s occupied me so much that I didn’t have the time to write about it.
It was like I had been running on radar and then that the words of John Lennon came back to me: ” Life is what you are living while you’re busy making plans”. The problem is that I can’t recollect making any plans. There was so much to do, in an everyday way, that I was just so focused on living my life.
So what actually did happen? Well my son came back from Japan, moved in with us along with his girlfriend and spent the next 4 to 5 months with us until just recently. I love my son but the flat is just a tad bit too small. Amongst other things bathroom planning was required not to mention a presence of mind to avoid potentially embarrassing situations.
Workwise October and November were spent in “end of financial year” and contractual discussions with my management, client and team (I am still trying to decide which of the 3 caused the most headaches). Weeks went by when I would get up Monday morning, brace my shoulders for the week to come and before I knew it Friday was there!
December came and went and the problems that had preoccupied me for the past few months, although still there, had calmed down. I had spent the best part of 2008 watching the US Dollar weaken and reach ± 1.60 against the Euro and was fearing the impact it would have on my team. It seemed to me that contracting for HP in France was a delicate affair and a matter of time before the wolves came baying.
And then I understood that the problem was actually a lot bigger than that and I pride myself on having been aware of what was happening as it happened rather than waking up one day and saying “Oh my god! what a mess”
But the global recession and financial crisis were beginning to make themselves felt for everyone, not just here in France.
On a personal level my traditional end of January holiday abroad got canceled, so did several contracts with the cable and phone companies: financial crisis oblige. On a broader scale offshore and eastern European sites I work with were starting to feel the pinch – clients canceling or downscaling project volumes to cover basic requirements only.
But they, like I, fought valiantly on, spurred on by business wins that boosted trade revenues that assured targets (aspires and stretches) that kept the wolves away.
Irony and paradox! I realized that if things continued this way even currencies such as the Chinese Renminbi were not safe from the vicissitudes of global finances and clients might just revert to pre-crisis reflexes and use Western European resources.
To traditional Western European business arguments (geographical proximity, minimal differences in regional cultures , business expertise, communications) I was adding newer arguments, resulting from the global crisis: An understanding of competition on a global scale, a better understanding cultural differences and the impact they have on the global market and finally the use of more dynamic and proactive business management systems (balancing cost control with Total Customer Experience)…
…and then Christmas was upon us (not to mention a bit more snow and cold than in previous years)…
…and in the time it took to say “aspirin”, so was New Year.
I have to admit that Xmas and New Year festivities leave me indifferent but I do love the unexpected… Spontaneity and the unexpected are elements that can make the difference between a Christmas to forget and a Christmas that others would like to forget but you, having caught the “unexpected” on photo , will chuckle over in years to come, but that’s another story!
And so here we are, end of January, looking forward to Spring. Personally I am looking forward to the months to come. The problems at work are still there but things happen, situations change and being the optimist, but realist, before the eternal, that I am, I am convinced that nothing is written in stone that can’t be rewritten. It’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time and of being able to recognize the opportunity when it presents itself. They do and believe me I love being in my job and role when they do. I have an elephant’s memory: selective and retentive…remember the Rolo Chocolate Candy Commercial?