Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Two days with my American boss!

Its been an incredibly happening week! I just booked tickets to the Big Apple! Got a good deal on the internet and decided to blow it up. After all, who knows if I will get another chance at all! So, just caught hold of my colleague, and booked the tickets online with his American credit card, as the airline needed US contact particulars etc. My temporary stay and contact details wouldn’t suffice. Really nice of that colleague, nice guy!

Of course, called Vali at New York and confirmed that he would pick me up and LaGuardia Airport. He said ok and would even take a day off and combine it with my weekend trip. That’s the hallmark of being friends with somebody for the best part of 16 years; some things just come, without having to ask for it. Can’t wait to meet Vali and gallavant all over one of the greatest metropolitan cities of the world! Wow, wow, wow! Not meaning to jump the gun here, but it’s like a childhood dream on the verge of coming true. Just hope no last minute deadline at work crops up. Will have a blast for sure!

The next day after I got my tickets to New York, my boss from the other end of the US landed up in office. It was truly a pleasure to meet him and the two days that he spent with us was an education for me in American, corporate professionalism. Amazing human being and incredibly down to earth. Nobody around could’ve believed that he was a Director in our firm! Sat down and had a long, marathon 2 hour session with him, where he ran me through different procedures of the firm. Our conversation began with one of the most positive feedback on my performance, which made me reinforce the self-belief that has been on the rise lately. Made me feel very good that I was assessed on my own merits and told where I was doing well and where I need to initiate efforts to improve. The meeting then drifted onto the current projects, the deadlines, the procedures involved etc.

After which, I threw some new ideas to him which he was very impressed with. I thanked all the hard work that I had put in over the last 4 years, to finally see a smile on a boss’s face, and a genuine one at that!

That was not all! This lovely boss of mine, escorted me personally to a training hall, introduced me to the training coordinator! Once that was done, we had a team dinner, again sponsored by this great boss! Well, since it was his treat, we had little choice in the venue. He wanted to eat seafood at Pappadeaux, which is one of the famous ones in San Antonio for that type of food. We just agreed. My team mate and I exchanged glances as we knew that we will not get anything remotely vegetarian at that restaurant!

Finally, headed for the restaurant and got in there pretty early. It was a Wednesday evening and to our surprise, the place was choc-a-bloc! The girl at the reception counter told us that it would take half an hour to get hold of a table for three. “Fine”, said my boss. He had his plans mapped out for the evening! He headed straight to the bar counter (learnt later that its called the Tavern) and ordered 3 mugs of beer. Am not too much of a beer-drinker, so left the choice of beer to my team mate! He told me to drink it slowly, lest, I get sloshed in front of the boss, on the dinner table! I just wanted to try what this thing called beer is all about, and didn’t want to miss the opportunity that had presented itself!

Once we were done with the drink, the call came that our table was free. We headed there immediately and had a long, animated conversation that revolved around careers, India vs the US, outsourcing, work related stuff, family backgrounds, how “tam brams” are the brightest talent from India etc! And for food, I had to make do with a salad, while my team mate dived into a plate of onion rings!

That was not all. Our boss sprung a surprise by ordering some dessert for us, after my team mate and I had stated that we were full! Well, in true boss style, the solution was, pack the dessert and save it for later! Wow!

We left the hotel, went to a pool parlour, but had to head back as I didn’t have my passport with me. Dropped our boss off at his hotel, returned to our hotel and crashed!

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