Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Morning 5:50. Early start. Distributor meeting, scheduled for AM, is delayed. Runs starts PM. For awhile after lunch, my FAE manager and I talk about Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood and Fitzgerald's the Great Gatsby, which I enjoyed immensely. It was the first time I have talked about literature with anyone in Japan.
Gathered information on a new market segment, and then headed home. Stopped by the central library to tap out some work on my computer. It seems more relaxing to work there than at the office - the change of environment is good.
With new products out, and a new product segment for our old product line, I'm at an inflection point. I can help our distributors do their job better. One of our distributors has been continuously selling below their target. I have friends there. I can help them keep their jobs.
"Did you call?" I asked.
"Where are you?"
"Just got done with our distributor. The meeting got pushed to the afternoon."
"And you just stayed there?"
"Yeah. Were you worried about me?"
"Yeah. Someone told me you were... disappointed."
"Well. I was a little disappointed that we didn't have the pizza party last night."
"Haha! No, you didn't care!"
"Yes, I did."
"So I'll see you Friday." I said.
"Yes." I said.
Monday, December 06, 2004
Morning, I arrive at my office, and open my Inbox to find an email from Father Uehara. He thanks me for my email to him, and says that he will passon on my wishes for a good week to the members of the congregation.
And I could not help but be happy.
Recently, I think I have forgotten a little about the mouldability of my circumstances by my hands. I think if you believe in that, you will always find ways to improve yourself, to make the world better, and to take ownership of problems to correct them.
So today, let me reflect on the ways that I have changed.
I now understand better the struggle of those around me. My boss and peers in my team are working hard, working late. They are struggling to meet goals, giving up precious hours of their own time. As I have ramped up, I shall be able to take on some of their burden.
And the project that I've been given is really unique. A completely new market segment. New customers, who know less about the product than I do. (A rarity, apparently, for new salespeople.) And the promise of steady revenue for the company and my team if I am successful. I would be a fool to pass this opportunity up. Such things come only once in a lifetime.
Our VP of marketing also visited, and in the open forum with him, I learned to think in broader marketing terms, in broader branding terms. And to the question I asked him, he responded: "Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head. I think that's the challenge that we're facing, and I do not have the answer right now."
Connections - I have a stronger sense of connection with the company and the people in it. We are all working to make ourselves and our company better.
I relayed a question to my boss, a young man with a heavy Osakan accent, and he replied "Wait, back up a little." and when he was dissatisfied with the background, he said. "Why are you asking me? Why is the division asking you? Why at hour? Am I angry? Yes! And you should be angry, too, Hasson. If the division asks you questions like that, you should push back, tell them it's not your job! Do you want to be their secretary?" So I understand now how time should work. It is the only non-renewable and irreplaceable resource. My manager has asked me to fight for my time.
When I look back on this week, I want to say - "I've conquered a few fears. I understand myself and my fellow man a little better. I am more aware of my emotional states and my environment. I am more in control." Lately, I've been setting my alarm, and not getting out of bed because it's cold. Yet that obstacle is in my head. I have the power to remove it. That is the first step.
"Hey." I said. "So, will you be free tonight?"
"I'm sorry, I feel a little sick in the stomach." she said.
"Really?" pause. "I think I'll cancel the pizza party, then."
"Why? You should have it! Everybody else [two other people] is looking forward to it."
"Well, my apartment is messy."
"Huh? That's silly. You're so sociable. What's the real reason?"
"Well, the real reason is that you won't be there."
"Huh? Are you serious? Is it raining outside?" she always asks if it's raining outside when she thinks I'm acting strangely."
"Is there something you'd like to tell me?"
And I look at her. I smile shyly. I am a little hurt at her feigned ignorance, but I know if we both acknowledged reality, it would come in a flood.
"No." I say, and turn away, though I would look into her eyes and let the silence speak.