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January 17, 2004

a new work environment

Well. I have been back on the job for a little over a week now. For the first four days, we had no telephone, no internet / e-mail access, no heat -- and no local manager, other than a couple of half-hour appearances. Other than that, everything was running smoothly.

On Thursday, we finally got a phone line, which also means dial-up internet access. This coming week, we will get a high-speed internet connection. I'm waiting for my bilingual "mingpian" (business card) before I meet with the landlord to discuss the heat situation. (Average daytime outdoor temperature has been around 10 C, or 50 F. I'm just following my Chinese teacher's advice -- "duo chuan yifu," put on more clothes.) So, this week, we will be all geared up and ready to work efficiently. The only problem is that the Spring Festival starts this week. Half my staff is working Saturday and taking off all next week; the other half will work through Tuesday, then will take of Wednesday off to prepare for the weeklong celebration that officially begins on Thursday. My company (Harlan Global Manufacturing, www.harlan-corp.com) sent me to China with a three-part mission of improving the quality of the components we buy for off-road mobile equipment, improving the delivery schedules of the same, and improving the overall efficiency of our offices in China. The good thing about getting off to a slow start is that there is only one direction to go. In any case, for the most part I have a bright, enthusiastic group of people to nurture, and I am looking forward to the challenge.


Posted by now at January 17, 2004 06:35 AM