Sometimes I write this blog and I cannot think of anything to say... and then some days.. like today… I have too many things to say. So, these next couple of blogs may be pretty long… so bare with me….Please.
A few months ago… I had a former friend from China that lived in the States going to university. I met him online and mentored him thru the internet to help him get thru his business classes. Just me being nice to a young student, kind of like a big sister in my free time. Well…. this friend contacted me and said he was finished with college and was back in China again. Little did I know, but his hometown was only a couple of hours from me. As we caught up with what we have been doing the past …4 or so years…. he mentioned he worked part-time for a company in the states… and he said he thought his boss would like to meet me.
I was like sure… I am always willing to meet new people. Well, his boss just happened to be one of a partnership of Harvard graduates that happen to run a company out of Chicago. They were in the market for someone… American that lived in China full-time, that knew Chinese culture, Business sense, and had connections; that was willing to work with them to help grow their company in the Chinese market. Low and behold… I fit the description and so much more. We were introduced via email… and after that had many video calls and internet calls. Just yesterday, they came to see me in China and meet with me and my husband.
The day started with Michael and I getting up early to make sure we had everything ready and knew where we would take them and where we could meet. They arrived promptly at 1:30 via train, since this is a holiday weekend, Mid Autumn’s Day, there were people everywhere and I am sure they were not very comfortable and would not be very happy with the crowds.
I was a bit stressed to see if they were considering me seriously or if this was just a hoax. I figured they were traveling all this way to meet me… it must be for real. I saw the two men and a Chinese woman walk out of the train station and I could tell it was them right away. They stood 6.1 or taller, very good shape, dark shades, suit coats and button downs in jeans. Very attractive men, one blonde, short-cropped, curly hair … a bit Justin Timberlake-ish, and the other was a extremely attractive man of Indian decent.. with honey- colored, skin and smile that would knock you down. They were as fine and wine; I have been out of America for wayyyy …to long.
We picked them up in our new car...(which by the way… I will do a blog on and post photos at another time). Since, they had never traveled to our fair city… we decided gave them a grand tour then went off to find some place to eat and talk.
Unfortunately, in China people eat at specific times…. lunch is at 10:30 to 12:30-ish only…. after that the restaurants close down and the workers sleep until dinner service at 4pm. (yes, I said sleep) When I asked them what they would like to eat they said they would like to try local food….(not so easy to find at this time) …. I got frustrated when two of the restaurants we went too refused to serve us because it wasnt lunch time and the kitchen was closed. (who turns down business..damn it ..????) So, we ended up in a beautiful, traditional teahouse, (even better) that served a buffet of traditional, Chinese appetizers.
After we got settled, they started talking about the plans and the goals for what they want to do in China. It all sounded good, however, I had to inform them of some cultural differences that would prevent them from doing some of the things they were suggesting. I gave them a little background on the city and the Province .. and gave them a little insight on how the locals tick. Michael even impressed them all with his knowledge of business and his ability to speak more than 7 Chinese dialects from different provinces. Even the local dialect from the Chinese woman, who was with them from North of China in Chengdu. They were impressed … and actually so was I … I didn’t know he could do that.
They seemed very happy with us.. and we even joked around a little about learning Chinese and Chinglish. They then presented me with some of their brochures, company information, background and other details… finally they presented me with business cards…. on the cards were…. Director of Business Development, China.…..Me…. the cards had my name on them…. and they were smiling all big to when they presented them…. You see….about two weeks before … I had sent over a proposal, salary requirements, and other details… and they had yet to reply. But now I see that they had accepted my terms, actually they didn’t even bulk at my salary requirements or travel reimbursements. They had a few requests from me… like a test or probationary requirement. That I will have to complete… but I am confident in my abilities to achieve them. I told them I would think about it and get back to them. They told me to keep the cards.
The visit lasted until 5:30.. and then we took them back to the train station; laughing and joking about the crazy things they had experienced in China and looking at the very expensive cars has they passed. We ended with handshakes and promises to follow-up with emails and phone calls. They were easy going guys, not stiff or stuffy… for men in their late 20’s to early 30’s .. I guess, that had graduated from Harvard.
On the way home, Michael and I talked about the offer, and discussed some details. I spend all the next day thinking and analyzing the situation. I spoke with some Chinese business friends of mine to see their opinions and if they thought I could be successful. Then came home and spoke with Michael again…. I thought to myself for a couple of hours then I made my decision to accept their offer. I promptly send an email of affirmation and set up a time to discuss contract and terms.
As I set back and think about how far I have come in my life…I think… who would have thought? … ME… the daughter of a 15-year-old mother, raised by my grandmother in a small mid west town…. with two grown kids and a grandson…. would move to China, find a wonderful man… and be given this opportunity to shine??
It just shows that hard work does pay off… no matter .. what color, race, nationality, size or gender you are. Believe in yourself and you can Achieve anything…..
until next time … .. when you see how I did with my mountain climbing experience…ohhh.. yeah there are photos…
- Saturday Question of the Week (lifebehindthewall.wordpress.com)
- New Chinese Slang……Can you dig it? (lifebehindthewall.wordpress.com)
- What is the Chinese dream? – Helen Wang (chinaherald.net)
- China in the Next 30 Years – Quotes from contributing writers (smearedtype.com)
- China’s economic vision can be a huge opportunity for UK firms (telegraph.co.uk)