Korea; Over and Out!

The main point of this post is to raise some serious questions. What do we tell our children to prepare them for the world of work? Is it even something parents should be solely responsible for? I doubt schools can prepare them for the kind of people they will meet in the big bad world. Therefore it has to be mainly down to the parents. While bullying is rightly frowned upon in schools this does not prepare young adults for the real thing.

Persona Non Grata?

I returned from Korea with the job up and running. At least from my side of things.

Oddly, my leaving the job site at this time did not go down well with the company I was working for. It seems getting the job done on time (or sooner as it was in this case) is not what some people want.

They preferred I stayed there – doing little or nothing – while the client was willing to pay for my time. Needless to say; the project “manager” was making more money than I was out of such a deal. Yet nothing more was offered to tempt me to stay longer. It was all assumed that I would just agree.

It’s funny how these people can quickly drop the nice guy act as soon as you do not conform to their way of thinking. What are we to teach our kids about such people? Because you can be sure they are everywhere. Permeating every walk of life and involved somehow wherever you may work. All I can suggest is to make my boy aware that these fools are out there. It is a sad fact of life and, as in this particular case, it can leave a bitter taste in the mouth when you are somehow made out to be the villain.

I have seen this kind of thing too many times, so in some ways it is like water off a duck’s back to an old dad like me. It is quite another matter for a recent school leaver or someone with far less experience than myself. Sadly, such people are targets for this kind of workplace bully.

Here’s an interesting fact…

Unfortunately (if that is even the correct word), I am old enough to remember when many projects were done on time and on budget. That no longer happens and I defy anyone to prove otherwise. The interesting thing is that those were the days before personal computers, emails and mobile phones. So much for the modern world of communication eh?

Long Haul…

I flew back via Hong Kong with a 5 hour wait for my next flight. I was in two minds whether or not to go not the city. Partly put off by the seething mass of humanity that awaited I decided to take the train into the centre of Hong Kong.  I was pleasantly surprised. It was far less crowded than I imagined and things were far worse when I returned to the airport. It was manic.

It’s odd how things turn out isn’t it? I twice had the chance of working on big projects in Hong Kong way back in the 1990s spanning the handover of the former British colony to China. One was on the then new (Chek Lap Kok) airport and the other on the expansion of the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system. For various reasons I turned down both opportunities. I was now suddenly experiencing both.

Only having a short time, I maximised it by going up the tallest building in Hong Kong, the International Commerce Centre in Kowloon. The building offers the best views of the town. The city was big but not as big as I had thought. Still, nothing to get me too excited and no obvious reason for me to want to go back there for an extended stay. It was however far more interesting than stopping at the airport.

In summary…

So: A short visit to Hong Kong aside what can I tell my son about my work in Korea. Sure, I can explain the immense scale of the ship-building operations there. But what about work in general? And more specifically the typical people who “boss” the jobs? Would I work for these people again?

I have always maintained that the jobs are always very simple. Really! The problems are always the politics and the people running the projects. Then I recall that well known saying: “Never say never”. Time will tell…

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