Proven to differ from my expectations: Meetings

7 Jul

Despite that fact that nothing was written yesterday (nor the day before), I haven’t been lazing around. Late Monday afternoon was I informed that I would be accompanying R and L to a small city/town approximately two and a half hours away from Shanghai–Nantong, in Jiangsu Province. They were going to sign a contract; I was going to (presumably) observe and take notes. So with my notebook, laptop computer and an assortment of other things that contained a charger, an umbrella, a box of mints and a book, we set off in a great big silver Buick van-thing.

I dozed off about five separate times on the journey there, partly because I was lacking in sleep, and partly because my glasses made my eyes hurt in the car.

Suffice it to say that it wasn’t such a comfortable journey, the driver knew little about the correct route and that there was much anxiety going on because of the blatant tardiness. When we did arrive, it was half past twelve (1 and a half hours behind schedule), and immediately went to the actual factory-to-be to discuss things and look around. After that, we followed these people (factory owners, environmental department thingy, etc) to a restaurant for lunch. Not what I’d hoped for. We had a table full of food, and although most of it was pretty good–I hate meals like that. Surrounded by strangers and unable to get to the dish you want because–get this–it’s at the other frigging end of the table.

I had imagined a nice burger at McDonald’s. Or something equally simple.

Following right after was a tedious meeting that lasted for, say, five hours. I translated and made changes to the Ppt -version as they discussed the interior of the factory. Here I’ll just cut this short and save the stories of how that man kept likening me to his daughter, how the other dude asked me loads of questions which I couldn’t really answer about S’pore and my shock of actually receiving a business card from him for a later time. For now, suffice it to say that by the end of the meeting, I was completely exhausted and bored out of my mind. Perhaps less of the boredom than I realized, but more of the tiredness.

Naturally, we had dinner with them again, much to my horror, but it was cut short by our desperately having to leave. The car journey took us another two hours and we came back to Shanghai at half past ten.

This wasn’t how I had envisioned a meeting. I thought it would be easy, simple and fast, where people would be unnecessarily formal to one another and say “yes, I see” a lot. To be frank, I thought having a meeting would be…fun.

Ahh, the innocent musings of a pre-meeting amateur. I honestly don’t know if I’m eager to go to the next one any more (I doubt that I’ll have a choice…). And now, for me to return to work: a 21-page document awaiting my attention. And translation.



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