Smokers Room

09Jan07

Everybody knows smoking is bad for your health and one day I’ll quit smoking like everybody who smokes but it also has it’s advantages. As in all companies in Belgium it’s not allowed to smoke at the desk anymore so most companies have a seperate space where you can go and smoke that damn sigaret. The advantages of this system is that all levels in the organisation come together at the same spot, talk a little bit with eachother and discuss things about the company. Most of the time it’s a little bit of gossip and some bashing about how things are going but sometimes it’s quiet constructive.

An example to explain maybe. I just returned from the spoking area where I had a nice chat with the sales manager and one my fellow R&D friends. Just like in a bar we started of chitchatting about small things and ended up improving the world (the organisation). Talking about the organisation we ended up with what the future will bring now that we are heading towards some management changes. The technology we currently use for our machines is at its limits and there’s nothing new in the pipeline yet. I told that I didn’t understand why there isn’t a brainstorming group. A gang of bright minds who are given the freedom to experiment, who can try out the most crazy ideas, a (not so) secret gang of crazy monkeys. The salesperson, who has good contacts with the main shareholder immidiatly asked me and my fellow R&D nutcase some names we would like to have in that gang. So we made a list of people we think are capable of doing that crazy stuff we talked about and now, on his next meeting, he will propose it to the management. He’s a very capable guy and I’m sure he can pull it off so maybe in a couple of months a new department will be created for the nutcases of the company. I won’t be part of it but it’s me who gave the input. I won’t be in it for several reasons, mainly because I will be moving to the US to my girlfriend. Talking about my girlfriend and my plans to move to the US, the salesguy also gave me some tips on how to talk to the main shareholder (who has ofcourse a big influence on the decission process) and that I should just step up to him and tell him that I want to go and work in Chicago (and that I can be his eyes and ears). So as soon as I see him again I’ll tell him I want to go and work in the US (as an engineer/service manager)… No sucking up needed, just tell it plain and easy. It’s a chance and I have to take. We’ll see how it will go. I can always ask him to help me out starting up a business in the US too. Although I don’t have that much credentials, I know he likes people who take risks. A couple of things to keep in mind and to work on.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

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