I received a call one day from my employer – “We are holding our 10th year anniversary meeting and dinner. We would like to invite you back to join in the celebration.”
This was my first job and part of my role included serving in the secretariat of a Technology Advisory Panel. I was deeply surprised by the kind invitation as I was in a junior role and was there only for a year. Subsequently I moved to one of the Group’s subsidiary companies but did not continue to have much work dealings with the Panel and secretariat.
I walked over to the Head of the Secretariat to thank him for his invitation and I was happy to find him in good spirits even as he struggled with ease of physical mobility due to his old age. Yet, he was enthusiastic when talking about the reams and reams of books he is writing to ensure that all his knowledge from years of working are retained for future generations’ reference.
At the end of the dinner, he passed me a 10th year anniversary book which they had published and said “your name is also inside”. Truly enough, when I got home and flipped through the book, there on the last page was info on the secretariat and included all names of past and present members who were in service.
Through his actions tonight, he taught me a lot:
– Do what you are passionate about, and you will never tire of what you do even in old age
– It is good to give recognition to all who have contributed to advancing your work, from the top brass to the most junior members — it really takes a certain kind of character and generosity of hearted to do this
As I spoke to many other familiar faces, I continued to be touched by how they have remembered me, even though it has been 9 years since we met. And strangely, little nuggets of what I remembered about them came back to me, even though it has been such a long time. Random things they have said that left an impression on me, and it is with a step back from being immersed in the environment that I began to recall and see the impact they have had on me.
The most senior Chairpersons walked to every table to say hello to the staff members of the Group and as I watched them – I see their effort in engaging people and in being accessible. That is really a wonderful thing.
Even though I am currently in a totally different field of running my own ceramics studio, I feel very grateful for my earlier corporate experience as the people truly made a difference. The people I could watch and learn from, the people who were kind, the people who passed their knowledge and helped to mould me into the person I am today.
Looking back when I was still in the Group, I could not see a lot of the good that I see now with detachment and clarity. I really thank God for these experiences and people who I had the good fortune to cross paths with. This also teaches me to reflect more often, and to remember to write down things I wish to remember and to model after the good when I have the opportunity to meet others.
– Grateful heart