Sunday, October 28, 2007

A New Water Dish and More Mexico Observations

Last weekend when I was home for about 40 hours before heading back to Cuidad Mexico I ran out to PetSmart for cat food and litter supplies. The cats have a food dispenser and a water dispenser but the water dispenser has bothered me for a long time because it can get pretty nasty and there is no way to clean the reservoir. Also it's stagnant water which is why they routinely drink from the toilets - after all it's the freshest water in the house! In PetSmart I discovered the Drinkwell recirculating water dispenser. It has a large reservoir that is removable and easy to fill and clean. You plug it in and it delivers a constant stream of water freshly charcoal filtered. When I came in Friday night I was thrilled to see how clean it still was, and the cats love to drink directly from the stream!

I'm sure it would work well for small dogs too so if you're a pet owner consider purchasing this item - I highly recommend. It's available on the Doctors Foster and Smith site but I found it on sale at Petsmart. As a bonus since it's moving water it will improve the Feng Shui of your home!

So anyway, my assignment to Santiago is going to be slightly delayed (I know, it already has been delayed - that's the nature of working for this company). Because few people in South America are bilingual in English, and because I am not nearly to the point of being able to communicate in Spanish, they have decided to send one of the guys from the Mexico office to Santiago to do the first part of the training. I will go back to Mexico to cover his job while he is gone and then once it's time to train in the part of the system I know best they are hiring a woman who speaks excellent English and I will go to train her.

I got this news Wednesday and initially was tremendously disappointed but over the past few days I think it's a good thing. For one thing I will be a short 3 hour flight from home and so hopefully I can work it out so I am only gone for a couple of weeks at a time and then able to be back here for a few days before turning back around. Since I'm a total sucker for the holidays I like this idea. Secondly, Carlos (the guy who will be going to Santiago) works in an area that I am not terribly familiar with and taking over his work will give me excellent training in this area which I think is crucial to me for future projects as well as my ongoing understanding of this business and our system.

Also I like the Mexico office. The people are great. Typical for me I tend to get along well with everyone but especially the guys. Don't get me wrong - the women are great too but they are very young, petite, pretty, fashionable, quiet and they just do their jobs and don't offer opinions. So I can't really identify with them at all. The guys are outgoing and voice their opinions and they're funny and smart. They're really aggressive about teaching me Spanish and making me use what they teach me. They say "fuck" like me.

Part of the reason why I work from home mostly is the Atlanta office is miserable. Very quiet - no one likes each other, everyone gossips, people are miserable - this attitude permeates and I tend to not get much done when I'm there because the environment is so awful. In Mexico everyone gets along, or at least they act like they do. Everyone eats lunch together. In Mexico (and this is not just in our office but everywhere) it is customary when arriving in the morning and departing at night to personally greet all your coworkers with a kiss on the cheek. Men shake hands but women/women and men/women do the cheek kiss thing. It freaked me out my first week but I've gotten used to it now and it's kind of nice.

So I'm looking forward to going back in maybe a couple of weeks to do whatever work needs to be done. The nice thing is that I will have different accommodations, although at this point I'm not sure what they'll be. This means I will not be a prisoner in the hotel at the airport and will have more of a Mexico experience that I can share with y'all.

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