March 16, 2012

Karaoke Night in Makassar, Indonesia

A blog series about my in-country assignment to Makassar for IBM Corporate Service Corp.
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Bon Jovi. The Beatles. Pink. Oasis. Katy Perry. We had them last night. We did Karaoke! I did Karaoke! Although it is pretty popular in the Philippines (think Red Box), I am not really into it, but I joined because I was with a fun group. And we did have fun!

One hour went by so fast - and we couldn't believe we were singing the last song. It was fun! But sad at the same time, because our in-country manager left this morning to assist the next team which will be assigned in Malaysia.

Click Read More to know about what happened..

She is one of the Anna's assisting us in this assignment (we have Anna B and Anna S). Anna B left yesterday to Jakarta, and Anna S just left this morning. They are the coolest people and they did very well in the job - bringing us all to one country (or one island), ensuring we have all the things that we need (e.g. microwave, refrigerator, a common room for the team), and helping us to connect (by even buying broadband sticks so we can get to the IBM network). Just yesterday, we told Anna S that we wanted to go to Tana Toraja instead of Bantimurong Waterfalls and Butterfly Sanctuary - and she is all cool telling us that she will arrange everything for the trip. She is effortlessly beautiful with that cutest Australian accent. She will be missed!

Anna S and Jessica!

 Vivek and Sabine!

Regarding our client - we once again talked to the department heads - well actually it was Cheryl who did the interview with the help of interpreter - understanding the Go Green Project and waste management initiatives. I did a bit of research regarding the ISO accreditation that the hospital wanted to be accredited for. It appears that such ISO pertains to administration and operations; and there is nothing specific about being green. I suggested to my partner that we meet up with the client again to discuss expectations especially that when I checked the assignment document, it says that the main objective is to be accredited on ISO; however, it appears that most of the employees and department heads are talking about being a Green Hospital.

It is important for us to validate the objectives and set the client's expectations before we go further in our project - because the worst that could happen is that we work for something that is not what the client is expecting.

I think we are doing good in this first week and I thought that we had already built relationship with our client and the hospital's employees. Cheryl was just sharing that we had only known each other for less than a week, but we are already so close that we felt like we are sisters. The same for the hospital employees - they are so nice and pleasant - that sometimes they would just sit infront of us and watch us eat. We even have one employee who even offered to teach me how to wrap my hair using a scarf. I really love the girls!

The funniest thing is when I told them I am a celebrity in the Philippines! I showed them my pictures taken during blog and media events, and even the ones published in magazines. It was fun sharing a bit of myself to these people. We felt so close to each other that taking pictures seems so natural like that. We always take pictures everyday - and it is so funny that they also take out their smart phones to take pictures (yeah, most of them use smart phones and I feel sorry for my old Nokia 6680).

Unfortunately, I have accidentally deleted the pictures I had taken yesterday because I was clearing my memory. There are just so many memories and experiences, and there isn't enough memory space. So I don't get to share much pictures for this blog.

I hope the other teams are doing good with their assignments too. We had our very first team meeting yesterday - we identified issues of our clients, challenges and help that we need and of course, we planned our weekend trip. This weekend, we are going to Tana Toraja!

Will have to end this post and prepare for the trip. I don't have much clothes to bring. I really need to go shopping. But before that, we need to get stuff for Sabine's birthday! We will celebrate in the bus on the way to Tana Toraja!