Today is my last day in
I awoke early in the morning, and went to the
center for awhile. Then I had to pack
and drop my checked baggage off in the lobby.
After breakfast, we set out for our final
The company we were visiting is called CMEC. I had checked out their website ahead of
time. Basically, they export equipment
and heavy machinery from
CMEC’s office was in a large high rise building. I was surprised to see a lot of people in the
office wearing jeans. This was the first
time I’d seen any business people wearing anything other than a suit
and tie in
The woman’s English was not very good. I don’t fault her for that.
I do fault her for her lousy
presentation. I am so sick and tired of
our over-reliance on crappy Power Point presentations.
All of her slides stated things like mission
statements and company visions. “To
leverage our strengths to become one of the top firms in the nation…” blah, blah, blah. I
hate having to sit through that kind of
crap. I think that most mission and
vision statements are so broad that they are practically meaningless. I also think that most of the ideas set forth
in these statements should be a given – yeah, no kidding you want to
your strengths – now cut to the chase and tell me something interesting
We went through about 20 slides while the woman read them slowly in broken English. They were all high and lofty statements about what a fabulous company they were building at CMEC. It was excruciating. The presentation did not give us any clue as to what the company actually did.
After she finished, she opened the floor to
questions. No one had any, probably
because no one had
figured out what business this company was actually in.
I started asking some open-ended, leading
questions based on what I’d learned from their website earlier. I kept trying to get her to expand upon some
of the projects I’d seen on the web. She
really didn’t bite on that. She really
didn’t give us any interesting information.
We got back to the bus and I gave my debrief. Most of the others students’ debriefs have been a quick re-hashing of the basic facts, and then highlighting of what they found most interesting, followed by a little discussion of the implications of what we’d learned.
Since we really didn’t receive any facts at this
took a slightly different approach to my debrief. I
started out by explaining what this company
actually does based on my web research.
Then I gave a nice little monologue on how much I detest these
generalized presentations. If I had to
guess, I would have said that this crappy way of doing presentations
American phenomenon. I found it
interesting that we saw the same thing happening in
After the company visit, we returned to the hotel
packing. We checked out and piled onto
the bus to head to the airport for our flight to Bangkok.
watched the city through the window as we drove through the streets of
As we neared the airport, Erica stood up at the
front of the
bus to say good bye to
The airport was a zoo.
We made it through the initial customs screening pretty quickly. Then we had to wait in line at the Thai
Airways counter to check it. Thai
Airways does not do e-tickets. Above the
ticked counter were monitors that were counting down the time left
check-in started. Meanwhile, the line
was growing. We noticed that a bunch of
Thai employees were lined up against the wall at the side of the room. At the moment the countdown reached zero, they
all moved behind the counter and started checking us in.
I wonder if there is a law that they can’t
start before the appointed time.
The security screening was quick and easy, and we reached the gate with more than an hour to spare. I hadn’t had any lunch, so I went to find something to eat. There wasn’t much. There wasn’t even a convenience store or newsstand type place. I ended up at Starbucks and got some coffee and a Danish.
We boarded the plane exactly on time.
It was a huge plane. Nine seats
across in the economy section, and
it had an upstairs. The flight
attendants were all Thai, and they were wearing traditional Thai
clothes: long silk skirts, blouses, and
their shoulders. That was a nice touch. They all spoke very good English.
Before we left the gate, they came around and
gave each of us a hot, damp wash cloth.
Then they collected the cloths and gave us each a little bottle
water. And this was in coach!
I can only imagine the treatment that the
First Class passengers received. They
did it all with a smile and a pleasant demeanor. This
was miles away from any service I’ve
received on any domestic airline. And it
really didn’t cost the airline anything extra.
I slept for most of the 6 hour flight. I did wake up briefly for the meal, and it was fantastic. It was spicy Thai beef and rice. Nothing special, but it actually tasted good! The stewardesses took very good care of us for the entire flight.
When we landed in Bangkok, there was not jetway;
we had to walk down
the stairs onto the tarmac. The heat hit
me like a brick. It was 10 at night, but
it must have been 85 degrees with high humidity.
We cleared immigration in no time, picked up our
bags, and piled
onto a bus. We were whisked quickly to
the Amari Watergate Hotel. The hotel was
just as beautiful as the Tianlun Dynasty in
I collapsed into bed and fell asleep.