A new personal record.
I started a new contract at a new company, at a new site, in a new town and on a product of which I have no specific experience. And on that very first day of work I was met by eight people I knew by name of and two or three more I know by sight.
They had been my customers, my colleagues, people who have worked for me and people I have worked for in various teams and various companies.
So the moral of this post is the same as the last: be aware of how you treat people and how you behave as sooner or later, if you work long enough in the Aerospace industry, you're bound to meet these people again.
It's been quite a while since I've posted anything on this blog and much has changed in the interim. Firstly, the contract I was working on in France ran to its conclusion, putting to an end a very enjoyable and educational three years in France. My wife, my son and I took the opportunity to tour Europe in a rented camper-van for (5 weeks, 4200 miles, 10 countries and 14 frontier crossings) before I started a new contract in the UK one day after the camper-van was handed back. You may imagine the logistical exercise that has been taking my attention up to now.
A quick observation about my time in France:-
My role was totally new to me. Representing an American aerospace company (the customer) and permanently based at the French supplier's factory, I was there to culturally and linguistically translate, to communicate, to chase, to cagole, to represent Programmes, Quality and Engineering. Outside work I joked that it was a perfect role because everyone around me was paid to keep the customer (me) happy, though often this was far, far from the truth. Before I took the contract, I had worked very closely with this French supplier in another role - I had been employed by one of their suppliers in the UK and they had been MY customer. Funnily enough it is better being the customer than the supplier and here's the lesson: don't mistreat your suppliers as in a small industry you never know how things might change.
Just to say, I had a good relationship with the French company as supplier and customer and I tried ever so hard not to be too smug in those first weeks when our roles reversed.