Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Every once in a while you come across a human being who makes a special impression on your mind. Because he or she is special. I came across one such person - Ward Barney.
Ward W. Barney is the Chief Operating Officer of our subsidiary Company in Salisbury. The fact that he reached this position in his professional life, already hinted at the fact that this man is an achiever. Also, speaking with him for ten minutes was enough to make me conclude that he is the 'man in charge' and the person responsible for the successful show.
We struck a chord, and there was a natural tendency for both of us to know a little more about each other's life. And what Ward told me about his life, in probably less than ten minutes, left a mark on my mind.
Ward finished high school and got drafted into the army. The Vietnam war was on. He served the Army as a 'Helicopter Door Gunner'. Those are the guys we see in war movies who are sitting at the entrance of a helicopter when its flying in combat, with both legs dangling down, and firing a huge gun.
During his tour of duty, Ward got shot thrice. But he survived. On all those occasions, and through his tour he survived. When he returned, he had only a School graduation as a qualification. But he decided that he needed to do something better with his life. So he decided to get a job that would pay for his education, and study further.
Sometime around then, he met a girl who soon became his wife. Ward got a job as a mechanic in a bottling plant and started studying electrical engineering. Those days were extremely difficult, he recalled. He would work by day, and study at night, only to be disturbed frequently because there were breakdowns at the bottling plant.
Ward decided that enough was enough. He quit his job, and found another one - that of a draughtsman. This job paid half as much, but there was peace of mind. He did complete his engineering, but got a job in a completely unrelated field - Pharmaceuticals !
Achievers they say - keep achieving. They have a streak. This electrical engineer went on to file more than 10 patents in his own name. I would have thought that they would be 'process patents' since engineering was his core competence. But no - all of the patents were 'product patents' So here was a man a production engineer, who excelled in drug discovery.
Today, Ward is still happily married, to his first wife. They have two sons. Ward made his own life good enough to finance his son's' education. But he decided to help instill the same values in his own children. To make life a success - the hard way. Both his sons work to pay for their education. One is studying engineering, and the other - Bio Technology. Both study at theUniversity of
Inspiring? Well certainly to me !
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
For some inexplicable reason, leaving home has become increasingly 'unsettling' in recent times. Perhaps its about leaving the family alone to 'battle it out' Or it must have something to do with getting 'disconnected' from good friends. And it may sound funny, but staying away from the work place is also a source of stress!
I wait at the Business Lounge at the airport. I had imagined that this would be a quiet place. But it is just another section of the very crowded airport. I look around and see. There are all kinds of people. Men and women travelling alone. Others are in groups. For some, home is just one flight away. For others like me, its just the beginning of a long trip...
There are business people - many of whom stare into their computer screens. Perhaps catching up on email that they didn't get time to see during the day. Ask any business person and he will tell you that if you miss just one day's email, heavens WILL fall...
There are children - small ones. The worst sufferers in long distance travel - I think. One little girl is fast asleep on her mother's lap. Her mother sits motionless, endlessly, because she does not want to risk waking up her child. There is also a boy - just about as big as the girl. He seems to be intent on 'rubbishing' my theory. He is bubbling with endless energy and is running around the lounge detached from the happenings around him, and totally involved in some game that he has invented.
There are others who just sit around and keep busy with their cellphones. The cellphone rings occasionally, but when it does, the ring is noisiy and disturbs everyone. Why their cellphone ring tones are set to maximum volume will always remain a mystery.
My attentions slowly shifts away from what's happening around me I focus on the days to come, the places to visit, the goals to be achieved. My mind settles with the thought that this tour like the many others before it, will end too. And the day will come, when home will be just a flight away.