December 11th, 2003

Looi Kin-Ming

Renaissance reunion dinner

And tonight's pre-Christmas bash was a reunion of the guys from Renaissance Solutions, my first consulting job. Funny thing is that we never had that much in common with each other in terms of backgrounds but we always worked and got on together remarkably well and, if this evening is anything to go by, still do for the latter after all this time. It's unlikely any of them will ever be reading this but here's to the finest group of individuals I've ever had the privilege of working with. Salut!

It should be added that the person right up front at the left is Derrick. He met Heather (burntcopper) at my Birthday drinks last year. Quite without prompting, she commented that she had recently been surprised at how much she knew about gay sex from all the slash fiction she'd read. At this point Derrick asked me "Ming, what is slash fiction?". One quick explanation later, "You've never mentioned this before." No kidding... Wonder why...

Another thing about Renaissance was the logo. To be honest, it was the first thing about the company I noticed.

I wasn't really looking for a new job but the logo caught my eye in the Sunday Times job section and after admiring it, I read the rest of the ad and thought "Hang on, I could do that..." I was a bit embarassed about my shallowness at first then I discovered several of my colleagues had been hooked the same way!

As a result of that, I ended up doing three years solid commuting to the likes of Amsterdam, Utrecht and Helsinki almost every week. Bloody hard work but greatly satisfying - learned and developed a lot too. Had its downside like never being around for anything mid-week and at least one girl commenting she wasn't going to follow me to Amsterdam every week (OK, there were other more immediate things involved but I always stuck in my mind that she felt it worth saying). Ultimately, was it worth it? I'd have to say "Hell yeah!".

Now, all I need to do is get them to grasp the notion that I don't actually have any sort of monopoly or mandate for organising these reunions and that there are other ways these can come about besides "Ming, could you set something up?" :-)
Looi Kin-Ming

Key learning for today

Probably not a good idea to walk into a Chinese supermarket wearing a People's Liberation Army winter coat (yes, it's that time of year again): lots of funny looks although a (white) woman did compliment me on having a nice coat as I headed into the car park...
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