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A business trip to China
Discussing my trip with my son
I remember when I graduated college having studied mechanical engineering and accounting I had visions one day of working for a company that was cutting edge and had a significant presence in industry and held itself up to the highest standards both from an engineering and a business perspective. I have been working for almost a quarter of a century now and I have gained a considerable amount of experience through the years. I have fond memories of all the firms and companies I worked for and one of the experiences I always enjoyed throughout my working career was going on out of town business trips. Whenever the opportunity arose to go on a business trip I would welcome it and do my very best.
In my working career I went on maybe 6 business trips which I found exciting and a good experience. The travel on 3 of those trips required plane travel down to Virginia which I enjoyed. The other business trips required travel by car to Southern, New Jersey; Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. I had never had the opportunity of traveling to the west coast or out of the country for a business trip.
I have been going through some emotional highs and lows in trying to provide my son with the proper care he needs and our family had hit an all time low when we had to take our son to the hospital due to his emotional struggles and have him admitted. It was a very difficult time for my wife and I and for our son. We only want what's best for him and would do whatever it takes to help him. The hardest part of admitting him was the separation. We only had two 1 hour visits per day to see him and it was wearing on all of us. We saw him have his good days and his not so good days. The ten days he was there was the hardest time we had to endure and when he was released it was one of the happiest days in our life. The last time we had him stay overnight at a hospital was when he was being observed for his seizure disorder.
One of the main sources of support I had that helped me get through this difficult time was my employer's complete understanding and concern. I was very appreciative of that and it really made a difference. I also had the support of family and friends and the school where my son attends. The school psychologist would call me everyday to inquire about Matthew's progress and our school appointed behavioral therapist also would call checking in on our son's progress.
When our son was released we took it slow with our expectations as he was now adjusting to new medication. We did however get him back to school the very next day since he had missed over a week of classes. We took it day by day hoping our son would get back to some sense of normalcy and get back to his routine of homework, class instruction and social interaction.
I too was trying to immerse myself into my work to help ease the concerns I had of my son's school day. One day at work the Office manager asked me if I had a passport and I indicated I did but it was expired. She asked me to bring it into the office so I could have it renewed as she discussed the likelihood that I would be travelling on a business trip outside of the country. It seemed very exciting to me as the company I work for is the cutting edge company I was discussing earlier that I had always hoped to work for. I enjoy the work I am involved in and the fact that the company is driven by an engineering philosophy and the owner of the company is an entrepreneur who started the company out of his garage and built it into a major company representative of the industry it serves. The company has offices in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Georgia within the United States and internationally in France, Germany, India and China.
Within a week of bringing my expired passport to the office I learned I was asked to travel to Suzhou, China where the company has an office with 40 staff consisting of engineers, scientists, administrators and accountants. It was all very exciting to me and I was quite surprised for being asked but I certainly welcomed the opportunity. My biggest concern aside from the long flight which I never made before was how my son would be. My wife was ok with the idea as she has always wanted us to fly to the Philippines but I always indicated that I felt the flight was too long. Now with my trip to China I have no excuses. I had a long talk with my son about my trip and I asked him if he was ok with my going and he said he was but that he would miss me when I am gone. I told him not to worry and that I was going to China for a work assignment and that I would be back in a week. He told me he wanted to write about my trip and I certainly encouraged him to. He wrote a beautiful blog entry about my going to China and he included a picture of the Great Wall. He also made a special request that I bring him a toy back from China and I hugged him and gave him a big kiss and said of course I will.
It's been several weeks since I had been asked to go and now after getting the vaccinations and the preventative medications in addition to my passport and visa it is now coming upon the day of our trip and I am wondering how the flight will be as I wait with great excitement. I will find it emotional at the airport when I say goodbye to my wife, son and mother-in-law. I look at the opportunity as tremendous and am very appreciative for being asked to go as a representative of the corporate team and find it to be an opportunity of a lifetime. I am flying with a coworker which will make the flight easier to handle and I am happier to have a travel companion. We then are meeting with a member of the India team in Shanghai and from there having a driver take us to the hotel in Suzhou which is about a 2 hour drive.
And so I write this in the middle of the night as I start to pack and charge my camera's battery and prepare to wash up and have my family drive me to the airport. I will be far away working as I think of my family and I will do my best and will be in communication with them checking in with my wife and son and the New York office and the business manager who made it all possible.
I am amazed when I see staff in the New York office who traveled from India for weeks and sometimes months at a time separated from family and being so attentive to their work. I very much enjoy working with the staff from India as they are hard working people and so very polite and respectful. I also welcome the opportunity of working with the staff from the China office as well.
I can't wait to work with the staff in China and to experience what life is like there and to see the beautiful sites which will be a chance of a lifetime that I look forward to sharing with my family and telling my son in words and pictures.
I love you Maria and Matty, See you soon!
Edward D. Iannielli III
Matty, heartwarming blog of my trip
Matty's Blog of my China trip
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