Being sent abroad as part of the job

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by EngIntoHW, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. EngIntoHW

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    128
    0
    Hi, I'd like to consult with you on the following matter.

    I need from time to time to go abroad for 10 days work, as part of my job.
    I was sent there just once so far, and the working hours there were crazy, you start working at 8-9AM and if you get to leave at 9PM it's considered a good day.
    You might get Sunday off if you're lucky.
    So these 10 days are gonna include at least 9x12 hours at work.
    It’s always like this when you go there.

    It frustrates me, and I don't know how to deal with it.

    The thing is that I'm less than a year in this company, and I'm sent with an experienced engineer, and I'm afraid that I'll have to follow him after work to where he goes, while instead I'd rather to just grab something to eat and watch TV or jog for fun, you know.
    That's what frustrating me (besides having to work so hard), that if I tell him that I want to go back to the hotel quickly so I could use this time for my own stuff, I'll be considered a not so pleasant team member to work with, and when we get back to our country, he'll share it with the rest of the team members.

    What do you think about this?

    Thank you.
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,446
    3,361
    Welcome to the capitalist world. You can either work your butts off to make someone else rich or you can rebel against the system. The choice is yours.
     
  3. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    2,803
    594
    Over here it would be pretty normal to expect to have the evening to yourself, but our cultures are different. Maybe go out with him the first night, mention you fancy going for a jog and chill out the next night and see how he reacts.
     
  4. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    1,585
    141
    Talk to your boss and find out what's expected. You can, of course, grumble if you don't like the setup -- that might affect things down the road, but it's hard to know if it will.

    One thing to do is to make a list of things that need to be accomplished, then focus on getting those done while you're there. I found that helped me keep focused on the job.

    Eventually, you'll be sent out on your own. You thus should develop good trip habits -- you'll have to figure out what that means for your company. Every company I worked for was different.

    I used to laugh at some of the folks where I worked because they thought it was so glamorous that the engineers and managers got to travel and go to exotic places. They didn't know that often those days were just boring hard work, overtime to get things done, and then a late meal in the hotel and a night's sleep.

    However, once you've been with the company a while, you can turn the trips into an advantage. I once had to go to Detroit for a week for a convention. Then it worked out that it would cost me $5 extra for the air fare to fly to Washington DC. So I did -- and spent a week walking every day to the Smithsonian by myself, jogging on the mall, etc... I had a blast -- and still have the pictures to prove it. :p
     
  5. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
    3,373
    1,159
    The company is so use to getting 13 days of work for 10, they won't change the temporary assignment time. For some the prospective of going on temporary assignments is to work extra hard so they can get back home to their loved ones and they want to spend as little time as necessary on this type of assignment. More details are needed to establish the proper prospective. You could ask why the senior engineer does those "extra" hours to gain his prospective.
     
  6. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    I know exactly what you are talking about. Go out with them on the first night and take a girl home. Every night after that, you can say that you have more pleasant entertainment waiting for you back in the room than their ugly faces. works. I've done it. They will still raz you about not going out with them but they won't go around telling everyone that you're no fun. You will get jokes like, "when are you getting married?" "does she have your package in her pocket yet?" etc. but at least they're still talking to you.
     
  7. steev

    New Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    6
    0
    My job is to work away from home all the time and I know what you mean.
    Because I've been doing it for a long time, I don't give a toot what other think of me so I just disappear at the end of the day.
    At the end of the working day, just say to him/her "I'm a little tired, think I'll have a quiet night in the hotel room and I'll see you tomorrow", or "I'm going to workout in the gym, have something to eat and then relax in my room, see you tomorrow".
    Who knows, he/she could be thinking the same as you anyway!!!!!!
    Steve
     
  8. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
    1,584
    435
    All jokes a side.It depends on the countries you are going to work in,
    do you have work visa or pass port Your home country.If you are a citizen
    of the U.S. I would contact the U.S.state department and find out how you
    should conduct your self In different countries. In past post you have heard
    how you could end up In jail for simple breaking of another countries laws.
     
  9. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    I notice the OP did not state what his home country was.
     
  10. EngIntoHW

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    128
    0
    Hi guys,
    It was wonderful reading all your comments, thanks a lot for sharing.
    What I don't like about being abroad is that it changes my entire routine.

    I don't like changes much, like eating what other people eat, and not dedicating an hour for exercise 'cause other people don't do that.

    It would raise my spirit to know that I'll be able to eat healthy food, and keep exercising, do the thing I want to do when not working.
    Is it normal to follow that?

    Bill, I'm from a western country (sorry for not revealing too much), and I'm sent to work with Asian people who are not going to do much besides working during the time I'll stay there.
     
  11. happyganl

    Active Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    149
    48
    I feel where you are going is Asian country:p,and that experienced engineer's action are alike asian style. this phenomenon is kinda serious here, I post a thread about drinking wine ago, similar thing.:)
     
  12. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
    1,584
    435
    Drinking wine for visa holder,go to jail.
     
  13. EngIntoHW

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    128
    0
    Hi, thanks for your comment :)

    I'd love to hear other people's experiences :)
     
  14. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    Men in business suits with briefcases passed out drunk in the streets & subway every night in japan. Korean Shipyard workers partying every night in clubs, still in their dirty uniforms. Singaporeans are little more dignified about it I guess, they gome home and change first, but yeah I have seen how Asians get down. Only surpassed by the scottish I have worked with.

    Really, without seeing your situation first hand, I can only relate to my own experiences. In my experience, I was working with fellow westerners and also asians, but the westerners were in charge. I worked with rotating teams overseas and you have all kinds of guys. Some party every night and talk about the night before all day at work. It's a bonding thing and if you make friends, they will watch your back (usually - depends on the person). Other guys keep to themselves outside of work - which means they aren't as popular at work. Doesn't mean they are any more likely to recieve a bad review or be let go, as long as they do their work and don't screw around. Being liked only makes things easier. That's also not to say that you can't keep to yourself and still be liked. Better to be disliked for you who you are then liked for who you're not I guess.

    Just do your job and do your own thing and keep a good attitude and I think you should be fine.
     
  15. EngIntoHW

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    128
    0

    Did you also find Asian people stay at work so late, so you don't feel convenient to leave office at 9PM?



    I've seen that.
    I have this guy at work who always brings the latest releases of anything, and he's really got his back covered.
    I tried being like that, but this just ain't me, I just keep being nice to anyone but I don't hang out with anyone there outside the office.

    I think that in some way you better pretend being friendly and kind and try finding topics for conversation when you all eat lunch, otherwise you might find yourself in a bad position.
    For example, I'm taking calls from my team mates or other people working there when I'm out of office, even though I don't have to...


    You know, it sounds like you got much experience on this situation as you said and it was lovely reading your post.
    I'd be happy to consult with you on this trip :)

    What’s your position in your company?
     
  16. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    I don't specifically remember asians staying later than anyone else. I think the work load determines the length of the stay for anybody.


    I was a controls technician. I worked overseas in shipyards with install & commission teams, installing drilling control systems in new build offshore oil rigs & drillships. Before that I was in the navy - similar atmosphere. Both the navy and that job felt alot like highschool.
     
  17. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
    5,142
    1,266
    You know, it seems you are more concerned about social interactions that affect your job, rather than the object of the job itself.

    I think that the main goal of your profession is to do the job right. As a professional, I suppose you can do the job properly.

    Now, social skills aren't usually taught. Everyone has them up to a degree, others are charmers, others just suck at it.

    Being pleasant is not a prerequisite at a job usually. But it is generally useful in life. If you can't get along with people in your job, have you ever thought that the problem might be more general? Maybe you have to be less stiff or whatnot in your everyday life?

    Would you characterize yourself as a hard person to communicate or to get along? Do you find that others often don't understand what you tell them or have completely different priorities than you?
    You don't necessarily have to be wrong. You may very well be right, but for the sake of your immediate community you could back a bit up and don't point it right away.
    Don't overdo it though.
     
  18. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    That's deep, for a "prisoner of high standards and low social skills", lol. I guess you are self-aware.

    But yes I agree with you on all counts.

    In some situations, which if OP is in the type of position that I think he is, then the social interactions that affect the job may very well be as important or more important than the object of the job itself. I have seen techs who wer all talk & didn't know squat, linger long past their expiry date just because they were buddy-buddy with everybody.

    I would say that social skills in that type job are alot more important than they are in some other jobs.
     
  19. EngIntoHW

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    128
    0
    Hi,
    My position is validation, SW concerned mostly, so all it takes is patient and willingness to check every little detail.
    It's all about setting the correct setup.

    Thanks for these advices.
    I understand them and they understand me, it's just that I don't feel like bonding with them, you know.
    But I do have some points that I'm actually working on them and trying to improve them.
     
  20. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
    5,142
    1,266
    You don't have to be friends at heart with them. Just find the right frequency to communicate with them and share a joke and a beer. Then you 'll have to worry about them being too close for comfort.

    It's a delicate balance, where you have to show you are ok with having people around you but at the same time you show you aren't a pushover or a brother-at-arms with them.
     
    EngIntoHW likes this.
Loading...