Sunday, May 10, 2009

My First, And Only, International Business Trip


Back when I was a holed-up-in-cubicle assistant editor to Chemical Processing magazine, my managing editor gave me the opportunity of the lifetime: to attend the opening of one of BASF’s chemical plants on Mexico's Yucatan penisula. Here are some vital lessons I learned from the experience:
1. Never wear nylons in a swamp. If only I had known that chemical plants aren’t nice air-conditioned buildings, but just a jumble of pipes sprouting out of the ground, I would have never worn typical office wear of dress/nylons/heels to the grand opening. After a day of sweating in 90-degree, 100% humidity, my legs felt like encased sausages.
2. Perfect the interview look. When I got my 10 minutes to interview a big-wig executive, I furrowed my brow and nodded vigorously even though I didn't understand a word he was saying due to his thick German accent. Thankfully, I held onto dear life the press kit that contained all the information I needed to write the story that would somewhat legitimize this junket trip.
3. When it’s all over, go native. Once I was on the plane heading back to Mexico City, I forgot my aching legs, and turned off the “why didn’t I ask that question?” tape running in my head. Instead, I followed my fellow Mexicans' lead and poured myself a shot of tequila into the cute ceramic shot glass BASF so thoughtfully gave me as a parting gift.

7 comments:

Mama Zen said...

I was picturing a nice air conditioned building, too!

bernthis said...

what is that they say... when in Rome.....

Kathleen W. said...

LOL, I can just imagine you traipsing through the swamp in pantyhose!

That's a lovely memento you have there. Have you had tequila in it since then?

MaryAnn Ashley said...

I'm always wondering why I missed a certain shot, or didn't use the natural lighting more to my advantage after a photoshoot... but you are right, it can drive you mad - better to roll with it.

janny226 said...

This post and the pic are so impossibly adorable that I've been speechless -- uh, commentless -- for days now.

Cookie said...

LOL I used to be a chemist. I didn't work in Mexico, but I have been in many an un-air-conditioned plant. DId you get to wear one of those nice hard hats too? ;)

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

I love that shot glass! And one of my bosses also has a thick German accent! It really took me some time to get used to it so I could understand what he was saying.