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Chemical engineer working in the field of bulk chemicals for e.g. plastics and energy, specifically energy efficiency and renewables.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

An ending. A new beginning.

Near St Goar
One can only measure ones humility, courage and strength of character by doing something that changes ones perception of humility, courage and strength of character.  In recent weeks I stopped writing because I was challenging my determination. I have cycled from the Amsterdam area to Strasbourg, mostly on the Rhine. In many respects it was the celebration of an ending and the utterance of a potential new beginning. In all honesty it was a mental test of unyielding stupidity. Truely after nigh on a thousand kilometres and on reflection, one could wish for a new beginning and perhaps a new intelligence. But in consequence, I remain mostly the same.

At the end of October I finished my contract with the current company. I am not unhappy about the situation as I believe that the company is resting on its laurels. Further in the group and unit that I was in, I see very little coherence in management and see the wrong people brought to the fore and talking advantage of the situation. Finally the goals that I had set for the company and its primary product (it takes/makes research products and tries to bring them to market) at the start of this contact did not materialise. I do not see them being realised in a significant way for some years despite that fact that I feel that these goals were attainable during my period at the company. One of the main drivers for doing the trip was to soften the negative feelings related to the lack of progress and to let the positives from my experience assert themselves more.

My trip down the Rhine took me to places such as the beautiful Cologne, the charming Oberwesel which is just up the road from Lorelei, the soulless Frankfurt, the country town of Karlsruhe and to the very French Strasbourg among others. I finished with friends in Paris via train. In all I spent 21 days travelling with 16 days taking me from Amsterdam to Strasbourg at approximately 850 km on the bicycle.

This trip has put some very important issues into perspective. It has allowed me to focus on the negatives but in a more humorous light. It has brought to the fore my sense of achievement in the job I did which allows me to articulate on that subject. In brought into perspective a small part of the energy issues in Germany that I wrote about earlier. Most of all it showed my determination and overcome an obstacle that was placed in front of me. This will prove useful in my forthcoming job hunt.

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