Feb 20, 2012

My Unforgettable Travel

Its everyone’s dream to visit United States of America once in a life time, its my dream too and that came true with my new Job! I never expected this would happen, but it did, Praise the Lord!


My trip to US gave me new exposure about life, people, culture and how the world is functioning day in and day out. It’s a different part of the world, where people have the liberty & support to excel in their field of interest & excellence!

I am a young Process Engineer working in a manufacturing industry, an industry which has new challenges everyday, keeps me busy and hunting! 3rd month in my new Job, I was given the golden opportunity to travel to US to attend DOE-Design of Experiments training, I was extremely excited and so keen to fly to the country, which I often call as “Country of Dreams” My company booked my flights and hotel for my training through Expedia, the best way to travel!

Finally the day came, I was sitting in the training room in Highlands, Illinois, US! I reached there very early, I got lot of time to taste an American sandwich, which tastes the same as all over the world! setup my laptop, with my universal adapter! checked my mails, dropped a line to my boss and parents, that I reached here safe and good.

After a hour later all the trainees started to turn up and soon the hall was full and ready to go! I am the only who travelled a long way for this training!

I observed a Gentlemen sitting in the same row as I am, few seats away from me. He was young, sharp minded, speaking to everyone, like he met them before and he was carrying a great attitude. The trainer entered the room, we were asked to introduce our self, name, division, role, interests & on!

Hearing from few trainees I realized, I am the youngest trainee in that room, until the gentlemen sitting in my same room introduced himself.

He introduced himself as Stephen Jimenez from Texas, he is working as a 6 sigma black belt expert, his introduction was extremely impressive and stood out from the rest! he was so frank and mentioned he is not from an Engineering background, he does things that his heart feels correct and it is working well for him. He takes ideas from experienced shop-floor workers and implements those to increase the productivity, reduce scrap, etc., he wont take any credits for their ideas! he gives all the credit to the shop-floor workers, that makes them happy and makes them to work even harder!


From left - Stephen Jimenez & I

He said “ I am a normal guy, who works on pure common sense”

To be honest, his introduction broke my mind set, to achieve in life, degree is not essential! The important thing is to perform! be passionate & determined in what you do and that will take you to heights!

He mentioned his achievements and that was very impressive, he is straight forward, bold voiced, determined, great attitude! he was only 25 years old, the same age group as I am! I was thinking, to get an attitude like this, at at young age, is something special!

He offered me a lift to and fro to the training, as both of us, along with few trainees stayed in the same hotel. That gave me good opportunity to know more about him.

Just a few lines about me, I am so passionate and determined to change things, if that is not correct, Stephen also has the same character, but his methods are different to mine, this is the main reason that attracted me to his character! 

That evening after training, few of us decided to go a Popular Steak house, for our dinner, known as Popeye's chop house! I ordered the famous New york Strip, and started to talk! I asked to Stephen to tell us about him! I wanted to know how he got his great attitude, his past life.

The truth is he was an Ex-Navy Seal! one of the toughest, challenging positions in any Navy around the world!

He volunteered himself to the Navy after the 9-11 attack, when he was only 19 years old!

He said “ I just wanted to go there and take revenge for those who lost their life in 9-11 incident, we are not afraid! we have to show the enemies what we are capable of! if you are killing my fellow country men, I will destroy you!”   I had Goosebumps in my hands, and tears in my eyes! I never met anyone like his in my entire life till date!

During his 5 years service he travelled to 25 countries all over the world. Gunned down many militants in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, saved many innocent civilians! he also took few bullets in the war from the enemies, in his legs, plates in his both legs and slip disk in his back! oh God! and still he wanted to go back and fight for his country!  

I asked him how does he feel every night after killing someone! He said “ that is not a pleasant experience, my job is to keep my fellow soldiers alive, bring them safely back to their family! I do whatever I can do in my powers to make that happen! I never worried about dying, I wanted to live a worthy life before dying!”

What can I say after that? my blood was boiling, I truly felt ashamed, that I am working in another country for a MNC, and not working for my India!

He is so Patriotic! he is always ready to sacrifice his life for his country! as you can imagine, I was not able to sleep that night!

He taught me many things about life over my training period! During our training, we as a team performed exceptionally well in many group events!


DOE Trainees

The one thing he shared will be always stored deep into my heart! “A good leader is one who makes his team work toward his goal, without the team members realizing that they are working towards the leaders goal!” He mentioned this is what he is doing at work! Using shop floor workers ideas to complete his goals and corporate goals without them realizing they are working for him! that is impressive, according to me!

Before my trip to US I tried to implement many ideas, but I always felt resistance from shop floor workers,but his thought is really helping me now!  I am sure it would help the reader also in a some occasion.

This trip changed me a lot! Now, I am eagerly looking to pursue my long time goal, I.P.S officer, and even more than that! I am still in touch with Stephen, who is really an exceptional character I met in my life! 

I wrote this article to share my experience with everyone out there and also an entry article to Indi Blogger contest, Around the world with Expedia!

Many Thanks for reading and voting

Calvin Christopher


Kala ramasamy said...

wonderful calvin

Deboshree said...

Interesting write-up. It seems the trip was rich with experiences... :)
all the best!

calvin Nevil Christopher said...

Thanks Ma'am

calvin Nevil Christopher said...

Thanks Ma'am, yes it was a very good experience for my career and also for me. Lot learnt and I have written few here!

Anunoy Samanta said...

Interesting interaction indeed...
Best of luck for the contest!

calvin Nevil Christopher said...

 Thanks Anunoy