Today, I "come back home"

When I first came to office, Mr Tien - HR specialist - told me "Such a valued time that HAS team has all team presence. You should take chance to network with them because someday they all go onsite!". I felt a little bit confused how hard to meet my team as he said. Then, I figured out that our work has to be done onsite at customer site often, yet some back office work. So we can meet all team just some days within a month. In some projects, our people had to work for months at customer site so they supposed to think they belong to customer team. That's the reason why Mr Viet Anh - HAS Director - told me to connect to my team and write something: "I want our team feels the care of HAS BoD, of other people, wherever they work. And HPT is always our home. Then, they do not feel lost with work at customer site".

After periodical meeting with customer, I met Mr Long who was busy with Test cases. As I remembered, he worked out of office almost a month. He was in charge of ECM project of VietcomBank - one of our loyal customers - and the project was at Test - Golive phase which was a turning point of a project.

"How are you!" - I started with a smile.

"Come to your point please" - Mr Long threw me an eye with a sigh. His reaction was so normal to me. He was so stressed with my ton of questions even though I confirmed that I knew the answers, I just verified my knowledge.

"Come on, today I just want to interview you within a minute! Do not ask the reason, just share your project status, ok?"

After a while of surprise, Mr Long told me: "My ECM project was such a new experiment to me, relating to competency, business as well as customer. This customer was not a new one but through this project I had chance to know deeply customer business process, which brought me new knowledge."

I appreciated his standard thinking a lot and continued: "How long have you been at customer site? How do you feel while working there?". Mr Long: "It was about some weeks. I did not count exactly. At first, I felt a little bit strange. Then I was familiar with the atmosphere. We all know that onsite is specialty of our job. This place was not comfortable as our company and many rules occurred due to pandemic, It was quite alright. Relating to advantage, working at customer site was easy to connect to customers often, customers felt assured with implementation team sitting next to them. So I created the comfort for myself so as not to depend on the atmosphere!"

"Do you prefer working onsite to working at HPT?" I asked. He thought for a while as a wise man such as professor or scientist. This was the reason why I like asking him. "To me working at everywhere is alright as long as it was convenient for my work. As a BA, when I work closely with my customers I can speed up the project status. But working with all team at HPT is more joyful!". I felt thankful to Mr Long as the first interviewee. He expressed all the meaningful thoughts. Ms Trang's remind "Whenever you feel ambiguous just ask Mr Long" was right for all times (Ms Trang was my predecessor). "That's enough for you now and what are you doing?". "I will tell you later", I said.

I had a fixed meeting schedule with MB Bank on every Thursday for IAM project. This project was at development stage and we had 2 members in charge - Mr Dai and Mr Dung. As far as I knew they worked onsite for a long time, even before my presence at HPT. As usual we delegated 4-5 members for a project onsite, but this IAM project took only 2 members. Because of other projects effort allocation, this project just had 2 of them as developers. I also want to connect with them.

"Mr Dai, Mr Dung, just give me some time!" "What is the request of my high lady for today?. He teased me again. We always teased each other while working. I called him "fellow", "senior", and he called me "high lady". We also had conversations in which we somehow said not exactly to the point of the other. But when we came to work, we worked seriously as usual.

"I recognized that this project started from last year to now. Was it a tough project?" I asked. "Why are you interested in this project? This project was not difficult for technology but for connecting many departments with varied of working manners. Moreover, there was just in time scope of work!". Mr Dung explained to me. Mr Dung was calmer than Mr Dai and sometimes joining us in jokes. I also like him.

"After a while working here do you have any feeling?" "What feeling? they confused. "Feedback for working environment, onsite environment". I gave them a hint. "Ah, as you my lady can see, we just have 2 of us, MB employees are ready to move to new office. We felt lonely before, it will be more lonely but we cannot come back to HPT office. Moreover, the pandemic outbreaks, people come in move out often, it was such a challenge to protect ourselves. Mr Dai added "They wrapped and transferred belongings so I could not focus on my own work."

Looking at 2 faces covered by protection masks, I felt a deep empathy. Then we exchanged information of pandemic progress. This was the first year that started with a dangerous, deadly pandemic. I will tell my children and grandchildren this year, in which people lives changed fiercely under Covid-19 darkness. Mr Dai continued without my question "I want to work remotely but I cannot due to security policy of customer industry - banking. When I have to work at home, I switch the tasks for flexible arrangement. At customer site network is not good, supplies is modest, office is not quiet enough. But I have to be familiar with this with thinking "nowhere is better than HPT!". He sighed again.

I smiled quietly for the mentioned supplies. This must be the fridge full of contributed food from everybody or the milk tea time at noon. He missed to mention his sweet potato plant which was called "for a better life". When he was onsite he reminded me to take care of this plant and he was upset a lot knowing it died. After a while talking, I said goodbye to 2 men to get back to HPT. Mr Dung was confused about my visit but Mr Dai guessed something and teased me "Remember to share the fee for your writing!". Different from Mr Long, Mr Dai knew everything about my thought, my purpose and actively helped me before my requests. Then, we had the same thinking often even though we had age gap. 

This was working corner of onsite team at customer office during pandemic

The final destination was TechcomBank. HAS was implementing a long term project for them, a strict customer. We stayed there with many members for implementing 2 projects that were at Golive stage at the same time. I realized their stress right on their faces due to rush tasks. They were at my age so I easily talked to them. Ms Kim Anh asked me "Do you have a meeting here today?" This was the first time we talked directly after conversations on phone or online tools. "The boss told me to meet you and say hi, encourage all of you." At the same time I raised the cookies boxes.

I sat next to her among empty chairs. The office was quiet and so clean as Co-working standard - a popular office style recently. I looked around and recognized many men were coding with deep focus. Most of them were familiar, the others were unknown, even their names. I remembered my Boss order "You have to know Mr Tấn, Mr Nghị and connect to them. We have to know and connect to all of them so they do not feel lonely at customer site."

As direction of Ms Kim Anh, I saw Mr Tấn - a man who was at my age, thin, with messy hair due to hair messing habit. Next to him was Mr Nghi, I met him in some meetings. "How are you, I am HAS newbie". I came to them. Mr Nghi said "I knew you already but had no time to talk with. Why do you come here?". "I just want to visit you and try to understand there is any difficulty for implementation or not". He said with funny voice: "Difficulties were many, we were so stressed and our hairs turned white already".

Mr Nghi added "This project was one of the stressful projects, the requirement was so strange and our team has few members, workload was huge and occurred many just in time tasks. All of us were stressed!". Ms Ha said behind the screen "I want to finish the project right away to come back to HPT". She was older 1 year than me, calm and willing to help, and I like her too. Through the story I knew Mr joined HPT 1 year but half of that time he was onsite at TechcomBank. This meant the project was a long term project as a timeless war. Mr Nghi joined HPT more than that and paid for this project months and almost lived for the project. Despite difficulties, the team tried a lot to collaborate with customers, unified for the project success. Luckily, the working atmosphere was professional, disciplined, quiet as their desires. At HPT we were noisy sometimes.

Ms Ha added "Onsite working is alright but the space was so modest and we had to ware masks all times. Working at HPT office was more joyful and we had team aside". "Sometimes we just had some people and the network was not good, no time to order food or beverage as we want!".

I asked them with a smile "So you like working at HPT for comfortableness?" Ms Ha said "Not exactly, at HPT we had team and Boss. If we have some issues we can handle right away, Bosses helped all times. When we were onsite we hesitate to call often!" All of us seemed to agree with her and be sure that working at HPT was the best although we can adapt many working spaces and conditions.

"No place is better than HPT home!" Mr Dai said so. And each of HAS member considers our company is a big home, not only a working space, among family members, not only colleagues. That is the reason why we are willing to spend weekends for projects, spend time to work instead of relaxing, spend the youth for HAS.

And the slogan within HAS was transferred from member to member: "Today I "come back home"!"

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