Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Nice People I Have Met Here

As a newcomer in California, I have received lots of help from neighbours, colleagues, and most of the times, strangers. These friendly and warm-hearted people have made my life here much easier.

The help I got for my driving is the funniest. Though I had a driver license in China, I had never driven on road before I came here. There were twice when I failed to start my car and I thought the car was broken. I had to find someone hereby to help. They solved my problem gladly, and both of them turned out to be my silly mistake. There was another time when we parked our car on a slope, but we were unable to pull it out later. A young man helped pull our car out, without hesitation.

There are warm-hearted people everywhere. But I am impressed by the fact that people here are so willing to help a stranger, and that their help is often far beyond my expectation.

The first story that came to my mind was when I went to a culture & language training center for English level test. After I finished my test and was about to leave, I met one of their English teachers. We greeted each other and shook hands. He then told me, "American people prefer a strong handshake. When you shake your hands, shake firmly." He demonstrated to me what a firm handshake felt like, and we practised several times until I could make a "proper" handshake. This is a very impressive experience for me, and since then, I never forget to give people a firm handshake.

The second story was about my "shadow interview" experience. In my company, in order to be able to conduct an interview, we first need to be a "shadow interviewer" for several times. During the shadowing, we sit aside, watch the experienced interviewer conducting the interview, and learn from it.
Above is some background. So, I was the shadow interviewer of one of my colleagues that day. After the interview, he told me that we could discuss about the interview later. As the recruitment process finished, I reached out to him for review over the interview. I didn't expect much from the conversation. But he gave me not only details on what he expected from a good candidate and how he rated the interviewee,  but also lots of useful tips. For example, how he decided the boundary between a good candidate and a bad candidate, how he controlled the timing through communication. We spent about half an hour on the conversation, but I am sure the knowledge and experience I gained from the conversation will help and inspire me through my tech career.

I have been here for almost one year, and I am so grateful for all the help I received in this year. Deep in my mind, I always believe that being kind and warm-hearted to each other is the default state of human relationship, and the experiences here reinforces my believe.