After travelling for almost 3 hours from London, I finally reached my destination. The Taxi driver toured me around Burton On Trent before I checked in the hotel. I had an appointment for a tour around the Brewery at 3:00 pm and I was late. I still went to see my contact person and after some interview with the Quality staff about document control, OWD and other issues, I was so excited to go inside and around one of the oldest breweries of Molson.
As expected, I found the brewery very clean and world-class looking and the people all aware of the rules (i.e. PPE). I took pictures for our own brewery to see as inspiration. Learning about its history and how it transformed to what it is today, I was amazed.
I ended day 2 with dinner at a fancy restaurant - The Dial. Because this week is going to be a string of drinking sprees, I had champagne on my first night here.
I was excited and nervous at the same time to meet my counterparts in Europe and Canada. On breakfast time the next day, I met them one by one. I felt like I'm in a beauty pageant, they are all equally beautiful and smart people and I found myself fitting in.
Day 3 - Today was a get-to-know-each-other day and we had workshop on influencing. I am so proud of myself that I conquered my fears and broke down the walls. I easily made friends that on dinner time and the tour (Yes, I went to another tour with them), it was like we've known each other for a long time. we had dinner at The Dial again. I was so ashamed to face the waitresses because I forgot to give tip the previous night. The night was awesome. I enjoyed the chatting and the beer.
Day 4 - It was presentation day. I knew the content of the material but because I thought that National would report for all Canada, I didn't bother preparing, I was told yesterday and I thought I forgot about it while drinking but it dawned on me that it was happening.
So consider this the swimsuit, formal wear and question and answer portion of the pageant rolled into one. Good thing I didn't speak first or last. I spoke in the middle and I had ideas on how to enliven the presentation. When they were talking about how beautiful and gorgeous their countries were, I also felt proud that I am from the beautiful nation called Canada. So I took the opportunity to tell them about how the country is not only beautiful with its natural resources but also with its people. With the diverse population and culture making up Toronto (I am one of the immigrants who moved to Canada) and also we are all people-oriented, it was but timely to say that Toronto boasts of its people from wide variety of cultures. It really felt like how Pia Wurtzbach of the Ms. Universe fame nailed the QA. hahaha. I was glad it went well. I admit speaking in front of an audience is not my forte but I think I was able to relay the message.
Today was the beer champion day and we had lots of beer to taste and match with food. We were treated like kings and queens at another fancy restaurant by the river and before we started, we took lots of "selfies" in a picturesque setting. This was one of my most favorite nights because this is where we really shared and connected. Those I was seated next to were amazing, we shared and talked about government, religion, places, people (kinds of and Molson people whom we knew) and everything under the sun without qualms. I really felt that I belong to a family. Our pictures show how amazing this night was (and how great our beers are). I intentionally made the photos look small because I didn't want to share my colleagues faces, I didn't ask their permission.