Last time I left off with the spring seminar and a question which will be answered here. The seminar actually turned out to be a winner and everyone was happy about that. I got to know a few people from HQ, which turned out to be useful.
Anyway life continued, work as well. I was to go to the autumn seminar of that year (1986). Give a scorching presentation and meet as many people as possible, especially from the pharma division, was the objective, which worked out ok as we shall see.
In late November at HQ the seminar ended on Friday afternoon, I stayed for the weekend. At 3 am I was woken by loud sirens screaming and howling. Thinking it was just a test I went back to sleep (I do remember thinking, why would they test at 3am?). Anyway, after breakfast I went for a walk, the city was empty and there was a smell as if a rat had crawled up a sewer pipe and died. But being a chemist I was used to smells so it didn’t bother me. Further on into the city there were almost no people. I came across a shop which had a window full of TVs all showing lots of fire, huge flames and firemen running about, as they do, trying to put it out. The banner at the bottom said Schweizerhalle. I’ll not repeat the details here, suffice to say that it was a tragic incident, for the ecosystem, the general population and the chemical industry, who today still live under the shadow of this accident.
Arrived back home to be told the big boss wanted to see me! “How would you like a year’s secondment to pharma?”, he asked. Well I didn’t say no. In fact I said it would be my objective not to return. This answers the previous question posed, “what do you do with an employee you can’t manage? Well you can fire them, or send them on secondment. Luckily for me the second option was chosen. So for the next few weeks we all were busy with the transfer. There is a lot to work out and do. But it all came together and we moved to Hq in March of the next year.
So now you will get the benefit of secondment story in the next instalment.
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