A CEO stands outside the factory gates and shakes hands saying ‘good morning’ to each of the workers, the first few go easy, energetically. By the 100th or the 1000th the handshake becomes perfunctory, the hello and smile forced, eye contact missed, slouching, totally understandable. Unless the employee getting the lackluster greeting is you.
CROs cannot afford to give lackluster greetings, each person coming in the gate needs to receive fresh smiles and warm handshakes, no matter how many have come through before, no matter how tired you are and no matter what other work needs to be done.
For the most part, people coming to visit here carry interesting times. They are senior decision makers in pharma, have lots of experience, fun stories and generally have the personalities that have allowed them to survive long periods in a tough industry…they get along well with people. Also, they tend to be jet-lagged. And I enjoy giving suggestions on where to go/see/eat, makes me feel competent about living outside the US. The only downside – the work day turns to shredded work moments.
Here’s a typical schedule on client visit day.
7am – catch metro, iPhone through email, podcasts
8am – clock in, breeze through email, call US east coast
9am-12 – meeting, introductions, biology, chemistry, corporate
12-2pm – lunch, informal
2-3pm – lab tours, group introductions
3-5pm – working meeting with client
5-9pm – dinner turtles, fish heads, bird nest or shark
9-10pm – home
11pm – sleeping soundly