Back to the Tri-Colore
Through a cacophony of mis-steps, training this year has been full of challenges. Now on late notice, the Technical Training schedule needs a quick tweak and I need to be on an airplane. Apparently, I am getting called up to the big leagues.
Going back to my pre-Ducati days, I was a professional speaker and educator. Ducati turned me into a Technician. Thinking back 2 years… I knew I could learn it – but become an expert on the Panigale Motor?? The position has led to great growth. It has helped me identify with learning styles I had yet to to experience and pride issues that needed a little massaging. Now the opportunity is here. Sales Academy 2015 is headed up by me. What?!?!
I landed in Bologna today. A team effort, I could never had made the trip without the support of my new supervisor Richard Kenton and my Service Area Manager (trainer) Alex Lange. Today was a “Get Grounded” kind of day. I checked into the hotel, bathed, took some relevant web training then hit the streets.
I LOVE Bologna! I walk the streets in confidence because I am bigger than the average Italian. My Pimsluer is not anywhere near perfect, but I can say “Non Parla Italiano” to the beggars. I navigate the streets with the assistance of SIRI on Apple iPhone, but the thrill is in the discovery. Ancient buildings, ruins and modern graffiti fill the senses as well as the occasional stench of urine. Hey — what do you expect? The place is inhabited with urinators almost 2,000 more years than the USA.
I serpentine the city nearly a dozen miles and text my lovely bride photos as I trudged. I am used to dinner being late in the city so I was buying time… then I saw shop owners closing gates. Whoa! I began to head back to the hotel and spied many potentials on the way. Surprising how much sushi is in this city. Finally, my meandering lead to Nino’s. Wow! I had a Ravioli with seafood, bottle of Chianti, and a follow up Rosa Salad with hunks of Mozzarella Cheese. Just when I thought I was done, I paid … then they brought me a dessert I previously declined and a bottle of Limoncello.
The culture is so different here. Take the restaurant episode. In America, crappy service earns nearly 20 % while the culture in Italy is no tip on the bill. In America its about patrons per hour per table. In Italy, it’s about the experience. My experience was killer.
To make dinner better, a middle aged mom of 2 sat by me in the restaurant. We had many similarities. married, 2 kids and foreigners in a cool place. She was from Holland and in Italy for a week of concentrated Italian Language studies. Chances are she is better with her verbs than I am. But here is the rub – she wanted to learn Italian… so she came to Italy. I am an American. I wanted to learn Italian… I bought some CD’s. It is so refreshing to be back in a place where the write “Dove passione” on the wall and mean it.
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