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Fifty Years of My Life (1939 - 1990)
A Memoir by Jeff R. Noordermeer

A tour of the dairy

Lu Lu never understood what kind of job I had. Under certain circumstances this made my job even harder. Lu Lu couldn't understand that in management you had to work until you felt like it was comfortable enough for you to go home. Lu Lu always thought that after eight hours of work I should be coming home, and this was not always possible for me to do. I tried to work things out so that Lu Lu would be comfortable in her job. So long as she was happy with her work I tried to help her as much as I could. Lu Lu didn't need work as my salary was enough for us to live very comfortably. Lu Lu was a person who couldn't sit still. She still went to work even though she had so much trouble walking and she had bad arthritis in both of her knees. I didn't want her to take the bus, so early in the morning I gave her a ride, but it was not always possible for me to pick her up again as I could never tell what time I would leave my job. Sometimes I was in a meeting and I couldn't leave, and I knew Lu Lu was waiting fox me. Lu Lu would call, and I would say just wait I will be there. All of this was very stressful, and I didn't need that as my job was enough headache already.

Even after a long day's work I was always involved with some social outing. We had so many friends that we were always invited somewhere.

January 4th is Burmese Independence Day, and on this day the Burmese Embassy always has a party for invited guests. Lu Lu and I were invited to the Independence Day party. At the party I met the Ambassador the Burmese Government had just appointed to Washington and during our conversation he asked me what kind of work I did. I told him that I was the quality control manager of Embassy Dairy, which built the first computerized milk plant in the United States. He became very interested, and asked me if it would be possible that he and his staff could visit our operation. I told the Ambassador that I was sure that this could be arranged. Somehow when we met the Ambassador took a liking to us and when the party was over he personally took us to our car.

The next day at work I told our general manager that I had met the Burmese Ambassador and that he wanted to visit our plant with his staff to see our operation. My general manager said this is a great idea. We called the local newspaper and had them take pictures and write a story about it in the newspaper, which made it a good advertisement for our business. I asked Mr. Andy Mroz, our personnel director, to send the Ambassador and his staff an invitation letter. A few days later two limousines from the Embassy drove in front of our administrative building where Mr. Andy Mroz and myself were waiting to receive the Ambassador and his staff. First some pictures were taken for the newspaper, and then the newspaper reporter asked the Ambassador some questions, then he came over to me and wanted to know how I became acquainted with the Burmese Ambassador. I told him that my wife was Burmese and that I had visited Burma, and therefore was associated with many Burmese people in Washington. By visiting our factory the Ambassador might learn something useful for the Burmese economy. After the Ambassador was introduced to all of our staff and had a personal talk with our general manager, Mr. Dan Barbery, our General Manager shook hands with the Ambassador and said, "Welcome from your Embassy to our Embassy Dairy". After that we took all of them to our production plant. Once the Ambassador walked through our production plant he was so impressed by our sophisticated operation that I couldn't get him away from our operating equipment. I gave him a much closer tour than most people who came to visit our plant, as there were certain areas people were not allowed to visit for safety reasons. After the tour through our plant, the Ambassador and his staff were invited for a free lunch at one of the Chinese restaurants in Waldorf - compliments of Embassy Dairy.

The Ambassador was very impressed by our kindness and hospitality that on the next party in the Embassy he invited several of our management staff to join him. Not one of my associates had ever been to an official Embassy party, so they were pleased when they received an invitation.

CONTINUED: Two car accidents in two months
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© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora

- Foreword
- Old Rotterdam
- World War II
- After the War
- Coming to America
- Washington, D.C.
- Southeast Asia
- Philosophy of Life

- Book Index