Sunshine of My Life

Lin Nan, Regional Sales Manager, EDAX

EDAX is in a scientific business, exploring the unknown by looking at small materials. As EDAX employees, this makes us proud because we know that small things matter and our products and services help people discover scientific breakthroughs that make the world a better place.

But even for people like us, at least it never occurred to me, that a small virus, just nanometers in size, can change our lives so significantly. It reflects how little we know and how insignificant we are compared to the massive nature of the unknown. Science and human civilization still have a long way to go. We should remain respectful and humble about the world and nature.

COVID-19 has changed our lives in a way that no one expected, and maybe no one ever wanted with suffering and loss of life. Furthermore, the impact on our perception of society and the world may have been changed forever.

For the past six years at EDAX, like lots of our colleagues, I have always performed the majority of my job on the road. In my position as a Sales Manager, I promote and manage EDAX business and help our customers explore unknowns in small scale samples, hoping that it contributes to science. Airports, hotel breakfast, and complaints from my wife have become routine to me. Luckily, with “known” science and technology, the FaceTime and video calls do make it much easier for me to stay connected with my family while I’m traveling.

But for the past six months, my routine has changed completely. I have been sitting still within my apartment, like most people around the world. Ironically, instead of using video calls to connect with my family, I am now using video conferences and other internet resources to conduct business remotely and keep in touch with our customers. I have become the family man that I never dreamed I would become over the past 10 years, and it is a dream come true.

Lin Nan and his family spending time during the pandemic.

(left to right): Yuanna, Rong Xu, and Lin Nan enjoying time together during the pandemic.

Face-to-face communication is certainly always the most effective form of real-time interaction, but it requires close proximity to others. But when this is impossible, we realize the advantages of online meetings, including time, convenience, and economic impacts.

For us, we can almost respond and interact immediately, without trying to squeeze another customer site visit into our busy travel schedules, which could take another few weeks or even months. Without physically traveling, we actually get more support from our colleagues in applications and R&D, even from different time zones, which provides more expertise and profound knowledge to our customers that salespeople normally cannot deliver. In the scientific field, this is really valued by customers.

On the other hand, for customers, it is easier to set up and participate, since meetings can be attended from anywhere and at any time with a smart device and internet access. Especially when a meeting is presented by an application scientist, rather than a salesperson.

This may become the new norm for communication.

This type of lifestyle change probably only comes once in a lifetime. It can be depressing and frustrating, but at the same time, it is valuable and enjoyable to me that I could spend more time with family, something that I never did before, and I can make up for lost time with them.

Especially with the birth of my new baby daughter this July, I have been fully involved and able to foster her growth without being away, missing moments that I missed with my two and half year old son. There is no escape from waking up in the middle of the night, changing diapers, and bottle feeding. Like it or not, that is all part of our life.

I named my son “煦” pronounced “XU” and my daughter “熙” pronounced “XI”.

Not only do both characters look similar, but the spelling is similar as well. The only difference is the last letter, which is “U” and “I”.

Both characters mean warm and harmonious sunshine, which my son and daughter bring to my life. It reflects my faith as well, there is always a bright side, and everything is at its best arrangement.

Among the world of unrest we are experiencing now, a little sunshine is particularly important to keep the faith within.

Tomorrow will be fine!

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