Shit happens – we all know that – and when it does, sometimes it can be magic. Alfredo Ramponi stands right in front of me as he tells the story of his life and his company, Ramponi, one of the three most important worldwide producers of plastic stones and strass for the fashion business. He’s got the firmness and stamina of those who fight hard, the calmness of the man who covered a long distance on the path of loyalty.
My first professional interview ever happened in a Japanese company. I was just about to graduate, they hired me and I entered the world of Arigatou gozaimasu. I learnt about Japanese habits (deep bows, beautiful hot springs, endless sucking up while eating hot soups). I spent hours miming with my Japanese colleagues since they spoke little English. I had dinner at 6:30 p.m. (as the saying goes: when in Rome, do as Romans do) and made sure there was no hole in my socks so that I could safely take off my shoes as they do. I loved omiyage, their gift-giving custom as they always have a gift for you when visiting. I longed for a slice of Castella cake, I went mad each time my questions remained unanswered, maybe because they were not contemplated in my interviewees’ mental schemes.