Saturday, May 17, 2014

Abu Dhabi: A Month in Abu Dhabi

So. Yeah. A week in Hawaii. A long weekend in Vegas. And a month in Abu Dhabi. No risk of culture shock there.

An email was sent to my team asking if anyone wanted to go to Abu Dhabi for 3 weeks. Usually when temporary duty (TDY) assignments pop up I have plans (as with just before the Hawaii trip) or they aren't my cup of tea (3 MONTHS in Abu Dhabi) (6 weeks in London -- 16 hour days, 7 days a week). No thanks. But this was a reasonable timeframe, and I'd only miss a couple of social events we had planned. I sent off a cell phone pic of the front page of my passport and received back an airline itinerary and a hotel reservation!

So I'm in Abu Dhabi, working on graphic maps for the 2030 maritime plan for the waterfront.
The office is lovely, and feels exactly like every other office I've visited (11 years in -- Boise, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Tampa, and of course, the Taj MaHill -- Denver). I was told it would be more a more formal workplace dress code, so have been wearing skirts and jackets, but on our "Friday," was the most overdressed person in the place. 

The people in the office are ridiculously nice and  seem happy to have me. On Thursday I went to two birthday parties, where there was cake, a card, birthday hugs, and general camaraderie. I couldn't put my finger on what was so lovely about it all...OH! People actually come to the office here. Team members are actually onsite to review and discuss project work. Versus an entire team of people who telework or work remotely. Don't get me wrong, I like to telework occasionally too, but being in an onsite office is like working in 2004. It's so fun! 

Anyway, it was funny to travel halfway around the planet to arrive and see internal safety posters that I designed with my Portland coworker Marie (Hi Marie!) posted on workstations. Welcome to the Abu Dhabi office!


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