*This blog post was written on the 9th March, but I don’t have wifi access, so this is belatedly going online when I can get onto the internet*
I’m at the end of Day Two of working in Saudi Arabia & I must confess that this is not my most productive of weeks.
1) When I turned up to work (a week after I arrived at the company) I still had no logins to get on to any of the networks etc
2) Nobody in my department ‘supposedly’ knew I was arriving, so I have no workstation
From the beginning
On the morning of the 8th March (aka- my first day of work) I went in to the office with high hopes. I was collected from my apartment at 6.20am by Morag (who collected me from the airport), & we caught the bus to my office, & then she did an introduction to people in my department. She worked there about a year ago, & knows almost everybody in my department. After a quick wander where I got to meet a few people I had a sit down with my boss to find out his likes/dislikes. After that it was lunchtime, & we had a big fancy lunch, which is a monthly thing (coincendently on the day I joined). Honestly- the food was amazing. There was lots of traditional arabic food, as well as sandwiches & salad (aka- western food). After lunchtime I had two battles to fight. Battle one was with IT to get my login for the company network (bascially “Computer says no”. Think Catherine Tate), & doing handover with a woman who didn’t know I was starting until the day before. In the end I was no further forward with work, but I think it was a really good introduction.
In the morning I caught the bus to work, & discovered that my office had basically been cleared out by the woman I was replacing. I wasn’t expecting this at all, as she had nowhere to move too, but it was nice to be able to try get settled. This meant that I had a computer to work at (albeit no login details), & could attempt to start work. Attempt being the operative word. As I had no login details I couldn’t access my emails, or the server, shared driver, CRM, nothing. I was working off Morag’s login, which is a bit of a nightmare for both me & her. Morag came in to work with me again on Day Two, to try get the login details sorted.
Anyway, at 8am (yes- 8am! Before most people in the UK start work!) we had our health & safety meeting. This is a weekly meeting, & whilst I think the main topic is ‘health & safety’, I think it’s used as a general catch-up meeting (new starters, news etc). Anyway, it was a really nice way to be introduced to the team, & a nice thing for the department to have. I’m not sure if every division has it, but it’s a good thing to have. After the Health & Safety meeting it was back to fighting the battle of getting my login details. After lunchtime, I finally got my login details, & I was set. I spent the afternoon starting to learn the ropes of the job & learn my way around the CRM, & then as soon as I felt like I was on top of it all, it was time to head home.
I’m now properly ready to get stuck in to work. My boss is away for the next three weeks, which is good because it gives me time to get to know the team, do the etrainings I need to do, & just learn my way around. Hopefully by the time he gets back from his trip I’ll know my way around so I won’t drop the ball on anything!