*This blog post was written on the 7th March, but I don’t have wifi access, so this is belatedly going online when I can get onto the internet*
Today, after a very long week of training, I finally finished induction & am starting at my proper job tomorrow.
The last three days Louise & I had our Secretarial training, but as you can imagine it wasn’t very taxing. On Sunday we were collected from our building by Laura, & walked over to the main admin building, which isn’t where either of us are working, but is where the main admin office is. After meeting everybody there, we tried to get onto the network (with no joy), then went to NCB to open bank accounts (also no joy). After a long lunch (at a different Commissary to the main one, which has a nice sandwich shop), we went to the ID office, where we got our temporary access pass for the buildings, then headed home. Yup- tough day at the office. In the office I went to meet a girl who works in my department, Jade, who was super super nice. She put me at ease so much, & made me feel so welcome, it was really nice. She said there are only four western woman in our office building, but she’s organised for us all to have lunch together tomorrow, which is really nice of her.
On Monday we had another busy day. We were collected again at 8am, & then went to a meeting room & went through our training handbook vaguely, & tried to sort out our login details for the network. Again, no joy. After another long lunch we walked to meet some people on my team who work in the main admin (as opposed to where I work off camp). I met Denise, who is Secretary to the VP, & a man who I think is the VP’s wingman, & both were super friendly. The wingman said that he’s seen my name on paperwork for the last four months & they’ve been hanging out for me to start, which was really funny. They were both super super friendly, & again made me feel so welcome. I think it’s going to be a really nice team to work with. After that we went to meet Louise’s team, but nobody was in the office, so we had another early finish.
In the evening we went to a yoga class, & a girl there asked me if I was ‘Alix going to work in Chemicals’, & I’ll be honest- I felt a bit like Bono. Everybody seems to know who I am & who I’m going to work for, & they have all said really nice things about my boss, which is good. This girl said she used to be in my job, & she wishes my boss was her current boss, which is nice to hear.
Today (Tuesday) was another full on day. We had a 7.30am start, as we had a tour of the compound first thing in the morning. We got to see just how big the compound is, & it’s massive. Way bigger than you can imagine from Wikipedia or anything. We found out about places that were way further away than we could venture too. Plus they are building 1500 more houses in the compound. It’s crazy. We got to check out the hobby farm, which has the horse stables (although that’s full right now, & has a two year waiting list), & the two schools which have swimming pools, football fields & cricket pitches, more housing, the AAA (for fixing cars), plus loads of other things). After the tour we went to try sort out my login details (again- no joy), then to NCB to finalise my bank account (finally something works!), & then a long lunch. After lunch we had a full on afternoon, & knocked off early. Louise & I had ordered bigger beds for our apartments which were being delivered at 1pm, so after that I napped. Tough gig huh?
In the evening Louise & I, & her friend Lucy went to the mall because I wanted to get some bedsheets for my new bed. Sadly no joy, so I’ve had to make do with my single bedsheets, & tomorrow I’ll go to the Dammam Mall (we went to the Al Rashid mall) because they may have better shops. I suspect they do. We found an amazing sushi restaurant, & I ate myself stupid, so that was really nice because I thought I wouldn’t eat sushi until I got back to London.
Thought I’d explain why I need want the login details for work so urgently. Most importantly, we can’t order wifi for our apartments until we’ve got login details & can get onto the network. I’ve got data on my cellphone, but I can’t browse the internet on my laptop, which is annoying. I also can’t do things like put my bank account details in for payroll, check emails, organise SAP for timesheets or basically do any of my work. I think it’s a problem within my department, so I resigned myself to not having the details this morning & hopefully somebody sorts it out when I get to work tomorrow. They’ll have too I think.
So that’s it. No more sleep in’s (my bus for work leaves at 6.30am), & no more early finishes. Tomorrow it is back to the real world & a full days work.