This is the fifth in a series of repeated posts (e.g. published elsewhere before) from outside of China, detailing the start of my expatriate life. There will always be a post a day about China so if you’re not interested in other material – you can stop reading now.
Training delivery is the best job in Dubai when you work for a rich company with no office space.
They send me to every 5 star hotel, The Hilton, The Radisson SAS, The Fairmont, The Kempinski, all of which have the delights of great lunches paid for by the company. But the best of all is the Dusit, where a wonderful Thai chap greets me at the door every day, confiscates my bags and runs off to set up my laptop, projector etc. and neatly refile all my handouts and organise them for later.
Meanwhile an extraordinarily gorgeous Thai lady leads me to the land of luxury breakfasts (if anyone was wondering why I am a lard arse, this has a lot to do with it), where I am fed and pampered, stuffed with espresso and allowed to smoke like a chimney.
For lunch we dine on the 40th floor overlooking the whole city, on international cuisine and as much non-alcholic stuff as you can drink. When we return after lunch, there are hot towels on the desks, wrapped in little orchids.
At the coffee break, we are plied with more delicacies, to return to bowls of really nice chocolates on the desk. At the end of the day the manager takes me for drinks to try and persuade us to use the Dusit more often. I like this very much indeed.
Compare this with the UK where you never take a company training course outside unless you bring in an external facilitator. Where you must set everything up yourself, and act as tech support if anything goes wrong, and if you’re lucky you get a pack of crisps and a cheese sandwich for lunch. I am in heaven.
As we approach launch, my work schedule gets a little busier, until the dreaded cry goes out for weekend working. I immediately stack my social calendar for weekends for the next 3 months, and then explain to my boss that I am booked solid and cannot co-operate at all in this.
He wrings from me a concession to work 2 days in this period, the first of which is in Al-Ain a 2 hour drive away. I agree on the condition that the company picks up the tab for all my expenses, he agrees and I order a limousine (which is cheaper than a taxi) to take me and my girlfriend there and back.
The training takes 2 hours; I then head off to The Hilton where for around 10 quid, we spend the day by their pool sipping cocktails. I charge these to the company, and I charge them for the limo home.