Archive for the Work Category

January definitely is endless but apparently pseudo-spring is not!

Posted in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Sidewalks, Walking, Weather, Winter, Work with tags , , , , , , on January 25, 2014 by Amanda

After one of the most frustrating weeks of work ever, I really didn’t feel like doing much today. However, I saw that it was +3 and sunny outside and that it is forecast to drop well into the minus double digits overnight and not get anywhere near the current temperature anytime in the foreseeable future. So, I made myself go on a walk. While the weather was great the sidewalks, with a few short exceptions, were not! It was a good reminder of why I haven’t walked to work in forever even though if the sidewalks were clear it would be a ten minute walk at most.

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A slippery section of sidewalk

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A very, very slippery section of sidewalk

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A rare and much appreciated section of clear sidewalk!

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An abrupt ending

Posted in abu dhabi, Decision making, Frustration, Leaving, Travel, Vacation, Work with tags , , , , , , on September 28, 2010 by Amanda

This is a really difficult post for me to write and I was tempted just to abandon this whole blog but I figure I might feel a little better if I write about it. My time is Abu Dhabi will be coming to an abrupt end soon. I was told that my contract was terminated for “structural” reasons which seems to mean that I’m the cheapest person to get rid of. They waited until to the very last day of my one year probation period to do this. Thus, they only have to pay me for three months salary in lieu of notice instead of the six months it would be if they’d waited any longer. I have enough money saved that’ll I’ll be okay for quite a while anyway but it is still seems so unfair!
I am supposed to be out of my apartment on October 27 which will be extremely problematic as I’ll be in Nepal from October 8 to 24. Human resources has said they’ll try to get me an extension; hopefully, that will happen. I have so much stuff that I want to sell! I am really wishing that I had decided to rent instead of buying another car when I got rid of my first car. My car is my only possession of any real value and things would just be so much easier if I didn’t own it. I was told my everyone when I bought it that it is a car with good resale value so I really hope that is true.
At this point, I don’t think I’ll come straight home. I think I’ll spend a couple months travelling around Southeast Asia (for weather and price reasons) and then come home. I hope I’ll be able to cope with winter weather.
I am really wishing that I’d never decided to come here! The big draw for me was the amount of vacation time I received over here. The job that I left back home was permanent and stable. I think I probably should have realized that long-term that is probably more important that travelling all the time. Once again, it is clear that I am completely incapable of making good decisions. Maybe someone else should be making them for me. But who?

An interesting warning sign and other thoughts

Posted in abu dhabi, Eating, Energy drinks, Ramadan, Warning signs, Work with tags , , , , , , on August 29, 2010 by Amanda

The warning sign

I went directly to a store near my apartment this afternoon after work as I needed chocolate very badly. I had been thinking about chocolate throughout my long six-hour work day (the vending machines at work were emptied prior to Ramadan). Sadly, I am not being sarcastic here. Six hours now really does feel like a long day! I have absolutely no idea how I’ll be able cope with full work days in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, just before entering the store I was momentarily distracted by a new warning sign on the store’s door. This gave me an opportunity to use the new camera I bought yesterday though I bought it because it is waterproof etc. (Alison, don’t worry it’s not an Olympus). While I know that energy drinks aren’t exactly health food I don’t know that they were so bad as to warrant such a big warning at the store’s entrance. I doesn’t really matter to me as I don’t drink energy drinks and I’m not in any of the warning groups but I still thought it was an interesting and surprising sign.

Breakfast at the Emirates Palace

Posted in abu dhabi, Emirates Palace, Work with tags , , on July 7, 2010 by Amanda

I’ve driven by the Emirates Palace many times and it is definitely impressive from afar but until this morning I hadn’t actually inside this hotel which is definitely the fanciest hotel in Abu Dhabi and must be one of the nicest in the entire world. The interior definitely wasn’t a disappointment! The hotel seemed pretty empty though there was definitely no shortage of staff around. Since it is so huge there were probably actually more people there than it appeared.

Inside the hotel.


Another picture of the inside.


A picture of a picture of the outside of the hotel.

Anyway, I was there for a work-related breakfast. The breakfast was very good and all the juices had a piece of the fruit on the glass to identify them. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that before for orange juice but I definitely hadn’t seen that with watermelon and pineapple juice before! I did eventually get a little bit annoyed with the overly attentive staff repeatedly asking if I wanted coffee or tea. I learned a few things I hadn’t previously known about RFID which I found interesting but I’m sure no one reading this blog really cares about that!

After breakfast we had a guided tour of the Islamic embroidery exhibit which was very interesting.

Outside the exhibit.

On the way out of the hotel, I noticed the famous gold vending machine. A sign said that you can only currently use cash and pointed out that an ATM was available nearby. I guess a lot of what is for sale costs more than most people would carry in cash!

The gold vending machine.

I really wish I was still on vacation!

Posted in abu dhabi, Banks, Credit cards, Dubai, Frustration, Police, Shopping, Vacation, Work with tags , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2010 by Amanda

Before I start complaining I will say that I am fully aware that many people don’t find it that easy to feel sorry for me as I receive many weeks of paid vacation, live in a free apartment, live in a virtually tax-free country, have a water bill that never exceeds $3 per month et cetera, et cetera.  So, if you do choose to continue reading please don’t tell me how lucky I am.

I have been feeling really stressed, depressed, and tired since I’ve been back from my short vacation to Jordan.  It seems like I’ve been back for way longer than a week.  I really didn’t anticipate it would be this bad to return.  Work was stressful before I went on vacation and it seems so much worse now.  I’ve been wondering why I ever decided to come here.  Is all this stress really worth all the vacation time?  While I’m on vacation it definitely seems so but while I’m a work I’m not so certain.

The other thing that is really bothering me has to do with one of my credit cards.  It is a really long story but, in short, the bank lost a cheque I sent them and then only decided to cash a replacement I sent them weeks after I sent it to them.  Now, they have put a bunch of unfair fees on the lastest bill even though they have been paid more than they were even owed.  I swear I have spoke  to everyone in their customer service and complaints departments by now!  They have waived the smallest fees but I am still arguing with them about the largest.  I am hoping that the never find the first cheque (though it isn’t like it would bounce) as I can’t easily stop payment on it.  The reason for that is the bank where I have a chequing account says they can’t do stop payment on cheques without a police report!  I just don’t have the energy to deal with going to the police station again, especially since they’ll probably tell me I actually have to go to another station many kilometres away.  It seems that is nothing too small for the police to be involved in here!  I have told the credit card bank that I will tell everyone they know to stay away from them if the rest of the fees aren’t waived; I’m not just saying that I’m still telling people my Aramex story!  So I may very well be naming them here soon and cancelling the card but I’m still trying to be optimistic about getting the fees waived.  While in the grand scheme of things it is not that much money I would rather have spent it on something else.

I finally got around to visiting the Dubai Outlet Mall yesterday.  While the prices were better than elsewhere here they really weren’t that terrific and some stores had the usual problem of only having huge sizes in the clothes I liked.  I can’t wait to go home to actually be able to shop for clothes at prices that I’m okay with.  Actually, I can’t believe how much I looking forward to going home for three weeks in July/August!  Maybe I’m homesick?