Monday, September 5, 2011

The World of Work - Day 2

I'm back at work and thrilled! Like I did when I first came to UAE, I thought I'd try to capture my first impressions - this time of the world of work in UAE. I figured day 2 was the perfect place to start.

Dress Code
I'm sure I've mentioned this in other posts, but now that I'm living it, it's even more noticeable. The dress code here is very formal - suits and ties for male managers and shirts and ties or the Etihad uniform for male employees. For women, a jacket of some kind seems to be the norm and sometimes it's with a matching trouser, skirt or dress and sometimes it's a bit more creative, but the jacket seems to be consistent (or the Etihad uniform for cabin crew). Luckily, the new nylons craze inspired by Kate Middleton hasn't caught on here so bare legs are fine, but skirts should be below the knee. I don't have any problem with the clothes as I've always loved jackets and have a few of them already. My problem is the shoes - after 8 months in flip flops and sneakers, I've got blisters on blisters from my heels (and that's after only 2 days!) Might need to do a little shopping for some comfy heels (oxymoron?). It's a whole different story when you need to dress up every day instead of a few times a week if you felt like it.

Tea/Coffee Service
Like most offices in UAE, we have a "tea boy" who keeps us supplied with tea, coffee or water throughout the day. He comes by a couple of times in the morning and again in the afternoon, takes our orders and delivers our drinks. Soooo nice! And, if we need something more fancy, there's a coffee shop (Costa's) in the main building.

Car Washing Service
Etihad has a wonderful parking garage that protects our cars from the heat and sun. In addition, there is a car washing service within the garage just like at most of the shopping malls! For about $5.50 you can have your car hand washed while you're at work! And, in the interests of environmental sustainability, they use a process that minimizes the amount of water while still getting your car sparkling clean.

Melting Pot
As I've discussed often, Abu Dhabi is a true melting pot and Etihad reflects this. Etihad (we) have almost 8000 employees representing 120 different nationalities! Amazing! The largest group is Indian, followed by Philipino and then Emirati (which is rare and impressive). There are less than 200 Americans on staff, and I'm betting most of them are pilots or work out of the New York or Chicago offices. In other words, I've yet to hear an American accent. I've heard my name pronounced every way you can think of (and not once how I'd say it back home). :) I'm excited to learn how this mix of cultures helps and hampers the business.

That's what I can think of for day 2. I'll keep the list going and share as I can.

No comments:

Post a Comment