Chasing deals in the Union…


I’m sitting in a hotel room at downtown Abu Dhabi. I arrived early Monday morning, and have spent the better part of the past 30 hours or so, in the hotel.

I was asked to come here by both my boss and the CEO – they’re trying to get a big contract across the line and since Friday last week, we have been plugging away.

I stole away for a couple of hours yesterday arvo, after I knew my boss and other higher up’s in the US would likely not respond to my emails and doc until several hours later.

I jumped on a ride share and headed for the grand mosque that bears a ruler’s name. It was a magnificent building, more beautiful in many respects than even the venerable Taj Mahal. It felt however, that there was a lack of soul in this place. The Taj was the outcome of a purported romantic tale whereas this piece is a staid geopolitical showcase that demonstrated its owners’ material riches. Its grandeur cannot be denied however, and  I’m glad I took the opportunity this tiny window offered me, to see this mosque.

A rain of responses came in overnight as I woke up around 3am, still trying to get around to local time, which is 7 hours behind Melbourne. I felt a bit dejected as my hours of work were nitpicked with nary a word of appreciation of my overhauling of the docs. I had come home to Melbourne from Malaysia the week before, to a draft contract that was already in-flight. I was asked to take over and a few days later, in a misjudged call, the CEO decided to alter the structure of the contract and guess who had to do the heavy lifting… yet all that work just went seeking nitpicking comments instead.

Before I jumped in to deal with the numerous responses that came in overnight however, a thought crept into my head. I responded and just resumed my reading of Genesis. I had re-started about a few days prior, having completed the magnificent last few chapters of Revelations. As I finished reading, I asked the Lord to help me ignore my ego. Much of my annoyance had to do with my being unappreciated. Or more precisely, all that work that went unmentioned, although the whole group of SVP’s had relied on it. As always, if focus was on the task and outcome and the ego is put aside, it becomes much easier to deal with. With that behind me, I did some urgent responses, sent a note to my boss asking if he wanted to chat, and having him responded saying to ring in about an hour, I ducked down to the gym and worked up a sweat before coming back to the room to speak with my boss.

The work continues and the email exchanges, calls, and scheduling of meetings resumed. I guess the few days I’m in this ancient union of emirs’ domains will only see me stuck looking into the screen of my laptop.