As of now, I still haven't gotten my internet connection, yet. Luckily for me, there's someone in my building who hasn't secured their wireless so they are nice enough to lend me some bandwidth to take care of the messing around on the internet I didn't have time to do today.
Today was the orientation meeting for new employees. The meeting was from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with a 30 minute break from 10:15 to 10:45. We got 30 minutes instead of 15 because we were running ahead of schedule. I've heard that generally there are refreshments served and it's a bit more spread out with more breaks, but right now it is the holy month of Ramadan so a lot of people are fasting. The meeting itself wasn't too bad, but there was a lot to cover and nothing was really covered in depth. I was hoping to get a bit more into the technology side of things. From the sounds of it, the tech sounds pretty cool and easy to use. I'm looking forward to that training.
Having a big long meeting in the middle of the day made it difficult to do all the personal business I needed to get done. First of all, I've been trying to track down a package that we sent express mail. Yesterday, I looked online and saw that it reached the Abu Dhabi central post office on the 9th of August, three days after I got here. By the time I realized that, all the relevant people at my school were gone for the day. I went to the central post office and found out that it had been delivered to my school on the 9th. The guy from the post office was helpful enough to give me a print out of the delivery receipt. Today before the meeting, I had time to track down the person who accepted the delivery who kindly took me to the stairwell where he had stored it with a number of other boxes. I told myself before I went to talk to the guy I wasn't going to get snotty about it and was very proud when I unironically mentioned that the package took 6 days to come from Japan to the Abu Dhabi Men's College, only to sit on the stairwell for 15 days. I asked in a very nice way if there was some sort of procedure for him to notify me there was a package (I had been asking about it to various people since the 10th) and he was nice enough to tell me to ask one of the three people in the whole school that I hadn't gotten around to asking.
That done, I still had time to call the school my kids will be going to and put out a few fires (or start a few depending on your perspective). I was able to make another phone call or two during the break and eat one of my sandwiches in the cover of the staff break room in which all the non-Muslims were hanging out drinking their coffee and tea and eating their snacks / lunches.
After the meeting, I still had time to call my kids' school again, arrange to have my driver's license translated , and get a letter from the company so I can get a bank account tomorrow. Now that my residence visa has been processed, the floodgates have opened for all the official paperwork I can take care of. I was about to ask about getting the license to buy alcohol, but I figured I'd asked enough for that day. While the guy in charge of helping me with those things is generally really helpful, I didn't want to further agitate someone who hadn't had anything to eat or drink since 6:00 a.m. and was probably dying for a cigarette.
All in all, despite having a 5 hour meeting in the middle of the day, I felt that I worked around it really well and was able to get a lot done.