Now this was a little frustrating. Not only had I jumped through those hoops and paid all of my fees, I had also taken the morning off from my classes to get this done. I called my contact at the college to see what could be done (finding ways to work in and around the system is what he does) and he suggested that I talk to the manager. It wasn't hard to find the guy in charge. He had a spacious office and a large desk that was remarkably devoid of any paperwork. He was talking with who I assume was his second in command, but when he saw me in the doorway I was welcomed with a smile. The manager wore an impressive uniform and carried that air of insouciance that accompanies authority of any kind.
I explained my problem to him, but he seemed more interested in making small talk. Where was I from? What was I doing in Abu Dhabi? Where did I teach? He wasn't in any hurry and, I guess, neither was I. I told him a bit about myself, and learned that his wife was also a teacher. "Teach me some English," he said to me. I taught him how to use the word 'awesome.' What else was I going to teach him?
He exchanged some words with his lieutenant in Arabic and then made a few scribbles onto the translated document and sent me on my way. When the girl at the counter started to object to my faulty translation, I just had to point at her boss's signature and all was good and well.
|A view of where we live from outside. (our|
apartment is the one without curtains)
I was tempted when talking to the manager to get to the heart of the problem and get the thing solved, but I resisted that inclination and allowed myself to follow the circuitous route of our conversation. Eventually it got where it needed to go. I just needed to exercise a little patience. I've seen westerner attempt to exact western customer service temper tantrums and intimidation because they're unwilling to compromise on what they see as the right way of doing things. It never works, though. All that frustration does little more than raise blood pressure.
|James got a new toy sword!|