Sunday, January 18, 2015

First day on campus

T+5 days.

We started work today! Well, sort of... we went to campus and had a day full of meetings and a four-page orientation checklist to complete.  We are now swimming in information about how to get apply for permanent residency, get a Qatari driver's license, get YET ANOTHER document notarized from the U.S. Embassy here, get ID badges, campus access, IT orientations... and I probably missed something too.  But everyone was very welcoming, very kind- most of them have either been thru the process themselves or are used to shepherding new employees thru the very extensive paperwork.  There are multiple instances that will require us to temporarily relinquish our passports, which makes me extremely nervous, but I've been assured that they always come back.

Health insurance.  I missed health insurance, we had a meeting about that too.  (We will be thoroughly covered pretty much worldwide once all is said and done, for which I am extremely grateful.)

I also got to see my office space for about an hour this afternoon, and was able to log onto my computer and set up my office email.  So a couple of small things were at least accomplished before we left for today.  We are off for MLK Day tomorrow, so we get to take a breath and absorb some of this information, but we do have homework to do- we need 14 passport-sized photos on a blue background for various things- health card, permanent residency card, driver's license, etc, etc, etc.  We think we know a place close by to do it.

We've also been invited to a "get to know you" lunch with our respective offices tomorrow, to meet many of the coworkers we've not yet met or only in passing so far.  Looking forward to that.

Neither one of us slept much last night, both of us tossing and turning and dozing off and on.  I think we were both nervous, not so much for the jobs- we both know we can do those, easily.  But for the new people- would they like us?  Would we like them?  What about the students?  What about this? Had we really moved hallfway around the world?  What if they don't approve our residency permits, or what if they don't give our passports back?  We can drive for 14 days on our Texas DLs, but what if we have a wreck in the insane traffic?  Fear of the unknown is enough to keep you awake at night.  To quote Crash Davis, "We're dealing with a lot of shit."  Before we left this morning, I felt like a kindergartener on the first day of school: new bag, lunch, coffee (well, maybe that part was a bit older.)

Outside the office, we took a stroll down to the waterfront last night; there's a really beautiful park a couple of blocks from our apartment tower.  It's quite pretty when all of the buildings are lit up at night and listening to the waves wash the seawall is very peaceful.  I'm aiming to get up early to see the sunrise on the water soon.  The city really is stunning, and it actually rained today!  One of the approximately three days this year it will do so...

I have figured out the washer and dryer, so I'm off to finish a load before I crash! Night, all!

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