Bringing in new people, expats, to work at The National is not a simple process. Which is understandable. The logistics are daunting. A security check. Negotiations over pay. Explanations of policies and benefits. The prospective employees needing time to make an important decision, doing their due diligence on the paper, the company, the country. Then coming to grips with the concept of crossing an ocean to take a job with us. Interviews via phone, a formal offer, the attestation of significant documents, translation of documents into Arabic, dealing with visas, arranging flights and housing.
It takes a village, nearly, to make it happen. And when you go to the airport, and here come two new guys out of customs pushing a cart of luggage … well, it’s almost reason for a party.
It took more than three months from the first basic agreement between editor and prospective employee, to boots (or sneakers, actually) on the ground in Abu Dhabi.
When it came to fruition, yes, the urge to celebrate somehow is significant. But then everyone is too tired. Especially the new arrivals,”fresh” off a 13-hour flight. Which came after an earlier flight.
(One of the conundrums of being understaffed? You don’t have time to recruit. It sounds ridiculous, but it happens. The rush to do what you need to do today, now, leads to circumstances where making the effort to find and identify and recruit … seems like too much exertion for today. And then maybe tomorrow. And the next day. Everyone who has hired people knows this to be true.)
So, we have added two Yanks to the staff, both with significant experience and background in sports and journalism, and it should lighten a load on everyone else.
We will need to make time to give the new guys, reeling from being landed in an exotic culture far from home, time to learn systems and daily life and to become the contributors they no doubt will be, some day.
But that process has begun. Thank goodness. A good day.