Random thoughts on the last two weeks!
By Fareeha Qayoom
Warning: This is a rant about ‘oh poor me!’ – a self pitying lament about my good life. If you don’t like rants – don’t read any further! 😀
ork is hectic; nothing unusual in that. What’s unusual is that I have had to work without my associate/assistant for the past couple of weeks (and might have to for the coming week(s) as well) –I am literally buried under a pile of work!
In a fit of generosity, I decided to send him for a business trip to Sri Lanka two weeks ago. (My boss had declined to go and had passed the opportunity on to me which I had gracefully declined as well – probably my intuition was working over time!).
He was supposed to travel on the weekend of September 21th – this was not good day to travel to begin with. (The government had suddenly decided to give a holiday to express their devotion to the prophet!)
Yes, the show of devotion apparently involves a holiday from work and an invitation to the rowdy elements (of the society belonging only to provincial capital cities of Pakistan) to take to the streets and break anything that comes their way on their march towards American consulates!
I never got the point though- the Government’s or the people who were out that day –Did the government mean we only love the Prophet on a certain day of the year only? Were the protestors expressing their hatred and frustration for the Pakistani government and or American government or were they just an angry mob intent on looting or were they actually protesting the religious bigotry? They sure expressed a lot of anger, frustration and aggression though. The love and devotion was missing. The leadership was missing too.
…My associate got to Karachi safely via PIA but he couldn’t pick up the connecting flight because the vendor accompanying him decided not to take the same flight or the airline. This proved to be an ill advised decision in retrospect because the flight never got to Karachi and they missed their connecting flight. Last time, they had missed the connecting flight because of PIA so this time they decided to take a chance on a local small private airline. Unfortunately, they never accounted for Government’s sudden decision for ‘reason to take a hike’ day declared on September 21st. On top of that, the government decided to shut the cellular phone service down when the riots and looting took a scary turn. Communication turned out to be an exercise in futility. Anyway, the meeting got cancelled and a message did get through to my assistant eventually. He got a late flight back to Lahore.
Talk about the embarrassment though. I didn’t have the words to explain when one of the customers in the regional office asked me over the email, “Hope everything is ok there, I got to know the meeting was cancelled due to flight delays.” All the local news channels were beaming the stories of looting, killing and riots.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, my assistant injured his back on this aborted business trip at the air port. He’s suffering from slip disc syndrome and requires complete bed rest. We gave him two weeks leave but I hear he’s still not well and might require more time off.
I am sitting here taking a break from work writing this rant because my email decided to pack up for no rhyme or reason. Now, it’s back so back to grindstone. Sigh.
Signing off…more later!