After receiving my negative COVID-19 test result back in the UK (setting me back a healthy £150), I returned to Dubai from my elaborate Hastings Castle Eye Test mission without really knowing what exactly to expect.
I wasn’t totally convinced I would have a job to come back to at all. As a Sales & Events professional specializing in dealing with larger corporate / tourist groups in the F&B sector things couldn’t be much more dire in these times of the ‘new normal’.
Regardless, I needed to return to the Sandpit as my housemates and I had to move out of our villa. And, if I didn’t have a job to come back to then I would need to wrap up things in Dubai before returning to the back of the queue at my local Job Centre in Hastings – cap in hand.
Thankfully, I salvaged – gratefully – a portion of my job, in no small part (I’m sure) to my track record and length of service to the Solutions family. My five years in Egypt plus two here certainly helped my cause greatly. Sadly, my entire Sales Team weren’t as fortunate and have essentially been disbanded.
The boss kindly fronted my accommodation here in Dubai’s Media One Hotel in the interim. I’d always imagined how awesome it would be to live in a hotel; especially when our office is in the same building, and it is lovely. My bed is made-up daily, fresh towels, coffee and water are replaced every 24 hours too.
One negative of hotel living is laundry in-house can be expensive, instead, I’ve been rocking up at a few close friend’s apartments with a bag of washing once a week to save some valuable pennies.
Work-wise, usually after a two-week holiday, it can take a day or so to get back into the proper routines. For me, after a five-month hiatus, I’ve been making all kinds of rookie errors: I’ve booked people in for the wrong brunches, at the wrong venues, on the wrong dates. I’m getting to grips with it a bit more lately but things have changed drastically.
The COVID comeback certainly won’t be easy – especially for F&B sector workers the world over – however, if (or rather when) we survive this, we’ll survive anything. Myself and the remainder of the team are fully focused on getting us back on track.
We just need 2021 to get a move on, preferably with a hardcore vaccine, and normality to resume pronto would be great.