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Sula Powell: Office life
May 13, 2016
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So at last, after a cringe worthy and uncomfortable amount of annoying and persistent emails that began at least a year ago, I finally secured a summer internship at a magazine publishing house. I am almost positive my behaviour borders on being slightly obsessive and irritable but I am optimistically sure they construed it as being determined and driven.

Prior to officially starting in the summer I was offered a taster, two-weeks worth of work experience. I think that was secretly a pleasant code word for “we will see if we like you and potentially invite you back over summer if you are not completely illiterate, incapable and hopeless.” Thankfully it turns out I am not illiterate and they like me.

My mother’s friend kindly offered to let me stay at her home for the two weeks I was working, that ensured the taxi journey to the office was to be reduced to a mere Dhs30 instead of 85. I was, as you could imagine, completely on edge with my nerves as well as thrilled about colour coordinating my new office attire but I was really just in awe and overwhelmed by residing in an actual house with separate rooms and a double bed with a fully functioning kitchen. At times I found myself perplexed deciding on which room to be in, seeing as though my desert accommodation is literally a box room I am confined to the 12X14 space at all times.

On my first day at work I was awake far too early, far too organised (note to self, in a fully equipped, 21st century office, you are not required to bring your own laptop) and far, far too early to the office. In my defence, my CV does state I am punctual, so I feel it was necessary to reinstate that in person. I also had the awkward introduction in front of the whole office (who probably had no interest in my existence) accompanied perfectly by a very red and mortified face. Thankfully I had my own desk to enable me to sit and die in silence behind my computer. I was extremely timid the whole day, so perfectly behaved; I also did not even eat because I was too ‘scared’ I would get into trouble. However, that feeling rapidly dissolved. Urban Bistro’s delivery service is too convenient and became a bit of an unnecessary habit, I now realise it is not okay to order sweet potato fries every day!

My second day at work was a slight improvement where I was less eagle-eyed and nervous, I also ate which was a tremendous start. The first big task was to visit the Bulgari office to drop off some magazines. I had to be firm with myself and stop gawping at the blown up picture of Bradley Cooper with his ‘Price on Request’ watch imposed upon the wall! I also had to pick up clothes from Chloé for a photo shoot the I was thoroughly reminded one mere top was Dhs15,000, which transpires to be worth more than my whole life, never mind the rest of the outfits! My Emirates ID was scanned to prove I managed to safely collect the clothes, but it also meant any stains or tears would result in me simply being sacked before I even started. I did secretly feel uber glamorous and smug walking through the mall channelling my inner Carrie Bradshaw laden with shopping bags — despite absolutely zero of the clothes belonging to me and probably in reality actually looking like I had just come straight from Karama.

My favourite task in my first week of ‘work’ was the still life shoot for Louis Vuitton. Their office was just as incredible as all their items, so minimalistic and fresh with all the classic pieces strategically placed in glass cases. I was really hoping for being such a well-behaved intern/efficient and productive tea & coffee girl (it is not that easy ordering coffee for your stereotypical fashion worker, who knew there was soya, half shots, caramel and cold or hot milk all in the one cup?) I would be reimbursed for my efforts with a nice and compact ‘Neverfull’ bag…
____________________________________________________
Sula Powell is a Scottish/Jamaican business student at
Heriot Watt University in Dubai. Sula is a keen horse rider
and a part time model holding a number of prestigious titles
including Europe’s Perfect Junior Teen. For the remainder
of her journey in the UAE, Sula will be sharing her experiences
on the ups and downs of student life.
 

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