Saturday, April 13, 2013

Trying to get a drink (of water)

When I first got off the plane in the UAE, my new employer put all of us new employees through a week of orientation. Of course, I was so jet-lagged, I slept through most of it.

They also put us up in housing they rented, so everyone in my complex worked for my employer. My next door neighbour explained that one must only drank bottled water when in the mysterious Orient, and arranged for me to meet the water delivery person.

Later, others said it was a complete waste of money to buy bottled water, that the tap water in the UAE is perfectly safe. This provoked a bit of a discussion between the bottled water drinkers and the tap water drinkers.

But, before I'd heard any of this, I'd been put on the delivery route for bottled water. Every Tuesday, if I had an empty bottle, I put it out with money under the bottle, and I'd come home after work to find a full bottle of water.

Then the company changed its policy: No more fixed deliveries. Just call when you need water. They didn't bother to tell me, so I kept putting my empty out every Tuesday, and finding it empty when I got home until I finally called them and was told to call whenever I needed water.

Then, when I'd run out of water, I'd call. But then I called one day, and they said they only delivered to my area on Tuesdays, so please put my bottle out on Tuesday and they'd automatically give me a new bottle.

Two weeks ago, I put out my bottle on Tuesday and came home to find it empty. I called. They promised someone would come by.

I came home the next Tuesday to find an empty bottle, got into the shower, and the doorbell rang. The new delivery person expected the normal UAE situation, with an employed person at work all day and a spouse and/or maid at home all day, and he expected to ring the bell and have someone give him the money. He was gone before I could get my clothes on, and left my empty with the money still safely beneath it.

So another week before I get another chance to get my water bottle refilled.

Maybe I should take this as a sign that I should switch to tap?