Australia New Zealand
New Zealand India
Part III saw the end of the years 2002 to 2004 in Pakistan and it was back to Ottawa and a posting to headquarters. I am not sure if I mentioned that during my time in Islamabad several of us made a weekend trip to Delhi, India. While there we did an organized tour of the city and then a trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. That was a very interesting trip indeed.
I think I should also mention that between 2000 and 2004 I also made stop overs on airline flights in Dubai, Amsterdam, Holland, and London, England. Because these were simply stop overs I did not think it was necessary to mention them at that time. I will probably add more on those three and other places later.
Reminiscing Part IV
So there I was, in August 2004, back at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAIT) headquarters the “Lester B. Pearson” Building or as we lovingly referred to as Fort Pearson. Luckily I was placed in a small section with a terrific supervisor. It was, in a way, ironic that while I was doing my initial SIGNET On the Job Training (OJT) my supervisor and I were both in the same section. While I was a rotational employee and went off over-seas she stayed in HQ and moved up the ladder. I settled in with the group which consisted of myself, another rotational Computer Specialist (CS) and ex-RCN comrade, as well as two or three other rotational and non-rotational staff.
I was settling in nicely to the job and considering that it was HQ more or less enjoying it. In December the person who was the assistant Mission Consular Officer (MCO) while I was in Nairobi dropped in for a Christmas visit. While he was there he mentioned that he was now the MCO in our new mission in Abu Dhabi and the position of a Canada Based (CB) CS was being considered. I mentioned that I would be happy to be with him in Abu Dhabi. I was the first CB CS to be posted to Damascus, Syria in 1994 when the SIGNET programme was just starting and was confident that I would be able to fulfil the job in Abu Dhabi as well, plus the two other postings gave me an insight into most mission operations as far as the computer systems went.
In January I received a phone call from my rotational/posting officer asking me if I would like to be the first CBCS posted to Abu Dhabi. What could I say but yes. Once my name had been submitted to the Ambassador and he accepted me it was time to start planning for a move to the United Arab Emirates in late summer or early autumn.
During 2004 the positions of CS and Electrical Technicians (EL) had been amalgamated into a new class Canada Based Foreign Service Information Technologist Professional (CBSITP). This new classification combined the old CS, computer knowledge with the EL’s telephone knowledge and the person was now required to maintain both the computer network as well as the telephone network and all of the peripheral equipment that encompassed both systems as well as providing client support to both systems. It was then off for eight months of intensive training in mainly the telephone side of the job as well as repairing newer computer equipment and servers.
During this training phase I had a very understanding supervisor who allowed me to do home-study and review on the very occasional day that I was not actually in class. In retrospect these “study days” would have amounted to approximately one day a month, although there was the odd time when I did have two days off between courses.
In September, my training done, the house all packed up, with some things remaining in the house, some into storage and some to be shipped either by air or sea it was off to Abu Dhabi and more adventures.
More to follow on my time in Abu Dbabi.