Monday, August 21, 2006

Baby Powder

We lost a big project yesterday. Especially painful because we've had it for 3 years. We'd come to assume that our contract would automatically be renewed every year. Instead the client decided to re-tender the contract this year. And we lost it. A competitor was able to offer better rates. Two competitors actually. We came third.

I'm mad at my management for getting greedy and not trying to offer more competitive rates. Technically I know ours was the strongest bid. We were in from the beginning. We helped set up the company. We designed their business and IT infrastructure. With that kind of headstart, no one should have managed to beat us if it wasn't for what we charge. We're so expensive.

As if that wasn't enough I've been instructed to work on the handover to the new consultant. It's so irritating. I mean, the client decided not to renew our contract. So whose going to be paying for my time to answer the new consultant's questions? I know my firm pays my salary and it's not supposed to be my concern that no one is paying my firm. But it still bugs me. Usually they're paying me because am earning them money. Now they'll be paying me to help a competitor take over. It just sucks.

We got the news around noon yesterday and everyone at the office was feeling demoralized. We didn't get much done. Instead everyone was huddled in groups discussing the tender results.

When I left work I stopped by the co-op to buy some girlie magazines. Vogue, Cosmopolitan, you name it. They're my favored reading when I need to be uplifted. I also got some choc chip cookies, a bag of crips, Baby soap, Baby Oil, Baby lotion and Baby Powder and Baby shampoo(No tears). I briefly considered buying Baby cologne too but decided that would be carrying the theme too far.

So I got home, had my shower and applied all the Baby products and changed into shorts and a t-shirt. Then I took my magazines, crips and cookies into my husband's study to throw myself onto my favorite couch.

The couch is what I got my husband for his last birthday. Our apartment has 3 bedrooms. Since we only use one of them, we converted the second bedroom into a study. I like the room. It's spacious, the lighting is great. Originally the idea was that we could both use it if we needed to work at home. But I hardly ever work at home. And if I do then usually all I need is my laptop. In contrast he always had a 'work area' at home because he always did all his paperwork and research at home. He uses the desktop computer and the fax machine etc....which I never do. And since he doesn't like anyone touching his papers or his computer you could say the room is now very firmly 'his' instead of 'ours'.

The only thing it was missing was a big comfortable couch. The room is very big and I always thought it looked kind of empty. So I got him a big ivory leather couch and a coffee table for his birthday. Only the couch is so comfortable and I liked it so much that now it's become more of a present to myself than to him. At first he would be working and I would be curled up on the couch with a book or with my laptop. Now am always here even when he's not. I've moved my bookcase next to it. And my laptop is permanently stationed on the coffee table.

So I wasted an entire evening just lazing on the couch reading magazines and eating crips and cookies. It's very therapeutic actually. It made me feel better. But it also made me so lazy. It was like the more I lay there, the more I relaxed and the less I felt like moving. As if I was sinking deeper and deeper into that couch. When you're as restless and hyperactive as I am, an evening like that is quite a novelty.

When my husband came home, I heard him calling me and looking for me but didn't have the energy to answer. The apartment is not that big I thought. He'll find me eventually.

And he did. He said hi how was my day. Couldn't find the energy to talk about that either so I just held out my arms. We kissed, then his face was on my neck and he was telling me I smell like I should be in diapers. Surprise, surprise. I asked if it was putting him off. He said no did he look like he was put off? Well no actually. I had to say he didn't. So now I know he has a thing for women in baby powder. I married a pedophile.

The moment didn't last long though. We had guests who - in the inimitable habit of Arabs - arrived without notice and invited themselves to dinner and even stayed for tea and sheesha afterwards. By which time I was completely out of my earlier stupor and feeling as restless as ever. Afterwards I kept my husband up pretty late but then I felt sorry for him and let him go to sleep.

I went back into the study and talked on the phone with a couple of overseas friends. Then I got dressed and sneaked out for one of those famous, late-night drives. I knew he'd be pretty pissed off if he knew but I was going crazy. Couldn't sleep, couldn't sit still, I felt like I couldn't breathe indoors.

I must have done about 100km driving around last night. When I got tired of that I parked somewhere on the Corniche and sat there listening to Omm Kulthoom and smoking. He called. I thought oh great. But he didn't sound angry.

Him: Eh?Mish gaylik nom?(What?Couldn't you sleep?)
Me : La (No)
Him: Lissa mitday2a 3ashan elmashroo3?(Still upset about the project?)
Me : Aiwa (Yes)
Him: Ma3laish(It's ok). Ma tiza3leesh(Don't be upset). There will be other projects.
Me : I know.
Him: Tab inti fain dilwa2ti?(Where are you now?)
Me : Filsayara.(In the car)
Him: 3ayza trawa7i?(Want to come home?)
Me : No
Him: Ok come pick me up.
Me : 7abibi. La. 7aram inta ta3ban. Khaleek mirta7.(No you're tired. Go back to sleep)
Him: Mirta7 ya3ni eh?Ya3ni aseebik kida liwa7dik? La ya sitti. Mish ta3ban wala 7aga. (Basically he's saying he's not so tired that he would leave me alone like that)

So I went home. Didn't have the heart to make him go out when I knew how exhausted he was. He went back to sleep soon after I got home. And I finally managed to drop off too.

Woke up at 11:00am today. Had a brief moment of panic when I thought I'd overslept and missed work. Then I realized today was a national holiday. Al Isra'a WalMi3raj(The Night of Ascension). An Islamic holiday.

That did wonders for my mood right there. A whole day to do what I like with. And he was right. There will be other projects.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Safiya said...

Girly magazines, cookies and a comfy counch. Sounds very nice indeed.

8/22/2006 03:44:00 AM  
Blogger 2 B || ! 2 B ® said...

kol sana we enty tayeba ya siti :)

K is really considerate person, despite late at night and alone and going out without notice, he managed to be that tender and sweet  I started to admire his personality.

Hope you find the time together for the celebration with the baby powder

Cheers...

8/22/2006 05:36:00 AM  
Blogger Alina said...

Well, I can understand how you feel. After I left the press monitoring agency I was working in about 3 years ago, they lost 3 of my clients, mostly because they could not find someone to do all the work I was doing. As I had worked so hard for those contracts (to obtain and then maintain them, I felt sad for days when I heard.

I should have considered your own remedy. Sounds great!

8/22/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger tooners said...

don't know how you can stand driving around in dubai. i've heard it's maddening!

now... if it were raining w/ thunder and lightening, it would have been the perfect top off to a wonderful time relaxing on the couch!

8/22/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

tooners,

I live in Abu Dhabi. It's very quiet at night. Even Dubai wouldn't be that crowded after midnight. Abu Dhabi is practically dead.

8/22/2006 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger Twosret said...

Loulou,

Sorry out of topic , have you looked into the Chi products (Japanese relaxer that changes the DNA of your hair mainly natural), I have been considering that to define and tone down the curls, summer is very humid where I live and I'm considering either this system or maybe herbal relaxer that take the freaking frizz away.

I only ask as I know you live in a humid climate yourself.

8/23/2006 04:10:00 AM  
Blogger Herlock Sholmes said...

Not a big deal. Plenty more contracts where this one came from. And, anyway, in 3 years, they will re-tender it :)

8/23/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Alluring said...

A contract? is it really worth you being that upset?

Hope you're over it now :)

8/23/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Alluring,

It's hard to have to hand over your work to someone else - especially when you don't think they're that good.

I worked on all levels of that contract so it's kind of my baby.

But I guess I am starting to get over it now. It helps to have a shoulder to cry on.:)

When the handover is done it will be easier to put it all behind me. Working on the handover is rubbing salt on the wound. I have to be nice and cooperative with the new consultant's people when I really want to kick them all in the shin for stealing what is mine.

Good to see you back around the blogs again. Hope it was a great holiday.:)

8/23/2006 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger MechanicalCrowds said...

You gotta stop thinking about work the moment you get out of the office!

8/23/2006 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger GC said...

I love the smell of baby powder on women :)

8/25/2006 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Libyan Violet said...

I only use baby powder ....

8/25/2006 04:19:00 PM  

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