Time Zone Fatigue: Email is wonderful. Friends and relatives can be anywhere in the world but you can all still meet and talk. So conversations begin when I’m asleep, end when I’m in a meeting and there’s just the sound of even breathing when I’m bright-eyed and ready to talk over lunch. (It reminds me of the time lag that long-distance phone calls used to have. Anything you said was greeted with unnerving silence. When the reply came, it was just a little too late for the exercise to become a dialogue. It would have felt less awkward to say “over” after each sentence.)
Different Weekend Fatigue: A corollary condition of TZF that comes of living in the Middle East. When I return to my computer on Sunday, I often find that subjects under discussion have progressed greatly without my contribution and that new ones have been added. It’s like having to join an animated group at a party – always a scary prospect.
Brand Plan Fatigue: It starts in the third quarter of every year. They start talking of next year’s plans and target numbers, which then rapidly develops into an all-consuming obsession for the rest of the year. By December you’re not sure if you’re in 2006, 2007 or 2008, and are left with the suspicion that whatever happened in the last three months of the year doesn’t count, or indeed, exist. Which is a problem when your birthday is in December.
Transit Lounge Trauma: When you live in Dubai, you have to get used to saying goodbye too often and too soon. People leave just as you get to know them. Parties end just as they become fun. Colleagues change just as you come to terms with them.
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