It’s all Greek to me!

Expat Academy It's all Greek to me!  Dear Diary, 

The life of a Global Mobility Manager is intellectually challenging and hard work, so to counter the stress of the day job, I find it essential to sometimes let of a little steam. Last weekend I was invited to my neighbours Halloween party…for spooky cocktails and a bowl of chilli con carne. I donned my best sexy witch outfit, jumped on my broomstick, and swooped over the road to my friend’s house.  

I walked through their front door into a stream of 1980s smoke machine fog and new right then that tonight “Matthew” I was not going to be a Global Mobility Manager I was going to be single mum extraordinaire on a mission to sink a few gins and avoid talking about work. 

Of course, the drinks flowed as did the stories when I suddenly remembered “Greek Gregorius” the infamous assignee who always springs to mind when I fancy a kebab. 

Greek Gregorius (GG) was my nickname for an ex-colleague. He was a super salesman who quite frankly could do no wrong. He was so exceptional at business development that when he first joined the organisation, he negotiated an assignment to the UAE on local terms and conditions when all other assignees to that market were tax equalised.  

Following his success in the UAE, GG went on sequential assignments around North Africa where he was placed on UK terms and conditions (why??), was fully tax equalised, received a car allowance a housing allowance and all the bells and whistles you would expect in a full-blown expatriate package for more than 5 years. Probably closer to eight. 

There was little point in me throwing the policy book at the business because the amount of revenue GG contributed to the bottom line more than justified the exceptions, he enjoyed to the standard Global Mobility policies. So fair play to him. 

When GG’s work was done in Northern Africa it was time to repatriate him to his home country of Greece…where good old GG managed to get paid a housing allowance for a house he actually owned outright in Greece.   I simply couldn’t find the words to use to update our assignment management system to explain why this has been signed off, so I simply wrote: 

“GM lost again. GG is an evergreen Expatriate who is so brilliant at his job that he can have whatever he wants.” 

Sometimes diary there is no point in feeling that we have lost in fact last night, fuelled by the gin fairy I had an epiphany where I realised that… 

“Tonight Matthew I am not a Global Mobility Manager I am a Global Mobility enabler” 

I really should have gone to the party dressed as Bonny Tyler because as I stepped through the smoke filled door to go home I had an overwhelming urge to sing “I need a hero.”

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