Poets’ Corner

Expat Academy Poets' Corner One of the challenges for Expat Academy’s “90 Day Challenge” has been to “Write a poem about Expat Academy”.

Well…… we knew there was huge talent amongst our members but this challenge has definitely shone the spotlight on previously hidden talents. So to make you smile we thought we would share the delights received so far:

Andy Kelly, BDO
Why do I love tax so much?
Inquired of me a man who’s Dutch
He then asked the top rate
If he moves to Kuwait

So I looked up the facts
And told him there’s no personal tax
Although he wanted to go
His partner loves skiing & there’s no snow

I told him where tax rates are low
Cold winds seldom blow
To get a higher net pay
You’ll have to go where the suns out all day!

Now he was no dope
And knew of Dubai’s indoor ski slope
When he moved I said I had better to mention
If you retire there you may still pay tax on your Dutch pension!

Caroline Channing-Gau – Cloudflare
Oh Autumn is coming
And with it
The Expat Academy Conference
90 days in the waiting

Oh what fun!
From displaced workers to work from home
We will reflect
What a year it has been!

Oh what more?
From resilience to looking to the future
From triumphs to challenges
We will flourish

Oh, what’s coming next year?
More talent alignment and policy change
More tax and immigration challenge
We cannot get enough

Jo Ascough – AB Sugar
I thought I wondered lonely as a cloud
Until I was offered an assignment, oh I’m so proud
Of my achievements that helped me get the gig
Now I’ve got to work out how to ship my pig!

I knocked on the door of our GM Team
Who couldn’t help but squeal a scream
Because my pig, he’s a right little hooter
Followed me to work on his very own scooter.

They jumped on their chairs in a bit of a panic
Whilst me and the pig turned a little manic
I scooped him up into a spare crate
Before Bella declared she would put him on a plate!

I was so shocked, I couldn’t believe it
My little pig was subject to this tit
I decided to stick up for my little fella
And bump her on the nose – yeah, that told you Bella!!!!

Caroline Teisserenc, Rothschild & Co
If a GM Manager was an animal, he would be a chameleon to attend the various matters of the day;
If a GM Manager was a character, he would be Jack Bauer racing to make the issues go away.

If a GM Manager was a book, he would be Gina’s diary giving the EA members a big smile;
If a GM Manager was a sport athlete, he would be a frisbee champion in the Square Mile.

If a GM Manager was a TV Serie, he would be Prison Break for the love of the EA Vault;
If a GM Manager was a drink, he would be Gina’s G&T of course by default.

If a GM Manager was a brand, he would be Adidas as he knows Impossible is Nothing;
If a GM Manager was an App, he would be Zoom to capture all the EA90 day rallying.

If a GM Manager was an acronym, he would be GMPD one of his best trophies;
And if you are nice to him, he may share some of his providers’ goodies!

Janet O’Hare – Agrekko
I was asked to write poem
not even sure how this is done
so I’ve decided to just tell a story
of how frustrating expat mobility
can be…
whilst at the same time
be a great opportunity to shine
Covid 19 has changed our day to day work, life
quarantines, border closures and unreasonable expectations
wait, is this a change for Global mobility professionals?
Or just another issue that we need to manage…


Paul Barnes – Weichert Workforce Mobility

Guilt has set in as I saw the amazing poems from Quarantine colleagues that have been put in,
whilst my first attempt had been put in the bin!
So here I sit with the word doc open,
a coffee in hand looking for inspiration or at least hoping.
Coffee, tea or something stronger,
two help the mind concentrate the other makes it wonder.

Many a day goes past
and why isn’t this COVID disappearing fast!
What seemed like a dream of empty roads and long walks,
with distancing like we have been taught,
turned into a house bound existence that leaves us fraught!

We all needed a focus and a good haircut, so just in time Expat Academy saw us all fine,
with a 90 day challenged that is absolutely divine.
Cakes and montages were amazing
and showed the creativity everyone was having.
Planks and exercise on football pitches
with dogs, cats and kids had me rolling about in stitches.

Staring crazily at the laptop reading MyGMPD material is so rewarding
and I even found a fab Bitesize Briefing recording.
Positives are everywhere, the air is cleaner, birds seem louder, the stars brighter,
the environment’s is a winner and a real fighter!

Mike Hibberd – Global Expat Pay
There was a prospective expat from Devon,
Who thought an assignment was financial heaven,
After finding housing with a pool, together with a great school,
The policy detail he referenced was from 1997!

Where? Alex Twiggs – UnitedHealthcare Group
You’re working from where?
Since when?
Lockdown. Of course

Does anyone know?
Too many
Bloody holiday houses

Do you understand the tax implications
I start to ask
But it’s pointless

Have you heard of the European Posted Workers Directive (1996)
I start to ask
But it’s pointless

At least it means I won’t be furloughed
But did you really have to tell me on a Friday afternoon
At ten past five

Dawn Donald – RBS
There once was a man from county cork
Who went on assignment to New York
He needed assurance he’d be looked after
He wouldn’t want it to be a disaster

The team took the challenge and engaged each vendor
He could sit and relax with a coffee in splendour
His tax was all sorted, all ducks in a row
Payroll in place, let’s go go go

Ode to tax. Liz O’Donovan – DLA Piper
Oh tax
Oh wonderful tax
there is something about you that just lets me relax
Hypo or actual, FTC or return
Whichever the way, for you, I yearn
In January, when all’s about the HMRC
My pleasure in you is not guilty
You brighten my day with gross up calculations
They really do give me all the sensations
Assignee briefings and A1 certificates a plenty
Because of you my life will never be empty
Oh tax
Oh wonderful tax

Leane Harding – Deloitte
We work damn hard in Global Mobility
Sometimes we even do it for free
Our assignees can often make us mad
But really…without them we’d be super sad

Geez-louise, our input is key
And hopefully soon the world will be Covid-free
Until then we provide guidance and care
And damn straight, we do it with flair

We’re the dream-team “We’ll meet again”
And sure we will, after this hurricane
Don’t rest on your laurels, you can ill afford
We’re coming for you on that leader board

For now we off on August holiday
and taking some much needed time away
Take care to our fellow teams
Hope your holidays are all supreme!

Lizzie Boddington – Capco
The 90 day challenge began in July,
They put us into teams, the stakes were high.
The challenges were big, small and all in between,
Could we win, or would it all just be a dream?

The challenges would be entertaining no doubt,
But could we create enough points to shout about?
And knowing the Expat Academy as well as I do,
I’m sure they will have thrown in a surprise or two.

It’s clear global mobility is what they adore,
So they can’t wait to find out which team has the highest score.
As their passion rubs off on all who are a member,
And they provide us an important message to remember.

Life is short so do what you enjoy,
Work hard in mobility for whom you are in their employ.
Have fun with the challenge and have fun with your team,
And I hope this is making you super keen.

To join the 90 day challenge today,
See how you get on, roll the dice and play.
And whether you come first, middle or last,
Who really cares because with the Expat Academy… it’s always a blast!

Thomas Coombs – Equus Software, LLC
Going on assignment can be scary,
but with the right help, this will vary.
Whether you’re worried about immigration,
or be it shipping and tax,
the superstars in GM will help you relax.
This is their thing,
they know it inside out,
they will always be there,
whenever you shout.

A Haiku – Harry Protheroe – Equus
Ninety-day challenge
Learn, laugh, share, smile and compete
Keep calm and keep score

A Job Well Done! Donna Casement – Nestle
In times of despair, and pandemic crisis
To bring people close and to feel some niceness
A 90 day challenge is all that is needed
To make all in GM feel they have succeeded

The most difficult of challenges was finding a name
That offered encouragement and didn’t give shame
With lots of suggestions possibilities were unbounded
A unanimous decision and Quarenteam was founded

From flowers and veggies in someone’s allotment
Quarenteam started discussing complotments
For those who were stable and able to plank
We found this task strained many a team’s flank

So as we draw near to that finishing stage
Whereby teams battle it out with camaraderie rage
The level of input is not left to the younger
But to those who crave collaborative hunger

Thank you Expat Academy we’ve all found it fun
And would like to thank you for a job very well done!

Ezeibe Agomo – Equinix
They broaden our minds,
They fill us with cheer,
We love the academy;
Experts and peers
All benefit here.
So thank you my friends
For the learning and fun;
We’ll see you all soon
When this COVID is done.

Jeremy Chandar – Bournes Relocation
Covid-19 has come at a time which now means
We need everything in this poem to rhyme!
So deciding to see what our experts need
RMC’s, DSP’s, KPI’s, GDPR, SLA’s is all we read!

Technology is now moving fast
To enable us to survive and for people to last
Professionals we must be and motivation we must seek
To provide the best service for our business needs

International community must travel
But with Covid-19 it’s started to unravel
We cannot predict each day
Which countries in quarantine will come our way.

Global Mobility is key
To establish through networking the future to see
Through lively debate with our members to date
Let’s plan, support and establish the Global suppliers that we rate.

Compensation and Reward is a bounty
When shipper’s relocation is successful and smooth.
So as Members of the Expat Academy
We can only gain – we cannot lose!

Jo Ascough – AB Sugar
There was an assignee from Fulham
Who was moving up north to Durham
He got on the train
And became a pain
When he told me he had a horse in Burlingham!

I asked where that was
He said it’s a cross
Between Norwich and Great Yarmouth
I said ok, but what he didn’t see
Was the little grimace appearing on my mouth!

I jumped on the phone
To me expat academy crone
Who said “don’t worry, I know what we can do”
She quickly advised, that I should not despise
But to ask my assignee for some more clues.

So he did, he told me it was just a pony
Who was just a little bit lonely
There was nothing more to note
Oh, except his best friend the goat
Who was named after an Academer known as Tony!

Pony and Tony got into the box, and enjoyed their adventure to Durham
And as they were so well behaved, their gift at the end was a leg of ham
Pony tucked in, but Tony was unsure because he once had a friend named pig
It made him sad, but Pony was glad as he cheered him up with a game of tig.

Thank you Expat Academy! Hazel Robinson – Brunel University
When we were down and feeling low
We’d often wondered where to go
And now we have a place to be
Working with Expat Academy

We have a network that help us so
Shows us things we didn’t know
With a helpful website to see
Working with Expat Academy

How did we get by before now?
You guys need to take a bow
You’ve helped our learning journey
Thank you Expat Academy

Greg Smith – Lockheed Martin
Roses are nice
Violets are fine
We must stay calm in these crazy times
What’s that got to do with flowers, I hear you ask?
Nothing, I just needed an idea to make this start
Stealing ideas is what we do
Except we call it networking
It’s all in a conversation or two
I have a problem, no idea
I’ll speak to Expat Academy
They’ll find an ear
I’ll speak to the ear
Get some advice
Then I’ll think that person is really nice
I’ll take it back to my boss
She’ll think it was all me
Maybe I’ll get a promotion
I doubt it, they need me to bleed
I can’t end there, it sounds a bit sinister
What rhymes with that?
Parliamentary minister!
That sounds strange
It really doesn’t matter
This poem’s not going to change
I don’t have time
I’m supposed to be working from home
But instead I’m writing a poem
Sat in an office all alone

Suzy Crowle – Weichert Workforce Mobility
There once was a team so professional,
With talents and skills quite exceptional,
They took up a challenge,
For points they did scavenge,
For glory and fame unequivocal.

Jacky Morkham – Visa
We launched into 2020 and Brexit was looming
GM professionals knew it would be a busy year
Then with Posted Workers we cried “what else?”
And Covid replied, “hold my beer”

Business trips dried up and Expats fled home
Relocations stopped and people were stranded
Virtual assignments and remote working now on the radar
Global Mobility’s expertise was suddenly demanded

Working from home with partners, kids and pets
Interruptions on video calls are now the new normal
Trying to nail down where “home” really is
“But it’s so ad-hoc, how can we make this formal?”

We need a break, we need some light relief
How about baking and growing chillies on the windowsill
Expat Academy says “Keep calm and get ready for the future”
We are up for your 90 day challenge, team “This is not a drill”

Maria Ndjondjo – Total
Expat academy is the place to be
If a technical knowledge in GM
you wish to build.

These professionals have proved
to be creative minds
that challenge you to share
your hidden talents to thrive.

Presentations and zoom meetings
you’ll have to attend,
also logging your analysis
to get points and learn.

Research articles and key updates
are available to read
but Gina Tonic and her diary
is something you should not miss.

Quarantine and Covid
have altered our working style
just keep calm, it’s the 90-day challenge
we’re future- ready for a post-lockdown start.

EA all the way – Hannah Wakley – RWE
We joined the Academy
Not knowing what to expect.
Some need support
Or a way to connect.

Mobility, our specialism
Many skills we do hold.
Sharing our knowledge
With members new and old.

We love to help,
From UK to Guatemala.
Sorting a visa, or shipping
the family pet Llama.

Some assignees we get on with,
Some harder to please.
Clients demanding
Others a breeze.

The academy team are there
To help us through.
To find us the answer
Or give us a clue.

James and Emma
head up the team.
They’re all a fun bunch,
never running out of steam.

Even in lockdown
They’re able to entertain
With virtual huddles,
Gina Tonic keeping us sane.

But for now ‘We will meet again’
Very soon, one day.
Even if we have to
Stay 2 metres away!

Marianne Daniels – AON
Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn
Airbnb please stop taking our assignees in!
Don’t you know we have a GM department
Have you not heard of corporate apartments?

Brexit, EU Posted Workers, we’re stuck in a storm
You name it, we’ve seen it, virtual workers Benidorm
Freak weather, Never say never!
Led by Expat Academy we’re all in this together!

Virus hits, assignee stuck in St. Kitts
Don’t get your knickers in a twist!
The Academy’s now virtual on Zoom
We even go in break-out rooms!

Then I discovered The Vault
My question’s benchmarked, I am doing somersaults!
Now I have my post-nominals, my GMPD,
And an awesome network thanks to Expat Academy!

Simon Davies – Sterling Lexicon
Now come on James,
try think back,
To a time before all this,
when we knew where we were at.

When our biggest challenge was trying to figure out the PWD
not how to stay home for months – one, two and then three.

When things worked and somehow seemed to fit
when we knew all the answers (Except for Brexit)
But then the worse time we have ever seen
Enter the pantomime Villain – Mr Covid 19 …..

Keep Calm and fear not
The cavalry has arrived,
They are hear in numbers for all of us to see,

It’s, James / Emma and the gang,
It’s the Expat Academy…
We knew they would come,
they would never let us down
always with a big smile and never a frown

Keep Calm,
They’ll think of something
they always do.

Fit for the future or a global theme,
if you have been to the conference before,
you will know what I mean

But this challenge is different,
its has to be something fresh & it must be something new
to replace a conference with no people, what a to-do.

They have stood tall and taken us out of the Gloom
with a chat on Teams or even Zoom.

The virtual meet has become the new norm
but the spin they have added will cause quite the storm.

A competition with the corporates and suppliers alike,

Team challenges and tasks have all been set,
we must keep going with no regret.

With a funny team name
cake baking, and more
these crazy mobility people
will do anything to score

The story so far and how we were born
Our boss Claire had some news from Laura
Leaving her quite forlorn

The Name you chose looks like a miss as
Another team took it
Are they taking the P…

Not early on at the 11’th hour
like real mobsters – what a shower
If its not right it has to be wrong
but it fuelled our fire and spurred us on

We were the first Mobility Mob
when they stole our name we did not sob.
The team we are in is strong in defiance
cos the very next day we welcomed – The Compliance Alliance

Claire is our leader she is honest and true
we do what you say we listen to you
we stand by her side in stoic defiance
we don’t break the rules – Compliance Alliance

Get involved,
Sharon told us take a tip from me,
hit this link next stop My GMPD

There you go simple points to add to your team score,
if you buy me a drink I’ll tell you more..

So as we go into battle for the most points scored
I hope this little ditty breaks the record
for the highest poem points award

Caroline Bows – Sterling Lexicon
With Expat here and Expat there
There is no need to be forlorn
The place to learn, connect and share
A virtual huddle will keep us warm

And now for a challenge lasting 90 days
Pimm’s and cakes and poets who don’t know it
A highly talented Mobility bunch
Be careful you better get ready!

MyGMPD to boost those points
Or a lookalike from the Triffids
A baked cake with the kids, or corn on the cob

We are, The Mobility Mob! Kimberley Da Souza – AXA AL
Expat Academy brings us together,
To share in the challenges that we all weather.
Events, briefings and a benchmark facility,
Or access the Vault for all things Mobility!

GM accreditation can be attained,
But only once forty points have been gained.
This recognises our commitment to learning,
Continuous improvement keeps our cogs turning.

We’ve been set a challenge July to September,
Amidst a pandemic we’re sure to remember.
We work through activities as part of a team,
The first week even had a Wimbledon theme!

Team Bournes Supremacy will be victorious,
And OH… (dramatic pause) how it will be glorious 😊

Expat Academy Poets' Corner

Life before Expat Academy (Lia Harper – Deloitte LLP)
Once we were alone
We guided expats on our own
The when, the how and the what to do
We really had no one else to go to

Along came James and Emma too
They built a team to provide help for you
Experts they had in many fields
A vast vault of knowledge to bear a yield

With symposiums and huddles galore
We came along to find out the score
We met people from many different firms
We made connections, we learnt new terms

Now we meet on a regular basis
It really is an expats oasis
Along came the newbies to learn from the start
With those more experienced willing to share from the heart

So to all at the Expat Academy
Whether a member or part of the team
For all you do here’s a big thanks to you
We salute you Mobility Kings and Queens

Global Mobility at Leisure (Stuart Jackson – Sterling Lexicon)
There is no time to stand and stare
My thoughts are full of duty of care

Of displaced expats; STBVs
And of executive assignees who are seldom pleased.

It’s hard to remember, but with some concentration
Before this time of lockdown hibernation

My job was chaotic before the disease
With payroll instructions and double tax treaties

It’s only thanks to Expat Academy that I’m not in a muddle
Solving my problems in a Virtual Network Huddle

And in need of a template, I go by default
To the library of documents in the EA vault

For professional development, it’s plain to see
I will enhance my career through MyGMPD

You see – with Expat Academy, it’s about the things we share
Because there’s so little time to stand and to stare.

Ava Norris – Cartus
Whose shipment is that? I think I know.
Its owner is quite happy though.
Full of joy like a bright rainbow,
I watch him laugh. I say hello.

He gives a big box a shake,
And unpacks until his muscles ache.
The only other sound’s the break,
Of distant waves and birds awake.

The shipment is large and boxes deep,
But he has promises to keep,
After cake and lots of sleep.
Sweet dreams he doesn’t make a peep.

He rises from his gentle bed,
With new home thoughts in his head,
He eats his toast with lots of spread.
Ready for the day ahead.

Mel O’Hara – Aviva
Expat Academy is the place to be,
To meet great people and networking is key!
They have created an amazing challenge for 90 days,
To be done online during this lockdown phase.
Team C.A.L.M. is our team name and we ready for the test,
So bring it on, as our team is the best!

Gary Kniveton – Western Union Business Solutions
It’s been 17 weeks and 119 days since this began
No haircut or pedicure not even a hug for my gran
No 4-hour car drives or commuting on my train
And after 2856 hours I am beginning to wain

Oh, what are you doing to me Mr Lock down
Am I starting to yearn again for old London Town
No, I am going to get back to my book, Mr Orwell’s Animal Farm
And Oh, Thank goodness for my good friends and colleagues at Expat C.A.L.M.

Sophy King – Newland Chase
I work all day yet still the work piles high
My emails, calls and Zooms all multiply
Can’t seem to make a dent or get it done
Expat Academy then asks for “fun”

I must confess, I didn’t think I could
Yet, on reflection, realised that I should
Making new friends, connections…making cake
Is more than working just for working’s sake

We need each other, just to make it through
We need some laughs, on days we’re feeling blue
We’ll get to know each other now, and then
Put face to name, when once we meet again

I’m glad to lend a (harried) helping hand
With thanks to you and all the Expat band.

Priya Seymour – Deloitte
In the midst of the madness that COVID has wrought
And the challenges that lockdown has brought
The Expat 90 day challenge is a welcome endeavour
Breaking the work-at-home routine, drumming up some fervour

Our team of GM professionals are a varied yet fun bunch
Bakers, sportsmen, gardeners and lovers of rum punch
Good-hearted competitiveness runs through it all
At Team CALM we’re connecting, sharing and having a ball!

If you would like to know what the EA 90 day challenge is all about and join one of the fab teams, contact tony@expat-academy.com

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