The Secret Diary of a Global Mobility Manager – The Vanishing Shipment

by Gina Tonic

Expat Academy The Secret Diary of a Global Mobility Manager - The Vanishing Shipment It was another busy week but thankfully it had been relatively calm. I spent most of the week with my head down ploughing through my To Do list. Feeling quite pleased with myself I sat down at my desk on Friday morning in a very positive mood looking forward to the weekend. Having booted up the laptop I thought I would head over and make myself a coffee but then the phone rang. It does concern me somewhat when my phone rings dead on 9.00am. Clearly someone is literally waiting until I get in.

My instincts were right. It wasn’t good news. One of our VIP assignees was in the process of moving domestically in the US after accepting a transfer. Why does it have to be the VIPs? Not that I want the nightmares to happen to any other assignees but with the VIPs the fallout that the GM team have to deal with is greatly increased.

So, this VIP had a full 40 ft container on its way from the current location to the new host location with a transit time of 2 weeks. Two weeks had gone by and suddenly, this morning, the vendor informed me that the container has been stolen.

Just how does a 40ft container get stolen?

Apparently, the driver needed a break the night before and parked up on the side of the road and left it to stay in a hotel nearby. The driver returned this morning and the entire truck was gone! That’s not even a reasonable explanation. If it had been something to do with bright lights and alien spaceships, I might have had some chance at reducing the highly likely outcome of having my right ear blasted once I informed the assignee.

I was so worried about how to inform my assignee that they had lost all their belongings. I’d already had conversations with the him prior to shipment as he was unsure how he should fill in the insurance form as many of his items was irreplaceable!! Why me? Why this assignee?

The feeling of waving a red rag to a bull

I picked up the phone (shaking) and as I expected, the assignee was not pleased. In fact, that is an almighty understatement! He was super angry, very ranty and upset. All made worse by the fact I had no magic wand solution to offer him.

After profusely apologizing on the removal company’s behalf and promising to come back with some solutions I put down the phone. Frantically I started looking into a short-term option of furniture rental as well as the longer-term solution of what was required in order to claim on the removal company’s insurance.

Two hours into my frantic research, the removal company calls me and says they found the container! Apparently, the driver got confused where he parked his lorry as it was so dark that night when he left it………… literally speechless. I think the sheer relief saved the removal company from a full-on rant from me.

What a day! Looking up it was almost lunchtime and I hadn’t even had my coffee yet……

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