dream · Work

Islam Qalah: Out of the Comfort Zone

It’s my 3rd day here at site, and my first day on duty. I wanted to write about this milestone as I realize its significant contribution to my personal and professional life. I only have a few hours left before the self-imposed deadline to publish this post, so help me God 🙂

About a week ago, I was informed by my supervisor that I will be transferred to a site. Random thoughts quickly ran over my head… On one hand, there was a slight apprehension as it would mean leaving my comfort zone, my office desk which has been home since I joined this department, that little space in a room I share with a colleague, the Pinoy mafia, not to mention the rigors of packing and unpacking, moving and staying. On the other hand, I felt thrilled to be expanding my horizons. For the first time in my professional life, I will stay in a site. I have been wishing for it for so long, probably as long as I started working, but it never came. Finally, the prayers are answered.

The convoy that will take me to the airport
Starting to live out of the shadows of our camp 🙂
I’d like to take this move as a reward from my supervisors. As they told me, it’s time to move up and be challenged a little bit more. With my departure from my old home, the big leap from being a quality inspector to a novice HSE inspector has begun. I will be the only QA/QC personnel in the site for a few days as my buddy wont arrive until next week but I am taking it as another easy challenge. The opportunity to carve my niche on my own… Absolutely a welcome challenge!
While waiting to board, with Kabul’s snow-covered mountains as a backdrop
Those 2 gorilla boxes are mine :p
I had a nice two-day “honeymoon period” where I was given a site tour on the first day and joined a group to the shooting range on the second day. I was so excited about firing that I had written a blog about Fun Day Friday first before this :p
Kabul City from the air
with greens this time
then whites 🙂
At Herat for the connecting flight :p
I think I am adapting quickly to my new function and to my new home and with the new people I will be working with. There are things that need getting used to, and I find my list funny if not absurbly crazy:
1. Familiarizing myself with the new group.. associating faces and names for more than a hundred people
2. Using radio for communications.
3. Wearing sunglasses. I don’t know but I was never comfortable wearing them, until I saw the need to wear them now :p
4. Eating 3 times a day when I used to skip breakfast before. Let’s see how much weight I’ll gain afterwards 🙂
5. Eating lunch and dinner earlier than usual
6. Doing my own laundry again and operating a washing machine (after 4 years). I realized I missed cleaning the lint filter, that has to be my favorite part of doing the laundry 🙂
7. Cleaning my own room myself
8. A lot of walking throughout the day
This morning, I did my first-ever site walkthrough alone. The walk is a welcome respite from months and years basically just sitting in my desk in PMO. I loved the walking and the fresh air that I went around camp 3 times today.
I am proud for having identified some non-conformances however basic they were. Im satisfied with my first baby step towards becoming a legitimate HSE practitioner as my notes were fixed and attended to almost immediately without violent reactions 🙂
Ready to board the helo!
Refreshing view somewhere in between here and there 🙂
For the above reasons, I hold Islam Qalah memorable and significant in my professional life. It represents a bold move out of my comfort zone to create comfort zones in other challenging environments. It represents the confidence my superiors have of me. It represents my readiness to mature in my job. It represents a huge challenge, but one that I know I will be able to conquer.
Tomorrow, May 5th, marks my first year in QA/QC Department. I am thankful for moving to this department when I needed to to steer myself away from the drama of my previous job. Now, I can see growth and feel fulfillment for it. Eversince, I have always felt empowered to shine:)
It has been an amazing year… And I am bent on making the second a more incredible one!
Welcome to my new home 🙂

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Benjamin Franklin

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