Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Pilot launch

The date has been set. The Prime Minister of Bahrain will be coming to officiate the launching of the smart card pilot along with several other Ministers. This has set a sudden frantic pace all over the building. Furnitures and decos are moved from left to right and later right to left again depending on the fickleness of some certain people. Out of the blue, they've now got more than enough people to sit as counter operators and were brief with what if scenarios and how to pretend to do their work. They request tons of things from our side as if we can produce miracles.

The Prime Minister's protocols later came. At least 4 of them came and stayed till late midnight to observe, check and instruct many indian labourers to install red carpets, decos, fountains, grasses, plants, fake plants, posters and flags. The Prime Minister's protocol had a grave look amongst them and all of them never did break into a smile. All done in a couple of hours. The site itself is a wonder really. Astonishing to see the changes that were made in such a short period. We have a fountain and grasses now. How the hell did they make grass over one night? It's a welcoming sight at least unlike the barren sand over the pavement that we are much used to before.

As we arrived at an ungodly hour the next morning, the building is controlled by police and nobody is allowed to park within the vicinity of the building. We were told to park at an obscure car park further away. The main counter section was packed like never before and I suspect they are not allowing the Prime Minister to set foot unless there's carpeting beneath.

After watching the presentation on plasma flat screen and officiate the launching ceremony, the Prime Minister is then led back to the ground to see a demo of a card enrolment. However, a smart card that was prepared the day before was handed over just like in cooking television shows.

Television interviews were conducted later when the Prime Minister and other Ministers have left. The crowd then disperse into various groups to capture photographs.

Our team with some of the clients

It was a great success, particularly to the image of CIO and to his political career. Our bosses and the Sheikh has ostentatiously shown that by thanking everyone profusely. One which he had never done so. We bailed at around 2 pm to rest and to celebrate ourselves later at Ritz Carlton.