Okay, the departure date is 12/19 -- tomorrow, Sunday.
I fly SFO to DC, spend Monday a.m. at my temporary employer and Monday p.m. at DoD processing. Then Monday night to Frankfurt, arrive Tuesday a.m. Cruise around Frankfurt for the day then depart in the p.m. for Amman, Jordan, arriving in the middle of the night. This is where the regular part of the itinerary that you can book off of expedia end. The next morning it's a special charter flight into Baghdad.
Last time I primarily worked on Performance Indicators for the ITPC (Iraq Telecommunications and Post Company), basically the phone company and post office in one. The indicators I emphasized were things like "number of employees per thousand customers" and "revenue per employee" -- all of which were several times worse than any other national phone company. The Baath party turned the ITPC into a nepotistic make-work project.
This time I'm working on their billing system. It used to be that if you were a Baath party member a certain level or higher you got a phone, and it cost a nominal fee per year. Billing was done by the postman: he hands you a bill, you hand him payment, he hands you a receipt, he turns it all in at the end of the day. With the current security situation people were knocking over the postmen so they stopped billing.
Now there is a new billing system coming in. I wasn't involved in the bidding process, and neither was my employer, so I don't know what it is or why it's the one we're getting, but it has to be implemented. I don't even know if they can do usage tracking with their current switching equipment (I tend to doubt it), so there's plenty of challenge here. What I do know is that it's good for all of us if their phone company gets back on their feet so that you-and-I can stop effectively paying all the bills for it.
What about Connexed? It'll roll along just great w/o me physically here. I've got a 7pm curfew in Baghdad, so I'll be online all the time with the gang anyway. We've got 20 people on board in various capacities, albeit mostly part time, and every base is covered. I've gone 18 months w/o pay, it's my turn to get a check for a little bit so I don't starve to death. We just finished our product and got our first sale, it'll take the dev team some time to shake out the bugs. Once things are running smoothly we'll add more accounts, the vacation time for partners and investors will be over, and we'll go back out on the fundraising and business building trails.
Monday: employer in a.m., DoD processing in p.m.
Monday night: DC-Frankfurt
Tuesday: hang out in Frankfurt for the day
Tuesday night: Frankfurt-Amman, Jordan
Wednesday: charter flight to Baghdad
You can reach me via e-mail with username "blog" at this domain, or Y! IM username "rickbentley68".