Last time I was in Dubai, I was given a lift by a new client, who seemed to me quite a mature and well-adjusted sort of character – until the first time I saw him in traffic.
Through no fault of either of ours, we were running a few minutes late for our meeting, and now he was trying to make up the time, putting his foot down, overtaking on blind corners and sounding his horn quite unnecessarily, until I suddenly recognised a haunting landmark – the Ghantoot Bridge. “Do you realize this is where the accident happened?” I said as emphatically as I could, without raising the tension-levels further.
That got to him. You couldn’t live here and not remember 300 people suddenly being taken to hospital. He seemed to calm down a bit after that.
At our destination, I needed to say three things to him. First, a missed meeting wasn’t the end of the world, compared to the Al Ghantoot tragedy. Second, he was definitely heading for heart trouble. And third, opening my handbag, I gave him a CD of the Chopin Preludes, which I’d just bought at the airport to keep in my glove compartment to ward off traffic-stress. His need was a lot greater than mine.
He was very grateful for the guidance and has now been a client of ours for many years.
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