After 21 years of service to Total, I will deeply miss my colleagues, TOTAL and Qatar.
By Camilo Souza, published on March 1st, 2018
‘’After more than two decades working for Total in Qatar, I will leave for good in two months time. I must say that I feel a lot of emotion and already nostalgia. It is such a big part of my life! I am extremely proud of those years, Total is like family for me and I will deeply miss the office’s life and my routine here in Doha. I have strong links with my country, India but having a Portuguese nationality, I will spend my retirement in Lisbon. I grew up in Goa, a place that was originally Portuguese and I am use to be surrounded by west European influences and diversity.
Moving to Qatar in the eighties was not a real challenge for me. I had a friend who already lived in Doha and he helped me to find a job. I originally arrived in 1983 and started to work in a British engineering consultancy company as an accountant. I didn’t spend that long and came back for a second round in 1997. I had an opportunity and joined the accounting department of Elf Petroleum Qatar. At that time, the office was located in C Ring road. It was the very beginning of the company and we were really small. As always in finance, we had deadlines to respect but we were not as busy as today. At that time, we worked on a special accounting program called MISELFA. Internet did not exist, only faxes. I deeply remember the amount of papers I had to fill for vendor, salaries and other payments. It was huge! I remember going to the finance manager’s office with long documents to sign and for test coding (secret code for payment order). I also recall those three challenging weeks when American compliance monitor/ consultants came for a massive investigation in our department. It was a pilot project leaded by headquarters. We had to work extremely hard for the documentation and queries they were asking. Thankfully, all went well, and we received an extremely positive report. Several projects were piloted by HQ from Qatar, and I am proud to be part of those projects during my time here.
After we merged with Total in 1999, things went different. I can recall the names of all my bosses since the very beginning and I keep in touch with most of them. They were very professional and close to me. Total offered me the opportunity to attend seminars abroad in Paris and China which gave me a lot of knowledge on Group treasury and cash management. I met lots of colleagues from other entities in the group where everyone interacted and exchanged expertise. I also have many personal memories. My daughter was born here but studied in Mumbai and then in London. She also works in Oil and Gas business here in Doha! We have been part of so many corporate events organized by the company. Along the year, we successfully attended all the company days such as Sports Day, Family day, Diversity day and some others. When Patrick Pouyanne was our General Manager, we all went with our family to the desert safari. We spent the day there having lunch, experimenting sand bashing and organizing games. I must say that we also have a great social life within our Indian community here. I will always cherish all those great memories. I know that I will deeply miss the easy life and the safety of Qatar but most of all; I will miss my TOTAL family. I am very grateful for all those amazing years. ’’