Sunday, October 12, 2008

If I throw up, will you hold my hair?

Yeah, it's like that.

I am in the middle of a low-level depression; a funk if you will. It usually doesn’t last long with me, but it is hitting me as odd that not only friends, but colleagues have noticed it. Friends who “usually wouldn’t say anything” have started saying things. I don’t really feel so depressed, but I guess I’m just not myself and things are bothering me on several different fronts; which is making the little things piss me off even more.

So, as part of stress therapy, I spent the day yesterday on my friend’s boat (photo by moi). Incase you don’t know me or my blog, I love the sea in Kuwait equally as much as the desert. My friend bought a new boat; it is 86 feet long and I can’t even imagine how much fuel it sucks up. 6 of us went fishing. Ok, they fished; I sat around. It was humid out, but I still had a great time. It was so peaceful and relaxing. He has called me a lot of times in the past year to go out with him, his brothers, and friends, but I always say no (partially because of previous drunken moonings on their part which gave me nightmares). I said no this time too, but then I called him right back and went. I’m so glad I did. I should go out with them more often. They are always fun and make me feel energized. Sometimes I forget to remember what truly great friends I have (despite the moonings).

Which leads me to another wonderful friend, Bunny… (he doesn't moon. He isn't the mooning type. In fact, I believe that just the mention of his name associated with mooning will greatly disturb him). He has been so helpful and kind and I’ve been in such a crap mood that I have bitten off his head several times lately (sorta like what I do to chocolate bunnies around Easter time). Me sorry. Je t’adore.

I got my sea and city bases covered this weekend, but not the desert. Bu Merdas has been out hunting gerbils (or whatever the f he does up in the desert – alone – with men). I didn’t get to Kabd and I am on an official Bu Merdas strike now regardless. EMBARGO ON!

So Not Zain…. I owed Zain a nice chunkachange, so as soon as my salary went into my account, I got online and paid them… only in my haste (pre-coffee and blondeness), I incorrectly paid it to a wrong number (one digit off). (The frickin extra 9 number is confusing me! Shut up!) Since September 30th, ten minutes after I made the mistake, I have been trying to get the problem resolved. Their customer service guys are soooooooooooooooo nice, but about as useful as tits on a bull. Don’t make promises you can’t deliver – that’s all I’m sayin. I finally called Saad Al-Barrak’s (Director General of Zain) office because no one in the entire organization seemed to know the extension to their Finance Department. I have discovered that if you are nice to the secretaries, you can usually get things resolved in a nanosecond. tee hee. Which reminds me, I gotta send her flowers.... (sounds of asses being kissed).

My friend came to visit last night. She works for a local company where they are not only implementing a fingerprint system for time and attendance, but also installing a camera to go with it (I told her about one of the many uses of Vaseline; nicely covers camera lenses and it is indistinguishable). So basically, the only thing that is left is a retina scan. I know of a company that installed a fingerprint machine to provide “discipline” to their management. Well, if a manager isn’t doing his/her job – terminate them (hopefully after productive communication). You have to trust the people who work for you; if not, why do they work for you to begin with? This has been stuck in my craw lately about local companies. People have choices and demoralizing employees will only develop a lack of trust and then a lack of productivity. If you treat your employees well, they will do anything for you (if you don't, some of them may spit in your tea; personally, I prefer eyedrops). It is the old “you get more bees with honey than you do with vinegar” adage. I watched a documentary on a successful US company a long time ago and I love the quote that the CEO made, "Every night at 5 pm, I watch as 95% of my company's assets drive through the front gates." Under a similar belief: I downloaded a presentation that Saad Al-Barrak gave some time ago on his HR philosophy titled, “HR - The Sole Sustainable Competitive Advantage.” It is an old presentation and not formatted very well, but provides a good insight into their strategy. Basically, it states that a company’s greatest assets are their employees. I believe that Zain has proven that it is a methodology that works (although perhaps some of their employees still need better training and others need to learn to look at an internal phone directory instead of saying, “Wallah ma’adri” when they don’t know how to answer a question). At least all of the people I have ever spoken to who work for Zain have always said that they love their jobs. That is much more than I can say for other sweatshops and workhouses 'round here. Bada BING.

On a complimentary note, "The Friday Times" had a lot of really good articles this weekend. Way to go, dudes. Someone FINALLY wrote a story about earthquakes in Kuwait. Have you noticed that often the only time that you hear about an earthquake in Kuwait is 5 days later when one of your friends sends you a link to somewhere like CNN from Europe? I've been here and felt tremors and when I tell people, they give me that, "Oh my God, not you and your wacky theories again!" (Which, by my own admission, is usually justified.) This is really funny, but one time, I was praying (it could happen! Shut UP!) for something, and my building started to shake. I actually thought it was the Desert-Girl-to-God connection that was making things move. I thought maybe I should pray more often cause it was cool (kinda "biblical" if I may), but then I found out that it was an earthquake several days later. (And as they say, God always answers, but sometimes the answer is NO! LOL) There was also a rather odd (we like weird) article in the local section, called, "The Cheating Kind; To use the excuse that it's in men's nature to cheat - now that's totally lame. They should say, men are a**holes by nature. That would make more sense." No, once again, je ne shit you pas - this was actually the byline - in print. I believe it is the FIRST time I have ever seen "a**holes" appear in print in a daily. We certainly are MAVERICKS in this country, aren't we?! It is quite an insightful little diddy about cheating in Kuwait. Me likes that someone is TALKING about it (and it isn't me).

Have you ever just felt like everything around you is going to shit and you might as well sit at your desk and write a blog post and make yourself giggle? Yeah, that happened to me today too.


Stan said...

I'd really love to talk about Zain's customer service(as a matter of fact every customer service here in Q8 )i bought the zain e-go device and used it vigorously to the max and screwed it up in 1 month time..after all i've got 1 year warranty for it(and i did pay bloody 60 K.D for the device, now it costs just 35 K.D as an offer rate..which really piss's me off!!)Nevertheless i jack it up and take it to their customer service agent.He plugs it to his PC and after fiddling it for a while he's like i think it's not working..(DUH ?? dumass..obviously) and so i ask him buddy give me a replacement since i've used it only for a month and he say's Sir we can't replace it to you from here,you've gotta take it to another service centre called Star Zain(Freakin isn't tht ur bloody job in the 1st place ??) But i desperately needed net 2 chat with my friends So i ask this guy..Fine , Give me the address of this Service Centre then. You won't believe his reply he fiddle's on his PC again and say's he doesn't know the address of his own freakin service centre(Are these guys really dumb or just playin like that ??)but thank God he somehow gave me the contact number of this place. This is even better i call up these guys , i talk to them (since i know very little arabic) then my mom talks to them(coz she knows arabic)and guess what.. we still took nearly half an hour tryin to figure out what the bloody hell he was tryin to say coz even he doesn't know where it is exactly ?? Anyways we did find the place and it was in Faheel and we did get it replaced that day itself(I just wish my device doesn't die up on me again coz i really don't wanna meet those customer service agents again !!. Honestly what is it with these service guys here in Kuwait ?? You get better customer service from poorer countries like India itself..when's Kuwait ever gonna grow up ???

Stan said...

I'd definitely like to feel that way..Don't bother what's goin on around you..Just mind your own damn business (as long as you're not hurtin anybody)..anyways i don't think there is even proper freedom of speech and rights for the kuwaiti nationals itself !!!

Stan said...

I'm not shitin you..this was in todays arab times daily .

Thief cop arrested: A policeman who allegedly stole KD 140 and prepaid telephone cards from a grocery shop in Amghara was arrested, reports Al-Seyassah daily.
A cop whose a thief !! i couldn't believe it when i read it first(Thought it was some grammatical mistake which is common in the Kuwait Daily's)
.And i think how more degrading can the security forces of this country get !!!

Carpe Diem Baby said...

Iĺl hold your hair!

Hornet said...

This is really great, and for sure you know who will hold your hair for you.
I do believe management should trust the employee other than that you will find yourself flying out of the line.

Jewaira said...

I was also very intrigued by the Cheating Kind article in Friday Times.

Like something you would read on a blog not the paper lol

Anonymous said...

Can u tell me about the from whoim is that Fingerprint device and Time attendance System purchased from ? I have to get it installed for my office too and searching for some company to do it , provided they are good professional service providers.

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous - you are MISSING THE POINT!!! I am 100% AGAINST the use of fingerprint machines and I will not help you in the slightest. My advice to you is to learn positive HR methodologies so that you don't have to enslave your employees. If you are loyal to them, they will be loyal to you.

Furthermore, what do fingerprint machines have to do with your company's productivity/bottom line?

Find out what MOTIVATES your employees - is it incentives/contests? Flexible working hours? The ability to use their talent? Communication with management? Create an anonymous employee survey. TALK to your employees.



Anonymous said...

howdie DG.

I do very much agree with you, and on the positive side, I am not in one of them who have to come and do the fingerprinting every morning.. So at least I am spared of that.

The thing is that its the HR's decision to get it done and I am the IT guy who needs to get it done ! questions asked and no comments given back. So you see its just that I have to follow the company HR policies. Same maybe like any of your friends who have to do the fingerprinting attendance every morning.

But me personally thinking, I guess its a good thing, not that it enslaves them to come up early morning, but at least they try to come on time and get work started off, rather than coming late, sitting around talking and reading newspapers etc. considering the kind of people that we have here working !! :)

So neways, the point is that if you can provide me the info Time attendance software company , that will be helpful, else I have go searching on my own.

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous (Howdie): I see your point as an IT guy directed to follow company policies. I disagree with the HR philosophy, however. Don't mean to make your life more difficult by not providing information, but I wouldn't assist anyone in this antiquated approach.

Most HR people in this area of the world aren't even qualified for HR anyways! What do they know about positive people management; and/or competency based performance managment?

As an example at a "sample" company: HR guy worked in a Ministry as a "go guy" for a minister, basically writing reports and "advising". He never even had to deal with people; and that mentality has carried over to a position where he now has to communicate with over 1200 actual human beings. He looks real good to upper management now that 100 people's asses are in chairs in the morning. So what? Those employees should be running around working on tasks/operations - many of them on sites. They're not. Their asses are in chairs gaining weight and getting depressed and lazy.

You said, "..try to come on time and get work started off, rather than coming late, sitting around talking and reading newspapers etc". Productivity where I work since the installation of the fingerprint machine has gone DOWN (motivation - down, employee engagement - down, employee loyalty - down).

T&A measures do NOT correlate to an increase in employee productivity. It is what it is: Your employee's ass is in the chair, but that doesn't guarantee that he/she is productive.

Stan said...

k so i've just landed in Kuwait a few months back(i've been born and brought up in Kuwait tho but haven't been here for like 6 years or so)So i land up in one company in Faheel , a rather small one to start up my career where the pay was like shit crap and a boss who was tryin to convince me tht his co. was the best way 2 start of my career in(like my Ass it was !!)Nevertheless i was findin it difficult gettin a job elsewhere.One fine day he freakin installs a cam right behind me(His excuse..its not for u but just to scan people who come in to office(u bitch d word is see nd not scan first of all!!)).i worked there for like 25 days (during those days i used to get tht small annoyin kinda noise behind me srrr..ssrrr..quikkk quikkk when he zooms tht used 2 make me feel so sick coz i knew he was spyin on my work) obviously after the 25th day i showed him my middle finger and left the job.(Well also obviously becoz i got a better job elsewhere..hehehe)