I have my own Desert Girl Stimulus Plan and it has nothing to do with the economy. In fact, details are so secretive (dirty) that I can’t even publish them here.
Speaking of stimulating – OMG – did you see the photo of that Aussie fireman (undoubtedly out saving poor koalas and kangaroos from harm) on CNN today? Yummy. I don’t even go for the blonde thing at all, but I wanted to jump through my monitor and plant one on him. I digress....
The many evil faces of the economic downturn a'la Kuwait:
There is a coffee boy at my friend’s office who has been with the company for 15 years. Their new GM told him, “You make too much money. We’re going to cut your salary. Where is your loyalty to the company?” Now dudes, let’s be reasonable… if you are going to cut someone’s salary, don’t tell the very guy who brings you your food and drink(and don’t tell him in a nasty way). That's just plain stupid. There are a million mean and nasty ways to make someone sick. Personally, moi, I would think of something different every day, starting with eye drops and working my way through the list. And I cordially offer free Desert Dawg poo to anyone who wants some. It blends well with the economy (so to speak). Call it an International Coffee Moment.
There was an article in Al-Watan the other day titled, “Citizens deem private sector lay offs ''a humanitarian assault''. Ummm…. “Humanitarian assault” has been going on in Kuwait for a leeetle while now, yet perhaps not as it pertains to citizens. “A few citizens believed that the actions were a reflection of the unjust practices of the private sector and maintained that an attitude of laying off employees and cutting the salaries of those still employed would only have a negative impact on their lives (yeah – way less shopping!) and the Kuwaiti economy.” “Ahmad AlـAdwane said he never imagined that people''s salaries would be on sale one day (um, chelloo.... foreign workers...) and urged the government to protect citizens and locals in all ways possible by applying Islamic rules to such unwanted practices.” Ok, I have to giggle. “applying Islamic rules to such unwanted practices…” here are some apres-peau words: Maids (pregnant, abused, otherwise). Laborers. Visa trading. Citizens – be outraged and apply Islamic rules! Hey – at least citizens can sue their companies without fear of reprisals. Not all of us can say that.
(I do love Kuwait. The USofHey has its own problems too. If you send me hate mail, I will zap it.)
I do question why the same local companies that appeared so good on paper (often IN the newspaper) in Q308 (and in 5 year plans for diversifying their assets – apparently only in the KSE, however) suddenly have “no money” and need to cut salaries. What up with that? I’m also seeing a lot of Chairmen/CEO’s maintaining their bonuses and high salaries – while the coffee boy is taking a 1/3 pay cut and the bathrooms are no longer being cleaned because they terminated the cleaner who makes a whopping KD 70 per month. (Yeah baybee, that’s a tremendous cost-cutting effort right there.) I’ve heard of local companies that are limiting toilet paper and lunch hours (as if THAT is going to make a difference to productivity). I dunno about you, but if I can’t pee, I just get pissed off. hardy harr haaarrrr.
I think the real indicator in the Kuwaiti economy will be when you start to see all the little used car dealerships in Kuwait full of previously-owned luxury vehicles WITH the Kuwaiti license plates on them (those without are all recent imports). Yo, Chairhole! Whatcha drivin?