I know what I have got to do, but the easy thing would be to stay here in my beautiful, bigass apartment and continue to stare at the walls - alone and semi-manless. It is what it is. I have had strange relationships before, but this one is the strangest. I have fallen in and out of love; he says he'll change, and it is with a heavy heart that I know he never will. His whole family accepts me. His children adore me and I love them like they are my own. I know that I'm part of the family. I know I am loved. I'm just not part of his life. "You can lead a horse to water" and all that. You can't make someone want to spend time with you if they don't. When a guy leaves your bed to go to the diwaniya, there is something wrong with the picture. Why would you want to leave a naked woman and go sit around with a bunch of smelly men? I have used up all of my tricks. And yet, I know I am going to miss him so much that it hurts. He went to so much trouble to get us to where we are now (I can't believe how far we have come in 5 years) and still, I can't get him to just stay with me. It is what it is.
The easy thing to do would be to accept another lame Kuwait job offer complete with zero job security and the inevitable 3 year tenure leading to yet another "reduction in workforce".
Which leads me to something that I want to talk about: Getting fired in Kuwait. I have been fired from almost every job I have held in Kuwait (never "for cause"). Am I proud of that? Not necessarily, but it is the norm here for most expats. It isn't like it is in the States. They don't need to follow procedures here and there are very few reprucussions for employers who do decide to dump employees (which is what it amounts to - dumping). (Dumping in this region isn't limited to employees - friendships and relationships are easily forgotten after the novelty or benefit blush is off the rose.) There is usually no explaination of why you are being terminated; culturally, many don't deal with any form of confrontation. Many times there is no warning (and certainly not written warning - ever - regardless of how good a company's policies and procedures are. Case in point - Agility, my former employer.) The employee is left to speculate.
So please, if you are ever in the same predicament and find yourself terminated in Kuwait, don't be hard on yourself. You are not alone. We can start a support group. Most of my friends have been terminated/fired/shit-canned in Kuwait. We are the Chosen Ones. We are the Elite. We were fired because we spoke too much, or knew too much, or did too much.
I don't (and won't) consider myself a lesser-quality employee. Damn, I know who I am and know what I have done for every company I have worked for - up to and including my current company of employ. I do hard work, I represent who I work for with professionalism and dedication. If the big boys at the top get their pampers in a bunch, que cera.
I gave up on expecting appreciation and gratitude a long time ago; it doesn't come with the job in Kuwait (I combat that by sending "thank you" cards at every opportunity). In fact, I have come to the conclusion that 99.9% of employers in Kuwait only recognize money as a motivational factor for their employees. They don't consider job satisfaction, pride, hours, or gratitude (or any other motivation for an employee to excel at their job.) Employees are not considered assets - they are considered commodities.
In my case, I believe that the attributes I posess - that make employers here hire me - are the same ones that they use to fire me. I am a sales person and therefore come complete with a dynamic personality. I have an assertive (bossy?) American nature and it gets the job done. If I can't do something, I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that I can. I ruffle feathers. I piss people off. I complete tasks on time and they are quality which make me proud. If you do a good job, you anger people. If you are assertive, you anger people. If you do a job better than others, you anger people. If you confront (God forbid in this society) to get a straight answer, you anger people. How many Western expats have you seen come and go?
I never ever burn bridges: here, there or anywhere. During most painful and humiliating termination I went through (Agility), I sent the Chairman a card and flowers thanking him for the opportunity to work for him. I like Tarek Sultan. I think he's a nice guy. I like his family. I think he was swimming in a management pool of shit for a while and there were a lot of things that went very wrong very fast. I just happened to be vocal about what I thought was wrong. Ok, technically, I resigned from Agility - so said the legal documents our lawyers agreed on. When someone escorts you to the door with all your stuff in a box, it still feels like you've been shit-canned regardless, but whatever. I don't burn bridges.
I do wonder what my family thinks after they hear the news (again). I think they know by know how hard I work so they should have a good indication of my work ethic. However, if I heard that someone had been terminated (again), I would wonder. Dayam y'alls are probably wondering, right?
I'm one of those people who holds out until someone tells me it is time to go. I have had other job offers while working here, but I have held on. I stayed during the financial crisis (both global and company-internal brought on by mis-management) for the past almost-two years; while my friends were getting fired (good people, good work eithics); and while my employer paid late consistently month after month. The former GM made my life so bad that I developed hypertension and ringing in my ears. He tried to get me to quit and threatened and bullied me; making my life hell. I weathered that entire storm.
I'm rambling... I will continue....
I am scared shitless of starting over again back in my home country with people who love me. I came here 14 years ago on a Big Adventure. Everything was new and fresh and a learning experience. Now, strange has become familiar. When I go back to the States, will I be lonely for this familiar? What if I'm even lonelier over there? Starting over is huge. It is so overwhelming.
I do trust in several things: God. God has never let me down. I'm a good person and try to serve God every day. You might not see me praying, but I try to help someone (either in human or creature form) every single day of my life and I work like Hell trying to do what I can. I don't lie. I don't cheat. God helps me because of that and I know it. I also trust in my sister. It is because of the same attributes I have that God loves her. She is blessed with a form of foresight. She's told me that my life is going to change for the good.
I knew something big was going to happen to me when I drew the Tower card for myself during a tarot reading. Sudden, unexpected change. I didn't know what it was in reference to - and I was confused. I know that all my foundations have been built on solid ground; but I didn't think about this job. No, this job was not built on a solid foundation. I took it last minute. It was my second choice of places to work and I had a bad feeling about it, but needed the money.
More rambing, unfocussed thoughts...
Here, I am somewhat of a novelty and I have always loved that. Just having the knowledge of Kuwait that I do and being American is kind of unique (I think). I have had opportunities here that I could never have had in the States. And - I should mention how much I feel loved by people I have met through the blog. I always feel invisible in the States. What happens if I go there and just feel common?
And speaking of common: guess what, people? Everybody comes here thinking that they'll go back home with a big wad of money. I'm just another one of those people who will get on the plane and wonder how the hell I am going to pay off my credit cards once I get there. Everybody wants their family to believe that they have been over here "making it big" when in reality, most of us are just still living paycheck-to-paycheck with perks (like a maid, no taxes - all the expat luxeries). Will I feel like I'm going home with my tail between my legs?
I'm freaking out. I'm trying to keep it in perspective, but holy shit - that's hard right now. I'm having all these random thoughts like:
- There are no bidets in the US.
- How can I meet men with more than just a smile?
- Where will I find machboos or tashreeba? Where will I find the special bread?
- Can I find a dry cleaner that picks up and delivers?
- I have to pay a pet deposit in an apartment.
- Will my dog be okay on the plane?
- Can I get used to the taste of real wine (not home made)?
- Will I become an alcoholic?
- How can I adjust to living in a tiny apartment again (unless I can live forever and ever with my sister).