Please please please do not get offended by reading this post. I am just so frustrated and it is all to do with trying to adjust to the different life style here since starting work. I need to vent, so here it goes…….

I work with women of many nationalities. I work well with all of them, but I have a very difficult time understanding the work ethic and the rationale behind some of the things that go on in the office. For instance, last week someone had spilled coffee or tea on one of the couches in the lobby. It was all over the cushion and the floor and had dried. It looked terrible. When I walked by it (for the first time), I asked the receptionist what it was and why hadn’t it been cleaned up. The response I got was; “Oh, I told one of the Filipino girls about it and she said she would clean it up later.” and she goes back to doing nothing. This infuriated me! I took the 8 steps to my desk, pulled out one of my Detol wipes, took the 8 steps back to the waiting area and WIPED THE MESS UP. It took a total of maybe 30 seconds and it was done. All the while, I am being talked about in Arabic by the receptionist and another worker in the office. I can only imagine there was some comment about the stupid American cleaning up a mess that a “lowly worker” could clean up later. I don’t understand why no one could have taken a wet towel and just cleaned the mess up right away. It’s not like anyone was too busy to spare 30 freaking seconds to do it (especially considering she was picking at her split ends when I asked her about the mess in the first place)! Besides, it is just good service to take care of your work area and it is damn important to make a good impression on the people who walk into the waiting area. What does it say about our school when someone walks in and sees this mess sitting there dried?

Something else that I find aggravating is the lack of compassion or lack of customer service that some of our people show. It shows itself as people passing jobs onto others or as people not following through in a timely manner; or simply as people not smiling. It is really uncomfortable.

What about the constant asking of permission for everything? This drives me absolutely insane! Some people can not make a decision to save their life! Everyone is always asking permission to do everything! It is exhausting…..

THEN!!!!!!!!! Right now, I am just dumbfounded. Last year when my kids were at another school here in Al Ain, we took the kids out of class one day to go on a family outing. I told the school what we were doing, they approved it. While we were in our freaking car driving to the location of our family outing, the damn school called to ask why the boys were absent! I was furious, thinking why the hell are you calling me to ask why my kids are absent? That is really none of your darn business! In the USA, when your child misses school, the parent is expected to call the school, not the other way around (and I did tell the school they would not be in class that day). This year, I am learning that I was supposed to be the person calling parents when a child is absent. I don’t have time for this! So, I learned this yesterday and I devised a plan to help me notice absent students by making a form for the teachers to turn in. Today we started to implement the plan (even though I think it is totally asinine). THEN….we get a phone call from a parent saying that her daughter has been absent for 3 days and no one has called! (Heaven forbid! In my mind, I am thinking “Were your fingers broken?”) This parent is “very disappointed” because she likes our school and all the “good schools” call, why didn’t we???? OMG! Are you serious? What is the deal with this? One girl tells me that it is because these parents need special attention. Another girl tells me it is just our responsibility. I think it is silly. Every parent here thinks they deserve special treatment and that is just insane! While I think everyone deserves to be treated in a friendly and understanding manner, it is too much to expect special treatment because you hold a certain last name (especially when it seem everyone here has an elevated status – or at least thinks they do)…….

The level of selfishness that I have observed over the past 3 weeks has just astounded me. Today I realized that the reason I do not have time to finish my work is because I do EVERYTHING. If someone needs something done, they come to me because they know I will do it. I clean couches, I make forms, I type letters, I make copies, I talk to children and stop and play with them in the hall, I help with computer problems, I carry water bottles to offices, I do it all, because I know that if I don’t, it will take much longer to wait for someone else to do it. I am frustrated and sad because here, I really like living here, but I am starting to see one of the ugly sides of working life here. I know there are many more, but this one is hitting close to home. I come home tired, disappointed and frustrated every day, and it is all for a job that I am doing because I want to – not because I have to. I do still love my job, I just wish I didn’t feel like I am only one of two people giving 100%, and I am tired (so is the other person).

Photo from here.


7 thoughts on “FRUSTRATION

  1. Anonymous says:

    HAAA HAAA!! NOW YOU SEE…Welcome to my world. The only difference in your current view and my current view is that I’ve signed a form with the district saying it’s not acceptable to make unauthorized posts about things that are about or have resemblance to what goes on in and about it…ta dee ta daa ta dumb.I’m glad you’re giving it your best, it makes me proud when I hear about people with good work ethic. It only takes one to teach one…carry on my fellow soldier of studiousness! –la


  2. Anonymous says:

    Trust me I know what you mean. I’ve been there, done this, done that except take a swing at someone out of frustration just because they don’t do their part. At the rate I’m going with some elements, it’s bound to get nasty. It’s like someone out there is really trying to test my patience.Having said that, do what you do best, keep your cool and just be.It’s a reminder to myself as well – LOL.Cheers 😀


  3. Anonymous says:

    I totally relate. I felt like that all the time, and I got tired of it, then I decided I either do it and not expect a change with peopole around me, or just do what is expected from me with out going the extra mile. I tried just to watch and see what happens and I couldn’t tolerate that, so now, I do what I think needs to be done with little hope that people around me will be inspired by my “actions”…


  4. Yeap the good ole days.My story is I was proctoring a word processer exam. The rules of the exam clearly stated the students were allowed one and only one printout of their work and they were NOT allowed to look at it.One instructor with whom I co-proctored one of these exams would look at a printout, shake his head show it to the student and tell him to try again!A colleague of mine had a drink spill in his classroom. The cleaning lady came in to deal with and his students (local women) were laughing and giving the cleaning woman a hard time. I can not recall how he did it but he had his students apologizing.


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