There have been a couple of constant irritants in my life since I've been in Saudi, but one of the most unfortunate is money and the problems associated with it.
Considering I'm an American and I make a pretty decent salary this may seem like needless bitching, but the fact is that my contract is written in Black and White (well blue and white actually) and states that I agreed to come here for X amount of time for Y amount of SAR and would be paid on the 1st of every month. Saudi Labor Law is pretty black and white on the issue as well.
The problem lies in the fact that it seems that because we are foreigners, with little to no knowledge of Arabic and little ability to go to the court, we are taken advantage of. Saudi labor law clearly states that the Iqama fee's and associated costs such as Healthcare licensing will be paid by the employer and yet I and my co-workers had these fees deducted from our salary illegally. Salaries have been paid late with no compensation three times. Housing allowances have been cut in half, if paid at all. And the men in charge who were often educated in America or England suddenly "Don't Speak English" when you need to discuss these issues or when you ask them point blank "who is stealing from my salary and therefore stealing from my family?". Blank looks are all you get if your lucky, if you're unlucky you get a lot of backsliding BS and excuses.
So potential expats beware, you might be in an Arab country, but when it comes to money, they'll steal from you even during Ramadan. After all, you're not Muslim, you're not Saudi, your just a worker. Its a damn shame some people line their own pockets and make the rest of their countrymen look like...well...look like thieves I guess.
What prompted this little rant you ask? Well I spent about three Months in a hotel. I asked for my housing allowance day two. I was told not to worry, it would come. When it finally did three months later, I was only allowed half of it and told that I would get the second half in six months. When six months came I was ignored and now that I have finally managed to get someones attention, I've been told that I'll get it "soon", but that it will be cut in half due to the fact that I spent so long in a hotel...It seems I have to pay that portion as a fee for the pleasure of staying in a small hotel room for three months. Did I mention that the original agreement was for a 2 story luxury Western style compound in Riyadh? This whole situation with money and all the problems of late salaries has got me pretty annoyed. This gentlemen is called Bullshit, and I've had almost as much of it as I can stand, its a damn good thing that I'm going on vacation in two days...