Read Me/Disclaimer

Read Me/Disclaimer: This is a non-political/socio-political blog. It's a running tale of my Saudi Arabian adventure, great, good, bad, and ugly. It is uncensored, and I don't really care what you think of it, read it or don't. I don't care. I did not decide to do this as a means to an end, but rather to document the means with which I occupied my time while waiting for my end... All that being said, I'm an American Expat in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The opportunity to help build this system and the salary that accompanied it were to good to pass up.-Geoff

"The views presented here are just the views of some asshole named Geoff, they are not necessarily the views of my employer, my co-workers, my family or anybody else. First hand knowledge and second hand accounts were used to compile the information. These are not scientific facts and figures. These views are not necessarily supported, endorsed or even appreciated by the KSA the USA or any other country for that matter and the author makes absolutely no claim that they are."**

Friday, November 30, 2012

Bad Behavior

Increased calls for Saudi-ization are all the rage, they have been off and on for years, but it seems to be reaching a bit of a fever pitch.  Companies now have to pay extra for the Iqama's of non-Saudi workers as an incentive to hire more of their countrymen.   Long discussed, especially by expats is the lack of a work ethic in the majority of the unprepared potential Saudi workforce.  I agree and disagree, I've seen lazy and I've also seen hard working.  I still believe that it can be pulled off, I really do.  However, how does anybody expect to instill a work ethic and teach skills when the most basic of social disciplines is lacking?  Work ethic can be fostered, skills can be taught, but until you handle the societal discipline issues its a moot point.  Take a look at the examples below.  These are just two examples from this week.  I do my best not to bash my hosts and this is no different, but these discipline problems must be dealt with.  I guess I'm a little shocked that in what is generally considered the most conservative Islamic nation in the world, these things are tolerated, and allowed to an even greater extent than ANY western nation.  That surprises me. 

Example one:
Last week in the College, a meeting was held between the Departments at both the Boys campus, and the Girls campus.  This meeting was of course held at our campus because it's not allowed for us to walk in the door at the girls campus.  The meeting time had been double scheduled with a make-up lecture by our Department Head.  About 15 min into the meeting, students began to wander in (15 min late as usual).  Normally finding us in a meeting they would retreat to the hallways to laugh and joke loudly, waiting for the meeting to finish.  However upon finding us in a meeting with women, they suddenly had large smiles on their faces, whistles from their lips, hand gestures defining the body of a woman and were generally jumping around and acting like...well like excited, horny monkeys.  One student even did the "Gangnam Style" dance in the middle of the hallway while looking directly at one of the female lecturers.  By this time, I was already on my feet and headed into the hallway, my face showed that wonderful "I'm going to hurt you" emotion, and I crassly said "Shut up and get out!".  My dancing student refused to go, so I took him by the arm (gently and without malice) and led them all out into the main hallway.  By now they had realized I wasn't joking, and they asked me seriously why I was angry.  I told them that they had embarrassed themselves and made us all look like idiot children.  They laughed, and said OK, OK, but Girls!!! I told them to wait or go take a break and come back in 15 minutes.  They headed for the break area laughing and talking excitedly.  The next day, I had the dancing student in my office, with another lecturer and my Department Head, I explained Simple Simon style that making sexual or pelvic thrust dancing gestures to a Doctor and Lecturer at the school or in General was highly inappropriate, and in most countries would constitute sexual harassment.   He said that he understood, but that I didn't realize he was doing the dance anyway and he didn't happen to notice their were women in the office.  If I would have understood, I would see that it wasn't his fault.  I looked at him incredulously and said, that's not the way I see it, consider this your one and only warning, get out of my office. He laughed and said OK.

Example 2:
2 Days later, I found myself stopping by Jarir on the way home.  I needed a new mouse for my laptop, but found myself straying towards the X-box games anyway (I'm a giant child).  I didn't stay long in the section though, because I couldn't get very close to the games without running into a group of teenage boys loudly discussing and arguing about the merits of the various games.  None of this was unusual and would have been found in any US store.  However what wouldn't have been found was what the boys were doing with the games...any game they found that didn't meet with their approval, they knocked off the shelf and onto the floor.  They did this about 10 times and then moved on.  A worker who had been watching came and picked the games up and re-shelved them.  Nobody in the store cared to stop them.  Not the women who were walking by, not the men with their children and families.  Nobody who worked in the store.

Later, as I was checking out, I was lucky enough to find myself in the same line as the boys I mentioned above.  They pushed and jostled, trying to push past me, bumping into me twice before I finally turned around.  I found myself looking at what at first glance I mistook to be a clown.  Gold Rimmed RayBan's, a Neon Giordano shirt of the tackiest style and skinny Capri pants.  I wanted to strongly tell the boys to back off, to wait their turn, to have patience...but if I'd have opened my mouth, I would have laughed.  I turned around and waited my turn as the boys laughed about the Ameriki in line and yelled at the cashier to take them first.  He didn't, so they yelled at another man to open a new register, he did and they ran over to that line.  They paid with 500 Riyal bills and left, getting into an illegally double parked waiting Mercedes.  I walked home laughing to myself and wondering what the future holds for the Kingdom when these boys are in charge.  When these boys are the cashier's, the waiters, the scientists, the doctors, the engineers.  The future looks bleak if you ask me.

Fix the discipline, fix the behavior and everything else will fall into place.  Just my humble opinion. 


  1. hahah... These boys will be boss, and other people from different part of the world will be doc, engineers, teachers, maid for them. Things would not change.

    1. Thanks for reading! And I think you'll be surprised. I think it is changing and will change. I think it's building up steam to change right now. Once it starts, it'll take a lot to stop it.

    2. It has to be other wise nature will change it.

  2. Well...almost sounds like half the people in WalMart in America, except they aren't always teenagers, they're usually dirty, uneducated, on welfare, fat, pierced and heavily tatooed slobs!

    1. Walmart does have it's winners alright! However, I have to say that while they are often dirty and fat, the welfare thing is up in the air, unless of course you see them using the EBT card. Piercings and tattoo's, as odd as they can sometimes be also really don't factor into the equation. I know a few heavily tattooed business owners and very successful people. Also I've never seen this behavior tolerated in the states, I've seen it attempted and seen people chased out and arrested, but never seen it just going on unchecked.