The “REAL” contractors guide to working in the Gulf




I always like to look at things I wrote in the past based on personal experiences and see if they still apply, so the below is a throwback from 2009, which is a ‘oh so relevant still’; concise yet witty (I hope) 10 point ‘tongue-in-cheek’ guide to working in the gulf. 


Eventually when I have accomplished my own personal goal of working in all the different continents, I will be able to have hundreds of points and roll this out into a publication of sorts, I wanted to make this post as light as possible, so feel free to comment on your own personal experiences; which we can all learn from.






1) You will always spend 95% of the time waiting, running and catering for every kind of possibility until the “Mudeer” (literally Manager, but here referred to as anyone senior in charge of making a crucial decision) makes up their mind, then 5% of the time doing the work using 95% of effort in 5% of time you have remaining before he changes his mind.




2) When people say in emails "I assume, that such and such is the case", always assume their assumptions borders on the realms of the insane, and always be sure that they will hold the assumption valid unless you make it come true or prove to them that they are actually delusional.
Disclaimer1: Proceed with caution when proving them delusional, they might bite your head off (with their butt cheeks).



3) Always know that no one is accountable for anything, from the mundane to the most spectacular of cock-ups, but when someone has to be made accountable; always assume it will be the lowest person down the food chain, who’s incorrect button press caused a seismic series of un-related actions and reactions leading to utter disaster and total destruction. (Note: Please refer to the big bang theory as a reference, except this is in reverse)




4) Always when you ask a question in person you will get a different response to when you ask it in email, that’s it because the person you ask will usually be an arrogant yet insecure (and slightly overweight) idiot, who doesn’t want written evidence proving their apparent idiocy, which is in-coherent only to themselves.


5) In the business environment, always treat the word 'inshallah' with extreme caution!

6) When people ask 'Where are you from?' it is usually so they can determine how to deal with you at work, based on some concocted belief in apparently knowing your culture (whatever it may be) and believing that every single person from your culture will behave in exactly the same way no matter who they are. When in actually they have neither travelled nor intermingled with more than 2 nationalities in entire their life (and those 2 people are from a radius of 50km from where they are from)

7) You should expect people never to answer you email questions directly. If you ask for example: "Are you blind?” the standard response you can expect is: "That question is irrelevant to determine my ability to spot different keys on my keyboard" –Verbally given of course ;)




8) The standard responses from any vendor, when highlighting a crucial functionality issue is: "This is an out of the box product". And when that issue is escalated their response will become: "You will receive this functionality as a customisation, raise a change request". And when you do (raise a change request for a standard / expected feature) you will get the invoice :)




9) You can expect to receive such informative 'Out of Office' auto responses as these:

"I will be out of the office for the next two weeks for medical reasons. When I return, please refer to me as 'Lucille' instead of Steve."


"I've run away to join a different circus."

10) Always know the guy in the sharpest suit, knows the least about anything to do with work (or even that his suit, is a very cheap imitation of an Ermenegildo Zegna and is actually made from PVC fibre). In his mind he is George Clooney appearing in oceans 11, about to rob a casino, whereas in reality he is working for a bank playing with your money-Come on people you cannot be seriously keeping your life savings here!

Disclaimer 2: No reference to any employer or operational bank whomsoever is intended by the previous statement.


1 Comments, add your own...
Adil  says:
11/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Nice one..

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