Tafeeli at the office

Its been a month since I moved to my new job. A striking observation is that the 80/20 theory applies perfectly here. 20% of the staff end up doing 80% of the work while the other 80% are just overhead costs.

Other than the slow bureaucracy that you’d expect in such large institutions, there is a huge redundancy in the staff. I still recall my supervisor in my first orientation day after he was describing the business processes in our department saying:
“ok let me introduce you to the other staff members. Whenever you want to photocopy papers, go to person A. Whenever you want a person to type your correspondences in Arabic, give your instructions to person B. For correspondences in English, talk to person C. Whenever you need any access to the projects in the archives, go talk to person D. Person E is the guy to talk to if you want to have access to the minutes of meetings for all previous DCM meetings. Since our printers don’t support collated printing, you can talk to person F and he’ll do necessary arrangements for printing collated papers and reports….” And the list goes on and on.

It is really silly to see that there is a person dedicated for each one of those specific tasks rather than one or two. Personally, I prefer to do all those tasks by myself rather than learn to be dependent on others.

As time passes, I slowly began to understand the justification behind such awkward job descriptions. Apparently, most of the above staff members have been working for 20+ years in the same institution and their resistance for change is considered extremely high when it comes to implementing new strategies, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes. and that’s why they are slowly delegating such routine tasks.

Or simply, it could be that their mental capacity is extremely handicapped that any attempts of resolving complex tasks can be damaging.

At the office, we have this tafeeli guy (explanation: tafeeli is Jordanian equivalence of saeedi in Egypt, hemsi in Syria and khaleeli in palestine) who is solely responsible for providing the stationary to our department. The problem with this guy is that he is never funny when he intends to be, and yet he can be extremely hilarious when he doesn’t mean it.
For example, one of his jokes is:
“an Indian met with a tafeeli (I find it extremely courageous that he makes fun of his own ppl) and the tafeeli asked the Indian: “how do you bury the dead?”. The Indian said: “we wash him, we burn him and then we disseminate his ashes.. What about you?”. The tafeeli said: “no we wash him, and then we bury him in the ground”. The Indian surprisingly say: “you don’t burn him?” and the tafeeli said: “no we just prepare for his meeting with God. God will burn him” ”

This gotta be the lamest joke I heard in years. Only 2 ppl laughed at it and I think it was one of those supportive yet sarcastic laughs.

2 days later, he cracked me up unintentionally. My computer screen was constantly malfunctioning giving all sorts of color gradients. It was so dysfunctional that the same blue color end up creating an artificial rainbow depending on its position on the screen. I approached the tafeeli guy to show him the problem so that he orders a new screen. He couldn’t refrain himself from enlightening me with his wisdom saying:
“At least change the beautiful desktop background picture. You don’t want them taking that with them when they change the screen.”

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A weekend spent in the company of cars

2 consecutive days of my valuable weekend were wasted on different tasks of unusual situations where our means of transportation was severely impaired.

It all started Wednesday night when my friend, let's call him Lloyd, suggested that he'll pass by me to check the facilities in our new gym that we joined through a group plan from work. The problem with us or me is that I somehow get possessed by "Harry" whenever we guys are together and we end up being Harry & Llyold in "dumb and dumber". What would usually take a sane person with an average IQ 15 minutes to reach took 45 minutes with us. And this is what you should expect when you miss the SAME exit 4 times.
The drama started after we got there. For some absurd reason, LIyold locks the car and leaves keys inside. After few unsuccessful attempts, Llyold leaves to seek help from the streets leaving me alone staring at the powered vehicle daydreaming about scenes in the movie "cars" before it turned to a nightmare of scenes where this vicious Hyundai accent rental turned into one of those evil machines in "Transformers" and started hunting and devouring me alive.

Being impatient, I decided to try opening the door by unlocking the key lock with, ehem remember I was possessed by Harry, a toothpick. :S. So here I am, I was this guy (possible hijack) who is looking left and right and carefully playing with the lock trying to open it. I was a bit anxious that somebody would catch me of a burglary attempt. I am surprised that alot of people passed by me and didn't bother to help or question my possible intention of jacking the car.

My tooth pick went all the way before it broke; which is worse. What was I thinking? It is made of WOOD and this is how I jammed it. So now we have 2 problems; Opening the car and the issue of fixing the lock because the key can't go in anymore because of the wooden tooth pick stuck in it.

Minutes later, help arrives in the form of a tow truck driver who has the necessary tools of a long iron wire that's arched at the end. he opened the car in no time. Thank God we didn't listen to that lunatic security guard who suggested breaking the window to open the car. Poor guy. He was using us to find some excitement in his boring job. We hanged out for the rest of the night but we still have the car lock issue to handle.

Next day, we went out for lunch before I got an urgent call from my boss to meet me on my weekend day. After I finished my mini-meeting, we went out for lunch in the area around my workplace where hygiene is not a factor in the restaurants around. It took us 2 hours of extensive searching before we gave up and settled for a fast food restaurant.

The next 8 hours were not exciting at all. We went from south of Jeddah to its north for maintaining the car. The mechanist fixed the lock in half an hour and had to keep the car for the next 4 hours to fix the rear bumper that was damaged in an accident my friend had a week ago. Rental offices are a pain in the neck if you unfortunately get to an accident.

We had some time to kill. We met up with my other friend who was around the area in another garage "tuning" his car, changing some pipes, pumps an air filters and many things that I don't want to know about tuning cars. The heat, humidity and the toxicity gases of exhaust pipes have put my body to a dormant state where I was physically and mentally incapable of engaging in any form of conversation; especially since we had to sit outside during Ishaa and Maghrib prayer (note: for those who don't know KSA, all the shops close at prayer times. Whether you are a Muslim or none, you are destined to roam the streets till prayers finish).

Personally, I couldn't accept spending most of my weekend time going from a garage shop to another to be sweated and greased. At least, we got to entertain ourselves to go to a unique coffee shop that plays the latest DVD movies on more than a dozen 69 inch monitors scattered all over the coffee shop where each is surrounded by a 5.1 sound system. It was an original idea since cinemas are not available in KSA. The best part about it is that they had those Friends Chairs. :D. They ensure a high comfort level during DVD playback of the movies played like "shooter" or selective chapters of Madonna's world tour, and Shakira's touggr. Yet I'd never recommend sitting on those chairs while watching horror movies like a sick silly movie called "Dead Silence" where a possessed doll kills people. How stupid can the storyline get. I had 2 moments where I literally jumped out of my chair and the chair recoiled back at me. It definitely hurt my back. I gave up on the movie half an hour later and focused my attention on the laptop screen of the guy sitting on the table next to us. He was playing video files of Grendaizer. I never imagined that I'll ever get to meet new people over Grendaizer. Hehehe

So cars, cars and more cars. Cars are a pain in the neck. I say that and I still don't own a car. I wonder what'll happen if I get my own.

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TAEF road trip

A journey of around 800 kms in total was what marked this special weekend. We decided to go to TAEF, a city that is 200 kms away from Jeddah. We were frustrated by the heat and the humidity that we daily experience in the summer. Taef, with an altitude of 1700 metres, was a good place to vent off some heat.

the beauty of such trips lies in the adventure experience itself. So despite spending most of our time (6 hours) in the car, we enjoyed our time. It took us longer than expected to reach Al-Taef coz we got confused on which road to we have to take to Taef. Apparently, there are 2 roads. The muslims road and the non-muslims road. This is just another one of those stupid discriminating rules that KSA government imposes on its residents to prohibit the entry of non-muslims to holy cities like Mecca.

We cruised in the city itself for about 20 minutes before we went to the mountains area, fed the monkeys, walked a bit before we headed back home. The real journey started on the way home.

Our experience yesterday proved that we are gamblers but the difference is that we gambled with our life. The rear left tire burst on the highway at a speed of 160 km/h. Luckily, we managed to stop on the highway and within 10 minutes we replaced it with the spare tire.

Our journey was not yet over. We were still contemplating the incident and how we cheated death while listening to "something I can never have" for Nine Inch Nails. 10 minutes later, the right rear tire got punctured (we discovered later that it got punctured by a nine inch nail) . Now that's messed up as we were out of spare tires.

We drove slowly till we managed to find 2 small car shops where we managed to replace the punctured tire.

Another thing that is worth mentioning is the fact that one of my friends has a Swiss passport and the other one has a Canadian passport. Whenever we stop at an inspection point and the officers ask for our Ids, we show him our friend's Canadian passport. They just let us go without any further check on the rest of Ids while they try to mutter some English with "yeeeeeeeeees" and "goooooooo". It is just another powerful advantage of having a Canadian passport ;)

Enough talk. I'll leave the pictures to describe the rest

Sarawat Mountains

Huda Mountain

A water park?
The infamous monkeys of Al-Taef
"Get off my throne bitch"
they say red-butted monkeys are horny ones. I wonder if its true or not
and this is what happens when you go at 160 km/h on a highway
I was assigned the tedious task of raising the car

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Monthly Digest July


one of my personal favourite sketches for dave chappelle where he simulates one of the most famous videogames..GTA


Check it out on this link

I am glad to be in the least congested city in the arab world. :D


I'd give movie of the month for Pirates Of the Carribean 3 which I had a chance to watch in the cinema in Amman. Note that this was the first time I go to a cinema in a year considering their absence in KSA. I suggest checking its review here :


Within Temptation - what have you done

Snap & Click

What a coincidence. Definitely worth being picture of the month.

Blogosphere World:

If I gotta nominate the post of the month, then I'd definitely say 7aki Fadi's Topper Syndrome


My family left to jordan today at 6 a.m. So I am all alone for the next 18 days (till my father comes back). The worst thing about that week is that I only slept a total of 12 hours in the last 5 days. I was so deprived of sleepthat any activity that involved lying or sitting would instantly shut my system off. It was the first time that I watch Tv while I am standing. Let me tell you, its a weird feeling.

On another note, I am excited about reuniting with an old friend that I haven't seen in the last 8 years. His plane will arrive today. Things are definitely going to be different but let's hope that we can still enjoy the company of each other.

Hope you enjoyed it. Anticipiate the next digest next month. ;)

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