Thursday, July 14, 2011
Part 4 - My Life in Exchange for Yours - Mouse Revealed, Sun Shines
Good afternoon dear all who are reading, today we come across the final chapter of my first employment. The idea behind naming Mouse shall be revealed, as well as the tumultuous task of finding a replacement on such short notice.
As most of you know, today I am travelling to Cairo, plane leaves Kuwait at 4:40pm. I will take that much needed relaxation time to pen the second part of my work story, again, with hidden wisdoms in the middle, that show how the world works exactly as it is supposed to, and everything happens in due time, when it is supposed to.
To those who have taken the time to read these ramblings of mine, I thank you. To those who have chosen to comment, I thank you even more.
Onto the next part!
When Sun asked me for my salary expectation, I told him what salary I had in mind, which coincidentally was the same salary I had been offered the first time I visited the company in Al-Ardiya, and also the same salary that the new girl in Tyrant's department was given. His response literally blew me away, despite my salary expectation being lower than what he had planned to offer, he raised it, making it 60% more than what I was earning currently with Mouse. I said, for that amount, I was willing to wear a dress to work if need be (I should have had higher standards for myself but, alas).
Suffice to say, I agreed.
The package comparison came as follows, at my current place of work I was getting a mediocre salary, a leave of 14-days, with a two-week notice period. By that time, the two-day weekend had finally caught up with this company that time forgot, and Thursday was a full working day, making Saturday a holiday. The work hours shifted to become till 4:30 each day. The package I was being offered was 60% more than my current salary, a plane ticket home, 30-day annual vacation, working hours from 8-5 for the months of May to December, 8 – 6 for the months of January to April (audit season).
Upon returning to my workplace, I was quick to inform a dear friend of mine, a charming, loving, funny secretary by the name of Rose. She told me to be like a frog, and never quit hopping from one job to the next. I took her advice to heart, and never for a moment stopped implementing it.
As expatriates, we are here for mainly one thing; to earn a better living than what we would in our country of origin. Loyalty will not be rewarded, and seniority is over-rated; what is the point in accruing a hefty end-of-service benefit/ indemnity at a later age, when working for a higher salary now can offer you a better standard of living? Find a better offer and take it. That is the wheel of life in Kuwait.
A dearly departed teacher of mine once said, expatriates are in this country for one thing; it’s a 3 letter word that ends with an X, and it is not the first thing you think of.
Now came the time to break the news to Mouse. After a mere six-month stint in his department, and with the wounds brought about by the departure of his senior accountant, it was time for me to administer another blow and hand in my resignation.
Now some would say, how could I do this to Mouse? He had taken me in and taught me when Tyrant discarded me. It all comes down to prospects.
This day in age, the proof of seniority through age is a defunct belief. If in order to prove myself, I have to depend on the time I spend in a place, and not upon the effort I put in or how well I do my job, then thank you, it is time for me to go.
Like all those who are faced with change, I was hesitant to accept this new position, despite verbally agreeing with Sun to start in March of 2008. As humans we have a fear of the unknown, and learning a new skill-set, for I was leaving behind my career as an accountant for a step up the corporate ladder to auditor, was a daunting notion.
I discussed my offer with Mouse, and he claimed to have attempted to speak to the owner of the company to meet my offer (or something close to it, he said, since I was familiar with the work here). The owner refused, and my resignation paper was approved.
I did however take into consideration Mouse’s efforts on my behalf, and agreed to delay my departure from the company, instead of the contractual two week notice I gave him one month, in which I vowed to find and train my own replacement.
It was a grueling month in which I had posted ads online, posted on Facebook, spoke to HR, and even interviewed a few candidates myself to assess their skills. Apparently, everyone is bilingual, and everyone took English courses and had certificates to prove it from the American University, however, put them in a conversation and they stammer and stutter. Mouse’s English was not up to par, so he specifically requested that his new accountant be fluent in the language.
One of the possible candidates was a woman suggested by the owner of the company. She came in, all made-up and multi-colored, and when Mouse wanted to meet with her, she was away chatting with her friends from the office.
Mouse told me he did not wish to hire a woman. SMASH had left him disgruntled, so he overlooked the potential candidate, rightfully so in his eyes, as she had already ditched him on her first interview.
As I was interviewing a friend I suggested to come in for an trial, with perfect English, Mouse's prerequisite, the owner of the company came up to me mid interview and told me he wished to speak to me in private, and then he berates and accuses me of being preferential and not giving his candidate the proper due process. My response was simple, I had in fact given her an exam, and her results were unsatisfactory as per Mouse’s review. I did not mention that Mouse did not wish to hire her on the grounds of her gender and lax work ethic.
My friend did not get the job, Mouse shot him down for not having accounting experience, completely overriding his previous comments to me about being able to teach accounting to anyone but needing someone with perfect English.
As it turned out, hope was on the horizon.
Remember the IT guy who took away my gaming privileges? Through him I was able to find a suitable replacement, Mali. Another friend I acquired that I have kept to this very day, whose history, or rather, his relatives history, crossed paths with me previously.
In my rush to train my replacement, Mali proved to be extremely capable and competent, I made a hasty error in which I informed the general manager of the department that a certain client had not paid, when they in fact had, as part of the accounts receivable process.
As you can see, this company lacked the simplest segregation of duties, whereby the GM himself was calling clients and asking for payment.
Since the GM does not deal with me directly, he lambasted Mouse, who was quick to point the finger of blame to me. Accordingly right? Later I was to realize the importance of delegation and how, before upper management, I do not exist, and it is my immediate supervisor who should oversee that my work is correct. My next manager showed me that. This one, quite fittingly, deserved the title of Mouse.
Now, in a very childish fashion, he asked me to go speak with the GM. I knew what was coming, I had made a mistake and it was rectified, I knew I made a mistake; that should be the end of it, right? Wrong. Mouse insisted I go meet the GM, so I took Mali along with me, and the phrase used by the GM was, “accountants words are like bullets, they shoot out fast, make sure you check the accounts properly next time!”, to which I replied, in my mind of course, there will not be a next time.
Against my better judgment, and according to Mouse’s wishes, it was time to bury the hatchet with Tyrant, as with my departure imminent, it was time to bid farewell to all, himself included.
I had wanted so badly to just ignore him, for he was the reason behind my bout with depression. His inhumane treatment of his employees, his disregard for peoples feelings served to further fuel my loathing of everything he stood for.
However in the end, I conceded and bid him a polite farewell and bon voyage, we shook hands, and that was that.
So on February 3rd 2008, I made my debut at the new office. As for my quest for self enrichment, and the course I had been planning to attend, the one that got delayed from January, well, it was slated to start off in February, however, it got delayed to March, the month I joined my new office, and whereas my old workplace was in Shuwaikh, the training area was in Kuwait City, literally across the street from my new one, walking distance.
Suffice to say, I had gotten an overdue haircut and, prepared to make my debut in the next phase of my life, and chapter two of this two part story; the second coming.
Destiny works in mysterious ways.
The lessons learnt in this part of the story are that we do not know where our destiny lies; as it was evident, with so many opportunities presenting themselves, and so many missed opportunities, they were all building up to one. The lack of internet in one department, the presence of it in another, the art of sending out haphazard resumes, even in failure opportunity presents itself. And as one can see, the dates for everything fit almost perfectly, as if, in some grand scheme, they had already been pre-planned, and just awaiting the right time to come true.
at 11:52 am