Thursday, October 18, 2012

What. Okay. What.

Been sort of a busy week, during which I fell behind in my pace to complete 50 hours of fiction writing for the month.  I wasn't too worried with the three-day (Thurs-Sat) weekend coming up, and I felt justified about that feeling today after writing for four hours this afternoon, my new all-time high!!!  Anyhoo, all excitement aside, I just finished chapter two and am sitting on 12,000 words of something that looks like it is going to turn into a real monster.  I don't feel in my bones that I can finish it in a single novel.  So that would necessitate a drastic life change that would require me playing fewer games--games that don't involve fiction writing, which more and more seems like an elaborate game--and generally fucking around less.

Problem is, I really like playing games and fucking around.  So I'll see how long I can keep the fiction thing going.

At my job at the university, I have--had--two roles: teaching econ to kids who don't want to learn it (i.e., required course) and showing kids how to start a business who don't want to start one (i.e., they just want a certificate that says that they finished the program).

This is a bit of a tangent, but Emirati students absolutely love certificates.  Certificates are like a roomful of babies to a zombie.  You can tell the student to do their homework, but they won't do it.  Learning is not a motivator.  But if suddenly you say, If you finish your homework, you will be awarded with a certificate that reads

Mahmoud Mohammed Ahbabi


on your 

Great Achievement


Completing Your Homework

(which was mandatory anyway)

they would do it.  100% completion rate.

So my attitude is, give these lazy kids a shit-ton of certificates and call it a day.

Tangent aside, I had two jobs at the university.  Truth to tell, the teaching is more fun.  I am not monitored by anyone, which essentially means that when I roll into class, if I feel like calling Story Time, then it's Story Time.  Sometimes for the entire period.  And that's pretty fun.

But the job that I had, which I recently lost, was the entrepreneurship position.  It paid maybe $1,500 a month, not an insignificant addition to my regular salary.  I was doing some work to prepare for an upcoming workshop when I noticed that I hadn't been getting paid for the entrepreneurship work.  So I sent a letter to my boss that basically reads, "Hey Dude, How are you?  Where's my money?  Holla.  Yours Truly, Me."

At a meeting on Tuesday, I heard that the university brass--the big dudes, the Emirati guys--had decided that we didn't deserve the money.  So even though we were doing the work, they decided not to pay us.  And they didn't think it was important to pass that tidbit of information along.

An important point to note here.  Before I rolled into the job, the budget was upwards of $24,000 per month--a budget that I and my friend--we were co-directors--in standard American fashion sliced down to $3,000 per month.

They looked past the savings and basically said, "Screw you, yankees."  Who happen to be down 3-0 in the Detroit series, by the way.  Sigh.

Still getting my regular salary, so it isn't life-ending.  But still--it's annoying, isn't it?

So our boss basically says, "You can keep doing the job or not.  But the higher-ups won't let me pay you."

And my natural instantaneous reply: "No thanks."

So there things stood until yesterday, the day after my meeting with my boss.  An Emirati underling of my boss comes to me and says with a confused look on his face, "Are you sure you don't want to work for free?"

Sounds like a joke, right?  I feel silly for not laughing at it.  Lucky I didn't laugh, I guess.  Because the guy had been dead serious.

I leave this place in June 2013.  It'll be a very happy flight out of Dubai.

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