I think the motto of this month has got to be 'the squeaky wheel gets the grease'. That's the only way things get done here.
I got a taste of that before I even got here when I was hired by the recruitment agency (which is different than the teaching agency and the University) and then I never heard from them again.
This was why I didn't update the blog for a while, it was because I was just so frustrated, I didn't even want to write about.
Basically, I waited about a month before I started getting fed up; I emailed everyone whose email I had, and still no response. I knew it was Ramadan, but the least that professional courtesy demands is a simple email saying something along the lines of 'It's Ramadan, get back to you in a month'. But no. Silence.
Finally, a day after I was supposed to be there, I contacted the American who I had talked to and who also worked as a teacher for the same school. She gave me other emails to try. I finally got a response from them. But it still took another two weeks of constant emailing and telephone calls to get my plane ticket to the Kingdom. Which didn't have my name on it.
You can read about all the snafus that went on when I got here in my other posts, but the number of things I didn't get that I was supposed to – that I had to complain for – is astounding. My desk, a class, books for class (which I still haven't received) – the list goes on.
We've been having an issue with the buses that take us to and from school – they're too small. We have 56 teachers, and only 52 seats on the bus. This is a clear, mathematical problem. But it's been going on for some time now and the ladies in my accommodation (we'll call it Magda) banded together to put a stop to it.
We called the CEO of the company and complained – basically every day. But every day, two to four people were being left behind because there weren't enough seats. Fortunately, the teachers who have been here for a long time have been volunteering to take a cab so that the new teachers don't have to navigate home on their own.
The end of the story is that the CEO got us two buses. Probably just to make us stop calling him. One time he was at the hospital because his African Grey was sick - we just had no mercy. I mean, I feel for him, but we need to get home safely.