Saudi Vision 2030 meets hiccups

Hmmmm, nobody seemed to have mentioned that Saudi Vision 2030 involved actual work ....  this culture shock could be interesting to watch from afar.

Saudis forced to work as mechanics, tea-sellers and burger flippers for first time as austerity bites

AFP reports the once tax-free petro-state long offered its citizens cradle-to-grave welfare.

Cooking, cleaning and working at gas stations have largely been the preserve of foreign workers, who far outnumber Saudis. 

But Saudis are increasingly taking on such 'low status' jobs in a new age of austerity when gas is no longer cheaper than water. 

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I'm tempted to mention a quote that has a lot of well deserved bad vibe around it for historical reasons but is nevertheless true. It rhymes with "The truth shall set you free" and if one can shake off the truly very bad associations it refers to the fact that work, in the sense of productive activity, gives life a meaning.

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7 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Hmmmm, nobody seemed to have mentioned that Saudi Vision 2030 involved actual work ....  this culture shock could be interesting to watch from afar.

Saudis forced to work as mechanics, tea-sellers and burger flippers for first time as austerity bites

AFP reports the once tax-free petro-state long offered its citizens cradle-to-grave welfare.

Cooking, cleaning and working at gas stations have largely been the preserve of foreign workers, who far outnumber Saudis. 

But Saudis are increasingly taking on such 'low status' jobs in a new age of austerity when gas is no longer cheaper than water. 

This is where Iran has always had a major advantage over the gulf states as most manual work in Iran is done by Iranians

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Doesn't sound like the Saudis are quite up to speed on the concept of actual work:

"Some businesses implementing 'Saudization' also complain of a high rate of attrition and a displaced sense of entitlement among more expensive Saudi workers accustomed to different economic realities.

A manager at a refrigerator manufacturing plant that recently hired dozens of Saudi assemblers and technicians said a handful of them were found 'sleeping in their cars during working hours'. "   [from the Daily Mail article]

Time for some re-indoctrination sessions. 

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23 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

Doesn't sound like the Saudis are quite up to speed on the concept of actual work:

"Some businesses implementing 'Saudization' also complain of a high rate of attrition and a displaced sense of entitlement among more expensive Saudi workers accustomed to different economic realities.

A manager at a refrigerator manufacturing plant that recently hired dozens of Saudi assemblers and technicians said a handful of them were found 'sleeping in their cars during working hours'. "   [from the Daily Mail article]

Time for some re-indoctrination sessions. 

When I worked for Aramco this was common. They turn up at 7am and disappear by 8.00. Always had an excuse - praying, family issues etc etc. 

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1 hour ago, Jan van Eck said:

Doesn't sound like the Saudis are quite up to speed on the concept of actual work

 

51 minutes ago, NickW said:

When I worked for Aramco this was common. They turn up at 7am and disappear by 8.00. Always had an excuse - praying, family issues etc etc. 

2016:

‘Saudi civil servants work 1 hour a day, we’re headed for bankruptcy in 3-4 years’ – ministers

Top Saudi officials have hit out at shockingly low productivity in the country’s bloated public sector, as the kingdom – reeling from low oil prices – tries to cut a budget deficit that ran to nearly $100 billion last year.

"The amount worked [among state employees] doesn't even exceed an hour – and that's based on studies," civil service minister Khaled Alaraj said during an official discussion of Saudi Arabia’s economy broadcast at prime time on Wednesday night.

More than two-thirds of all Saudis in employment work for the government – compared to fewer than 20 percent for the US – and last year the kingdom spent about 45 percent of its budget, or $128 billion, to pay their wages.

Prior to recent reforms, even a conscientious Saudi national civil servant had generous perks – a 35-hour working week, almost no prospect of being made redundant, and frequent bonuses, such as two monthly salaries paid to every bureaucrat, when King Salman ascended to the throne in early 2015.

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15 minutes ago, Tom Kirkman said:

 

2016:

‘Saudi civil servants work 1 hour a day, we’re headed for bankruptcy in 3-4 years’ – ministers

Top Saudi officials have hit out at shockingly low productivity in the country’s bloated public sector, as the kingdom – reeling from low oil prices – tries to cut a budget deficit that ran to nearly $100 billion last year.

"The amount worked [among state employees] doesn't even exceed an hour – and that's based on studies," civil service minister Khaled Alaraj said during an official discussion of Saudi Arabia’s economy broadcast at prime time on Wednesday night.

More than two-thirds of all Saudis in employment work for the government – compared to fewer than 20 percent for the US – and last year the kingdom spent about 45 percent of its budget, or $128 billion, to pay their wages.

Prior to recent reforms, even a conscientious Saudi national civil servant had generous perks – a 35-hour working week, almost no prospect of being made redundant, and frequent bonuses, such as two monthly salaries paid to every bureaucrat, when King Salman ascended to the throne in early 2015.

I had to mentor this Saudi who was exceptional at not doing any work. The main job we were trying to get him to do was water sampling which simply involved  taking water samples at various points and then dropping them off at a Lab and then upload the results on the computer. 

On the Saturday we travelled from Dhahran to Ras Tanura (50 minute drive) Got several samples and dropped them off at the lab there.  The next day I said right we are off to Abqaiq to do then same. Answer - oh no after yesterday I need to take a break (which lasted the rest of the week). 

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2 minutes ago, NickW said:

On the Saturday we travelled from Dhahran to Ras Tanura (50 minute drive) Got several samples and dropped them off at the lab there.  The next day I said right we are off to Abqaiq to do then same. Answer - oh no after yesterday I need to take a break (which lasted the rest of the week). 

Yep, that Saudi Vision 2030 plan might have a few rough spots if it involves actual work.

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Just now, Tom Kirkman said:

Yep, that Saudi Vision 2030 plan might have a few rough spots if it involves actual work.

Its not just the quantity of work not done - its also the general issue of how useless they are. 

If the Chlorinators broke down at a Water plant (which often also supplied the local community) the plant Water Engineers couldn't work out the amount of Sodium Hypochlorite to add to a water tank to nominally get the free Chlorine above 0.5ppm. This is fairly simple mathematics - certainly by engineering standards. 

Without an Expat workforce they really are back to drawing on cave walls and thinking matches are the work of the Devil. 

 

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3 hours ago, NickW said:

Its not just the quantity of work not done - its also the general issue of how useless they are. 

If the Chlorinators broke down at a Water plant (which often also supplied the local community) the plant Water Engineers couldn't work out the amount of Sodium Hypochlorite to add to a water tank to nominally get the free Chlorine above 0.5ppm. This is fairly simple mathematics - certainly by engineering standards. 

Without an Expat workforce they really are back to drawing on cave walls and thinking matches are the work of the Devil. 

 

matches are the work of the Devil.    [You mean they aren't????]

You have to wonder how these guys can manage a modern air force, with all the complex systems in a fighter jet. Because if this is the attitude, those Saudis best start thinking in terms of hiring an expanded Blackwater to provide military protection, so far they look faintly ridiculous. How you can deteriorate an entire population of millions into such totally useless slackers is beyond me.  I would not have thought it possible.  But there it is!  (P.S.  I guess that canal to isolate Qatar will have to be planned and built by more expats, no way these fellows can do that, if riding in a car for 50 miles one day means you take the rest of the week off.  I don't see applying that logic to operating a bulldozer, not gonna work.)

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1 minute ago, Jan van Eck said:

matches are the work of the Devil.    [You mean they aren't????]

You have to wonder how these guys can manage a modern air force, with all the complex systems in a fighter jet. Because if this is the attitude, those Saudis best start thinking in terms of hiring an expanded Blackwater to provide military protection, so far they look faintly ridiculous. How you can deteriorate an entire population of millions into such totally useless slackers is beyond me.  I would not have thought it possible.  But there it is!  (P.S.  I guess that canal to isolate Qatar will have to be planned and built by more expats, no way these fellows can do that, if riding in a car for 50 miles one day means you take the rest of the week off.  I don't see applying that logic to operating a bulldozer, not gonna work.)

They don't. I knew some BAE guys who said they they do all the maintenance and ex Luftwaffe, RAF , USAF guys were drafted in on huge stipends to plan Operation endless carnage campaigns over Yemen. Saudi Pilots are largely trained to fly in a triangle over the empty quarter. Infact they were so crap the BAE guys doubted whether the RSA would stand (in their F-15, Tornadoes and Eurofighters) against a determined attack from Iran in their 40 year old F-14 / F-4 / Soviet aircraft donated in 1990 by Saddam. 

Saudi Arabia was often critical of BAE purchases (Tornado, Eurofighter and Hawk) because the sales packages came with maintenance by BAE contractors. In contrast the F-15's were serviced by the Saudis. BAE's answer - yes but you more often get the aircraft we build and maintain back to the Airfield😉

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Prior to the 80s the manual labor was mostly Saudi. The work ethic is a generational thing, perhaps intentional by the House of Saud to prevent competing power, and with time and the right situation will reverse. And I met plenty of Saudis willing to work. But they are frustrated with the patronage/whasta system were efforts aren’t rewarded. Societies get what they reward.

remember this must be fixed, it must happen. The population growth requires it. 

The transition, that is the bitch. They’ve been too successful running the country to change easily. I fear the most likely medium term result is a descent into an Egyptian style brutality to keep the House of Saud in power.

the expat addiction is a problem. It will get worse before it’s better. In Oman most of the work is by an Omani. The resistance to working is not an Arab thing, it’s a UAE, Qatar, Kuwait,  Saudi thing. The UAE and Qatar can sustain the model because of smaller populations relative to the oil wealth. 

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And the women driving thing is not going as smoothly as probably expected...

"Many men have vented their opposition to the decision to lift the ban using a Twitter hashtag that translates to “you will never drive.” After the ban’s planned lifting was announced in September, a man was arrested for posting a video online in which he threatened to set fire to women and their cars if they dare to drive.

Many women have responded defiantly. “I will drive,” one said on Twitter, posting a picture of her Saudi driving school textbook.

Even some men who say they are in favor of women driving admit they don’t want their own female relatives to get behind the wheel.

A Jeddah-based businessman who goes by the name of Abu Mohammed said he would only allow his wife and daughters to drive in case of emergency. He predicted “total chaos” on Saudi roads after the ban is lifted and said he planned to travel abroad to avoid what he believes will be a traffic mess.

“There will be so many accidents,” he said, repeating a familiar theme among Saudi men that new women drivers will make mistakes. “They’ll end up pressing the gas instead of the brakes. Accidents are inevitable. They are going from the kitchen to the street for the first time.”

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^  this stupidity makes my head hurt    : (

(Not you, Marina, it's the mindset you quoted)

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26 minutes ago, Marina Schwarz said:

A Jeddah-based businessman who goes by the name of Abu Mohammed said he would only allow his wife and daughters to drive in case of emergency. He predicted “total chaos” on Saudi roads after the ban is lifted and said he planned to travel abroad to avoid what he believes will be a traffic mess.

“There will be so many accidents,” he said, repeating a familiar theme among Saudi men that new women drivers will make mistakes. “They’ll end up pressing the gas instead of the brakes. Accidents are inevitable. They are going from the kitchen to the street for the first time.”

I would love to see the statistics after women have been driving for a year or so.  "pressing the gas instead of the brakes".  Yes, it does take a MAN to figure out how to press one pedal or the other, now doesn't it?  Difficult, that.  I would bet most of these men have never even heard of multi-tasking, let alone the statistics about which gender is better at it.  What about a stick-shift, 3 pedals!  Oh my!  I don't know about the rest of you, but where I grew up the girls could grind gears as well as any of the guys.  Anyway, we all know the reasons that the men don't want women to drive have nothing to do with women driving.  Insecure little men, if you ask me, and rightfully so.  Drive on, ladies, drive on.  Unless of course you are Canadian.

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3 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

^  this stupidity makes my head hurt    : (

(Not you, Marina, it's the mindset you quoted)

Of course not me. I could never master this level of stupidity. 😁

What you're all saying is stunning, honestly. What do they do with their time, seriously?

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