It’s been a while since my last post, and for that I apologize. I haven’t been particularly busy, but I've managed to fall into a steady day to day rhythm and I've been able to keep myself occupied. Mostly at the pub.
Things have been fairly regular here in the Kingdom. Life at school is business as usual. Since resigning from my administrative position, things have gotten much better as I've been able to focus primarily on honing my teaching skills. The chaos and slow degradation of the administration continues at a fairly steady rate, and the Principal and our Dear Leader are just as oblivious, if not more so, to the eminent collapse of our school. It’s been interesting to observe individuals with so much potential to fix a situation act so irrationally, and more often than not it’s quite the source of entertainment. I usually spend the majority of my downtime sitting in the Brit’s office, which conveniently has a large glass wall that faces the foyer of the school directly opposite our Dear Leaders office, which also has a large glass wall and is in no way soundproof. As one of our newer hires recently commented, "you could probably make a decent reality show out of this place, but you'd be hard pressed to find anybody who’d believe it was actually real."
Interestingly enough, as my life has steadily gotten easier, the Brit's has not. He was made responsible for recruiting new teachers, which aside from being something in which he hasn't any experience doing (although he is quite the schmoozer), he also hasn't had any input from the administration as to what openings we have for the coming year and who we should focus on hiring. He’s been stuck trying to gather information from the Principal, Latifah, and our Dear Leader, none of whom can be bothered to actually take the time to work with him, as they’d much rather sit around and talk about their personal visions for the school. He grew more and more frustrated as January progressed, and ultimately drafted a letter to our VP (his direct superior) outlining the almost complete lack of competent management. The VP requested a full report, and after enlisting my help, we came up with a 30 page document outlining roughly half of the current failures within the school and viable immediate solutions. The VP was a bit overwhelmed, but is now at least somewhat aware of how bungled his school has become. The Brit is currently recruiting at fairs in Toronto and Iowa with the VP, getting some quality time to thoroughly explain what is wrong and how to fix it. Hopefully he’ll understand.
I never really put much thought into workplace politics, and usually thought of them as a bit over-hyped and easily avoidable. Somewhat unsurprisingly, my time here in Saudi has had a drastic and altering impression on that perspective, and I now understand the value of flying below the radar. I’m much too far along at this point to dive back down below, but I’m at a point where I can sit back and watch everyone else jockey for power. It’ll be an interesting first few weeks of February, and I’m looking forward to watching it all unfold. If nothing else, it’ll be something interesting to chat about over a pint.
Such is life in Saudi.