Posted on October 14, 2014

How to Survive Working in Saudi Arabia?

This is a how-to-list of tricks, actions and gestures that I have picked up while living/working here in the Kingdom. The work environment in Saudi Arabia is remarkable in that I don’t know if work is actually occurring. The nonsensical environment that is Saudi Arabia very often blurs
the act of being productive or being a part of something productive.
This is definitely from a female perspective working in an all-female environment so they may be lost on a few fellas.

 Out of Sight-Out of Mind

The less you say and the less your seen will directly correlate to the amount of bullshit you endure. People (Saudis and Expats alike) here become so disillusioned to the environment that
they inadvertently become experts in all things bullshit.

Nothing is Indefinite: Inshallah
Promise, goal, commitment, your word, wallah, wallahi, swear to god; swear on everything and everybody means absolutely nothing here.  The holy term “inshallah” has taken a new meaning here in Saudi Arabia. Literally meaning god willing, it has now become the response to replace no, maybe, don’t know, have no clue, definitely not.
Shut Up & No One Cares
Your complaints are falling on deaf ears so don’t bother. Everybody complains and as far as expats everything is wrong. Trust me no Saudi wants to hear your bellyaching and comments on how everything is backwards. As for the other expats we don’t give a shit either. So sh*t the f**k up.
Arabic Lesson Freebie
 Trust me when I say that no one really cares that you want to learn Arabic.Also making all the Arabic speaking staff dictate your lunch items so you can learn the vocabulary is not cute.
Everybody resents you butchering the language.By repeating it every few minutes you only make it worse.
The Head Nod- The Only Language You Need 
 Explain everything by shaking your head. Quick movements side-to-side are an urgent no. Up-down movements are for yes. Stevie Wonder head sways are reserved for the yes, understanding
responses. One tilt up-down in someone’s direction is come here.
Alliances, Friends, Colleagues
Even thou Saudi Arabia can seem like a deserted land far from life, it isn’t.  This is not the Middle-East Survivor and you are not the ringleader.Give it a rest, the minute you do you will see that not everybody is a vulture  plotting against you.
These are a few for now I will surely let you know if I can think of anymore. But honestly my biggest note of advice is keeping your head down and your mouth shut and you will survive with little casualty and your sanity intact.

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