I was going to call this post “The non-existing work ethic in the Arab world”, but then I reconsidered. For one thing, it would be arrogant of me to presume that my personal experience with certain sections of the Arab world is representative of the region in it’s entirety. And for another, I have no way of comparing with any other region of the world, since I’ve only worked in the Arab world (my stays in sub-saharan Africa and the US where before I had a full-time job).

The main reason that I am writing this article is that I have been getting increasingly frustrated with the way people try to get out of work. Nobody has the benefit of the organisation or the customers in sight, the only thing a very large proportion of people seem to care about is their own personal gain.

I would be remiss to say that everyone is like this, but the vast majority of people I have met fall into this category. This includes people I have hired to tile my floor, build my kitchen and even people who I’ve hired to do certain part-time jobs in software development.

Everybody is only interested in how much money they get, how they can get away with as little work as possible, and how they can APPEAR to be hardworking. They will lie, they will outright fumble jobs to get out of extra work, and they will appropriate the work of others for themselves. But they will never think of putting in some extra effort and doing something useful.

I have to admit that I’ve seen this even in some of the students I teach. The attitude seems to be acquired very early in life. The self-motivation to actually do something that is beneficial is not present. Know what the sad part is? They put a huge amount of effort in getting out of the work they should have done. The creativity and energy they put into getting out of stuff would actually have served them very well if it were directed towards actually solving the problem instead of trying to get out of it.

We live in interesting times.

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