Inhumanly Bearable — Business marketing , lebanese abroad , Lebanese Roads , lebanon , Lebanon social duties , marketing , marketing in lebanon , marketing strategy , Only in Lebanon , Random Views — Marketing in Lebanon
Sunday, December 21, 2008

Inhumanly Bearable

I am no Superwoman. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not. However, I just realized, I might have, once, was.
I just got back home around 10 days ago. I knew I'd miss France, but I never thought I would find difficulties to re-adapt to Lebanon. I was seeing this place through French eyes, and the lack of order was driving me crazy!

Let's start with the roads. Nothing wrong with a truck suddenly showing up and blocking the HGHWAY in width as he freely decides to execute a U-turn, right? Or that jeep who gets angry with the traffic (did I forget to mention that? well, it's the holiday season! It comes with special effects.) So, the guy gets impatient and decides to cross from a highway to another by climbing over a 30-cm wall barrier in the middle. No, this does not shock anyone here. I guess, by now, you've figured that running red lights, escaping middle-of-the-road bumps or wholes and driving "in-between" (that's what we call here when a driver zig-zags outside/inside his lane; which if you plan to get somewhere in Lebanon, you need to get the hang of) are all very normal!
Getting ahead is a question of personal skill in disregarding and down-sizing others. PATIENCE my friend, you need to learn how to control your temper when someones steps on your toes. Well I am not as cold as I once was, and those practices get on my nerves! As I waited for hours to talk to an advisor at the bank, a man suddenly shows up, walks right by, straight into the advisor's office, disregards the customer there, and points out that HE is here. Wait a minute now did I just miss something. Well, I felt as though my blood was boiling. The advisor was kind enough to look after my needs first but I really had to bottle up my anger. As I went down to the teller to withdraw some money, an old acquaintance was kind enough to speed up my process.

So networking and building relations become a must in this little country. Which gets us to the importance of social duties, which are suffocating me. I can't stand all the visits you have to conduct just because you just got back from travel, and people actually hold grudges against you if you don't. Did you know that those even have an expiry date? If you've been in town for a while, you'd get reprehended! Moreover, since it's the holiday season, you need to welcome the new comers at the airport; aside from visiting the sick at the hospital, buy the entire family presents, and of course find time for all your friends. You're also expected to check on your old office co-workers; maintain contact with the new ones...

In addition, since I do not have official working hours, people expect me to be completely free, and start asking me for favors... Hold on, please! I do have a thesis to work on; I have a personal plan to develop professionally, can I just lock myself in the room and work on them?! The answer is simply "no", because if you spend more than 10 hours at home, including sleep, people will start wondering whether you're doing ok.

Well, I'm fine! Thank YOU.

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