The psudo-local expats syndrom
Why is it that many Arab expats in the GCC, once they get a job in a government body, they get on the most condescending-patronizing-pompous attitude? And that alter-ego persona is only summoned like a vengeful mammoth when they are needed by other expats? Is it an inferiority complex? Do they get so abused due to the fact they are non-nationals in a national organisation, so they unleash this power trip on us, their fellow Arab compatriots?
Usually, you'd hear stories about notional public servants being A-holes to their customers. And I can't deny i haven't had my share of those. But I am not exaggerating when I say, whenever there an expat on the other line/side of the counter - anything that can go wrong, goes wrong.
One very striking example was my experience with Etisalat: I am sure you remember my problem with this incumbent Telco. I was offline for over 6 months before I got a phone line and ADSL.
For my application, I was asked to followup on Etisalat's 101 customer service number.
Of course, every time I had to narrate a brief situation background to why I am without a service all this time; in addition to my personal detail such as telephone number, name, address ...etc.
Whenever I get a UAE national on the phone, he (or she) would usually do the impossible to find out the status of the application, call up all the different department - engineering, operations or whoever... They would never let me hang up before I receive an answer that's satisfying enough.
But when i get an Arab expat on the phone, Oh dear God.
All of a sudden, I receive answers like: "I can't retrieve any information from the system.", "You shouldn't call this number. You need to dial XXX", or "I don't know when they will fix it. Call tomorrow"
One particular Arab expat agent was either extremely stupid or "being ANAL" was an integral component of her DNA map.
Here is why:
Me: Hello, I'd like to followup on a phone line application please. I have the phone number I applied for.
Annoying Arab Expat Female Agent: I need the application number
Me: I don't really have the application number, but you should be able to get it from the telephone number I applied for.
AAEFA: No I can't
Me: Pardon me, but I've called many time before and your colleagues never asked me for an application number.
AAEFA: One minute
(heard a long sigh in the background and abrupt striking on keyboard)
AAEFA: Whats the number.
(I give her the number)
AAEFA: Who's name does the number belong to?
(I give her my name)
AAEFA: No, that's not the name.
Me: It is, I've been calling twice a week for the past 3 months. Agents retrieve my name, my home address and everything.
AAEFA: But the number is not in your name
Me: It should be. That's the number I applied for. How come your colleagues always get my info out of it?
AAEFA: The application is in your name. But the telephone number is still in the previous onwers' name because its not installed for you yet.
Me: (total silence)
Seriously, why does Etisalat employ such imbecile buffoons?