“To be Pissed or not to be Pissed”

23 06 2009

That’s what I get paid. Obviously, I’m generalizing. And then again, it might not be true, but still.

My current dilemma/pissed-offness stems from a query whether I’m being paid by my company (company 47) for the time I spend on my seat? Am I being paid for the work that I do? Is my payscale determined by my job responsibilities? Or by my job profile @ 8 hours per day?

If I were to lean to time-based payments, then there would be an overtime policy in-place. But there isn’t. I can work my ass off and go home at 12 pm and return at 7 am continuously, and I won’t be paid a single dime extra for it. But if it is work based, then there are no major milestone policies in-place. (There is something initiated and loosely applicable within my department only, but that’s something we’ve implemented ourselves, just to help the annual employee evaluation process be transparent-er). It is not something at the corporate/company level.

So, time or work? There are circulars floating around requiring not to leave before off-time and to come at on-time. There is also a card/fingerprint timing system in place. So that means it is time-based. But then why no overtime?

Associated problem: The management is not required to use the timing system, nor are they required to be in on time. That comes with the fact that official functions can, and do, carry over into the night, often requiring 12/14 hour days. But I have a management-member-boss who implements to 9-5 on himself. He is there, bright and shiny, always before 9, and leaves after 5. He mentions that whenever he leaves his office, he does mention it to his boss (who is the penultimate boss, btw); so he expects us to do the same. So, governed by management rules, I am not required to follow the 9-5; governed by boss-rules, I’m expected to follow the 9-5, strictly, and the mgmt-member-boss always has himself as an example.

Come end of month this month, I see red-marks all over my presence sheet. Asking for an explanation gets me the “I come at 8:30” mini-speech,  and now I’m stuck, weirded out, and pissed.

What to do?

-FK

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10 Grand – Below the belt!

18 06 2009

Thanks to Queen of Tarts for sending this. Now, I’m starting off with a disclaimer that this stinks. In fact, I’m all ready to dismiss it as outlandish, but then again, the URL seems legit, & Mozilla had a scheme somewhat like this sometime ago, albeit without the cash. So typical of Microsoft to ripoff someone else’s idea.

SMIS0308_IE8_twitter_bg_cpd

The idea is that Microshort has created a page somewhere on the interwebs that is IE viewable only. And whoever finds

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

that page gets to win 10,000 US$. They claim that page is non-Firefox viewable, however, I’ll have to recheck that one.

The original announcement is spotted at Microsort Australia. Then there’s a Twitter page (and user @Tengrand_IE8) which shall start posting clues everyday from the 19th of June onwards. Another website is linked too, but it is down (or mebbe just for me @ work).

Now I want to know what type of pages are visible in IE8 and not in FF3. How is FF3.5 team going to be able to resist adding features to their browser to make it open anything on the web. Ofcourse, the winning page can always detect the browser type and then render some alternate elements to be displayed. But then again, I use IE Tab, (which is awesome btw) and User agent switching plugin which defeats the whole purpose of this idea, right? Hehhe!

And what if we do a V for Vendetta and flood the Intertubes with the winning page? And how does Microsock hope to use this tactic to make IE8 actually work properly!???!!

As usual, the shenanigans start. here, here, here and here.

So, someone from Oman finding it?

-FK

Update: Microshlong is really desparate for IE8.

Update #2: The whole thing works with User Agent Switch. The ThisMachine diagnostic website reads FF3 as IE8, fully and properly. Ironically, when I tried it using IE8, they told me I was using IE7. Now THAT’s Ironic!!!!!!

Using FF3: Click to see

Using FF3: Click to enlarge

Using IE8: click to enlarge

Using IE8: click to enlarge





ICC T20 WC

15 06 2009

Busy in life. Yup, that’s what I have decided to blame my laziness to. I have not been on vacation, I have not been busy in work (infact, lately I have been working hours more and more like a govt. officer rather than a private-sector employee).  A very routine 9-5, followed by a usual trip to TSC, ending up at home with nothing to do except waste time. Some relief in the form of the ongoing ICC Twenty20 World Cup, but that doesn’t promise to last long with the random performances of Australia, West Indies, England & Pakistan, the only teams I can support. Good time to be a Sri Lankan though, however I think that if I become a Sri Lankan to support the team, I’ll lost the urge to support the team. That’s the way they are. They just are! Its as if they had to be, and if given a choice, they’d choose not to be. But since they are, they are! Splat!

There are a few good things about the ongoing tournament though. The best thing about the opening ceremony was that it didn’t happen. It would have inadvertently a roughed up copy of the IPL opening ceremony, since everything else is, with the gyrating 3-somes that they call cheerleaders, the blast of incomprehensibly small fragments of music, destroying good songs in between overs and wickets falling. Thanks to the powers-that-be that sixes are being called sixes and not a “ICC-T20-WordCup-Super-Six”.

Kudos to the Pakistani captain, Yunus Khan for mentioning that “”In this form [of cricket] it is better to take it easy and have fun. It is like WWF.” Not sure who is going to take offense, animal-rights-activists for equating the WWF to cricket (willow bats and leather balls anyone? Or rather tree-killer-bats and horse-killer-balls…… no, no, no, I didn’t mean THOSE balls!!!!)

Negative points to Australia for losing out, however, if I were a conspiracy theorist I’d say they had this planned all along in order to fully concentrate on the Ashes, leaving a befuddled England to play this and then re-organize themselves for 50 and 500-over games. Also gives the Aussies more time to down some Irish Guinness, which they can compare to the colored water sold back home.

Plus points to Pakistan for squeezing New Zealand when it was required. This gives them a spring in the step, a bounce in the jump and a bigger stick up the nether-regions when they lose out in the next big match.

-FK

I’ve been out of sorts, kinda. Apologies to my full harem of readers (all 3 of them). Things promise to pickup (and then fall drastically) soon. Keep those hits coming. And thanks for reading.





XXVI

19 04 2009

Happy Birthday to Me.

pic_12343280402075For some odd reason I feel melancholy. Birthdays (for me atleast) are a boisterous affair, with me actually calling up my friends and asking them what they are getting me! I even suggest things when there is a chance of a clash or a repetition of gifts.

Yesterday, at the stroke of 12, I got a Most Wonderful gift from dearest Wifey (or is it Honey? as opposed to Hubby). Made me realize how lucky I am, how lucky I shall be. Talking to her, enjoying the not-so-warm breeze that was blowing at around 2am-ish, I had an epiphany that I had all the tools and pieces to die a happy man. It is just a matter of arranging them so.

May God Bless all those who have a part, no matter how tiny in making me what I am.praying-girl

May God Bless all those who shall have a part in making me what I shall be. What shall not kill me will only make me stronger.

May God Bless my Parents.

May God have mercy on my ancestors.

My Wife Rocks! God Bless Her.

-TFK





Healthcare? What healthcare?

15 04 2009

It pisses me off. It really, royally pisses me off.

In the near past, I’ve had to spend some time in a hospital room. Mom had a bout of food     poisoning (probably) followed by weakness, resulting in dehydration, shooting of her blood-sugar level (darned diabetes), blood pressure and hospitalization. Called from work by a very flustered sister and being the nimbnomcoop that I am, I took Mum to the great Badr al-Sama’a in Ruwi.

Were sent to the emergency ward/room. The inital emergency saline drips were attached and  lots of blood extracted for tests. That is fine. Apparently.

After initial reports, the case is referred to Dr. S. He arrives, looks around for someone with her, spots me, confirms if I am with her, and in a very important voice proclaims “There is severe dehydration and weakness. Blood sugar is high, we shall try to control it. Also there are many ketones. We shall have to admit her for atleast 2 days”. I hmm & huh in the right places, say ok, confer with dad, consider our options and decide, ok, lets continue here itself. Mistake # 1.

Then comes up nurse # 1, hands me a slip of paper and vanishes. I stare at it, at the place where she was and then figure maybe I need to get Mum registered as a patient, after all, the “paperwork”! So I go to the reception, state the case, present our medical insurance cards, get a stare and get a :

“Where’s the patient?”

“In the Emergency Room”.

“Who are you?”

“Her son.”

“Whose medical card is this?”

“Hers”

“What is company name?”

“Xyzabc ltd”

She then proceeds to press 20 keys, the spacebar 5 times, looks around twice and asks 2 people something in her native language. Rest assured I don’t understand a word! She then calls the company, asks for a relevant person, gets Mum’s profile, rank/grade/file and get a confirmation of the medical coverage. After being satisfied *phew* she proceeds and processes us. What if it had been after-office hours? What if the relevant person had been unavailable?

“Show me Labor Card”

Okay. I show her mine.

“Is this the patient?”

“No, this is me!” *Duh*

“Want patient’s card”

“I have no idea where it is, at home, in her purse. I can find it and bring it later. You need it now?”

“Yes, now”

“We came in an emergency, kinda. Can’t it wait?”

“Now”

Luckily Mum had her purse alongwith her with her card innit. Another What If…?

Anyway, we get a room, transfer Mum, do the first round of settling in. Get a couple of close relatives to know what’s happening, get a few essentials from home, I volunteer to be the permanent attendant (I have never trusted the nursing staff, sorry). Then begins the ordeal.

We stayed there 3.75 days. I was there with Mum the whole time. In 24 hours, there are 3 different nurse shifts of 2 nurses each for the in-patients. The evening shift 5pm-1am has 3 to cope with visitors & extra load & all. Out of 7 professional nurses in an Arab country with multinational citizens in a medial clinic only “one” was kind enough to understand and speak “a bit of” English.When I asked for a spare blanket, I got a bedsheet. When I asked if there was some facility to re-heat eatables/any microwave ovens, it was something like a conversation between  2 deaf mutes, sorry, but seriously:

“Can we reheat this?”

“Huh?”

“Do you have some thing to heat this?”

“Huh?”

“Do you have a pantry? A kitchen?”

“No tea. Tea downstairs.”

“No, no, no. Do you have a microwave?”

*blank stare*

“Can I make this *pointing to dish* hot? For eat?”

“Ah! Hot!”

*enters the bathroom, opens the hot water tap*

“Ergh” *facepalm* “Forget it. Thanks”

In the end we got one of those electric hotplates.

And then there was Dr. S. He made his rounds twice a day. Only 2 rounds for an inpatient with an in-doctor (don’t ask me how I know, but he lives in the same building. 3 days in place teaches you lots.) Apparently more money is made treating out-patients. So he comes in at 9 am, when the patient is invariably asleep. But no problem, his 9 am can be as late as 11 am, no worries. He sees the blood/sugar reports, sugar/bp/medic log of the past 24 hours, the nurses and he converse in their local lingo (tamil/malaya/telgu no idea).  And then leaves. Only because I interrupt his Snape-like sweep of his coat to return, does he consider telling me something, “Blood sugar is high, we’re administering Insulin. These drips shall continue. We are giving medicines for blood pressure. Ketones are still there”. Another Snape-movement. “Doc. Till when do you expect to have her here? I need to fix things with her office and mine.” “I shall wait until stability is there.” And then Gone! Leaving me staring at the door open mouthed! (This was my 2nd encounter only. I was numb by the 8th time).

Being the way that I am, out comes the trusty P1i and Wikipedia and I search Ketones. Apparently they are something that forms when body nurtition is low. And, apparently, they are not much of a big deal. Whenever you skip a coupla meals, ketones appear. But whatever the doc says.

To cut a long story short, Mum came home. Alhamdulillah. The company footed a bill of 370-something rials. But atleast Mum was home. Albeit with 9 tablets to have per meal. For 3 days. After 3 days, the weakness is still there, blood sugar is still high, blood pressure is still high & now, her taste system is wrecked. Everything tastes ultra-salty. So we go back. Dr. S, in his infinite wisdom, increases the dosage.

“You were taking 2 tablets of Diamicron per day? Now take 2 in the morn & 2 at night!. Take 2 multivitamins.”

“For how many days?”

“30”

O_O

The same night, after the 2 multivitamins, some weird sort of swellings, alomst like insect-bites, on the whole of her arm. So at 3 am, we go back to the Great Badr alSamaa. The doc on duty, bored out of life, looks, sees the prescription of his colleague and tells the nurse to prepare a syringe with something. I dare to ask,

“Is this an allergic reaction?”

“Maybe”

“Maybe? Can it be something else also?”

“She has taken no medicine that can be allergic”

“Ah! So you’re injecting an anti-allergy?”

“Hmm.. yeah”

“Fine!”

But when repeated home-checkings of BP & blood-sugar show no improvement even on the double dosage, my non-spidey sense tingled. So did Dad’s. We took Mum to our almost-family doc, a very nice guy, his own clinic, inner Muttrah. We also take the Badr al-samaa file. He sees the list of medicines and then starts,

“This injection they billed you 8 rials. Its actual price is 300 bz”

“This injection they billed you 12 rials. Its actual price is 700 bz”

“This tablet they billed you 1 rial. Its actual price is 200 bz”

“This drip they billed you  1 rial. Its actual price is 150 bz”

“This anti-allergy he injected for 9 rials. Its actual price is 3 rials and that is because it is NOT an anti-allergy, it is a steriod”

!!!!

So this doc does his own tests, decreases the amount of tablets to be taken to 2 per day, enforces a strict diet regime (the previous one had allowed almost everything except obviously sweet things). He called Mum back everyday for 5 days for tests then is satisfied with her progress. Alhamdulilah, its been 2 weeks now, the sugar levels have dropped 50 points (but are kinda hovering around the 170 mark), Mum is back in her swing and is fast gaining on her nutritional levels.

And this latter doc, he charges us 7 rials only & 1 rial for every subsequent test.

GOD I am so anti-Badr al Samaa. Atleast make mindless profits but don’t be lax about our healths. Especially since we, being expats, cannot go to proper hospitals and have to stick to clinics.

Pray for us all.

-The Fark Knight





Muscatis – One Logo to Rule Them All

12 04 2009

Original Post Here

No Comment.





Company 47

5 04 2009

Okay,  so what I actually started this blog for.  If one was to start at one end of the Omani Labor Law (OLL) and read through, and in the other hand hold a policy document of any sufficiently large company of Oman and compare the two, I think there shall be enough material to fuel a blog till the year 4112 AD when WordPress is no longer pronounced as such and instead has been transmuted into squarlks and bleerps, when the internet no longer exists on servers, but instead inside heads and minds (we shall have 13 elders to keep alive always. They shall be the DNS Root Servers. Each Elder shall be living on his/her own planet, doing nothing but resolving addresses for us lesser minions). I digress!

So there are going to be numerous discrepancies. My workplace, Company (which I shall arbitrarily name) 47  (yeah, I like Hitman somewhat, but not the movie!) is sufficiently large to fit the sufficiently large category. And daily you see things happening, which, I think, in another society, another world, another dimension (in which ‘normal’ laws would apply) would be the basis for tonnes of complaints, lawsuits and legal wranglings. Over here? It’s all ‘Bah!, Whatever!’

e.g. we issue travel tickets to employees. If the employee is not eligible, it comes out of his/her salary. 47 billed an employee R.O. 200 for a flight. The travel agency, later, sent over an invoice of R.O. 190. The dearest low-level-lowly accountant responsible for updating the system with the difference, does NOT credit the employee, breezily states “This goes into company profit” and earns a spiteful glare from me. Too bad he didn’t vanish or the system didn’t correct itself as a result. Oh, and he earns this post & tonnes of bad karma.

OLL, where art thou?

Moral Labour Law, where are thou?

-TFK