Friday, August 10, 2007

Bokra Fil Mish Mish

"You are the company. The company is not an office. The company is not computers. The company is you, the employees."

I was standing alongside a mural of Grimace, the Hamburglar, Mayor McCheese, and Ronald McDonald. It hadn't been on my mind to hold an employee meeting in the kids birthday room at McDonald's when I'd woken up that morning, but things often don't go exactly as planned.

When I finished my inspirational speech, the sales manager wandered off to sell our comics to the manager for her Happy Meals. I was approached by the Arabic-language copyeditor.

"Will there be compensation for this?" A translator spoke for him.

I stared at him blankly. Compensation for being unexpectedly evicted, only to be told in McDonald's that you have a job but no office?

"You're joking, right?"

He shook his head earnestly.

"All the promises he made to us."

Bokra fil mish mish. When pigs fly.

I let loose on him, raised my voice and semi-yelled that I was having a bad day, that I didn't mean to be a bitch, but now was neither the time nor place to ask for more money, that we didn't even have an office. I wasn't nervous or excited—mostly I was just tired and annoyed that I was expected to rise to this challenge when I barely had any interest in holding down a regular job—and made a mental note that it was good of him to offer me the opportunity to show I was in charge.

(It later turns out that he's been asking something else, maybe for an apology from the bad guy in this scenario. Or maybe not. I better apologize to be on the safe side.)

And afterwards, the young woman who'd been offended by the harlot's jeans and T-shirt last week approached me timidly.

"You said some very bad things."

Bitch is so awful??

I suppressed a giggle. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

1 comment:

The Other Marie said...

Bravo for your cross cultural crisis mediation skills. Its not easy to do that kind of stuff when you are operating in your own country let alone trying to figure it out in a place where you don't have the legal knowledge of basic rights.

Thank goodness you have a proper tourist visa! I think it is time to go see another pyramid. Maybe bring the whole "team."