Thursday, September 30, 2010

Calling all you Authority Abusers: do you think you're better than the rest of us?

Thanks to my job, I get to meet a lot of people in influential positions in Kuwait and although that is not always a good thing I can cope with it most of the time. However the one thing that annoys the living crap out of me is people who abuse their authority and more specifically, people who THINK they have authority.

Have you ever worked or dealt with people at the British or American Embassies in Kuwait? I mean local recruits, mainly counter staff or lower level staff that aren’t British or American in any way; mainly Lebanese, Egyptians, Syrians, Indians, Pilipino etc.? These people think just because they work for the Embassy, they’re as good as the people of that country. Now I’m not saying the British or Americans are better than the rest of us lot, but sadly this is how people in this part of the world think. And this is exactly how these ignoramuses think as well. To make matters worse, these people are rude, arrogant and condescending and thoroughly unprofessional!

Just to educate the rest of you folk who don’t know this; most lower level embassy jobs are cut and dry and as easy as pie….or maybe easier! It’s mainly filling & checking forms, accepting applications, filing, placing orders for supplies, talkling to people that call for information (that is mostly read from a book of ready answers because the nit-wits don't know to handle exceptions) releasing purchase orders etc. You don’t even need to be a brain surgeon’s ass-wipe to get those things done! The nerve of some of those people, pretending that they are more important (and busier) than the ambassadors themselves?

The funny thing is I know some real Brits and Americans that work at these embassies and they’re not even half as arrogant as their wannabe colleagues. Maybe the embassies in question need to evaluate their positions on this. Or perhaps they’re happy with employing morons because they accept to work for less? Damn shame!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Would you "Crowdsource"?

For those of you who are not in the know, I work as the Head of Sales & Marketing at a leading ground handling services provider. In a bid to infuse some new energy into our brand, I was doing some research on creating a strong branding image to sort of…clean house and re-create our brand vision; something that is not often done in this part of the world. While I was doing my research, I chanced upon a whole new concept called “Crowdsourcing”, an idea based on a company outsourcing tasks usually performed by an employee or a supplier/agency to a group of people or a community that do not have a direct vested interest in the company. The outsourcing is usually done over the web and the company uses the collaborative results or finding to reach its objective.

This is the latest trend that companies in North America and Europe are following for their marketing needs although it can be used for much more than marketing requirements/problem solving. How it works is: the company broadcasts the problem on to a group of problem solvers or “the crowd” though a medium (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.). The crowd then sends in its version of solutions. In some advanced online communities the crowd may sort through the solutions, finding the better ones and submitting them to the company. The best solutions are then registered as property of the company and the winners get a reward from the company.

The concept itself existed as early as the 40s and 50s but presumably, the internet and web technologies do make it a whole lot imaginable …and cheaper!

Although I don’t completely agree with this ideology, I think it is new, it’s innovative and does end up bringing new ideas to the table. After all, once you’ve worked in a company for a few years you tend to get a bit stale in your thinking process and a group of people that don’t work for your company may actually have better dieas than you sometimes. That doesn’t make them better than you, it just means their minds are fresher than yours in this regard. Perhaps you can use this opportunity to take a vacation!?!?!?!

The bad side of crowdsourcing is the informality and lack of precedures. More importantly lack of monetery motivation for the people involved or "the crowd". Additionally, competitors can plant their own people in these communities to give wrong feedback and ruin the program and in some cases the reputation of your company.

Either way, it is an interesting concept and I just thought I’d share it with you guys! What do you think?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Will we ever live as ONE!

The other day I was thinking about how different countries have different defence, military and development programs that it can benefit from. Some countries even go to the extent of setting up bases and platforms in other countries or territories to get the upper hand on their neighbours and rivals. Then I chanced upon watching an episode of “V” a TV show that airs on MBC Action that revolves around a species of aliens that have come to earth from a galaxy far far away. They claim to want to live in peace with the people of earth and exchange knowledge and technology etc.but it turns out they lied and just want to conquer earth. It’s a remake of a popular 80s TV mini series that I watched as a kid. However, the plot of the storyline isn’t the point here. The point is in one of the episodes, their commander or leader tells the people of Earth that from where she comes from, there are no countries and everyone on their planet acts in the interest of the planet.

That got me thinking, when will we act like that? For centuries we have fought against one another. Different human configurations have always fought for supremacy and the reasons were manifold; racial, political, geographical and technological superiority. When, if ever, do you think will we ever begin to start thinking as citizens of the world instead of nationals of a particular country? When will we unite as one race? A race of humans! Do we have to wait for a few centuries before we start traveling in spaceships and have no more earth to conquer after the ravages of war? It is definitely something to think about. Either way, John Lennon surmises this best in his unforgettable song, Imagine. Here’s one verse for you to ponder upon!

Imagine there's no countries,

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace