Please welcome the latest government department in Bahrain; it’s staffed by 40 managers, most are really not more than janitorial shift supervisors than they are managers, and some – who habitually trip over their IQ ratings – could just be hired as mere janitors, who invariably are the most vociferous of the lot. Empty vessels is the old adage…
However, regardless of the level of contribution they muster, they are all very well paid, to the tune of BD 3,000 (US$ 8,000 approx) per month plus some benefits here and there. They all got BD 10,000 (US$ 26,500) as a one time gift from his majesty the king when they started their jobs at this department so that they can fix up their status, buy a couple of suits or bishts for state occasions.. we can’t really have them looking like the riff-raff of society that they are, so we have to at least dress them up a bit.
They were also given a monthly stipend as allowances for their transport – no, not bus fairs of course, we can’t get them to mix with lowly labourers! No way, remember they spearheaded campaigns to segregate those people from society even more than they are at the moment and banishing them to somewhere where they cannot be seen or heard! – these worthy gentlemen get to drive around in German automobiles, or those Hyundai mini-bus vehicles with tarpaulin covered 4 rows of seats to make space for their multiple wives and their brats. They even get an allowance to actually have an office and hire a couple of people to man it! How about that for a janitorial gig?
Government jobs, particularly these, are pretty good.
So what’s the scope of work?
Big brooms, carpets, lift then flick of the wrists.
Very onerous, I know. It takes most of those 40 worthy individuals to bend over, lift the carpet, and for another herd of their cohorts to use the broom to sweep the dirt under said carpet. Release the carpet to cover that dirt and pretend for ever that it is simply not there!
When someone dares to question the various unsavoury smells emanating from that carpet, they are ordered to (1) state categorically that they have lost their sense of smell, so they aren’t bothered by it, (2) if there is to be an enquiry as to what that smell is, then do so in a closed room, edit every observation in that room, and come out with a press release that states that the smell was in fact, contrary to popular belief, was extremely savoury and it was nothing but Bahraini roses put there in order to extract the aromatic oils and preserve that for posterity, (3) if the public don’t like those observations, then they humbly remind us that Bahrain is a collection of islands, surrounded by the sea, and they have given us the open invitation to drink our fill.
They of course do not recognise that we only have narrow corridors to actually access the sea to partake of their advice, and that those corridors constitute approximately 3% of a coastline which exceeds 700 kilometres, but that’s just detail.
These government employees are hired for 4 years of their lives, fattened, and then released back into the community where they never again have to lift a finger to earn a living; they are all on a pension scheme which is the envy of the world, some say they would keep more than 50% of that inflated salary if they are called to serve just one 4 year term, if they are fortunate enough to be selected for another term, and most look like they will be, especially the actual janitors as they have demonstrated their total and unconditional support for their canny employer, that pension will soon approach 100% of their salaries in addition to all the other benefits they will gain.
Not to mention of course their other sources of revenue: “the lecture circuit.” They will have a booking agent for the various talk-shows they will appear on, the various conferences and expert janitorial panels in the Arab world and beyond they will be invited to and adequately compensated for and probably deposited in one or more Swiss bank accounts.
Whoever thought that they were elected in the first place to guard against black marketeers, corruption and to clean up the scum of society is sorely mistaken. They might – and I reiterate, might – have had that silly notion when they started their journey, if only as a janitorial campaign promise, but with the slow and deliberate inculcation and sitting on the government organ via grants and photo-ops with high government officials, that spark has been snuffed within the first few days.
We’ve got another 136 days of their company still, and we should feel utterly privileged to have that particular pleasure.
How can one live without that government department which looks after the citizen’s rights first and foremost and roots out corruption and all that ails this country? We can only hope that these worthy gentlemen are selected once again to occupy those plush leather seats.