A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

The Curse of the Half-Ass Job

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this city is cursed. It seems like the entire population just does not give a shit about the job that they are paid to do. They go to work, routinely pass the time, make it look like they are doing their job, clock out when their work hours are done, and consider the job done.

This curse affects almost everyone, in the private and public sectors. It affects Jordanians and non-Jordanians, professionals and non-professionals.

Case in hand: Tahboob Kitchens. We decided to get our kitchen from Tahboob, although it is more expensive than a lot of the rest, thinking that we are not in the mood to deal with unprofessionals as we too busy to spend most of our day following up. We go, sit with their designer, who designs us a kitchen, gives us an offer, and promises us that they will start putting it together on July 26. Wait, we tell him, but before we agreed, you told us it will take you 40 days, and that’s more than 40 days. He says they are busy before that, and that’s what we should expect from a successful company. Ok. Whatever.

July 26th comes and goes and the kitchen is installed by the agreed on date of August 1st. So far so good, except its not, because the kitchen is missing several compartment doors, which they said they will come put up soon. We can them a week later and they say something about a glass door being made by a glass-smith and that’s its still not ready yet. Wait, what glass door? We didn’t ask for any glass doors. No problem, they say, we’ll put a wooden one. We tried to call them every 4 days or so in the past month and yet they kept stalling. Yesterday, they call, “The glass door is almost ready”.

DUDE. And what about the rest of the doors?

It’s been over a month.

Case in hand: The governmental workers who were re-paving the pavements in Shmesani yesterday. My grandmother’s house stands on a little cul-de-sac which the workers were using to park their trucks over night over the past week. My grandmother’s house is around 40 years old, and on the pavements stand several huge 40-years old pecan trees that my grandfather brought with him from Palestine. These trees are a huge part of our family, every year for so long, we collect them, dry them, and spend the rest of the year eating them.

The governmental workers paving the streets did not care about anything though, they thoughtlessly drove their trucks without caring about the trees in the streets, and their branches broke. My grandmother and aunt freaked out, looking at the branches as if they are their babies, and taking them inside to try to save as many as possible, and hoping that the actually tree did not die.

Of course, that could have easily been avoided if the workers were just a little more conscientious of their surroundings.

And these are just two little examples while I have many.

Why are we like this? Why doesn’t a person care about perfecting the job that he is doing? Why is everything done with “the back of their hands”? People in this country pride themselves in being both Muslim and religious, something which I would never understand, because Islam clearly values conscience and good work. In Islam work is given special importance to the extent that it is considered as an act of worship in itself.


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  1. a7”””, don’t get me started on this one, I used to pamper workers and offer them extra money “bribe” them into doing a GOOD job , and yet no use,
    the only way to make a worker IN JORDAN do his job is by NOT paying them until after the job is done,
    i swear no matter what the excuses they tell u never pay them a single dime until the finish the job the way u like it, and they will do it perfectly and in a short time surprisingly, and if they do a lazy job or unfinished touches, i don’t pay them a single sent “specially if they say : I’ll complete it later i promise”

    for those of u who have car fixing problems, take ur car to Syria or Lebanon, they do a much cheaper and perfect job, even the spare parts don’t cost as much, plus u get to have a nice vacation with a friendly atmosphere.

    thx for the share

  2. you can’t help it but smile, and wish Jordan changes one day.
    Customer satisfaction…

  3. that trees branches part was sad !!!
    its frustrating i fully agree.
    sometimes i think maybe its the wage government employees have,maybe its too little thats why they don’t care.maybe its just carelessness !i mean “we” -not me though- wouldn’t return an order in a restaurant if we didn’t like the dish !or if the tea was a bit too sweet ,”we” just take it as it is,we take it as it is from the government ,and “we” treat each other the same way,its a pattern .

  4. Rami

    very sad, but i guess it is embedded in the culture !

    let me know if u need a wasta (unfortunately the only way to get things done in jordan!!) for tahboob :)

  5. Mesh

    a Convincing reason of why i’ve left jordan, in addition of mis-evaluating of talents; creative people’s only card they have in there…

    i always think about , who appointed the non-suited in position employee but an another corrupted employee who is just a higher level in the hierarchy, the latter called ‘ manager ‘ or ‘director’ , which baino wo been el 2edara zay el sama wel 2ard ( & i said which because he is not classified as human being bekol ma3na el kelmeh), just keeps going up in the tree … who is the main rotten head of the company/establishment/institution that this post is about ?

    things are not better here in kuwait ,but it seems after all having a foreign administration is not always bad is it ?

  6. It’s the lack of punishment.
    Don’t trust human beings to be so nice themselves. You have to scare them. If those workers who cut off the branches knew they might get fired if they did so they would have been more careful. If that idiot in Tahboob kitchens knew he might get fired for lying to you or being so irresponsible he would have been more careful and organized.

  7. Corruption and laziness (not just political) is part of our culture now as much as honor killings. You can’t imagine how much resistance one gets on attempting to implement any measures to fight this at work.

    I remember suggesting having security cameras in every room that are internet streamed and recorded. There was almost a riot. If security cameras are everywhere people won’t be able to “pretend to work”.

  8. Zeid

    mayber you can give the broken tree branches to Tahboub Kitchens so that they can finish the doors !!!!!!!!!!

  9. Zeid

    btw i am one the tahboubs :\ … not that kind of a tahboub though haha

  10. Abdullah Basheer

    I bought my kitchen from tahboub and they did a wonderful job. I mean if you dont like the tahboub’s go buy from Jweiko.

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