Sunday, November 21, 2010

Double Standards of Management towards Doctors and Nursing Staff of Foreign Origin in Maldives.

All men are equal in the eyes of GOD. May I add, that all men are not equal in the eyes of men/women of Maldivian Origin.
What is the root for this double standard?

You will understand once you go through the following interesting reading.

Maldivian human forms (alternatively can be called people as they look like Homo Sapiens) 
Us the poor People who have accidentally come here to work as Doctors & Nurses to help these human forms in their sicknesses.

I have taken most of the following writings from a blog placed at and have actually edited it to add my views in it as basically it is quite efficiently written there already. Our blogs are similar in nature and purpose. Could not take the permission of the blog owner but I sincerely hope he/she wont mind me exposing this blog over mine.

a) Since a long time, the Maldivians have been given things for free. United Nations, SAARC and organizations of the like have decided that some nations should help other nations. This being the case, Maldives has been receiving aid in the form of money and material since many decades. Petroleum Fuel, Wheat Flour, Sugar, Cooking Oil, Packaged food for Children including those for infants, Children Nappies, Dry fruits...these are some of the free items which this country is receiving as a beggar from different countries since long, siting that these are poor fishermen people who don't have anything to survive on. These countries only if want to get Blue fin Tuna from Maldives then it becomes a commodity to be sold and not given in exchange from these Maldivians, who by the way are nowhere responsible for the development of Tuna fish in the region. It grows here by default as a geographical gift. The government and the people have gotten so used to this, that they have ultimately become lazy. They now firmly believe that it is the right of every Maldivian to get things for free and the duty of every foreign nation to flood Maldives with funds. They are not interested in doing their household chores to the level that almost all have one Bangladeshi (exclusively from Bangladesh. They only are chosen as they are considered here as low class Muslims and getting a muslim to work for them is better than having any other religioned human ??) servants whom they don’t pay much or sometimes at all. These mostly Bangladeshi servant fellows are also quite happy sleeping with the women in that house and a lot of them are living with the owner’s family just for food and shelter.

b) The only things that Maldives can offer to the world is coral dust and sea water. The tuna fish, and the coconuts (God gifted) grow here by default. No Maldivian has taken the effort to farm the fish or coconuts. They have a geographical advantage to farm the fish, but the lazy genes prevent them from doing so. Thus the only hard working person you find in Maldives is a foreigner and by default he will be laughed at because he is WORKING. Actually there is no respect for anyone who works here. In fact I have witnessed respect for people who deliberately don’t do anything and try to sit over their heads. Maldivians love that actually and respect such fellows endlessly.

c) The children go to school which is supposedly a Cambridge standard (at least they call it so). But if you try to speak to them in English not even an 8th grader will understand you. They will simply nod their heads and act as if all you say is Greek or Latin. The sad situation is that during their schooling days most of the students are hardly interested in studies. They are mainly focusing on how they can get a boy/girl friend, get laid, get out of school and "procreate" irresponsibly.  When they end the 10th grade/O-levels (they are considered pass even if they pass one of their three electives) they are considered to be able for getting any respective job.  This qualifies them to get a job in any government/private institute. And what a job it could be…they are earning at least $700/- to $1000/- over their home islands from jobs like interpreter in hospitals, jobs in the local court and island offices. All these jobs they get without much efforts so naturally they have no respect for the jobs and other people doing other jobs as well.  If you try to do some work seriously, they will start laughing at you.

d) The young men are only interested in growing their hair long and putting on as repulsive/gruff an exterior as possible. The more heathen the look, the more their sex appeal increases. The pass time is playing foot ball, watching porn, making advances to anything that walks and sleeping with as many Maldivian females as possible. And to top it all they will say- We are Muslims. They will declare their faith as Islam and then do everything contrary to what Islam preaches. In schools the foreigner teachers are hapless with such situations when they catch boys and girls of class 6 or 7 in already pants down position and nothing can be done as it is a norm here. Small children shout slogans over women teachers such as …’Bend down’…’show your ass’….or ‘hi sexy’ and in fact can’t do anything except make a bold face a scold them in words only. Even if they complain it to their headmaster, it is of no use.

e) The women are only interested in getting laid. Compared to the men, they are slightly better mentally developed as they try to take care of the children and all and most of the time remember the names and age of their children (which naturally is not the case with the male parents. They may bring a child carrying him/her in their arms, looking worried like hell over the illness of the child and all but as soon as they sit in your OPD and you ask the age or name of the child, they start making call to the child’s mother to get the said information). But few come in the category of intelligent. Most of them are good at soaking themselves in perfume, wearing tight clothes to the point of respiratory embarrassment and wearing a veil to cover their (probably bald) heads. They will wear a veil (called as a buruga) which gives them the license to do all heathen things possible. A situation to make you understand. If a virtuous woman walks the road, but is not wearing a veil, she will be shunned to be a sinner and people will say that she will go straight to hell. Another woman who is a slut, a loose character, a drug addict, and walking wearing revealing clothes AND A VEIL will be touted to be the most virtuous character - ONLY because she is wearing a veil! hypocrisy, thy name is Maldivian Islam.

f) Office staff (any given office be it Ministry or public office). The work culture is simple - Put off till tomorrow what you can make some foreigner do the day after! The working hours are from 8am to 4pm. The office staff will come in promptly at 7.30-7.45 and sign the register. Then they disappear until 9.30am. Repeated calls will answered by - he/she is out for coffee. They come in at 9.30am and charge themselves by going to social networking sites (facebook etc) untill 11am. By then a meeting will be called, which will last till 12.30 or 1pm. If you contact them at 9.30 they will say that they are busy (without business) and ask you to either come later or call later. At 11am they will say that they are in a meeting and are really busy. By 12.30 or 1pm they will go for lunch and return only by 2 or 2.30pm. Then they cool down by sending personal emails or internet IM chatting. At 3pm when you finally ask them for some work to be done, they tell you that they are very tired or to come again tomorrow. Rarely, they start working at 3pm and stop at 3.30 with the plan of starting on a grand scale the next day. Don't forget that they conveniently disappear for prayers when they are in the mood to escape. No wonder any worthwhile work hardly happens.

g) Meetings. The meetings are conducted thrice a week (for a 5 day week !!!)  The first meeting (1st day of the week) is to brief them on what they planned last week and what tasks have to be done for the week. The second meeting (3rd day of the week) is to discuss the progress/status of the work with all the problems as to why the work was not done. The closing meeting (5th day of the week) is to assess the pending work (90%) and wonder which foreigner they can throw this work on AND also they will discuss the plan for the work to be done next week. The cycle continues. Thus they have more meetings than actually doing the work.

h) Phone calls. A Maldivian/Ministry person will give you a number to be called. This is usually a land line number. When you call, no one picks the phone. You keep calling for three days and at the end when your patience is tested they finally pick the phone. The person who answers the phone is a numb skull with an IQ of your kids shoe size! He/she usually does not speak/understand English other than Hello/Yes/No/Wait/What. Either they will slam the phone on the cradle or if you are lucky will give you the mobile number of the person whom you wanted to contact. When you call the mobile number, they will again not lift the phone. You keep calling and at the end of 3-5 hours the phone is switched off (Not because they switched it off, but because it rang repeatedly and went out of charge! ). This is how you will be treated when you call them. BUT, they expect us as health professionals to keep our mobiles switched on all the time and even pick it up in the third ring. If we don't respond (taking bath/loo), they will complaint to the management that we are irresponsible. The sad fact is that, we are using our personal mobiles for official incoming calls, and not getting paid for it, But when these dumb chaps do not answer official phones during working hours, it is not at all a mistake!

i) Creation of Catch-22 situations. The Maldivians have no foresight. They are born as short sighted creatures who cannot see beyond their own underwear. This explains the fact why they can only perceive carnal stimuli from the opposite sex (just like insects) and not understand anything intelligent (even if it is written in bold larger than life letters).  They are adept at creating Catch 22 situations. Rule #1 - you cannot leave you island. Rule #2- No one else other than you can collect the passport of your dependents. Rule #3 - The Ministry will keep the passport of the employee and the dependents. Rule #4- The Ministry is not responsible to renew/process Dependent visa for the dependent. If you go through Rule 1-4 you will see that these rules make it virtually impossible for the employee to get his work done. And the Golden rule is that if you do not process the Visa on time, the dependent will be branded as an "illegal immigrant" and fined when they deport! Interesting is it not?!
This has happened with a doctor living over an island (I know him actually) last year when police had visited that island where he was living with his wife and a small kid (usually there is no policing over islands) and they declared his wife an illegal immigrant and booked her altogether. Now the doctor could not leave his island because of a clause in the contract, kid was small (3 years old) and was not able to tolerate any Maldivian smelling feminine creature taking care of him and wife was in jail. It took him two days to get permission to visit his wife in jail over another island. Fortunately with great requests and all they had allowed his wife to receive calls on her mobile from only her husband and provided that the mobile was kept with the police station in-charge. It was one hell of a situation. The health Ministry had promised to help in renewing her visa and all which someone there had duly forgot. That doctor sorted the issue out in a week after visiting Male’. Didn’t exactly leave Maldives (he was here since last 4 years and knew these people better) but cursed these bloody people till the day his contract ended. No need to say his wife threatened to divorce him if he didn’t take her and the kid to India, and they left Maldives after 4 months.

Now once you have got an idea of the mentality of the Maldivian human forms, take a look at the double standards they practice.

A foreigner is a bonded laborer, a slave. PERIOD. Any foreigner, other than those who visit the resorts are treated like laborers. No respect, no regard, no relaxation of the rules (and rules are very strict ones). Once you enter the island you will realize that there is a unique intentional torture program in store for you. For everybody for that matter who has come from outside to work here.

a) Attendance: A foreign doctor may be punctual during his/her whole tenure. There may come an occasion where he/she is delayed for a minute or more due to a reasonable circumstance. It could be the rains, the fact that we were on our 1 hour break but got a call or attending to a patient and unable to be on time to affix our signature in the register. They are very particular that the salary will be deducted on a pro rata basis. But you will find all the office staff including the manager being lackadaisical about their punctuality. They will sign in well in advance. Then you will never find them in their seats. If we point that out to them, they will start creating (bad) opinions of us and keep trying to find fault with whatever we do.

b) Dress code: These chaps are very particular that all male doctors wear shoes and ties. We have no problems wearing shoes. But the tie is something that I don't understand. Tie is a piece of apparel which is most infective and cannot be laundered appropriately in this country. Why carry a fomite and infect all the patients whom we treat? These fools keep repeating that civil service rules state that we should wear ties! I guess that civil service people know more about infection than us!

c) Civil Service Commission (CSC): this is a strange dichotomy! Foreign doctors are called as Civil Servants only when it suits the ministry. e.g. 15% salary deductions which have gone on for more than a year now, taking off certain allowances only because we were civil servants. But when it comes to benefits e.g. permitting us to go for 30 days of leave excluding public holidays we suddenly become contract laborers! A Maldivian gets 30 days of annual leave. It translates to be 45-50 days because public holidays are not counted. But as per the rules for doctors (who are civil servants) we are permitted only 30 days of leave which translates to be 25-28 days. This is because the leave starts the day we leave our island and we are required to return on a working day only to submit our passports in the Ministry ! Why the double standards? When we proceed on Family Responsibility leave, we are permitted to go for 10 days (finally  days) and we have to deposit  a month’s salary and allowances as security. The deposition of salary an allowances does not apply to Maldivians. But both of us are Civil servants! Double standards to the hilt!

d) Sick leave/break time: When we apply for sick leave, we are treated as criminals. The attitude of the office staff and the patients is so hostile. They curse us because we have fallen sick and angrily inquire why they were caused so much of inconvenience. Some have even gone to the extent of coming to our residence for consultations (just to check in what condition the doctor is at home while calling himself sick. God forbid if you have taken a tablet of Paracetamol and are sitting or watching TV..they may start accusing you of forging a sickness)! When we go on break (strictly 60 minutes) we may be called back to the hospital even if someone with a sneezing has come (everything from a bruise to head injury is emergency here. They have no hesitation in calling us on break and yelling ‘Doctor Emergency patient’…or ‘Doctor patient with chest pain’ and hang the phone down. Now you run as you may. And can’t take any more breaks after that. You can well develop Gastritis or an ulcer due to this routine…this is your bloody problem).
The time that we spent in the hospital is completely discounted. They expect us to resume back to work exactly an hour after we have signed out. An incident occurred when I went for break at 12.10 and was summoned for an "emergency" at 12.24. by the time the X-ray was ready and the investigations arrived, it was 1.09. When I completed with the patient and reassuring his relatives it was 1.20. I informed the office that I wanted to go for break. They flatly refused saying that there were patients waiting for me after I left for break. They would be inconvenienced if I went for break. I had to forgo my lunch that day. Imagine what I got for being a good Samaritan- No overtime and being treated as a criminal!

e) Breast feeding. The Maldivians are permitted a one hour break as we are for lunch/dinner. Another interesting break they have is Breast feeding break (for a baby from new born till 3 years). This is a break of 2 hours. Thus the lunch break and feeding break is a total of 3 hours. And knowing punctuality (or lack of it!) you can imagine how these people go for 3 or more hours of break on an 8 hours shift! Typically, they come in at 8am and then disappear at 9am because they want to go for coffee/breakfast (excuse being - I am feeling very hungry… can't tolerate). They come back by 10 and disappear again at 11am. They return by 2.30 because they had to feed, have lunch and feed the baby again and finally go for prayers.  At 3.15 they disappear again for coffee! The sad part is Foreign women who have babies (doctors/Nurses) are not permitted any grace time to feed the baby. And can you imagine all hospitals in Maldives are Baby-friendly Breast -feeding promoting hospitals!!! Why the double standards? Are not foreign babies also wanting the breast feed of their mothers? Are not they also humans just like their Maldivian babies?

f) Penalty for being a foreigner! We are not allowed to use our ATM cards abroad now even if it is written over the ATM card that it is an international debit card. The Maldivians can do so. Bank of Maldives does not issue us more than 100 USD a day (even from the ATMs in Maldives and for that also they charge MRF 2/- per transaction in their own ATMs) but the Maldivians are issued up to 600 USD a day. Why these double standards? This is supposedly because (as most idiot Maldivians have written in their blogs) the foreigners are responsible for sending Funds out of the country and depreciating the Rufiyaa (which is even more worthless than toilet paper). The banks do not give us a logical explanation as to why they treat us differently. Probably they would want to explain, but their poor communication skills (lack of English language skills and technical knowledge) deter them from doing so.

Ultimately, there are different standards for the foreigners. We are treated like cattle (let cattle pardon me for the use of this word. Here these people have not seen a cattle in life by the way) . The Maldivians perceive that we foreigners do not have family values, feelings, emotions, pain sensation, hunger, sleep etc. They can demand us to do whatever they feel like at whatever time and it must just happen. They think (if they can!) they can push a button and things will just materialize. When they present late with all sorts of complications, and the doctors explain to them that it is a hopeless situation, they start shouting and insulting the doctor as though it is the doctor who is responsible for the hapless situation of the patient. Even if they don't get aid/welfare (these beggars are so used to it) they will insult the doctor ! If we had so much control on the situation, we would rather sit at home eating cake and drinking hot cocoa!

Even in the mosques! the Maldivians will not stand shoulder to shoulder to us (in case anyone is Muslim and plus a foreigner) only because we are Indians. They feel that they are better muslims than us! One would need to come here and work and then realize that we are being treated as children of lesser gods.
Double standards All the way.

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