28 February 2007

Random Rambling...

A bunch of things...

So i'm back in Bahrain now, got a lot of things going on. 1st, i'm applying for jobs here and there. I've been called for a number of interviews, some for reasonable jobs, others for jobs which are not so reasonable. Seriously, if you were a Human Resources manager of one of the largest banks in the country, and saw that someone had over 6 years of work experience, with his latest job being managing a full bank branch and directly supervising 17 people, would you call him up and offer him an entry level job as an after-hours data entry person? (ie. you copy numbers from a paper onto a computer). I really don't know how to respond to these people. The thing is, when I ask them if they've actually gone through my resume, they reply with "Yes we did! We think you're very good!". Ah, ok, because I thought my skills, experience and qualifications weren't really up to the standard of your "data entry" job.

Anyhow, on another note, i've actually started directing my own movie. Yup, that's right. I'm gonna be a movie director. I guess its the free time thats getting to me, but besides that, I wanna do something different for a change. First movie i'm going to release will be a little bit of a satire on Bahraini people's lives and how each one of them seems to have more loans than they can handle. Hopefully if that goes well I will be directing another movie with a more twisted plot. Think a bit of Pulp Fiction, mixed with Fight Club, Sixth Sense and The Usual Suspect. Yes, its going to be a bit of a mind twister. Also in the line is a Bahraini Fast & Furious. Anyhow, should be fun, i'll let you all know as they are completed.

More things in the pipeline include my webpage; i'm working on a final version full webpage; should include things like links to my movies (if they are ever full produced), links to Bahrain information, things to do here, some of my projects, online businesses etc. It's a lot of things in one. I actually wanted the domain name www.ammar.com but that seems to already have been taken by some French dude back in 1997. Dammit. Please if you read this go to his website and send him emails about how he should let go of that domain name. Alternatively if that doesn't work, I need a creative domain name; please make some suggestions? If I like the domain name you can win one dollar. Yup, one full dollar. No joke ladies and gentlemen! I have now opened up the chance for you to win a full dollar, only on http://ammar456.blogspot.com. How often do you get a chance like this?

What else.. Well, i've been hit by a bit of a flu the past few days. Bahrain weather isn't exactly what you call stable, and sometimes its like 4 different seasons in one day. Anyway I got hit by a hot day, followed by a cold day, then it got very dusty, and all of a sudden shifted to very humid. Thats like the perfect recipe for the flu. Anyway, i've been home the past few days just lying down, not really doing much.

I guess that's it for todays blog, but let me leave you with a photo I just found. It's me when I was a few years old. I knew I always had that "gangsta thing" going on (what with all the hiphop music I listen to) but I never realized it went back to since I was a kid, lol:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Sorry for the rotten quality; I managed to take this with my cell-phone camera. Ah, cell-phone camera's, both a blessing and a curse. But anyway, thats another story.

Thanks for reading!

23 February 2007

The Curse of Having a Job

It recently dawned upon me.

Since I graduated from University, the obvious aim was to get a job. That's just how society works; you get an education, you get a job, you earn a living. Some people also get a further education, then a better job, and so on. But thats a restraint society has placed on us. Its not a formal restraint; nobody tells us we HAVE to do it. But we all know we need to, otherwise where on earth would we have the money to survive? And the thing is, this job kills us, whether spiritually, creatively, or any other way, it does something to us.

A few people make it out of this situation; whether they are born rich and don't need to work, whether they manage to open up a business and something they love, or whatever it is. But the reality is that most of us are stuck in this frame of mind of having to have a normal job.

Don't get me wrong; i'm not the kind of person who is a lazy bum and wants to do nothing all day - that's not the point of this blog, and I don't want to promote hate for your job. After all, it pays the bills.


Here's the thing. Back in school and in college, I was probably the most creative person there. I had a wild imagination, and would start thinking of ideas to come up with things like my own movies (home-made of course), music production, remixes, books, whatever it was. Stuff most people can do if they had any free time. However, since I graduated, consecutively each job I took was more stressful and time consuming than the previous one. And slowly, with the long working hours, the stress, the dying brain cells, the hair loss (from pulling it out of course), any creativity and imagination I had started to slowly drip away.

I didn't directly realize this of course. You just get sucked into the job world and it becomes your priority. Not family, not free time, not you hobbies, and not anything else. You live to work. That's how it becomes. You have no accomplishments in life besides, oh I did this at work, I did that at work.

So anyway, if you read the blog below this, you will realize that I decided to leave my last job on a whim. Went to the US and stayed there for a while with my wife, doing nothing much in terms of career, but a lot in terms of reworking my creativity, bringing my imagination back. It's not like I did it on purpose, it just happened when I had nothing to fill up my time and mind 24/7. So I came up with ideas of filming my own movies, creating my own music, etc etc. All sorts of things people would enjoy doing in their free time, but would never have a chance. You leave work tired and don't feel like doing anything.

At first I was pretty upset at not doing anything, no job etc. I did in fact get a job but it wasn't working out too well so I just left. I felt useless. And my wife kept telling me, you need this, think of it as a vacation, calm down. But I kept kicking myself for not doing much. All through this time the ideas started coming back; I can do this, I can do that etc.

So now i'm back in Bahrain 6 months later, and applying for jobs. Obviously there is a lot of free time to fill, so through the creativity and with my mind refreshed, i've managed to come up with a bunch of ideas. I'm actually directing a movie right now; me and a few friends started filming a few days ago, and these aren't any useless old movies. No. They're movies with strong messages hidden under the comedy and acting. And i've started making music again. I've been writing this blog for a while now. All this since i've left my work.

Don't confuse the fact of being bored and having nothing to do with not working. Work kills your creativity. Being bored is just, well, being bored. I've gotten a lot of free time, and time away from work to engage my mind in other things, things I haven't thought about for a while. But you know what, it feels good. I feel a bit younger now, and I feel a lot better.

Stay tuned, i'll post my movies and all of my other productions here in the near future, as they are completed. This does feel good. Its a much better feeling than coming back from work after a long day of stress, and slumping down in bed, or on the couch, and not wanting to do anything for the rest of the day.

My next job won't be so stressful. Just something to bring in some money. It won't take over my life, even though i'll work very hard at it. Just keep a look out for my other accomplishments.

6 February 2007


Freedom; such a large topic to consider. However, here I am going to talk about what I have managed to get myself into the past 6 months or so, and how I feel somehow liberated.

I guess I can start by giving a short background about myself. I'm a very intelligent person. No really, I am. I used to easily get A's in school with minimum effort, and most problems that others found difficult, I complete with ease. In fact, this might sound silly, but during primary school I actually got the #1 student award. This didn't mean I was #1 in my class, or even in my whole grade. No, it was #1 in my school. Wow.

Anyhow, onwards a few years; achieving things didn't seem much harder during high school or through college. Besides good grades, I did manage to rack in a few other things as well; president of so and so club, vice-president of another, treasurer for another, and I was involved in more events than you can shake a stick at.

After graduation, it was time to face the real world. The real world is different from school and college. There are no "events" you can join per-se in most people's jobs. You have work to do, and you do it.

My attitude towards this was pretty strong; when you work for a specific company, you have a loyalty towards them. You work hard, and you do all you need to do to help make them successful. So during my first job, working 6 days a week was normal.

Jobs don't always seem to last you through your lifetime, so about a year later I found myself at another job. This was at a newly opened bank. It was small, and set to grow; a perfect opportunity has just established itself. I got the job easily; I was given the title of Loan Officer, meaning I would meet the customer, find out his needs and relate it to our product, and complete paperwork to be passed on for processing - simple. However, with time I was also the person who opened accounts, processed loans, brought in new business, marketed the bank, etc etc. Needless to say we had almost 20 people in the bank, and my department was made up of 3 people: Me, my manager, and his manager. Somehow it seemed I was doing 80% of the work in my department.

Coming in on weekends was normal. Staying after hours was a daily occurance. But this wasn't something I worried about; after all, I would get the recognition I deserve, and sooner or later I would grow with the department and the bank. Or would I?

Seems that didn't have much truth to it. Not much recognition, even though our department was the only one really making profits in the bank. And even though I was doing most of the work in that department. But hey, thats life.

I left that job overnight when I got a really amazing offer from another bank. I was chosen as an Executive Trainee from over 1,500 people. The salary was better, the chances for growth were much better, and the opportunities seemed so much greater.

However, as I soon discovered, this job would be the one to bury me. The work load seemed to increase, with the bank switching to a completely new computing system; full training for the new release kept us after-hours till late at night, for over 6 months. And even with putting in the time and effort, when the new system was released, it wasn't anywhere near what we were hoping for.

Slowed transactions increased the workload; we had more and more traffic, and a slower system. But still, there was hope. Our bank had planned a new series of branches which would simplify everything. The new branches were huge, and would provide everything our customers would ever need, from the best service, to the latest in banking technology. This was what we were waiting for.

When the first of these branches opened, I was moved there. Perfect. With arms open I welcomed this new branch, only to behold the biggest disaster in banking history. A rush decision from the Head Office made the branch open 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, instead of the original 8 hours a day, 5 days a week plan. This meant either serious shortages of staff when giving employees regular hours, or serious overworking of the staff. The new system had transaction time slowed to a minimum, and the number of customers was beyond our expections. Way beyond. Put those together and you have a smaller version of Hiroshima in 1945.

Anyhow, I decided not to fret, and put up with it until I see the silver lining behind the clouds. The branch manager also had to leave the bank for a while, and with me being the second ranking person in the branch, I was put in charge of the mess. Almost 6 months of insomnia, headaches, and working an average of 12-14 hours a day didn't make it better. However, being a workaholic, I managed to put all my time and effort into it. My relationships with family and friends started to break down. Problems started coming up, yet I had no time to take care of them. I had to work. Issues at work arose from 3 different directions. I had to take issues from the customers, as the unbelievably congestion, long waiting times and understaffing meant shouting, complaints and other things landing at my desk one after the other. The head office wouldn't help with the understaffing too much, yet would expect better results and were biting at me to move the branch. And third were my staff, weakened by having to overwork, being shouted at by customers all the time, and having to put up with the conditions they were working in. No side was backing up. There was no silver lining.

My vacation was coming up. I was looking forward to it more than a child looking forward to his birthday. I couldn't wait, and as the days got closer, the problems increased. I was starting to lose it, getting higher blood pressure by the day, and just praying and waiting for the day. Customers shouting, screaming phone calls from the head office looking for results, the branch looking like a war zone, chaos everywhere.

And then it came.

My bags packed, everything in place. I was on a plane, travelling to the other side of the world. It was so calm and peaceful.

Nothing could ruin this. I was enjoying the freedom of every minute, every second. And with discovering new places, new faces, I seemed to forget all about the disaster back home. Little did I think I had to be back there in a few weeks.

And then I realized. I started having nightmares, dreading the day I had to go back. This couldn't be happening. I had to find a way out.. I applied to different places, I needed a new job. I couldn't go back. Unfortunately, all my life I was the person to plan everything step by step. I can't quit unless I had something else secured. I can't drop it and not know what my future holds. But I didn't find a job. I kept looking, and looking, all to the tune of, no thanks, were good.

And then one company saw my CV. They liked it. They spoke to me, and it seemed like this might go somewhere. But this wasn't a definite; they still had over 10 other people to interview. Their reply to me would be in 3 weeks.

3 weeks?

I had to be back in the office in less time than that..

So I opened up my computer, opened up my email, and started typing, I would like to thank you for all the years we have worked together...

That's right. I quit. I sent in my resignation, and even though there was nothing planned, nothing confirmed, I did it. At this moment, I felt freedom. I felt liberated.

Not of my job only. I felt liberated from our ways of life, from the daily restrictions placed on us by society. Quit when you don't have anything else, no certain future? Yes.

This was last August.

What happened since then has pretty much been a roller-coaster ride. I was accepted for the job, but worked there a short while and left; it wasn't for me. I started working on a few internet businesses, which started to make me a reasonable amount of money. I had a lot of free time, so I started working on hobbies, perfecting them and turning them into serious things.

It's been six months since I quit, but I have completed so much. I am finally back in Bahrain after all this time, and I am looking for a new job - note, I will not settle for anything. I still have my work ethics of working hard for the company I will join; but I will not let that interfere with my personal life. I have my own freelance projects I want to pursue, and I have started doing so already. Life looks different now, brighter, in a sense. The future is still a little unclear - i'm not sure what kind of turns it will take, but I am actually happy about that.

What happens over the next few months will be exciting; i'm sure of it..