I would have loved to be a mathematician, or math- magician, or whatever they are called today, those who can prepare a mathematical formula to solve any problem in life. Now I am having two problems only.

Problem one: this is not my problem really but it does affect me directly, nevertheless the time wasted this morning is my time, so I am affected in one or the other. Picture this, a country with 95% of its population as foreigners, who all require visas, medical checkup, labour cards, labour regulations, etc, guess what we have to do to complete a person’s entry and legalise his or her stay? Long process, first a visa renewal form, or visa entry form, to be typed by a bunch of Indians who either have a license or just whisper in your ears, as they are doing it illegally; then we have to type a medical checkup form, after that we take all of these forms, to the naturalization and immigration, and they stamp it in the passport of the person who is to be employed in this country. Similarly on renewal of the visa, we repeat the same process.

The choice of hospital or form to be printed for the medical would depend on which side of the bed that person woke up from; hence my blog. I need to renew my housekeeper’s visa. So the form was typed, and the money was paid. I went on Saturday, to the main clinic, it was closed, and then I went to the other clinic my daughter went to, it was closed as well. This morning, we went first to the one my daughter went to and after finding a car park, and walking in all of the hospital’s corridors, they tell me that this form is for another clinic. Okay! Which one? The person at the counter tries to explain the location, which I vaguely recognize, and I know that there is no parking there at all; Bugger, I thought. Drove all the way there, found the place buzzing with activities, so many people were sitting, at least a hundred, and another 50 were standing. The token was provided; there are 40 in front of us. No worries, I thought, sat to do some work on my laptop, then, our number came up, went to the counter, they took more money, then we had to go to another waiting area. The counter that took our papers had one guy sorting out the paperwork, and few men who check behind him, and then a final guy to check on the rest. Few layers of checkers! I must admit, if I had this level of responsibilities I my office, I think my students would have gone to their destination after 20 years!!
My point here is that, this is a country that is highly dependent on foreign manpower, or shall I say womenpawer just to be cheeky, a simple process would have saved every one heaps of time, and would have made those men that are checking after the clerk would have been in a more creative or could have discovered a new rocket or something. Okay, time to be serious now, my suggestion is that when a visa is to be renewed, then the clinic should be attached to the same place, and the person, types her/his paperwork, goes directly to the medical checkup, then takes the stamped paper to the immigration (all in the same place) stamps the passport, get the ID all at once. No time wasted and no traffic jams. Of course while I am typing this my car got a fine as I didn’t realize how long I have been sitting here.

The second problem is generated from the first problem. Most of us work really hard to guarantee our families and kids a good life. I wrote down the other day how much money is dispersed on stuff that are not necessary, or created by bureaucracy. Just an example will amplify the issue; I was busy yesterday, visiting friends who were ill and were hospitalized, or just been discharged and so on, it was my hospital day (I guess today is going to be a hospital day too) so when I found that the clinics I talked about above were closed!! I gave the housekeeper a 100 buck to take a taxi home; you know the temperature that we endure over here, so I don’t want her to e dehydrated. Then today again, my time and some other bits and pieces were spent, and that too is relating to bureaucracy, which could have been avoided if we applied common sense in our organizations. if my daily pay is so little as it is, and i have to pay half of it because of bureaucracy, then all of us should do something about it.

I need to nag a bit more, when I returned back to Dubai, and wanted to establish this little consultancy, I noticed that there are few things that I could change which will make work smoother. My master’s thesis uses a theory called the theory of constraints, and it basically let you find out where the problems are just from the bottlenecks. So I wrote to the head of the licensing organization and told him that I could rectify the problems very swiftly. Guess what, it has been 9 years now, the problem is not rectified, and surprise, surprise!!!! No one replied to my letter.

Why do I bother, not sure, I guess life is such; we need to try to improve things, but if it doesn’t work out, then fine.