Monday, August 11, 2008
One of the more pleasant aspects to daily office life in my office in Wafra, Kuwait is the presence of a complete staff of workers who are constantly around to serve us office people tea or coffee at any time of the day. The wait staff are referred to as "tea boys" .... or waiters as I prefer to call them since the phrase "tea boys" seems a bit insulting as most of these 'boys' are in their 20's or 30's!!. In the USA, our company would never spend a penny on hiring waiters to serve tea/coffee - rather, we all depend upon ourseleves to make our own drinks. I presume it is the low cost of labor in the Arabian Gulf states that allows local companies there to hire workers for tasks that would never be seen in most Western countries (USA, Canada, Europe). I must compliment these fellows (no women are hired as waiters!) as most seem quite pleasant in attitude despite the low wages they receive by their contractor. The waiter who works in my area is named Zubair and says his salary is less than 100 KD/month ($350 USD/month). A few years ago they were paid only 30 KD/month but now their salaries have been 'upgraded' but are still relatively quite low by Western levels.