Thursday, 4 November 2010

Driving Miss Crazy

My driver's mum is on holiday. I know this because he has been late to work every day this week, despite the fact we bought him an alarm clock last year. We've tried fining him 5 dinar a day each time he's late, which when you're on 500LYD/month, can soon add up.

I don't ask much of him, there are just 3 rules:
1. Be in the office by 0930hrs
2. Never give me the car back with the out of fuel light on
3. Never let the windscreen washer bottle empty light come on

He has been my driver for 2 years and yet still can't manage these 3 things.  There's always an excuse, how yesterday he 'forgot' the fuel tank was empty between parking my car outside the office and walking about 200m to give me the keys. If he's late "there was traffic", "he couldn't get a taxi" or "the taxi driver drove slow" or "didn't have change" - "get  up earlier" and "carry change" are alien concepts, it is always someone else's fault. He almost ran into the back of a car that braked - "that car braked!", "No Bassim, you were so close to him I could have picked the couscous out of his moustache"

He has lived in Tripoli all of his life, yet I seem to know how to get around better than him. Despite the number of times he's taken me to my customers, I still have to give my instructions as:

To go to BP: " Goto the office by the chinese people"
To go to Petrocanada. " Goto the office that isn't the one by the chinese people"
To go to Sonatrach "Goto the office we went to last week, and you got lost and went to the coffee shop and got directions" - although after today I might be able to call them "the office by the coffee shop"

Thankfully I can walk to Oxy's office.

I don't actually need a driver and prefer to drive myself, but we need him to ferry Dear around and if I'm using the car I think I should make him work a bit, otherwise he'll just sit around the office looking at his feet.

He has driven Dear to violence, she has hit him at least twice and you would be surprised, nae shocked, at how she speaks to him. She's not proud of it and she admits he really brings out the worst in her.  I recommend pouring her a drink, get one for yourself - make it a large one, get a comfy chair and ask her about him. It's comedy gold!

We're going to let him go at the end of this month, he is being particularly bad and lazy right now, Dear lost it yesterday and told him to not bother coming back today. Yet it doesn't seem to sink into his head. He is 31-32, lives with his mum & sister and has got a pretty easy job working for us, in a country with a high level of unemployment. The only reason we've not looked for another driver, apart from him being a nice enough guy, is that we can trust him and he really looks out for Dear if she's out shopping. He might be as lecherous as most Libyan men, but Allah help any man who would be be lecherous towards Dear, his sister or his mum! It's a shame to let him go, however once Dear leaves, I don't need him. If he was  keen or showed some initiative then maybe I'd keep him on, but if after two years I need to call him at 10am to see when he'll be at the office, then I think I can see how I can save 250GBP/month. Plus - touch wood - he's had alot more accidents in my car than I have....


  1. I like to wind him up by pointing out then when he first drove for me he was into his Gangster rap, "bitch" this and "f*** n*gger" that.
    Now all he listens to is bloody Lady Gaga and Kylie!