Sunday, 25 August 2013

Adjusting To New Weekend in Saudi Arabia.

How are you adjusting to the new Saudi weekend?
Or are you not?

Hubster is not a fan of the changes to the weekend from Thursday/Friday to Friday/Saturday.  He used to head off to work with a bounce in his step when Saturday was the first day of the working week because he knew it would be a quieter day.  The emails from the rest of the planet with "URGENT" in the subject line, for something that wasn't that urgent at all if good client management was being practiced, slowed to a dribble, if not completely stopped, on a Saturday.  It gave him time to catch up on his work.  Now he doesn't have that down time, if that's what it can be called.

I suggested he talk to the boss about his own glide time schedule, so he could go back to working Saturday and choose another day off a week, but that idea was greeted with a grunt.  (Sometimes one should not try to help!)

One of our friends isn't a fan of the changed weekend either.  She works five and a half days a week in a clinic.  She used to work full days Saturday through Wednesday, then a half day Thursday giving her a day and a half uninterrupted weekend.  Now she works Sunday through Thursday, has the day off Friday, is back at work for a half day Saturday and then back into the full time week on Sunday.  It's a piecemeal weekend and doesn't lead to feeling refreshed and recuperated.

Yet another friend works in another clinic and they are still checking, changing and rearranging appointments made months in advance so they can have their weekend off and patients can still be attended to.

And yet another friend who organizes expat events isn't quite sure whether said events should be on the Friday, it being a holy day and all, or wait till the Saturday where turnout and participation may be reduced being the day before returning to work.

I'm not sure that Saudi's have figured out what to do with the weekend yet either, my position postured because Tahalia St seems to rather subdued on the new weekend nights.  Some might argue that has more to do with Ramadan and Eid recently passing, but I don't know.  There has not been the same vibe.

As Friday is a holy day and time for catching up with the family after attending the mosque, families used to use Thursday (generally speaking) as a time to take the women shopping so they could prepare for the weekly whanau event on Friday and the men would hang out till they had to go pick the women up.  During wedding season Wednesdays and Thursdays were pumping with hair salon visits, spa visits, picking up dresses, organizing drivers to cart numerous excited women from the family home to the wedding venue.  Now, the holy day comes straight after the working week.  Shopping and preparation are in disarray!  The women still go to the mall and the men still hang out on Saturday, though it's not quite the same is it, when you have to go to work the next day.

Yes, though the new weekend changed with a snap of the regal finger, adjusting to it is still taking some time for we minions in Saudi Arabia.

Ka Kite,

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