Shifting The Blame, ATP Style

Bob is upset today. Ibrahim tried to blame him for the fact the water tanks still haven’t shipped.

The tanks were ready for shipping nearly four weeks ago. But Tareq – an ATG employee – changed the previously agreed despatch arranger from the manufacturer to Dynamic International.

At the time I said this was not a good idea since the tanks were ready and should ship ASAP rather than be grouped with other equipment that wasn’t ready because Ibrahim, after weeks of inaction, still hasn’t approved their payments.

So four weeks later the tanks are still stuck at Dynamic because Ibrahim has taken so long to pay for everything else.

And yet somehow this is Bob’s fault?

Nice one, Ibrahim.

Fozan, The Disappearing Man

Apparently, Fozan and I were supposed to meet today at 9:30am so I could go with him to meet a carpenter. I would have wanted to go, but I wasn’t told about it. I doubt Fozan wanted to go either, which I suspect is why instead of calling me to see why I was not at the office to go there, he called Sari instead.

I’ve noticed Fozan do things like this before. He turns up and quickly vanishes saying, “You looked busy” or “I could not find you” or “The door was locked”, rather than do the obvious and say, “Are you busy?” or “Does anyone know where Dominic is?” or call me instead of Sari (which given my hotel is a two minute walk away from the office would obviously have a pretty immediate result). Why Fozan does this, I have still to ascertain.

Production Meeting With Talal & Ahmed

On the 14th May, a production meeting took place on the rooftop of the ATG2 building. An ATG2 “making of” photographer took lots of pictures – no doubt to impress the Qatari financiers with how productive ATP was doing.

But no video was shot. If it had been, it would have been evident how much a waste of time the meeting actually was.

Fortunately, I made an audio recording of this meeting, which you can listen to by clicking below.


Production Meeting

…and of the confrontation after the meeting in which the Art Department confronted Anwar about what on Earth the Production Department was doing. Anwar explained in the meeting that ATP didn’t have enough funds to make the show. But to me, that made no sense whatsoever.^

Fortunately, I made an audio recording of this meeting too, which you can also listen to by clicking below.


Confrontation After Production Meeting

^ See my “Email To Ibrahim” blog entry by clicking here for my breakdown on budget and why it makes no sense that ATP cannot make the show for the money they have.

Late Wages. Again…

Ray and Dominic Smithers both got paid yesterday. This is the very first time this has happened on this job on time and without us having to make complaints.

However, everyone in the Art Department wasn’t happy yesterday because 95% of the orders we have placed over the last three months for props, dressing, materials and equipment have not been ordered or, on that rare occasion they have been ordered, delivered.

It really does look like ATP has no intention of delivering the show they promised to the Qatari investors and Ahmed. The only reason it seems Ray and Dominic Smithers were paid on time is because Talal had gone to Qatar the previous week to demand more money off the Qatari investors for the show ATP doesn’t appear to be spending the investors’ money on.

Which begs the question – given they are not spending the money on the show, why can’t they pay our wages on time?

Ibrahim, The Designer?

Yesterday I waited for a window and shutter to turn up at the Art Dept so that Chris and I could assess the quality. 

The window and shutter had been made under the supervision of Fozan with a reluctance to involve either the UK designer or art director. Unfortunately, the design bares very little resemblance to the drawings that Fozan had been supplied with, and the quality of work was terrible.

This is not entirely surprising, given that Fozan never takes drawings with him, but instead insists that he can get the work done by describing it to contractors. In this case, the window was too thick, it was full of studs that made it look a mediaeval cliche (it seems that Jordanian carpenters use studs all the time when manufacturing period pieces – regardless of whether it is appropriate for the design – to hide screw heads). The window and shutter were also the wrong colour, cut poorly, and the window had no glass despite this being an essential part of the assessment process. When I asked Fozan where the glass would go, he told me it would be stuck to the back of the window. Hmmmmm….

Instead of arriving at the Art Department, the window and shutter were instead sent to Ibrahim’s office. This seems to be a regular pattern. When items that have been designed by the Art Department are requested by us to be sent to our office for review, they instead end up being sent to Ibrahim’s office for him to review. (maybe he will send budgets to us for us to review?)

Yesterday was just one instance amongst many where our department has waited for items to arrive only to find out that they have gone to Ibrahim’s office instead.

The question is, who is responsible? Is Fozan telling Ibrahim what is going on and Ibrahim is demanding that the items to be sent to his office? Or is Fozan ignoring our directions – despite his working for us – and having them sent to Ibrahim’s office instead?

If the former, Fozan is disrespecting our department. If the latter, Ibrahim is disrespecting our department. Either way, it is unprofessional, disrespectful, naive that they think they should know better, and a waste of everyone’s time.