Madness Is A Place Called ATG

Each Friday I would like to summarise the week’s macabre events (there are no other kind of weeks here) in a few posts but often it feels like too many things have happened. Last week was no exception. Bizarre – and sometimes sickening – events included;

  1. Confirmation we were relocating to Qatar after Talal was caught by the Qatari investors with his hands in the till. But that they cannot get rid of ATG yet due to clauses in the contract.
  2. Farah being cruelly fired at zero notice on account of our relocating, and Chris being told to tell her. He refused because he thought ATP’s approach was appalling. So ATP was forced to do it — meaning they told poor Sari to do it instead.
  3. Me having to reformat episodes 1 to 5 because after about 18 months ATP still can’t figure out how to format scripts properly. And they’re too cheap to hire a Script Supervisor to help them do it (the knock-on affects to us are very very time-consuming).
  4. Wages being more than a week late.
  5. Per Diems being just three days late (they would have been a week but I finally lost it and told the useless accountant, Omar, who is responsible for our Per Diems, that if he didn’t get them before midnight, I’d make his life hell. (I think Chris was a bit shocked because I literally started screaming at the poor guy (Omar) on the street).
  6. ATP at first refusing to take Abdul to Qatar but then trying to employ him full-time on a shit salary (and I bet they would charge the investors at least two times more). On this note, we suspect ATP is guilty of huge ‘mark ups’ on crew wages. We have been told NOT to discuss our salaries with Ahmed. I wonder why? (if you’re reading this Ahmed, I have a spreadsheet with everyone’s wages on it that you are welcome to have).
  7. Issam continuing to be held hostage by ATP who haven’t paid him for about three months (and consequently forcing him to do all their nasty work).
  8. Issam telling us our budget will double despite the fact we have established Qatar costs 6 to 8 times more. (I’ve already worked on the Art Dept would be at least six times higher).
  9. Natasha, the charming Russian make-up artist, who is still being held hostage by ATP who don’t pay her Per Diems, haven’t paid her wages for over a month, and refuse to pay her plane ticket out of the country.
  10. The minivan driver who, though a lovely guy, is still here after killing a dog, and nearly killing us.

And the list goes on.

The Cardboard Box Story

Last week, Bob went out to find cardboard boxes to pack up the Art Dept for the move to Qatar. He found around thirty boxes for $14 JOD. He sent this information to Ibrahim.

Ibrahim then emailed Bob telling him that before ATP bought the cardboard boxes, Bob had to go back to the supplier, photograph the boxes, email the photos to Procurement, then await permission to buy them assuming ATP did not find a better deal.

So Bob left again to do this. He measured the boxes. Photographed them. Then emailed the measurements and photos to ATP. He wasted a whole day on this. 

A week later, and Bob has now been told he can go get the boxes. We now have them.

Good news is, ATP got a discount. About £2 JODs.

Bad news is, if you factor in the amount of Bob’s time ATP wasted, plus that of their own Procurement team, Bob and I reckon the $2 JOD saving they made must have cost the investors over $400 JOD in wasted man-time.


UPDATE – May 19th, 2016

More recently, there was the story of the workbench that should normally cost about $200. But which, due to ATP’s behaviour, ended up costing $50,000. This will be detailed in a blog entry in a few weeks.