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From:"David Anderson" <>
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Thanks to all those who responded to my plea for metal cassette lids. A note 
of explanation may be in order. Money is not the problem here; rank 
inefficiency and an almost total lack of a work ethic are the real culprits. 
Shortly after I arrived in 1997 we got a microwave oven for special stains - 
it had been on order for about a year. No one here had ever used one before, 
so nobody thought to order plastic coplin jars. It took another 15 months to 
get the jars.

There is little discipline or accountability at this hospital. I recently 
was asked to sit in on an annual evaluation/recontracting interview with one 
of our techs. During the interview, she very seriously asked "What can I do 
to improve my performance - except come in on time?" We start at 7:30 AM, 
she hasn't been in before 8:15 in more than a year and has no intention of 
ever coming earlier than that. Her father is a retired army general. He's a 
good friend of the Colonel who is our lab director. That's how she got her 
job in the first place. There are no consequences for such behavior (except 
for the patients who have people like that doing their lab work). Working 
here is like being in the middle of a huge Monty Python skit. Those of us 
from western countries try to keep things going as best we can, but 
sometimes we seem to be practicing little more than third world medicine.

Michael Fredrickson in Boston, Tim Morken in Atlanta and others who have 
worked at the King Faisal Hospital may have different perspectives. Things 
are done on a somewhat higher level there. I wouldn't discourage anyone from 
coming here if the opportunity arose. The money's not bad and we get lots of 
time off. Just bring a large supply of patience.

By the way, I spoke to my close, personal friends Sheikh Yerbooty and Sheikh 
Mahand. They assure me that gas prices are going to be coming down soon.

Thanks again.
David Anderson
Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital
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