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Thank You So Much For Listening

The following conversation was in Arabic between me and the manager of SACM financial dept. I translated to English to share it with you.

Murtadha: Hello Dr  Saad Asswailim ( Many of SACM employees are obsessed with being called a doctor, I even call the reception employee doctor too)

Mr. Asswailim smiled: Doctor? I am not a doctor

Murtadha: Oh, but doctorate isn’t all about the degree 🙂 . Many people became doctor because of their understanding and respect to others. It is life experience, I think.

Mr. Asswailim laughed: That is true

Murtadha: anyway, I am calling you in regard my problem. I have sent an email to Dr. Al-essa (director of SACM) in regard my problem and few days later, my advisor told me that I will be reimbursed for the GMAT course.

Mr. Asswailim: I read your email, but I don’t think we can reimburse you.

Murtadha: Ok. why?

Mr. Asswailim: Because we don’t reimburse students for GMAT courses, and I can’t treat you different than the rest of the students.

Murtadha: I totally agree with you, every students should be treated the same, but the problem is that I am not asking to be treated different.

Mr. Asswailim: So, what is your problem then?

Murtadha: My problem is that I asked my SACM advisor before I take the course about whether or not, the SACM cover the cost of the course and she told me Yes. Of course, that isn’t enough, so I asked her for financial guarantee stating that SACM cover the cost of the GMAT and they issued me one. So based on the information I got, there is nothing that disprove the fact that SACM cover the cost of the GMAT.

Mr. Asswailim: Ok, but that isn’t my problem. I am not the one who issued the financial guarantee for the GMAT course and I didn’t tell you that SACM covers the cost. I have policies that I follow here and I can’t break them.

Murtadha: I totally agree with you. I actually respect that. Can I ask you a question?

Mr. Asswailim: Of course you can

Murtadha: If you were in my situation and your advisor had told you that that SACM cover the cost of that course and she issued you a financial guarantee as a confirmation for that , and after you took the course, and paid the cost, you sent your paper for reimbursement, then you the employee tells you: ” no, we can’t reimburse you” what would you do then:

Mr. Asswailim: Mmmmm, I totally understand your situation, I think you should call Dr. Alissa (director of SACM) again to open an investigation on this.

Murtadha: I will call Al=essa again. I think I find a new journey in life now. I would call it ” Murtadha’s Journey in getting his reimbursement”

Mr. Asswailim: Laughing

Murtadha: by the way, I have to say that you are too kind, because you listened to what I wanted to say. You didn’t only listen, you also respected me and allowed me to discuss the issue with me. That is something I really really appreciate.  So, thank you so much for that.

Mr. Asswailim: You are most welcome. It is my job to listen and talk with you and other students so please don’t hesitate to call back if there is anything else I can help you with.

Murtadha: I will , thank you again so much for listening to me. Listening something is so important and from my experience with Saudi governmental agencies, I found that people who work there like only to talk or give commands. It is rare to find someone who would listen. That is why I want to tell you how much I appreciate that. Thank you for simply listening to me.

End of the conversation.

Mr. Asswaili was very surprised on how something very small such as listening, is so important and valuable for someone else like me.

Make a difference, personal

Kathryn Monet

Kathryn Monet! you may not have heard of this name before, but many Saudi students in Oregon have. She used to work for Saudi Cultural Mission as an academic advisor on Saudi students.  We  have never seen someone dedicated to her/his work as much as Kathryn does.

From the first five minutes you talk with her, you will quickly realize how caring she is. I told her in my first conversation with her that I felt as if she is a darling sister to me.  Kathryn to me is more than just an advisor. She is very inspirational person. She gave me an example of how sincerity in your work impacts the life of others and how the little smile and kindness have the power of transforming people lives.

In fact, the day she decided to leave her position in SACM, was very sad day for all Saudi students in Oregon. In my five years experience with Saudi Culture Mission, there has never been someone like kathryn.

Sometimes, saying “thank you” to a person that has been so kind to you isn’t simple because these two words aren’t always capable of carrying our gratitude and appreciation. There has to be something more especial and valuable and I find it important for me personally to acknowledge this person and to talk about how she made a difference in my life.

I have so many wishes in my life and one of them is eternal happiness for Kathryn. I really wish and pray that her life is filled with happiness, health and joys.