Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mediconex 2008

This medical conference at the CICC.. Some lectures and presentations n' a lot of companies showing off their medical machines and products.. and more doctors than you'd ever want to see collected in one place.
I kept thinking how hilarious it would be if someone had an accident or a medical emergency in the middle of this place swarming with drs.. I imagined it more like a huge pack of hyenas ripping the corps of a young deer apart.. kinda.. moving along now.

Dee told me about it and said they needed a hand so a few friends of mine and I went to help out with the registration and some other things for the duration of the conference.
We also supposedly get 500 pounds after the 4-day conference is over.. and sure, the "experience".. but we all know why we really went now ;p

Salma, Zizo, Monti, Khaled, Sherif, Raja and Reem.. some of my friends from uni came to work at this conference too.


Day 1 (Saturday)
We all got together at 7 am to unite in a noble quest of name finding at the registration desks.

After a couple of supervisors took turns to explain how everything went, we killed time till the doctors show up by trying to tie zizo's necktie..

It was originally owkay.. he had tied it after watching a how-to video on youtube =p but he took it off and people started taking turns trying to tie it back..
Kept turning out too long, too short, too tight, knot too big, knot too small or the thinner end racing with the broader one to shine. It got so crunched up, the poor thing, till supervisor Ahmed came to the rescue.

And in case you're not acquainted to Salma Khalil, she doesn't function early in the morning. Let me explain.

One of the guys working with us, Tarek, came by to take the attendance.
After ticking by the names of the people we know,
Tarek: dol kolohom?
Salma: w fee dina di bas ma3rafsh dina eh.
Tarek: di anho wa7da? *looking at the group of people collected around the talking supervisor*
Salma: *be kol seka* elly labsa abyad w eswed!
This might seem owkay, but given WE'RE ALL wearing black and white? ... yeah.
luv ya lue! =D

Zizo, Salma, Monti and I were assigned to the registration desks from letters A to L.. We sat behind booths by the entrance and in front of us was this big funny looking fountain. Thin streams of water came down from the ceiling in perfect alignment.. which was weird.. and we spent most of the time during the day blankly staring at it, coming up with theories of how it might be working.
El mayya nazla 3ala string.. nazla 3ala thin transparent tubes.. fee tank 3'aweet fo2 and the holes in the ceiling have some type of adjusting system where the water is let to get through in thin streams.. yeah we had a lot of free time on our hands.

Apart from that, whenever a doctor comes to the booth we get up, ask them for their name, look it up in the lists, highlight it, prepare their name tags and gift bags and explain that the attendance is taken with the bar codes. Anything else, we send them over to whoever the poor soul is sitting behind the computer =p

All through the day, loads of doctors came over and the more we became very systematic. At one point, a female doctor came up to me and was asking where the laboratory conference was (they were divided to aesthetic and pain on our side and laboratory on the other side) and I was pointing down the corridor and saying the same thing I say to anyone else who ask about it without yet looking at the doctor. When another female doctor who had come with her screamed "Sarsouuuuuura!!". It was my aunt! xD We hugged and kissed and I showed her where she should go for the lab registration. But it was quite funny how I didn't instantly recognize my own aunt!

Later an African man came by and said he needed help to know how much credit he has left. He was on vodafone and when he dialed customer service they talked in arabic (followed by the english version of course bas shaklo et7'ad mel 3araby). Told him he had 71 pounds and mesh 3arfa kam piasters and he asked "So is that enough to make a phone call?!".

A Chinese lady also came by.. with hardly anything understandable in english.. she kept saying "exbeteh! exbeteh!" which we found out after a game of sherades that it meant exhibitor. You should see these people sitting in their booths with tiny lunch boxes slurping their noodles.. Something out of an anime cartoon.
W Salma: "el yabaneyeen dol technologeyethom kwayesa.. wel seneyeen.. kol elly 3enehom keda *pulling her eyes back* dol".. loooll

Another guy was standing a little bit away from the booths but looking at Monti and I, winking and moving his hands like he was having a seizure. We both looked at him with looks full of question and looked at each other to see if one had figured out what he wanted, but in vain. He then came up to us and asked "howwa ento mesh betwaza3o shonat bardo? matedony 7aga keda" like he was asking for cocaine.. we explained that we weren't "benwazza3 shonat" and he walked away.

But it was a pretty tough day overall. Feet got sore.. suit buttons flew! and we went on from 7 am till 6 pm on shay be laban w croissant.


Day 2 (Sunday)
I went a bit late that day because I had to pass by the bank get the bank statement and give it to chifa so he could take it to the embassy. The guy kept translating 69 to "ninety six"! =s

The weather today was horrible.. it rained a bit on the way there and by midday we had a dust attack. It was all yellow you couldn't see the end of the street.

Annnyway, we sat in the same place.. the fantastic four =D giving out name tags, lunch coupons and bags.

Today though, we were told to ask the revered doctors to see some ID first since we've been getting impostures asking for some dr's stuff then the real doctor comes and hell breaks loose. This presented a whole lot more mawakef w tara2ef. A few present them right away, others tell us they have no ID whatsoever on them.. no cards or licenses or anything at all.. and others got totally offended that we're asking for an ID.
Some of them were so full of themselves:
Dr: mmm howa ana lazem a7dar 3ashan el certificate?
Salma: aywa 3ashan el hours elly 7adretak bete7darha betetketeb 3al certificate
Dr: tab mesh ha7dar ba2a.. w ha7'od el certificate!
Salma: *giving him the wana mal ma mere look* 7adretak momken tetkalem fel mawdoo3 da ma3a ostaz Ahmed henaaak.

Like yesterday, we had a lot of free time on our hands. We played otobees complet and I lost.. and we had decided en hayeb2a fee a7kam. So let me a7kelkoooo 3al a7kam!

1. something that had to do with the fountain in front of us that I don't remember because I suppressed the memory.
2. going up to a doctor and asking him for the time, then I look at my watch and tell him "sa7! mazboot!" and walk away.
3. going up to a doctor and asking to take a picture with him and for his autograph.
4. going up to a bald security guy asking him if he's 3ezzat abo 3of and asking for his autograph.
5. going up to one of the chinese guys screaming "JET LIII!" and asking for his autograph.
6. when another doctor comes up to the booth i have go "uuuuhhhmmm" before any time I say anything.
7. calling sherif elmahdy.. elma7shy coz he haaates it.. looll
8. going to the german lady at her booth and go like "ich.. bin! du.. bist!.. er w siie w es... iiiiiist!... w ehhhhhhhh!" ... yeah.

They just couldn't deciiiiide =p so I didn't do any.

There was also fakret el wonders from all around the world beta3et zizo.. where he told us about how the zoos are showing the pandas videos of other pandas getting together and that the girl panda hits the guy panda right after they get together.
Salma: heyya di tabee3et el 7ayah..
Zizo: EH?? LA2! DA 3AND EL PANDA BAS!

Oh and the young guy who loved an 89 year old woman and she died the day they got married. (no wonder)

And the camel story.. which I won't be telling =p

And the airplane elly mesh beyetla3ha anyone in clothes..yeap, the captain, stewardesses and passengers.. with special seat belts and a no-hot-drinks-served-on-board rule.

And I added one about the pregnant guy.. or well, the former girl, guy.

At another point,
Khaled: heyya eh salut di?
Zizo: salut? di FERAAAAA7'
me: mm salut a la creme..

Later during the day, Salma and I were returning from where we were praying and laughing about something and a random guy in the way back to our booths went: "beted7aky 3ala eh yaaaa..." while we were walking.. and Salma goes "wenta mal omak yaaaa.." we7na mashyeen bardo XD and a doctor walking in front of us hears her and turns around and she goes "3andak moshkela enta kaman?!" loooll.. mabetharragsh!

Just another day at the office =p hehe..


Day 3 (Monday)
The fantastic four reunite.. same place.. same time.

We've been losing so many pens! The doctors use them to fill up the registration forms and take them with them althouuuugh they have their own pens in their gift bags. And it's not like they take it while not noticing that they have.. because in numerous times they do notice and take them anyway! the cheap ... doctors!
So I took elbetoo3 that go around our necks betoo3 el name tags and tied the pens to the end of them and to the bars of the booths. Proved very effective ;D

Oh and wazeer el se77a came by.. they got two pharaoh statues and put them on both sides of the door in celebration! loooll

Game of the day? connect the dots!! xD

W zizo kan beytalla3 zaha2o 3al dakatra ba2a =D

Dr: el registration hena?
Zizo: ayyywa
Dr: Ashraf 3abbas (or whatever) .. ostaz mosa3ed! gam3et el azhar! *looking at us be tarf 3eeno*
Zizo: *got out his paper and holding it* Sara! doctor ashraf 3abbas! ostaaaz mosa3ed gam3et el azhaaar! 3andek?
me: *trying haard not to laugh* la2 mesh 3andy ya zizo
Zizo: *handing him his things* asta2zen 7adretak temlaly el form di bas..

Another time with another victim..
Dr: ana saken fel 3omarat elly hena di.. akteb el 3enwan bardo?
Zizo: anhy 3omarat?
Dr: elly hena di *pointing outside*
Zizo: anhy wa7da?
Dr: henak! nemra 81
Zizo: la2 law keda 7adretak ekteb el 3enwan.

And Salma! A doctor was asking her about something and she answers: 7adretak roo7 henak *pointing to the booth with the computer* hayzabbatoook! xD

Oh and the horror!! I had two female doctors blow me kisses as they were passing by! >< There's also this guy we hated working on the N to R booth. Zizo and this guy (el wad stretch) were getting the coffee breaks.. el croissant wel shay belaban =p when stretch asks the people serving if someone could carry the drink for him.. zizo asks him: matshelha benafsak.. stretch goes: mesh ba3raf.. and he got someone with a tray to carry his cup for him .. he asks zizo if he wants someone to carry ours with his and zizo goes: la2 shokran ana ragel.. basheel 7agty le nafsy.. xD yeap.. juuust another day at the office.. Day 4 (Tuesday)

coming soon .. mekasela right now

...aaaand back by popular demand! xD loooll tsk tsk.. makontesh a3raf bet7ebo el fadaye7 keda =p

Day 4 was different than all the other days.. We knew we were in for one hell of a day! For today, was certificate giving day. That wouldn't be much of a problem if they were normal certificates, but relative to the past 3 days we had had.. what's "normal" really?!

These certificates my friends, are hour based. That means that on each certificate for each doctor, according to his/her attendance using their bar codes on their name tags and the "high tech awel marra yettaba2 fel 3alam el 3araby" system (yeah, right we7na 3amleen zayo fe project fe talta gam3a), the hours they attended are printed. That also wouldn't be a problem if it was a reliable system, but what do you expect of a coder who writes "applay" on a button?

The problem was.. actually, the problemS WERE that sometimes it could print "0 Hour(s)" on a certificate of a doctor who had attended stuff. Let alone that "0 Hour(s)" on a certificate looks very demeaning. Apart from that, sometimes for a single doctor, if his certificate is printed twice wara ba3d 3alatool, a different number of hours is printed. Apaaaaart from that, a doctor got something like 96 hours printed on his certificate xD .. which is technically IMPOSSIBLE! So you see, we had a whole lot to look forward to.

We went there in the morning at the same time, but today we were located at the other end of the hallway. Feeling optimistic w kollena nashat w 7ayaweya (so not), we set up el2a3da henak.. three laptops connected to three printers and a good supply of empty certificates and envelopes.

An IT guy sat with us for a while, only god knows why.. and he decided to yesha3'alena moseeqa sha3beyya 3al sob7. Juust what we needed really. "el kalemat 7elwa aaawy".. But then as soon as he got up to do something, I stopped the playlist so he kinda got the hint.

We killed time by playing online games, iSketch and reading celebrity gossip on people.com =D and when a doctor came by to get their certificate, we'd use the super kewl laser thingy to read the bar code, get the name on the database, print the certificate and cross our fingers they don't complain about the hours.

Breakfast time came quicker than any previous day.. maybe because today we were a little entertained? 3 shay be laban w wa7ed shay as usual and salma tells zizo "zizo 2ollo laban keteeer" and she doesn't get the laban keteer and tells zizo "zizo feeen el laban el keteer?" and zizo goes "mana ma2olteloosh aslan!" and salma gives the "hat3'aba 3alek" look xD .. it's like watching your fave TV show.

Another IT person came along.. a petite pikatshu sounding lady that jumps in whenever a doctor asks US a question. Big staring eyes and over 150 words per minute. Most likely on ecstasy. But .. kind hearted and means well, I guess.

She wasn't half as close to annoying as the IT supervisor was though. Hands in his bocket (yeah, ma2sooda), 3adad etnen mel3aqa kabeera samna balady on his hair and talking be tarf mana7'eero. We kept telling him about the problems in the system but he wouldn't believe us..
"la2 mosta7eel" .. "di 7aga aslan logically impossible" (duh we know that ya 3abkary zamanak, yemken 3ashan keda ben2ollak 3aleha?).. "la2 howa ento mesh 3arfeen testa3melooh kwayes bas" while slightly laughing like we're the village idiots and he's the almighty tree of wisdom. If there was someone who could get on your nerves just by looking at them, that was him.

Surprisingly though, things went better than we expected. We didn't have as many complaints as we thought we would, partially because some of them didn't really care much for it. But of course we had tons ask "why does it say 4:17 Hour(s) when I attended everyyyything!" and others who were offended by the 0 Hour(s) on their certificate.. law 3aslago awy nod7'ol 3al database change the number of hours so it can turn out something like "12:47" and then tell them "ah akeed el system ma2arash el bar code kwayes awel marra.. mota2asefeen 3al 3otl da" .. koftageyya aaaa7'er 7aga!

So the day was relatively going well.. till lunch happened.

Salma, Sherif, Hussam and I went to the hall where we'd have lunch after the others came back so they'd cover for us. Normally, lunch consists of a bowl of salad as big as the palm of your hand, the main dish that has a piece of chicken, meat or fish, a rice block and possibly some saute and finally the dessert: chocolate cake!
Normally bardo, as soon as you sit down a waiter comes by and sets up the cutlery then shortly after the dishes are all in front of you.

What happened that day is that we sat there for a while till someone took notice of us and it wasn't crowded at all. The meat didn't taste like meat.. and with all the donkey butchering going around, we had quite a couple of theories. Sherif had to wait for over 30 minutes and had to ask over 4 times for a fork before he got one. The drinks came in glasses that might've been previously used to collect urine samples. And the cherry on the cake, or more like.. the thumb prints on the cake!
I'm not normally a nit picking person but this was just utterly disgusting.

We eventually got through lunch, went back to our posts and el7amdulelah none of us started getting white foam bubbling out of our mouths.

By the end of the day, we printed certificates for ourselves with 150 credit hours =D and signed each other's certificates and took loads of pics and posted them on facebook of course =p

We also decided to go have LUNCH at chillis.. so we got our stuff and headed for the cars. Sherif came with me because he felt us girls shouldn't be alone, and thaaat was a good call. As we were exiting the gates of the CICC, I stopped to check shantet el 3arabeyya because I thought it was open. It waaaas open.. and it wouldn't close!
The guy at the gas station opened it in the morning to get some kind of green water and must've not shut it well, but I hadn't felt it was open till then. Monti and Khaled were in the car behind us and stopped to see what's going on. They all tried to close it but in vain. So what they did is, open the way to el shanta through the backseat and try to hold it down with our name tags. They got the name tag thingie through the backseat and tied it to the headrest of my chair. And that actually kept it kinda shut. At least shut enough not to have the thing swing to full length while I'm driving. THANKS A LOT GUYS!

We got to chillis, had proper food and told stories of all the things we saw during the conference. Then Khaled told us about this lady who came to register.. Her name was.. ehem.. Mussrat Afzal. The poor thing.
Words fail me.... you should've seen zizo's reaction xD

Ultimately this was such a good experience. To be in contact with so many people that wouldn't normally be in our circles of ma3aref. To learn to deal with different temperaments and be, well.. kiinda diplomatic. looll
It was an great chance to spend aaaall this time with some of the most wonderful friends and have these memories which I'm sure none of us will easily forget.. because I'm sure we'll be continuously laughing about them every chance we get. =p
bla bla blaaaaaaaa... LUV U ALL!! =D
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