Between Us Only!
We Need To Be Serious!
Practising more of what is being preached and in reality!
Or difference between rhetoric and reality!
The other day I had gone to this Medical Centre in Town. As I entered the place there was this Western lady who was at the Reception Desk. She was wearing a white nurse dress – so I presume she was a real nurse acting out the duties and function as The Receptionist cum Administrator at the counter.
She was trying hard to be friendly – and you could tell it was all an act and charade – until she realized that we spoke Queens English to be more receptive! Or perhaps the place encourages only the Rich and Famous Omanis – not like us!
I was wondering to myself whether she was really doing the job as such full time – or would not surprise me being just off Eid – if there was an Omani boy or girl doing the ‘real’ job – but as usual – and not surprising again – the fear of the rain and the wadis – or just Shuwa and Mishkaak (Meat Meals!) at the home village had decided not to turn up – like the rest of the Private Sector did!
Frankly I was perturbed as I was sitting there and though smiling comes in this person (Patient – Western) who sits facing me but my smile is wasted on him – as if we are in Europe – and not in Oman where it is customary too to at least smile and say Hi! as you enter – but that is another story for now! This despite all the things that have happened here before – and my last book published 2009 on the same issues – A Cry For Help! – www.majidbooks.com
Do not blame me by going with appearances – because I simply have no way of knowing! It then dawned to me that if she (Receptionist) was really doing this job full time – then she must have come in on a Labour Clearance and Visa of a Nurse (or even Doctor – nothing is surprising anymore to me now!). And that must be a very expensive exercise of the establishment – and needed to be done anyway because she came with the ‘investment package’ from home – or through other connections, contacts and reasons.
If that was the case, for sure this job (like many others too!) could easily have been done by a local – given the right touch, encouragement, push, mentoring, guidance and coaching! But then who really cares? If you can circumvent the rules and regulations for your benefit – and the others are looking the other way – why not I ask you? Not only here but in so many other places in Town! We Need To Be Serious!
If even all these jobs ‘sort of reserved for Omanis only’ can now be done by expatriates under fanciful names and titles – why not? Could perhaps explain why this expatriate lady was doing a Receptionist Admin job – supposed to be reserved for Omanis.
But if even more senior jobs like Admin, PRO, Secretaries and Human Resources Managers are being done now openly by expatriates under fanciful names – why not? Incidentally and coincidentally if you go to the Professional Sites liked LinkedIn, you will see them brave enough to call themselves as just plain HR Managers – and nothing to be scared or to be afraid about! But perhaps more scare the guy who writes such things instead!
Frankly too – and the other side of the coin – if you as a local and are not really serious about your job aspects, accountabilities and responsibilities – and give them an excuse to bring in a friend or contact from home – or is already here looking for a job or something better – whom do you blame – them or just plain you? After all they have come here to invest with Returns (Profits) On Investments – ROI! And if the office atmosphere can be cheered the more by having home faces – or more friendlier faces – why not!
If the excuse was that she was acting because it being Thursday and the Youth insist on a five-day week as per the new regulations– the two days off could be made on shift-basis – and recruiting more Omanis for the position. This instead of wanting to give bad name to Omanis as being ‘not cooperative – even with overtime offers – instead of these short cuts!
The same story starts to repeat itself with the introduction of the basic minimum salaries – and what followed next! Here we go again!
There is something that I must also say and repeat here for the benefit of everyone – and I hope common sense, dynamism, realism, pragmatism and vision will come in!
First there is no more this element of fear still running or even scantily – and secondly everybody is just fed up to the till!
And if you think still the old games and gimmicks will still work in winning always – you have got it all wrong – and are just deluding no one but yourself only – and those near you! In desperation and last attempt and effort – last week I had written in the same column – Let The Strong Man Win! Do not tempt to scare me anymore – because in the end we will all lose – some sooner than the others!
I think I may need to quit now writing anymore for ever – because I always get hurt and pained in the end – and I end with a bloodied face – and swollen head banging it against brick walls!
Like I have said so many times in the columns – The Romans had said – Those that the gods are out to destroy make them not see, hear or speak. Or as we Arabs say – There is no one so blind but with eyes but cannot see; no one so deaf but with ears but cannot hear; and no one so dumb but with a mouth but cannot speak!
Or as Napoleon had said – Do not interfere with someone set to destroy himself (let it be syndrome).
And finally – Those that bite the hand that feeds them – end in licking the boat that kicks them! – proved so many times before!
By: Majid Al Suleimany
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