At My Workplace!
The Jealousy Mean Streak!
- An angel comes to a person and says – Whatever you wish – your neighbour will get twice what you ask for! The jealousy and envy streak kicks in – and he now says to the angel – Make me one eyed blind!
- A fisherman is selling crabs. He has two baskets – one he leaves open, and the other he covers in full. When asked why he replies – the open basket carries local crabs, whenever any is about to get out of the basket, the others pull him in! With the other basket of regional crabs, if one gets out, it helps the others also to escape – that is why I am covering it!
Long time ago when I was a kid in that distant land, I used to like to see peoples repair motor vehicles. So I used to sit and watch them do it, though I wanted to participate, they would not allow me to do so. After all, I was the boss (owner) son – and no one dares dirty my hands, though I really wanted so. So sometimes being mischievous, I would touch the dirty oils and grease. The attendants would rush to clean my hands.
Actually they were more scared of their fellow (African) foreman than my father! They used to say to me – we are not that afraid of your father, but that foreman is something else. He is looking for an excuse to fire us, he sees us too many, and especially when there is competition and the business is not that good. He wants also to bring in relatives of his second wife he just got married to, so all our jobs are on the hanging line.
Besides, they would lament, never expect mercy and an act of compassion and kindness from a fellow African – we are very cruel and hard on each other to unimaginable levels! But your father is okay, he is tough – but he is very kind. Not like our own. Whether the same words were said when I was not with them, is another matter!
Also a kid in that distant land – on Eid days – I used to wonder why the dogs snarled and almost killed each other fighting over the skin and the remains of a slaughtered lamb! Whilst the real meat was actually eaten up by the human beings!
My Economics Professor in UK told us to try this experiment. Go in the streets and give 18 peoples you see Omani Rials Fifty each. Then choose two others, and give them OMR One Hundred. What do you think the 18 will say to you? Thank you for giving us unexpected OMR Fifty out of the blue? No, they will ask you – why did you give those two double you gave us? That is human weakness, foibles and nature to you! Like I have said so many times before – The line between evil and good is so thin – sometimes you may have crossed it inadvertently and without knowing it!
As a young boy – my mind was puzzled why that people of the same group were more to say frankly – so hard and cutting cruel to each other. Far years later in life, I had my own Management Consultancy – and I heard the very same words and expressions – but this time from another race (Indian lady). I would have just ignored it as coming from a lady who was not happy because our business was going badly into heavy losses – but her words reminded me when I had met some of our own in my home village. This time it was another race – but the words were the very same and similar. Like the same song and tune – but sung in different languages!
So I said to myself – let me find from the other races – what they feel on the subject. Any surprises? No, you guessed it right again – the very same outlook and feelings! Isn’t that amazing? Or you can rightly say too – shocking? Why are we so mean, dastardly, cruel and hard to each other – but would make allowances and exceptions to those outsiders and who are not our own? Is there a society that fares better or is really worse off than others – or are we equally bad and mean to each other?
I think you must have met these kinds of peoples in the Offices environment – and even more outside the offices for sure? When it comes to making offers to their own kind and belongings – they are very mean and cruel – but see nothing wrong in paying especially that outsider – even three or four times his own was being paid!
The sad and most tragic thing is that it does not concern nor bother him a bit – and he will go to the extent of defending it in order to ‘curry favours’ and to be seen as ‘our own boy’ looking after us! Our guardian and hero! Even if both candidates are equally qualified and experienced – even if the local maybe even be more qualified! You may be saying to me that this was in the past – and if any cases – are just few isolated ones! But I beg to differ – because I have seen it in reality still happening – and have happened too before many times!
Keep remembering this too. I – as a Human Resources Consultant, Expert and Advisor – have been involved in writing up Companies Policies and Procedures – and I have seen a fellow Omani and CEO/GM/Director want to dilute and or lessen even the salary ranges and benefits – and add in factors like country allowance (disturbance family allowance) and the likes in order to give the Expatriate some added points in order to get more – even if the entry is in the same job category and level. And even for expatriates there are distinctions – with Regional Staff of course receiving lesser – but of course still more than the local!
These things need to stop now by paying someone by the kind of dress and attire one wears. Even the office joke that goes around – especially with the teenagers is – “Today you are wearing shirt and trousers – because you want to get noticed?” – To a man. And skirt and blouse to the ladies – and with that hair open – if you are a woman!
By Majid Al Suleimany