The Oman Daily Observer – Sunday January 6th 2013
Between Us Only!
In All Seriousness ….!
I am going to say this a last time – and then we will continue with lesser topics as lately!
Some people may think that I may be naïve and stupid – but I can assure you that I am fully aware that despite the given facts that I am a fully qualified and experienced Omani National Human Resources professional, expert and advisor – I do not receive even temporary consultancy jobs now – because people are simply afraid on what I might write – especially on those companies!
Image for demonstration purposes only! – Omani Lady Workers
In all seriousness – last two weeks back I got this message from a good Indian friend of mine who was promoted and though now heading a small section – he was now going to report now directly to the CEO – an Omani! The guy has been in Oman over 30 years now – and like Johnny Walker – is still going strong! Then I learnt of another expatriate case where the person has now even retired in Oman in his job – though he came to Oman at the age of 25! He also reports to an Omani CEO.
Let us put our cards on the table! I am not denying the facts that these two people were very committed, dedicated, good and talented in their jobs – that is why they were kept on! As a HR professional – it would be not doing my job – if I do not admit this.
Learning on the job!
We had another example of a ‘friend CEO’ – Omani too – who gave away my job to an Indian guy – because he ‘was cheaper – and part of his outlooks – in being able to easier control and dominate people below him – and not the money factor alone. Despite the fact that he was heading a ‘national company’ that was dedicated to offer jobs to experienced and qualified Omanis first and paramount! My disqualification came in ‘being obstinate and not towing the line – the ‘drop dead and lie still’ syndrome.
All The Omani Air Hostesses
In another example, a ‘friend Omani CEO’ wanted to recruit a woman engineer from one country ‘because she looked so pretty – and nice to have around in the offices’ – as he smugly put it – tongue in cheek! Despite me also cautioning him – as my job required me to do so – that her both written and spoken English were below the required levels. Though calling himself as a religious pious person – he certainly would not extend the same treatment to an Omani lady engineer – however pretty she looked!
Future Omani Lady Engineers
The common formulae in all these is the same – if local CEOs could do these to their own lots – why do we want and expect expatriate CEOs and GMs to be different? People see these things going on live – and they copy and emulate! If people cannot be kind and compassionate to one another – and we bring in dirty polarisation and politicking in – what else can be the results?
They also say charity begins at home! If we are so hard and uncompromising on our own – how can the good Lord Protect and Preserve us from harm and dangers of all kinds and sorts – because the concept of ‘neighbours’ is paramount in our religion – because of the concept of brotherhood and being one in the faith and in the beliefs!
At one time if you went to the Banks – you could hardly find any Omanis – maybe a few clerks at junior levels – a driver – PRO – gardener – tea boy etc. There were hardly any Branch Managers – Managers – senior officers – except isolated very few! These now have risen to be in Management – and even GMs and CEOs. today! There are still some expatriates in head offices more – but in the branches they are almost all Omanised! Perhaps a peg or two in services went down – but if you consider the volume of traffic of customers and all the lots – overall they are doing very good competent professional services – and are all dedicated and committed overall!
The same thing can be said of the oil companies – from the time I joined in 1970s where even the toilets and dining rooms were segregated – by seniority – and the seniors were mainly expatriates – with few isolated cases of Omanis coming in at lower levels as clerks and technicians!
I am not bragging – but in my Arab Management books – I said almost the very same things and aspects – covering over 35 years in my career life and with live personal experiences and exposures!
Apart from a few bad apples and eggs – each basket has some – given the right opportunities, breaks and chances – coupled with the right ethical, principled and professional approaches, guidance, mentorship and counseling – Omanis youngsters especially have risen to the occasion – and overall not that disappointing and letting down syndromes – as others would like them to be – and that includes our own – and the ‘old guards’ not excluded!
We are all talking about Omanis preferring to work in the public sector. I have not seen yet a study as to why this is so – but all kinds of theories and concepts – many not yet proven! But the truth can be this – in my offering to volunteer some ideas – if even senior qualified Omanis cannot survive in some places – how can the youngsters?
Especially if the theme and focus is ‘to control and dominate’ – and any raised voices are to be subdued. I have said this in my article – The Offices Mini Dictators – and that includes ‘fellow local friends CEOs and GMs too – and even The Board in some places!
May the Good Lord Protect and Preserve us all – Amin – but changes and focuses are still required – where in some places you still have to look around for Omanis! And those that come in simply cannot survive and exist – because of the hidden agendas and manifestos – the Mafia gangs – and admittedly though from a few quarters – are still in control and in dominating! Including our own too for that matter!
Bottom Line – Change has indeed come! Change now – before change changes you! Take Care!
By Majid Al Suleimany