The Hopeless Lot! Reply

The Hopeless Lot!

First Posted January 5th 2010!

Some days back I was invited to one friend’s house for Dinner and I was commenting on the first class show put up for the Official Opening Ceremony of The Muscat Festival. I could see their detached and forlorn looks as if they had been to the Dentist, and wanted it all over. So I queried – what gives? They looked at each other in blank stares, and I could see that they were trying hard to remain diplomatic and tactful, and could see that ’sharp to the point crude reply’ was being kept at bay.

Then they asked me – before we answer we want to ask you a question. Can we? I replied – please go ahead and fire away! I am not sure if that was what I said, sometimes I like to use – shoot! Hopefully one day one will not take it at its literal meaning, and really do the shooting! If that would happen, I guess I will have no one to blame except myself for volunteering it myself!

But seriously though, they went on to ask me how come that I am supposed to be a weekly columnist, and they have not seen anything that I write on the recent price rises and peoples like them (unfortunate and miserable were the adjectives used!), who faced the greatest pinch and hardships of just starting with their married lives were the hardest hit lot with rising rent hikes. They said the rents went even more than the so-called limit that was set, with an ultimatum of ‘take it or leave it’ syndrome!

And yes – you have the guts to ask why we seem so interested not to watch the show? Perhaps did you not think that we could not even afford to go to see the shows, we are not just talking about gate fees but you know the ‘temptation thing to buy something when we go in’? So I had the dinner and left Madam to deal with her relatives, whilst I made an early and quick escape. I guess even for a person who likes his food well, I did not find that particular meal as that refreshing and appetizing.

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After my last article, which was titled At Your Service, I got many angry and upset emails from some young Omanis especially. One works in the Marketing field, another in Insurance and Investment. I picked these two as the best of the lot, the most acrimonious upset and angrier lot. I am repeating them as sent, of course without revealing the identities, so here goes anyway!

(From A) – Tell me about it! (Sad caricature!) – Your article this week M – It is very discouraging and makes me mad pissed off angry! My boss is an Expatriate and his boss is also an Expatriate, they treat us very bad. After several years of getting Superior Performance in my Staff Appraisals, this year I got just Satisfactory. I didn’t panic or anything cuz my sister just passed away and I was sick for a long time – and I was like “what will I gain from the Top Grading, I will die one day”.

But then I said to myself, I worked hard for this grade, I gave my time and energy for this place and now I have to accept the lower grading??!! Then I went to the big people and told them about it. You know I think it’s a useless case. Honestly I am tired of this place; the only thing that makes me stay here is my parent’s house mortgage – as I don’t want it to be closed. If I am getting nothing in my own country I might as well get nothing outside. The problem is that people here won’t change, and they will continue to give more power to Expatriates cuz they don’t trust their own people.

All people in my age would rather leave their country and be somewhere else. We need someone to hear us. One day I dreamt that I am screaming “help” to my Omani boss and the Expatriate boss was laughing at me (it was some nightmare) …I know I am quite capable of so many things. People tell me to get married and have kids and settle. Surprisingly this is not what is happening nowadays. In today’s life people those who get married and have kids won’t settle down, they will need to get a second job to be able to live. Life is more expensive; women who get married now need at least a salary of 1000 OMR to be able to spend over their kids. I am single and live alone, I have no responsibilities whatsoever except going to work.

However, my salary is not enough when I have to pay the bills and put food on the table, how about if I got married and have kids. It’s a disaster. P.S: the Expatriate manager takes (big amount) salary and still wears cheap everyday same clothes for the last 10 years – (so disgusting and out of fashion too). Man as I said it’s a useless case. Don’t ever think that it will change and people will start appreciating you or sponsoring your book, unless you write a book about how great they are (smiling caricature). Please write about me and all the young people in Oman who can’t scream “help” – not even in a nightmare!

From B – Keep up the good works, people like you M make the world go around. You make us all sit up and take notice! You make us to think! Hey, you are saying the truth here! Sad some of the Management are so slow to appreciate talents and skills like you have.

We need peoples like you – who can come out in the open, and stand counted. But I am also afraid – very afraid! I guess if it was for the Expatriate, it would get a big cover and be supported by everyone! It is a BIG disappointment really. I was interviewed by one Executive (Ex Expatriate now Omani) now, and he was sniggering when we said – You know we Omanis..

Then I asked him We? He said Yes I am Omani and here is my Passport (pulled out from his draw). Who asked him?? And why he wants to show it off? I have nothing personal against them being Omanis. But the Expatriate Mafia have controlled our country for so long now. Something gotta give soon. That scares me, with everyone is so sad and unhappy – that we sometimes hate Saturdays are back and return to work! Your article captures it all! And the Omani bosses. They are all concerned just about themselves, their status and positions, and will never rock the boat. Not for anyone!

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Do I need to say anymore? I think it is QED!

The youth are saying it – again – and we need to open our ears and hear, open our eyes and see, and open our mouths to speak – Take Care!

First Posted (Imagine!) January 5, 2010!

Broken Glass – Drawing by Raadheesh

  

END

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