Some Extracts From A Cry For Help! Book
January 12, 2010.
EXTRACTS FROM A CRY FOR HELP BOOK!
D.02.03 – Before you came……!
This is a live example, and had happened five years ago.
I had taken over from one Indian as The Human Resources Manager as per the country’s laws and regulations for these jobs to be reserved for Omani Nationals.
This incident is covered in The Psychology book too – but in brief I was the only Omani in Senior Management then. The rest were majority Indians followed by British, American etc. There were Junior Omani Managers too, including one who was my Assistant.
This guy thought the job would come to him automatically – but did not. An adversary was born (and used and utilized by The Mafia Groups of Expatriates against me).
Then one Finance Director from Dubai (Indian and a friend of the departed Indian HR Manager) came and said in the starting meeting. Mr. M, when the British Manager is not here, we run the meetings in Hindi! To loud uproars and laughter of everybody – including my Assistant Omani peer (he spoke Hindi as per the Omani ethnicity mix).
I felt very bad. Then I said to them – if you want you can continue the meeting in Hindi – but I will not be around to contribute. Including my Department – staring at my Assistant!
They still did not get the message – until the next day The CEO based in Dubai – a good American kind gentleman drove all the way at night to come early morning to hold an Urgent Meeting.
He cancelled all The Senior Managers meetings and schedules. He had heard from others what had happened in the meeting!
He told them very strongly and warning note – M is a citizen of this country. We are a foreign company operating under their auspices. So we must behave and conform, adjust and respect and esteem the Nationals of this country.
Turning to me he said – M, I apologise on behalf of what was said. You should have informed me instead of hearing it from others. From now on – if anyone misbehaves, let me know – and he or she will be out of this company and country before they know it! That includes you too (to my Assistant).
Did it start off badly? You can say it again! But I was not the one that had complained to The CEO (they said to me in unison – it was meant to be a joke – but you took it all wrongly!).
I had no problems after this. My American CEO was a hero to this day, even after leaving the Company 9 months later when all the expatriate Mafias were at me. And especially when I started recruiting more Omanis, and promoting some too.
To the day I left my Omani Assistant was an adversary. My position was filled in by another Omani – not him. Still the message had not sunk into his thick numskull! He still thought he should have been selected.
The troubles and innuendos he caused me in addition to the Mafias made me in the end resign and leave the place.
You can say from the frying pan to the fire – giving rise to my book Psychology of Arab Management Thinking after joining The Chinese Company (Hong Kong).
If we had more peoples like this good American CEO, perhaps there would have been less demotivation, depression, frustration and disappointments – especially in the Omani workforce. That is for sure.
And certainly my two books – Psychology of Arab Management Thinking and this one A Cry For Help would not have come into being – and perhaps less chapters in the Original Book Between Us Only, The Sequel – Between Us Only and Short Takes – Between Us Only too!
Many of the Chapters are related to work related issues and relationships between FEW misbehaving erratic Expatriates (including Management echelons and ladders too) and now the increasing traumatic experienced locals and the FEW that are turning to Religion for solace and comfort
– and as a resultant increased radicalism, fundamentalism, extremism
– and lack of tolerance, forbearance and live and let live syndrome – either by results as a tandem and related – and more worrying if not at all linked and or related!
D.2.011 – Tell Me Who Is Writing For You?
In the last company I worked for (See Introduction) this British workmate sidled to me and whispered to my ear. Tell me a secret – he said – and like in your column in the newspaper Between Us Only! Who is writing these articles for you? And you just use your name added to it? I think it must be one of the Indian Journalists – and either he owes you a favour or you pay him?
Besides the point that he raked bad mouth smell (was eating before), I was stunned by the accusation and incrimination. So sheepishly cowardly and docilely, I said to him – No I write them myself!
So he asked me – how long does it take you to write your column? So I said maybe 20 minutes at the most. Ok he said to me – if I give you a topic, will you write for me? Or better still – you choose the subject – and I will sit here and watch you do it! So – what will you write about?
Really agitated and furious, I said I will write on (topic depleted by Author – unprintable!) – and he got up and said – I think I deserved that. At least humanity strikes in – few minutes later he came to apologise. I should have known better – I did not know you were educated and trained in the British systems and methods – no wonder your English writing is better than even mine.
Forget the point that he was British himself, and he was by grade more senior to me. Then I politely accepted and added – I have already published 4 books (in English). How many have you? – None – he said – I am sorry.
This problem I even experienced 20 years back – when I made a corporate policy proposal – my boss then remarked crudely – tell the guy he did a good job! At that time still young and less confident – I just gaped – and docilely and weakly said Nothing!
D.3.2 – Tell Me All About It!
(What Else Is New?).
After my last article in my column, 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).
M- 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!
D.3. 3 – Do Not SMS me!
The SMS was just a one-liner – Do not SMS me! I am not interested in what you think! – this is from The British Manager who wanted to terminate an Omani Engineer on flimsy grounds – and I as The Human Resources Manager had refused.
And what was my crime? Sending him a Christmas Greeting with some nice sayings inside. I did not make up those sayings – I just forwarded them to him!
Another one was also from a British Manager – Please remove me from your Emailing List – I and him too had clashed before by his impudent, rude and condescending demeaning attitude towards me).
D.3. 5 – Me – I Love You Too Much!
This was told to a British Lady who decided to wear bikini and go swimming in a desert staff camp location. This is not a hotel or resort – where there is more privacy! This desert location had people that never saw a woman for some of them for at least 3 to 4 weeks, some even longer to 2 to 3 month’s durations!
When a Bedouin tribesman from the desert is highly aroused, do not blame him to use his maximum English vocabulary to say how much he loves you – it is not love but something else! She and her husband file a case, the man is arrested.
That is the Omani culture, customs, traditions and heritage to protect and make guests feel welcome and safe. But thanks to human kindness and good nature – my boss a British drops the case – and the man is just reprimanded. The man cries – why are you arresting me? When I saw her, I just fell in love! I have never seen a woman in bikini ever before – this is why I go crazy! But I did not touch her. I asked her if she love me also?
Love takes a twisted turn when you are sex starved and hungry. It is not your head that is talking here – it is something else!
D.3. 6 – The Job Interview in Dubai!
It was a friend who had contacted me. Are you looking for a job in Dubai? I replied I do not mind – it will depend on the job offer. So he tells me! A friend of his brother (British) who worked with him before has got a new job as Adviser to the owner – an Indian Oil company.
They are looking to replace ‘The current Indian Mafia’ (let alone the Company is Indian – including the Top Management). But this Advisor wants to change things – and bring in new blood and outsiders into the system. So I go for the interview.
The man talks big – of changing in things etc. He wants me to be part of the team. The Interview started off badly – after I had asked an innocent question. The question was – why is the Head Office in Dubai – if the Company is in Oman? I think a Professional and Expert would not take the question in wrongly – but he did! He told me sharply and crudely – if you want a job in Oman, then we end the interview now!
I must admit this. I have never been so humiliated and insulted in an interview before like this – especially five minutes after it had started. But my culture and customs kick in – I remain polite. I must admit I need the job.
The interview is at a hotel. Lots of girls that looked decent but could otherwise be different, come in and out! He is more interested in them than in the interview – not like his Assistant who is more professional (also British).All this time I am controlling myself.
The urge to stand up and cancel is too strong – but my stomach advises me to ‘bear and grin it’ – we need the food – it pleads!
He then abruptly sits up. Did you have your breakfast? I said Yes Thank You (they booked for me a hotel room).Then he says – you know I said to (my friend) that if (me) scr…d this up, his head would be on a platter to the chairman. I am not too sure you want a job in Dubai, but we shall let you know. I need to have my breakfast now.
I came to know later that his wife is in Muscat with a good job. She did not join him in Dubai. Could explain a lot of things. Three months later there was still no response. I gather they found someone else … and a more keener guy to work in Dubai. This after the economic downturn that hit Dubai the most …. As in C Series articles to come!
D.3. 7 – Added Charge To The Bill!
I will not say which bill, because I still need the service from that centre!
Suffice to say the extra charge was made by an Indian Accountant AFTER the Invoice was made – and I had queried the legitimacy of some charges. Then he added in – you know they forgot to add this element!
My mistaking for having the audacity of raising my voice, and querying things.
I am sure he was chuckling to himself – another one has hit the dust!
But the question should be – Till When this situation will continue? Till everyone has lost, and a good thing has gone to waste by such weird and crude behaviours? I ask the question again – in this my book!
Thus The Book – A Cry For Help! Please read it together with Psychology of Arab Management Thinking – my First Management Book.
Regards and Best Wishes,
Majid Al Suleimany
January 12, 2010.