Expatriate Casual Workers!

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For Sunday September 1st 2013

Between Us Only!

Expatriate Casual Workers!

I was reading this news headline (Muscat Daily August 29th 2013) titled ‘Municipality faces shortfall of workers’ – ‘Many decide to leave because of new contract system’! It seemed that many of the workers are now going to get reduced salaries and without allowances – and those who used to get up to OMR 260 per month – depending on their grades – are now going to get average of 150 per month!

Frankly and honestly speaking, sometimes the mind just boggles who actually makes such decisions that subsequently leads to such results and consequences – and whether the decisions were well thought and considered before thoroughly prior to make such random and hasty decisions?

In an article I had written on the same subject – over 10 years ago – I had said – These jobs (Municipality Cleaners) would be the last jobs to be Omanised – and even far after the last Expatriate CEO and Manager have left the country! These casual jobs have better future prospects than even the Management ones of their peers.

I went on – At 3 a.m. they are still cleaning the streets – whilst the rest of us all are snoring deeply in our beds!

Some years back – I was travelling one night at 4 am to pick a visitor at Muscat Airport – and I nearly witnessed a ‘nasty road accident’ – when one of the Cleaners had moved towards half of the road to pick up a tissue left on the road – and the poor man was nearly run over by a speeding car – even at this late hour in the empty road. I do not know what the rush was in for?

There are no takers for these jobs.

I am frankly convinced that our youth would prefer to live ‘on social welfare’ – as a worst case scenario – then go and do these jobs!

A long time ago some people had come to deliver a washing machine to my villa in Qorum. This is what I had written in my article – quote – The Angry Driver – He (the young Omani youngster) nearly ran over me as he was reversing the truck fast as I was guiding him through the gate. I asked him what gives? Or should I call the Police? He broke down saying that this job (truck driver) was the only job he could get!

So I asked him – Forgive me Son! What qualifications do you have? He said he did not even finish his final secondary school! Madam wife was annoyed why I was getting involved – when I told him bluntly that he should thank his ‘lucky stars’ that he got a job!

The Omani young boy turned to his Indian peers saying in their lingo – These rich people look down on us – because we are poor! Yes I live in Qorum – thanks to my Oil Company – but I am certainly not rich!

I could not hold back my laughter – because he did not know that I studied in Tanzania in Indian Schools from Class 1 Primary to High School! At young age I could even write my name – and my father’s – in Hindi – and embarrassing the boy even further!

At another occasion in another place there was an elder Omani with some Indian workers. When he saw me ‘he was guiding the other workers’ – and I had thought that he was the ‘foreman’ – but he had elected himself for the position. The real foreman (Indian) soon put ‘the show off’ man ‘right back to his position’!

When I studied in UK I stayed in a house belonging to a Pakistani. He came to UK and though had some certificates ended as a bus driver! He had saved enough to be able to get himself a house in the end!

Even if after a shift – if there was no other driver in the other shifts – or not turning up – as in many cases – especially in weekends and immediately afterwards – he would volunteer – and he used to get double rate for going extra shift! His local peers had all their monies go into bars and girl friends!

We should also remember – in conclusion – that the basic salaries for Omani Youth had gone up. This is a wrong time to reduce their salaries (expatriates) human beings as they are in ‘comparing and contrasting’!

As a Human Resources Professional of over 35 years – and Management Consultant, Expert and Advisor for over 12 years – I think a review is in order – under all the aforementioned – and with due and sincere apologies!

Take Care!

By: Majid Al-Suleimany

Why We Are Failing! By Majid Al Suleimany

 

For Sunday October 7th 2012

My Website – www.majidwrite.com

Between Us Only!

Why We Are Failing!

Lack of professionalism, ethics and principles – Why We Are Failing!

This article is shown in full also in my new website www.majidwrite.com

Frankly, if I have to sum it all up in one sentence – I can elaborate in saying – that it is all due to the problems that we are all facing us now all over – and failing badly – is all due to this great craved hunger to always to try to frighten, intimidate, control, dominate and manipulate others.

I will share with you today this email from a good Indian friend of mine! Quote –

Image Ghandi

Lovely Presentation – Why We Fail! – By Ghandi

1        Lack of Persistence.

More people fail not because they lack knowledge or talent but because they quit. The total secret of success lies in two words – persistence and resistance. Persist in what must be done and resist what ought not to be done. When problems seem insurmountable, quitting seems the easiest way out. Winners are struck but not destroyed. We all have setbacks in life. Failing does not mean we are failures.

2.       Lack of Conviction.

People who lack conviction take the middle road; and guess what happens in the middle of the road? You get run over! People without a conviction do not take a stand! They go along to get along because they lack confidence and courage. They conform in order to get accepted even when they know that what they are doing is wrong! They behave like part of a herd.

3.       Rationalizing.

Winners may analyse but never rationalize. That is a Losers game. Losers will always have a book of excuses to tell you why they could not. We hear excuses like – I am unlucky – I am born under the wrong stars – I am not good looking – I don’t have contacts – I don’t have enough money – The economy is bad – If only I had the opportunity and If only I didn’t have a family!

4        Not Learning From Past Mistakes,

Some people live and learn – and some only live! Wise people learn from their mistakes. People who do not learn lessons from history are doomed. Failure is a Teacher – if we have the right attitude. Failure is a detour – not a dead end. It is a delay – not a defeat. Experience is the name we give to our mistakes. 

5        Lack of Discipline.

Anyone who has accomplished anything worthwhile has never done so without discipline. Discipline takes self-control, sacrifice, and avoiding distractions and temptations. It means staying focused. Steam does not move the engine unless it is confined. Niagara Falls would not generate power unless it was harnessed.

6        Poor Self Esteem

Poor Self Esteem is a lack of self-respect and self-worth. It leads to abuse of one’s self and others too. People with low self-esteem are constantly looking for identity. They are trying to find themselves. One’s self is not to be found but to be created. Idleness and laziness are consequences of poor self-esteem – and so is making excuses. Idleness is like rust that eats into the most brilliant metal.

7        Fatalistic Attitude

A Fatalistic Attitude prevents people from accepting responsibility for their position in life. They attribute success and failure to luck. They resign themselves to their fate. They believe and accept the predestined factor written in their horoscope or stars – that regardless of their efforts whatever has to happen will happen. Hence they never put in any effort and complacency becomes a way of life. They wait for things to happen rather than make things happen.

Namaste!

So the next time you want to blame someone – or find an excuse why you failed (or failing) – remember the words of The Great Man. – Unquote. 

If you are a General Manager – micro-managing and your mind is controlled by simple and small things like how the Cleaner cleans the floor – and leaves the dirt behind – or how many spoons of sugar a staff puts in his cup of coffee or tea – and yet you are in charge of an operating budget of millions of dollars – how can the two merge to be a successful operation – when your mind and everything else – is this defeatist self-centred selfish outlook ‘not to spend money’ – as if it comes from your own pocket – and is your own money? Yet this same person has no hang ups or whims to buy an expensive company car – and all the benefits and comforts for his own personal office and ego! 

A few years ago in one GCC country The Head of Marketing called all his Sales and Marketing Staff to ‘give them a piece of his mind – and lecture on – either you do – or! You know the usual ritual stuff – if not – you are fired! But what took a dramatic and twisted turn was he putting all the staff names in a box – and asking one staff to choose pick  ‘three names from the box’ – that he was going to fire that day – as a lesson (encouragement and motivation!) to the rest! Luckily for the poor chooser – that he did not pick his own name. That would have been suicidal! The staff were so much antagonized and traumatized – that the news reached outside the office – to the press – and to the rest of us! 

Now this was a typical case where sales were fluctuating. So to save his own neck – he was turning the guns ‘like that General to his own troops’ – as is my favourite quote! And this is where the problems lay!

With the Top Senior Management and The Board wanting to get excuses and reasons – the scape goats’ syndrome – and letting others do the ‘dirty works’ – and if the situation would eventually explode – as it does in many cases! –  new scape goats would again be found (Animal Farm!)! 

 If he is very lucky and fortunate the GM would be transferred to a quickly artificial created position of Head of Corporate Strategic Business Development Director (Advisor in other places!). Otherwise in very few rare cases he will be seen to the door – by the Security Staff – as we see in the films! But these things – trust me – do not happen in real life – at least ours! 

During the time of my Consultancy business when it was on its death-bed – I had people (all expatriates of course!) – that came to me with their salary deductions statements – because the outstanding amount that was payable by us – was being deducted from the poor man’s salary – as if he was responsible for us not paying! Remember the deductions were carried out by mainly expatriate heads – though there were some isolated cases of not to be left behind – ‘instructions from the local heads’ too! How wicked and vicious one can get? 

Images Failure For Demonstration Purposes Only!

In my career life of over 40 years – I have noticed this. Especially emanating from our own in running their businesses per se! As soon as he (or she!) is nominated for the high position he will introduce quick dramatic drastic changes – and the most crystal clear ones are that he is now surrounded by people (cronies!) that he can always trust – and remove those of his own that he perceives as ‘a threat to his own position and standing’ – and that includes people like his own peers! 

Especially those from within (or few outside cases – which he cannot touch much!) shortlisted for his position – before he got it! Trust me – I am speaking from personal experiences and exposures here – and I have so many cases to prove these too! Even in my Arab Management books! Read my article 8 years ago – The Offices Mini-Dictators! 

The most sad, pathetic and tragic part is this mistaken illusion and connotation that – you must be surrounded by ‘only expatriates – and encourage all high positions in the future to be reserved and to be kept for the expatriates’ – with due respects to our expatriates – as they too become victims from their own in many means and ways too! 

Personally, I have nothing against expatriates recruitment – if in reality there is a vacuum from available within local talents and expertise – but what about outside your offices? Did you try at all? Frankly too – nor do I believe in artificial window dressings – of putting Omanis as Heads and Top Positions – that are there just for the show – and just for signing approvals and payments – for The Press – whilst all the hard, dirty and all other works are done by expatriates. 

In one of the interviews in one so-called National Company – they gave me to do an entry College trade test in Human Resources – which I refused to do! Given to me by fellow Omanis – and sadly and tragically not even Human Resources experiences and exposures like me even! But then he got a Doctorate in Human Resources – and for sure do not be ‘surrounded by fellow Omanis – especially real qualified HR Professionals’ – because they will expose and find you out! Bring in that pretty expatriate woman with all smiles and charms – and mistakenly thinking ‘she will not talk’! She will surely still talk – with her friends at home – and you are not there to hear it! Yet smile and wink at you in the offices! 

I wrote on this before in my columns – before things went more bad for me! Yet this same place is always in the news too! How misguided and misinformed our own are and can be! That is why even after leaving them – they still cannot stop the hatred – because nobody wants to hear the REAL TRUTH being said!

What more can I say now?

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany