A Question of Payments!

For Sunday – June 30th 2013.

Between Us Only!

The Payments Issues!

A Question of Payments!

  • I propose that we abandon our relations entirely. I shall lose nothing by it, for my own emotional tie with you has long been a thin thread – the lingering effects of past disappointmentsLetter from Dr. Freud to Discipline Jung in association relationships breakup in 1913.
  • Pay The Worker Before His Sweat Dries!Islamic Hadith

I have been watching now with increasing alarm, tensions, aggravations and apprehensions concerning the situation vis-à-vis due payments to people – customers, clients and others – and sadly from even well-established supposed to be high profile places – and to the extent that the situation just stinks of just malaise, decadence and decay only! It is so pathetic, disheartening and disappointing that words can no longer describe the situation anymore – and has gone over board for any retraction or retribution.

A long time ago when the rumours were spreading that our Consultancy was closing down – we saw the true picture of people and what they really were ‘when the issue of money’ came in – and they showed us their true colours and mantle that they were hiding so long as the situation was rosy and good – and business was still going their way!

Payment 1 Payment 2

Images Payments – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

You may not believe this but in a way with the Arab expression ‘that from evil came great tidings’ – or as the Brits say – ‘the rainbow after the rains’ – to come into absolute shock and dismay of how nasty and ugly people can turn when money issues come in! There are no borders – and all the red lines are crossed – quite easily too!

In one of the situations that the East Africans call carving your face – kuchonga uso – a good friend of mine took me to one VIP business man with a lot of companies under him! He is surrounded by Expatriate Managers in his family business – and one who frequently even visits the home for dinner uninvited! We were at his house one day – me and my Indian lady Assistant – with even a previously arranged appointment to meet in his house!

We were put in the waiting room – and asked politely if we wanted any soft drinks, tea or coffee? My Indian Assistant as usual just asked for a glass of water – which she hardly drank – but that is a different story for now. The parting remark of the attendant was ‘boss and family’ were having dinner – and with my usual put my foot in my mouth style started joking ‘why boss did not invite us for dinner – especially as he knew we were coming? The poor attendant fidgeted quite intensively – not used to such wise cracks – and what to answer instead! Anyway, this great expatriate Assistant came out with him – after the dinner – and hopefully there were vegetarian food there too – or the person was not observing anymore!

Payment 3 Payment 4

Images Payments – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

This person from the beginning was against ‘helping us out’ – though he had admitted years later that he could – if he really had wanted! I reiterated to him that it was God’s mysterious ways of working – because that is how I had ended and moved to writing – and becoming an Author of 8 books, Columnist and Writer instead! Something that I had always aspired to and wanted as a kid – but knew my ‘father would have killed me’ metaphorically speaking – if he knew what was in the mind of his son then! For the rest of my life what he said to me I can never forget – though forgiven – when he abruptly said to me – Why should I help you? Tomorrow you will live in a posh area, drive a big posh car – and what will I get in return? You mocking and making fun at me?

Some years later – I never learn my lesson – a friend took me again to his office this time – for ‘finding me a job – to pay off my bills’ – and as soon as I had entered – and here the appointment was made in advance too – he picked up the phone – and was telling the person at end of the other line – He is here now – he is looking for a job – but I will not help him! I guess he was so excited to ‘fix me’ that he did not know what he was really doing – or the evil side of him got the better of him!  What hurt me more is not his words – but knowing whom he was talking at the other end! Though I too have forgiven – but the wound will never heal – and it is best to leave these things to Allah God only!

We are again talking of SMEs! But SMEs cannot stand late and delayed business payments – especially when it comes to postdated cheques! PDC – the famous that even the ‘guys that do not speak any English know what it means! Including delayed car installments payments. Again it is Ramadhan – and Great Offers all coming up – but the person who was expecting his payments – and did not receive them in time – is exposed and in great danger of his personal freedom, movement and liberty – if he has taken such a car on installments – and he did not get paid in time!

Payment A PAID

Images Payments – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

The lapse and delay in some especially public places can go over 6 to 9 months even – but the PDCs cannot wait that long. Like I had said in my last week article – The Land Rover story – ‘we have great ideas – but lousy not transparent implementation methods and systems – and not even ethical, not principled and not professional also! Unless these things really change on the grounds – we can all be given a copy of Animal Farm by George Orwell – as ‘standard business manual to read – and keep!

When I was working in my last oil company – there was standard regulation that Suppliers and Invoices etc. must be settled within 40 days – and it was implemented in the system as a follow up and counter check in the systems to follow. Yet in some of the places – even public places – you get excuses like ‘we are very busy – but we will pay! Or the more annoying ones – The person in charge is away – for whatever reason – and we will follow up when he returns! Does this mean that if the person is away – no payments gets done? Why not recruit more Omanis? There are a lot of Omanis qualified out there still looking for jobs – or for changes and better prospects!

The sad and tragic part is that if payments are due to them and are delayed – especially the expatriate lots – the poor fellows – they get hit the most! Even they can freeze their salaries – until they bring the monies in! No wonder they prefer expatriates to these jobs – but even them are now resisting – because the situation has simply gone overboard – and no one is accepting this anymore!

I always believe this – it is far easier to destroy – and one smart aleck can destroy all the good works done by many for many years!

What more can I say now? Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

The Jobs Applicants!

For Thursday – June 27th 2013.

Between Us Only!

The Jobs Applicants!

  • Our young men have proven over the past years that they are people of resolve – Abdicating Emir of Qatar in favour of his son speech June 25th 2013.
  • Every day I wake up a little afraid. Only a fool is never afraid! – Ron Meyer
  • If you do not tell the truth about yourself; you cannot tell it about other people! – Virginia Woolf

I read now with great interests about The Jobs Applicants – and how that from the so-called for interviews lots – that many do not turn up even – or if the minority do – they turn down the offers as too little! And not to their expectations!

I do not know what has really happened or changed – but a few years ago the situation was not that rosy! Whatever jobs that were offered – people ‘ran to grab’ – the only issues remained of high demands and expectations – and of people moving around jobs – and changing for even as little as Omani Rials 30 in the ‘live examples’ per se that I had handled myself – and in trying to talk to them and to convince them ‘not to leave’ – because we had a career plan for them – and were looking at their best interests – even if it may take a bit longer!

Engineering Students

Learning on The Job!

But the wait was better – for their overall interests and benefits! Some of them listened – but many did not! Years far later in life I see them in the very same jobs and levels – whilst their peers that were more attentive to good advices and wisdoms – have moved on – to higher levels! To levels that even for some of them were pleasantly surprising – and least expected!

Craft Engineering

Engineering Craftsmen

I know personally of many cases that some that are now Senior Managers and Directors – but their ‘rolling stone gathers no moss’ peers are at best at middle levels – and that too if they are lucky! That happens to you when you leave a good decent place – for another with a few more Rials – and who are more interested in poaching others trained – to ‘boost their egos and Omanisation figures only – and not really interested in the person in reality – or what he represents.

Generally this happens in mainly expatriate management run companies – and everyone knows this! Does not even need to be said – but as the good Brits say – ‘that is how the cookie crumbles! Despite so many things happening – nothing much has happened in these places in reality – with exception of the new media gimmicks of ‘office parties and long services recognition awards – but apart from that nothing concrete or in reality! The PRO and the Clerk is still there – same levels – years on – years out – whilst his peer is a Supervisor, Asst. Manager – or even a Manager – in the place he left and quickly abandoned for 30 Omani Rials more! It is very sad and pathetic in reality!

Young Graduate

Young Lady Graduate

There is an expression that says – Do not kill the messenger. Over 10 years ago – in my first book I wrote about ‘The Rebellious Teenagers’ – giving live examples – but as usual people do not like these to hear these things – and want to be fooled by always hearing only good news – not the other lot! It is still there – and people can still read it!

In one acrimonious Management meeting – even before this – can you imagine? I had cautioned about the problems of jobs – and the flimsy excuses we were giving at the time of turning away job aspirants – and yet people will always compare ‘apples to oranges’ – when they see many other expatriates – and in large numbers – still working there! If I were in a place where people read my columns – and act on my advices – I firmly believe we could have avoided a lot of things. Yet in this meeting I was clearly sidelined and marginalised – and for a long time after that! For the first time that year I received ‘Just Satisfactory’ performance bonus – when in many years before it was in the superior levels – as a personal message and affront!

Science Lab Students

Science Lab Students

I find it very satirical that the same peoples that are now retired too – telling me that they ‘heard me loud and clear’ – and really appreciated my personal sacrifices vis-à-vis my career progression and prospects! But the part that makes me find it more jovial and pun – is saying ‘we were just following orders – do not blame us’! I guess even the Nazis cold tell the same to the 6 million massacred Jews in the holocaust – if they wanted to! Or in Rwanda – and so many other examples!

Going back to the Job Applicants. In one of the places I was working there was an Omani girl Engineering graduate and SQU too – who had applied for a Secretarial job that we had advertised to replace the expatriates – as ‘jobs reserved for Omanis’ – at least at those times! I asked her point blank if she was crazy or what? She told me – I come from the Interior – I know no one with W here – and even our own do not help us! And I am the only bread winner now – with my sick parents resisting the urge to marry me off to a richer man with 2 wives already – till I finished my studies!

Omani Lady Manager

Omani Lady Manager

When the good American CEO came on a visit from Dubai – I told him this heart rending story of this young Omani girl! The good man told me – You are the Country HR Manager – and make a proposal so we both can recruit her in the Secretarial Slot – but we will move her to look after Logistics and Inventory – which is the ‘nearest Engineering’ job that we had at the time! It was done – and she was recruited.

Engineer-Woman

Omani Lady Engineer Image – For Demonstration Purposes Only – For All The Images Above.

Yet this same girl had gone to many local Engineering Companies – run by expatriate Management. And they told her the very same thing – we do not have any Engineering jobs now – but we can take you in Admin. Admin being the dumping grounds for University graduates – and these same firms are everyday now in the days in various campaigns – and winning all kinds of ‘home country awards’ – and for what? For deceiving and hoodwinking peoples – because like in this case they would have had to train and educate her – and there were no ‘good American CEO and caring local HR Manager’ around! Forgive me – for blowing my own trumpet!

What more can I say now? Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

Biting The Hand That Feeds You!

For Wednesday – April 10th 2013

Spotlight – The Oman Daily Observer

Between Us Only!

Biting The Hand – That Feeds You!

And ending with licking the boot that kicks you!

In writing especially my book titled – A Cry For Help! – www.myown-ebooks.com – I was astounded and shocked beyond belief to find that some few expatriates in good positions and in our country having rather very poor, dim and narrow minded extremely prejudicial biased and racialist outlooks on the country! The more shocking part is that they are courageous and brave enough to say all these things without any fear or inhibition – the audacity of it all! They do not even attempt to cover it with a sugar coating – but give you the pill bitter as it is! I wrote the book – but it was just like talking to brick walls – and just wasted futile exercise for simply nothing! Even one Western CEO admitted to me that ‘he could not believe such things happened in Oman – you do not desrve such things to be done to you!

A - A Cry For Help!

The Book – A Cry For Help! – www.myown-ebooks.com

Recently I read two articles that still continued to shock me to the core! One article was one where a columnist (foreign) was indicating why he chose an airline that was not national to go home on holidays. Mr. Columnist has full rights to choose whatever airline you wish – but do we need the citizens need to know why the preference – and if there is anything you wanted others to know is between you and the National Airline (Oman Air) – we are passengers like you – and talking to us will not change anything – unless that is you want us too to follow you to abandon our national airline – for whimsical reasons!

The other was coincidentally a good Indian Columnist with his heart in the right place – and in remembrances – chiding a Westerner Blogger who is at the same time a Teacher in English at the University level in Oman – and residing in Oman – ‘is apparently full of malice and hatred for Palestinians and Arabs. His generalisations are morbid and so are his attempts to distort truth. Or what else can the reason be for such malice towards the Palestinians..? A good question indeed – and thank you very much for the bold daring action! I hope nothing would happen to you – we can only pray for the risk taking!

I thought these things had now stopped post The Arab Spring Uprisings – but you will forgive my ignorance – because I have been out of offices for quite some time now – and do not know what is really going on now! Incidentally, I am also being protected from hearing and getting bad news from my ‘caring advisors’ – because the last bad news nearly ended me in being hospitalised – being acute diabetic and with eyes problems on top!

I was actually talked out of ‘doing some rather unexpected actions’ on my part out of desperation and reciprocity seeking! What turned the tables for me is hearing my 5 year old granddaughter asking her Mum – Why does Granny look so sad and unhappy? Why don’t you ask him, retorted her Mother> The girl replied – I do not want to hurt his feelings more – and that did it! Our late Mother always used to tell us that sometimes messages that need to be given to us comes in the format of the innocent angels saying unexpected and unbelievable things to us! Just to caution and guide us accordingly!

A long time ago I was invited –n with other Staff – to a family home of one expatriate. I needed to go the gents – so I told my host my dilemma. I found it strange that he had to consult his Madam Wife first before showing me which toilet to use – which I found later belonged to the housemaid! The stranger thing happened next! As I was returning to the sitting room – I saw this big African parrot in the kitchen. Feeling like a cup of water I took a glass – and was drinking it when this upset and annoyed hostesses was drilling me what I wanted in the kitchen? This is not a place for guests! She verbally reprimanded me! Then she said ‘really awesome nasty things’ to her husband about my intrusions! Dinner was not served – but I pulled Madam out – and in the car explained to her why!

Next morning my good Western CEO wanted to know what happened at his deputy house? So I asked him point blank – do you really want to know to take remedial action – or just as a matter of courtesy – and nothing else more? So I told him – when I realised he really wanted to know! Soon we were on the loud speaking phone format with the chairman – who was kind enough to say to me – I want the CEO to know too – so we will speak in English! The poor Invitee did not know what hit him next – how it came into being – but there was a letter signed by him the CEO – and co-signed by me – The Head of Human Resources – for ‘regret that your position will no longer be required due to the emergence of two departments – and the other guy heading the department!

I guess as he was in the plane with his family he wished he was not so hospitable to invite the others to his house – company rented anyway! Sadly he had a very high well paid job – that he threw away – just because of his ‘biases and prejudices’ – and sadly and tragically against the people and the country that offered you the job in the first instance. I think he thought he was still in the other GCC country where such things still exist – but thank God – the doors are closing now in Oman!

A long time ago an Arab President had said – The friend of today can be the enemy of tomorrow – and the enemy of today can be the friend of tomorrow! With shifting allegiances and alliances – we need to prioratise – and watch things out now – who are our real friends – and who are not! We owe it to our destiny, legacy and our future too!

In one of the companies that I had worked – there was a circular for expatriates being posted to a certain country – that went through the Arab Spring storm! It just said – be careful of the office driver, the gardener, the cook, the office mate (locals) – because ‘they all work for the state’ – and will try to entrap you! Thank God I feel great and elated that we have a wise and benevolent leader – and the people are generally receptive in welcome and in hospitality – and importantly respectful of ‘the invited guests ‘ in our country. We have even changed our weekends to remain accommodating! What more do you want?

Take Care!

In All Seriousness…!

http://main.omanobserver.om/node/137207

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.

Omani Worker 2

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.

Omani Worker 3

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.

Omani Worker 4

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!

Omani Worker 1

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

Posted at: www.majidall.com and at www.majidwrite.com