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Posts Tagged ‘Wasta’

Embarrassing People

Have you ever went to a place full of expats and you had one arrogant Omani guy who thinks that he is “special” and you just felt so embarrassed that you are in the same room and wearing an abaya?

Yes, Oman like any other Gulf/Arabic country is full of  wasta (I will use Nadia’s Def.: “Wasta is getting what you want in life when you don’t deserve it by using your social connections and the grapevine”). It goes to the extent where people are offended if you don’t let them slack off or give them a break when they mess up. This guy who happened to make me feel embarrassed, was giving an application to a woman at this place and didn’t have enough cash. Now, according to the policy, the lady cannot accept the application or keep it with her (pending) till this guy goes and gets the cash. He was insulted. Apparently he thought his old age look (around 50’s) gave him the right to demand a special treatment.

“For God’s sake, look at me!”, he argued, “look at me standing in front of you!, and you tell me you cannot accept the application!?”
The lady, very patiently, responded “I am not trying to disrespect you, but our policy does not allow me to accept your application”
He looked at her in disbelief and said, “Where is your SUPERVISOR!”… this word is usually said to scare who ever is working  from being fired or deployed, but the worker is an Oman woman and I’m sure she is not afraid of deployment!
She excused herself, went to her supervisor. During this time, this middle-aged guy (really, he didn’t look old) managed to scam the money out of a naive and well prepared Indian expat. Not just that! The Omani guy was arrogant about it too. After the Indian guy gave him the money, he said.. “I will pay you DOUBLE what you just gave me!”. He was loud and obnoxious! As if this Indian guy was getting a great DEAL out of this..

It was embarrassing to see.  The guy took the money, finished his application, and went to the bathroom. Later, he returned like nothing happened, sat down and waited for his name to be called.

This whole thing unfolded just like this Omani guy wanted: he got what he wanted the way he wanted.

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