The enviable bunch

I asked a friend, who has been dealing with tens of thousands of South East Asian workers over the years to choose the best nationality among these workers. Do not think that I will look racist or prejudiced in this article when I write about a group of residents, as long as my writing about them will not go beyond the truth, and at the same time reflects the reality of the situation based on the records available in police stations.

He surprised me by saying that the Bangladeshi worker is the most powerful and committed to duty hours, which is completely contrary to my knowledge about this category of workers.

It is right. They do not have the ability to work in the most difficult environments, such as grazing of sheep in the desert, in all seasons, managing high-speed grocery stores, guarding and caring for camps, and working in construction sites in the desert!

However, I began to contemplate the idea and I found he was fully right because the expatriates from no other nationality have the same ability to work in the most difficult environments, such as rearing cattle in the desert around the year, managing grocery stores on highways, guarding and taking care of the camps and working at construction sites in the desert.

Just as they are more devoted to their work than others, we also find them more skilful than others in creating ways and means to become rich and this usually is not overlooked by many.

Some of them, and there are a few deviants, are skilled in stealing manholes covers, or covers of rainwater draining system in the streets, but now they have abandoned this ‘profession’ for others after becoming more professional in other trades.

These workers are seen selling state revenue stamps for a little bit higher price or at the same price and wait to be given a tip after they empty the machines from particular denomination stamps which sell more within that particular government institution.

Others buy stamps from machines that are placed at a distance and then sell them to the public after convincing them that it is difficult for them to walk a long distance and women particularly fall for this trick because they do not prefer to walk and opt for stamps readily available.

We also find these workers leave their cleaning work and look for making money when the queue at a government office or hospital is big and then pick up the right victims by offering them their services after coaxing them to leave the queue by saying they can take care of completing their procedures or any sort of transaction in return for just one dinar or more according to the generosity or stupidity of the visitor.

This happened to me twice and every time I regretted my straightforwardness for refusing the dishonest service.

Some may say that writing about these phenomena is secondary and unimportant, and there are more important things to write about. This is true, but these workers, with all their problems (and I am not here to harm them) contribute, either fully aware or unaware, to fan the flames of corruption in society and we believe this is normal and acceptable.

Based on my concern about the interest of the country, I contacted the manager of a major labor recruitment firm and I explained the issue to him.

However, he said I envy these workers and accused me of hurting the livelihood of these people and here lies the problem. I thanked him for his naiveté, and I did not tell him that some people’s keenness to earn reward from God has negatively affected the many values of society, and this is one of them.

Labor providing companies are actually under obligation to demand their employees to stop practicing activities other than their duties.

The relevant department in ministries of services such as the Interior, Health and Social Affairs are required to warn the public against buying revenue stamps other than from the machines.

email: habibi.enta1@gmail.com

By Ahmad Al-Sarraf

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