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Location: Muscat, Oman/ Bangalore, India

Round Peg....in a square hole. That describes me! All my life I have never quite fit in ... now I have just given up trying to live up to the expectations of the square hole or trying to find a round one!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Middle East Monographs: Bangladeshi work ethics

Mir, our Bangladeshi household help, handed in his notice today. He is going on to a more ‘manly’ profession – washing cars.

Mir has been in Oman ten years now. And he has not gone back to Bangladesh even once during the period.

In Sohar for over 8 years, Mir worked in the ‘gardens’. (Sohar has plenty of orchards that grow dates and an assortment of fruits and vegetables.) Back breaking work made worse by the desert climate.

About a year ago, Mir felt he had enough of the arduous work the Sohar’s orchards demanded.

Going home was not an option since there were still 3 sisters to be married and he had yet to accumulate a nest egg for a business he hoped to start back home.

Barely literate and largely unskilled, the only employment option available was ‘ doing part-time’ which is lingo for working as a domestic help.

This job was definitely not as strenuous as working in the orchards. But it came with a terrific price. It meant doing the work of a woman!

If the family ever found out, they would hang their heads in shame. They would never accept money earned from such a shameful occupation. Without doubt, he would never get married.

After much soul searching, Mir decided he really did have enough of the hard life of Sohar. He would stoop to working ‘part-time’ in Muscat but only for now. He resolved the family must never know he worked ‘part time’ – washing vessels or cleaning bathrooms.

In the last one year, Mir has been busy cultivating his contacts. Today he just concluded a deal. To begin with he has a ‘contract’ to wash 15 cars everyday. He is confident of getting more cars to wash and life is beginning to look up.

Mir is a happy man. In a man’s world, he is finally doing a man’s job!


Blogger Qatar Cat said...

Hey I would rather wash cars than do housework, too! OK so I don't do either, but I still think I would rather wash cars :^)


5:32 AM, December 05, 2005  
Blogger AkaRound Peg said...

I think washing cars is harder - just think of summer :(

4:05 AM, December 10, 2005  
Blogger Chulupu said...

In PDO, we had several guys washing cars. But they seem to not understand the basic equation of buisiness.

Remember the more Car you wash the more money you make. But the trick is:

1) More car means more work and broken back

2) More cars mean, less cleaning quality, hence customer may pull the plug

what I am trying to say there is a limit for how many cars he can take. And I am afraid 15 cars is within that limit.

4:19 AM, March 09, 2006  

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