These are the people who do real work. At 50 degrees temperatures and from early in the morning till late at night. These freelance labor , electricians , plumbers and other such people are the ones that make our homes comfortable and maintain what we work all year to destroy.

What makes me start to think is these are the people we ALL bargain with. We try to reduce their rates as much as we can. We argue with them for 5 riyals. We call them thieves and liars for overcharging for things they purchase to replace in our homes. We , however, NEVER argue with 5 star hotels or “classy” service providers, even though they DO overcharge and the money we pay them basically gives us nothing but a few days of pleasure in their facility.

We completely overlook the HARD work these “labor” put in. So what if they charge even an extra 50? DO we get poor by giving it to them? They are obviously not so rich. And they need every penny they can get. They have larger families than us back home. More kids and relatives depending on them. And, that fat manager at the 5 star facility, making “handsome” amounts with few dependents on him , hands us an invoice of thousands and out comes our gold card.. with great pleasure and that expression of  ” I can handle this buddy”  written all our your face..:)

This guy hands us an invoice , an ugly piece of paper with lousy handwritten amounts and breakdowns and we stare at it for an hour. Think about it. Discuss it with our spouse. Make faces and look at him like he just stole all we had and ask him for details and start bargaining.  Then we pay him reluctantly and he leaves. Then we discuss about how these people have no values and they lie and cheat and bla and bla and a whole lot of other blaaaa…!

Pretty pathetic , won’t you agree?

2 thoughts on “Workers

  1. It’s a fair point, but I would argue that many of those who call themselves professionals in their chosen field really aren’t. The work that they do is amateur. It’s not true for all, sure, but I’ve been disappointed too many times. I refer back to your earlier post, about tipping. If the service is worth it, fine, reward the worker. If it’s not, don’t. I tip the carwasher, the waiter, the petrol pump attendant. I paid the electrician SR50 for the thirty minutes he tried to fix my car – it didn’t work, but I knew that he tried. But, for example, I won’t tip the 5 guys who tried to lift 4 boxes two meters from a forklift to the trunk of my car. I could have done it myself, and even if I couldn’t, it didn’t need 5 guys to do it. They were just trying to make a quick buck – and that pisses me off.

    Same goes for the garage that tried to charge SR7000 for spare parts for my car, until I discovered that I could fly to Sharjah, stay in a 4-star hotel, and have a weekend of fun and pick up the exact same parts, all for less than half that price! The Saudi garage wanted me to put SR7000 in to the bank account of omeone I’d never met, and hope for the best. Come on, you think I was born yesterday? Is this the best you can do?

    One reason that the 5-star hotels you complain about get paid their price is that their prices are fixed. There is no bargaining. A worker’s prices go up and down depending on who he’s dealing with. Sometimes he’ll get lucky, other times he won’t. If he doesn’t like it he should fix his prices and display them prominently, or give accurate quotations before work is begun.

    It’s the feeling that we are being ripped off that leads us to bargain for lower prices, not some twisted desire to see the poor suffer.

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