The 50 Baisa …

I think Kishor has already written about something similar … his problem was that shop keepers never bothered to take their 25 baisa … that, for some reason, has never happened to me. I had an encounter yesterday at one of these gas station “convenient” stores. I went in to buy an item that is generally overpriced at these places anyway, they promote themselves as convenient but make sure you pay out of your nose for that convenience…. Not that there is anything wrong with that …

Side note 1: This is a Smart Business Practice (SBP) by the people that used to run the PB Express shops (MCS) … now Oman Oil Shops (MCS)… At least that was the first time i came across this practice (MCS) … and then everyone else decided that it was the way to go … they reduced the number of items they hold in the store and made sure that they charge you double for anything you buy… and then for some reason they even started to sell stuff like toys and dvds.

I walk in and pick the item that i want and go to the counter …

Long Side note 2: Since they have omanized the cashier positions … we have seen a brand new type of Omani worker take these jobs … as soon as you enter the store you will know who is at the counter form the type of music playing:

Male Type A: (Young Rapper Wannabes)  YRWs are usually take the after noon to early evenings shifts. These young men usually wear hoods and other accessories in addition to their normal mandated uniforms. They usually listen to Rap, RnB, and some Pop.

Male Type B: (Young Rocker Lookalikes) WRLs are mainly rockers, but they are still influenced by reggae. They also dedicated “Ali Bahar” fans … (Ali Bahar is an Arab rock star cum reggae star cum gypsy king cum rock ballad singer. He would be a clone mix of Meatloaf, Bob Marley, and Syd Barrett ) They usually wear black TShirts under their uniforms, and wear some rigs and other accessories. Some have long hair tied into pony tales and they fight with the YRWs for the same shift. These guys listen Ali Bahar, Pink Floyd and Bob Marley

Male Type C: (Havnt Worn Pants Before) HWPBs are the guys that come from the outside of muscat for employment. These guys are usually harder working and much more enthusiastic about working in a gas station convenient store. They are usually not used to wearing pants so they wear the uniform and button it all the way to the top. They dont wear sneakers and just continue to wear their slippers to work. They are dedicated listers to Hala FM and if nothing good in on then they wold listen to 3aydha, 7arbi, and May7id (if they hardcore)

The female workers are all very upset to be working there. I think i have come across 2 that were jolly and helpful. They are usually there in the morning and spend most of their time talking to each other and not to customers.

At the counter there was this lonely Omani girl working on a Friday morning … she is clearly not in the mood to be there … but she is there … working on Friday deserves respect … not many people are willing to do that … Much Respect to people that work on Friday .. i salute you ….

i pass my item to her she punches it

CG: 750 baisa (in arabic)

OM: Here you go, i have 800 bz (in arabic)

long period of silence … while she looks for 50 bz and doesnt find any in the cash drawer…. i can see her thinking what to do now … her options are limited: 1) she tells me that there are no 50 bz and to take something worth 50bz … oh wait a minute … everything here is overpriced … there is nothing for 50 bz 2) she gives me back 100 bz and forgives for 50 bz … She decides to go for a third option … and that is to do nothing about it hoping that i would just leave … she never thought that would never leave until i got my 50bz back …  2 minutes later … i am still standing there … she is also there trying to avoid eye contact… I break the silence…

OM: baqi 50 bz (there is 50 bz left for me)

CG: ma 3andi o mafi mina (i dont have any here)

OM: laish? (why do you price things at 50bz if you dont have 50 bz to give back to customers?)

CG: ma a3raf, m’7allasat (i dont know why, they are finished)

She ignores me and starts to do other stuff… i keep standing there waiting to get my 50 bz … and she keeps ignoring me … i break the silence again …

OM:itha ana lazim adfa3 50bz  tsam7ooni feeha? (if i have to pay 50 bz and i said sorry i didnt have, will you let it go?)

CG: 3adi (literal translation = normal … real mean: yes of course)

Now i was stuck … i was hoping to get a “no we cannot do that” answer … now i am not in a very strong position to demand my 50bz … i decide to go for it anyway …

OM: but i still want my 50 bz

she starts to get upset huffing and puffing she gives me 100bz back … i walk out of there proud of my self … i will never let these convenient store out convenient me !!

later that day …. i order take away from Pizza Express … very good food 🙂 the bill comes to 10.050 Rials … i pay 10.100 and wait to collect my food… a few minutes later i get my order … and the smiley Filipina waitress (thats what they call female Filipinos) give me my food and opens the door for me to leave… this is the second time in one day that people are trying to swindle me out 50bz … so i ask her:

what about my 50 bz ?

her smile disappears and goes back to the cashier point and makes a call… she speaks in Filipino (the language ) into the phone…  For 50 bz my food is getting cold … Why does everyone assume that i am willing to forget my 50 bz ???     but i cannot back off now … its twice today that people have attempted to take my 50 bz … its twice today that standing for what is rightfully mine … why am i doing this? … its my thing … thats what i do … for i am FIFTYBAIZAMAN !!!  … thats what people call me … when ever someone tries to rip you off and take your 50 bz i get an sms alert… and your location appears onto my hand held GPS …  i then get onto my elephant and zooooom to the rescue !

5 minutes later .. i get my 50bz and leave with my food slightly colder ..


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