Come after Eid
May 19, 2020 | 5:52 PM
by Times News Service
This is particularly in the case of customers who need these services urgently. Some government organisations, though, look to postpone their work until after the Eid holidays

Muscat: As the end of Ramadan approaches, people in the country are coming across a phrase that can be quite frustrating: Come after Eid.

Though there is no such ministerial or company directive regarding this, it is a common response from some government and private sector employees in the country to those who request for services during this time of the year. However, locals and expats feel their requests for help must be promptly fulfilled.

This is particularly in the case of customers who need these services urgently. Some employees, though, look to postpone their work until after the Eid holidays.

Salamah Al Gawi, a restaurant owner in Muscat, said: "I went to the bank to repay my loan instalments that are due every three months. I tried asking them to postpone my loan repayment, so I contacted one of the employees of the bank through WhatsApp. Despite reaching out to her many times, I did not receive a response. I had to go to the bank to pay my loan, and after paying it, they told me to come after Eid to complete the paperwork to postpone loan repayments.

“I wonder why they were so unwilling to complete these procedures, or listen to my requests to postpone my loan repayments, especially when I’d specifically gone to the bank two days before my loan repayment was due, so that I could take care of it on time,” she added.

“But whenever I’d ask them for a response, they’d ask me to come back after Eid Al Fitr.”

Another Omani national – who did not wish to be named – said he’d gone to submit some important documents for verification, but had been turned away and was told to return after Eid.

“The employee at that company asked me to come back after Eid,” he revealed. “I’d gone to submit all of my documents on Monday, but I was told that the documentation process could not be completed right now. He should’ve explained to me why this was so, and I was quite upset by the whole ordeal. I wanted this paperwork to be completed, because I had to send this to other organisations, but now this will take more time.”

Muscat Media Group also approached a government organisation for some paperwork, but was asked to submit the necessary documentation after Eid.

Ali Al Barwani, a member of the Oman Road Safety Association, said that although many companies were working reduced hours during Ramadan, it was important for them to still allocate people to attend to customer requests when they arise.

“Many people are fasting during this time, but that does not stop organisations from rotating their staff on a shift basis, so that they can still attend to customers when required,” he explained. “If I were required to provide services to people who needed them, it would only be natural for me to meet the needs of my customers. Similarly, companies that don’t provide proper service during Ramadan or Eid should think of what would happen if they require timely service, and no one was there to provide that for them.”

A manager from a real estate company, Al Sahwa Trade, said: "This sentence "Come after Eid'' is still repeated in some government and private institutions. Some employees are taking their holidays before the holidays even start. The Sultanate's economy is not like it was previously, especially since the entire world is suffering from the consequences of the economic impact of COVID-19."

"This phenomenon has become a part of some people’s behaviour,” she added. “When you go to some institutions before Eid or other holidays, it is unfortunate that you see a shortage in the number of employees, who often ask you to return after Eid. I do not know why they say this. Ramadan is for fasting and providing services to the poor, but it does not mean you stop work and give excuses, so those employees should process the requests, transactions and documents of customers."

She also mentioned: “The Sultanate's economy is no longer as small as it was in the past, and our interactions with other countries have increased. Delaying commercial transactions and not meeting deadlines will have a negative impact. "Sometimes, we’re told to come back on a certain day to collect our paperwork, but they do not complete by the time we are told to return. The aim of fasting is to increase the blessing that come to us by helping people and doing good work, and Islam has not recommended stopping work for fasting. History also clearly shows that the Battle of Badr took place during the Holy Month."

Ali Al Barwani also explained how the principles of Ramadan encouraged cooperation among people, which is particularly important during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ramadan is a time to think of other people, especially those who are not so fortunate,” he said. “If you run a business, or if you are employed somewhere, then you are better off than those who are not, because so many people around the world are suffering from the impact of this disease. There will be times when you require help from someone else, so you must also provide help to them when needed.

“This is that time of the year when you reflect on what you can do better, so to all the bodies that are unwilling to provide assistance to others when needed, please help those who require it now, so that they will remember you later. If you provide service now, when they have asked for it, then they will remember you in the future and your business will grow because of it.”

Ramanuj Venkatesh, who runs a financial consulting firm in the country, said he’d run into problems to get many electronic items in his home looked at.

“A few days ago, I had run into a problem with my air conditioning unit,” he revealed. “It is extremely hot at this time of the year, so a functioning AC is paramount for everyone. I kept asking for someone to come and fix it, but they said they would only be able to do so after Eid. It is extremely off-putting to receive responses like this.

“I understand that there are some people who are fasting, but it is the responsibility of the company to fulfill requests that are made of them, instead of taking such a casual attitude towards things,” added Venkatesh.

“Similarly, I once had a problem with my computer, which is extremely important for me to carry out by business. Most of my work is done online, and in the times we live in, many meetings are also conducted over the internet.”

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news