Sunday, January 8, 2012

Where Is Your Letter?....

Can anyone imagine how much time is wasted on obtaining letters in this country? 
For anyone on the outside looking in, allow me to explain a little more. 
In Oman, when you want to get something done, you will usually need a letter of some sort. This sometimes comes in the form of a permission letter, an authentication letter, a no objection letter or whatever. 

Want a phone line? - Where is your letter?
Want to open a bank account? - Where is your letter? 
Want satellite TV? - Where is your letter?
Want vaccinations? - (I shit you not!) Where is your letter?

I have recently had accounted to me, a story of a man who, as all responsible citizens do, paid off his car-loan and now wanted to get his mulkia (car registration) transferred into his name. (Over here, if you have a car loan, the car is registered as both you and the bank being the owners until you pay it off.)

So our man goes to the police station, and because of his prior experience with the letter brigade, he came prepared. The conversation went as follows: 

ROP Man: You want to transfer ownership into your name? Ok. Where is your letter? 

Guy: Here you go! All signed by the manager. I'm in the clear. 

ROP Man: Where is the other letter? 

Guy: Mmmmm. What? 

ROP Man: You need the letter that says that the man who wrote this first letter is authorised to issue that letter. 

......and off our man went on another two-hour jaunt around town.

Apart from the inconvenience, the environmental impact alone is unreal. Assuming 50% of folks, and that is no stretch of the imagination, have to go and get a "another letter", they are clogging up the roads, wasting petrol, wearing out tires and tarmac, extending bank queues and taking up resources. The extra carbon footprint alone is insane!

When I wanted a bank account, I needed a letter, salary certificate, copy of passport, driver's licence, resident's card etc.....ok fine.

When I wanted a bank-loan from the same bank.....I needed the same documents again.....even though they had them in their own folder in front of me!

Unnecessary! Wasteful! Change it!


AZ said...

Don't forget the set of at least 16 passport photographs with blue background that you should have with you at all times!

Lawrence of Azaiba said...

They are only supposed to be blue if you only have the red ones! And vice versa.


Anonymous said...

It's one of my pet hates. You should try getting an interview with someone from the ROP, ministries or municipality. It's like Kafka's The Trial.

Enjoying the blog. Hope to hear more.

cc said...

Lawrence. Great post, and great blog in general. Keep up the good work!