Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I didn't steal the money, I took it

When Sand Land's expat workers leave the salt mines and get together for drinks, it generally takes less than 14 seconds for the conversation to turn to the weird and wacky happenings in our places of business. Besides finding most of these stories genuinely hilarious, I also find them comforting because they confirm that Sand Land is a deeply weird place to work and you're not alone, insane or completely incompetent...

The following comes courtesy of the Managing Director at a local hospital:

I got a call from the night-shift administrator at 6:00 a.m. this morning. He was in a complete panic because the cash collection was $675.00 less than the automated report generated by our billing software. "Bobby", our night cashier had left at some point during his shift without clocking out and without turning over his collection for verification.

So we called Bobby. Silly me, I thought I'd hear some vehement denial, but he was quite up front.

"I didn't steal the money, sir," Bobby explained patiently over the phone. "I took it."

"Well, Bobby. I don't see how it isn't theft - you walked out of the hospital with $675.00 that didn't belong to you," the Managing Director countered.

"Look, sir. I am a mullah and I am trying to collect enough money to build a house for my family. I cannot take a loan from the bank because it is haram*."

"I understand you want to build a house, Bobby. But you can't steal money from your employer to do it."

"Stop saying I stole it. I just took it. Since you have asked for it, I'll bring the money back to you tomorrow."

"Please do, Bobby," said the Managing Director. "And please understand that you can't "take" money from us anymore. If you do, we'll have to call the police and file a complaint."

"Here is what I suggest, sir. I will only take money if I need it for something important - like my house. But if you ask me to return the money, I will bring it back the following day, inshallah**."

* haram = verboten! according to the rules of Islam.

** inshallah = "if God wills it" In the work place, inshallah is commonly used as wiggle room when someone doesn't have any intention in hell of doing something. For example: "I know the deadline for these reports is tomorrow, and I'll have them done on-time, inshallah."

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