Monday 7 September 2009

Oman: the price is (not always) right

While mooching around Carrefour today, I noticed a cheap documentary in the video department, priced at 3.800 OMR. At the cash desk, the checkout man zapped the barcode.....3.990 OMR. [In Arabic] ’One minute, that’s not correct.’ Look of astonishment from checkout man at the unexpected Arabic and the challenge of the computer’s authority. ‘The price is can’t change the price’. Panic on checkout man’s face. He called a trolley boy to check the price on the shelf. ‘Why’s he’s going there?’ Checkout man telephoned for the manager who appeared ten minutes later with the urgency of a sleepy turtle. He went to check on the big computer while I chatted with checkout man. The manager reappeared, cancelled the initial purchase and after a bit of tapping on the keyboard, he entered 3.800.

It’s a matter of principle....victory was mine (even for 190bz).


During the ten minute wait for the manager, I witnessed an interesting social phenomenon. Although checkout man had placed the CLOSED sign across the conveyor belt, several (non-Omani) shoppers tried to pay at the desk only to be brusquely told that it was closed. An Omani family then sheepishly sidled up to the belt and was allowed to wait until my case had been resolved. Interesting.

1 comment:

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Ooooooooooooooooooh my Mum she used to do that at Sultan center, for 100 baisa lol.

@ your social phenomenon: it happens all the time. I wear abaya and hijab (cuz I am Muslim despite being your typical Canadian expat girl besides that) and find people let me get away with all kinds of stuff my mother and sister never do. It kinda makes me sad though, that if I am in a restaurant, they'll serve me before an Indian family even if that family was waiting longer. Not very Islamic:(