Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Experiment Part Deux-The Dangling Carrot

Ok, so I worked for my ex company for 10 months. Let's call them C.S.I. (c**ksuckers Inc.) When me and the wife and cats moved here everything was rosy.Things looked good, no complaints, other than the usual expat concerns, like retards with driving licenses. When I left my employers and we agreed to disagree that they are assholes, it was a trying time. I spent a lot of time online checking my rights and what I was owed, etc. They cut me before the one year mark so they would not have to pay gratuity, the bastards. They were supportive and "let me" stay on their visa and find another gig for the interim period so that they were not completely shitting on me. I thought that was decent and played nice-nice for a couple of months. CSI promised a visa transfer and NOC, the whole sha-bang. I thought, okay, I'll get something better. As we all know, you cannot transfer a visa until you have been with a company for a minimum of a year, even with their blessing. Politics needed to be played...I NEEDED this visa for my new higher-paying job. Fast forward to November 15 when my one year was up.

The global economy shit the bed. Not good. I have freelance work so did not panic too much. I asked them to stay on their visa longer as I needed some time. CSI said no problem.

Fast forward to January. A 10:30pm phone call from CSI HR needing to transfer my Visa urgently. They need to get the NOC, etc sorted. By this time it is no secret that there are no jobs to be had, no money to be made in my industry. What they were trying to do is TRANSFER so THEY don't need to pay repatriation costs. They moved me here, they terminated the limited contract, they pay to send me back. Thats the way it works. I did not know why they were so keen to "get along", then checked and figured it out. They were looking to save moving expenses for a container, 2 people and 2 cats back to Canada....a pretty hefty bill.

Funny how in good times, the residence visa is such a key thing. There are jobs-a-plenty and your employer doesn't want you having them. The concept of ownership is gone. I told CSI that I wanted my visa canceled (hey, I am buying a business now, don't need their visa, but will take their moving money!)and they were concerned..."no, take time and get another job". If you transfer a visa here in Dubai, then the "juice" is on your next employer to repatriate you. Seeing as I will be my next employer, I am not going along with the transfer. Besides, it is easier to cancel and start over than transfer. When I stood my ground and said no, I wanted it canceled, they have been dodging me like crazy. These guys are brutal, they don't know their ass from page six. With all the redundancies of late, this is a refrain you be hearing a great deal.

The residency permit and employment card. In the past it was a prize, now it is poison. The tables have turned, both for rents and jobs. No longer are the landlords and employers in the drivers seat. I never thought in a year here I would see such dynamic changes.

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