First of all thanks to all again, and for those of you who were concerned about Max, he finally came home! A lovely British family found him. Thank God it was a British family - Brits tend to be dog lovers - at least that is what I have observed from the ones I have seen / met here. At the very least they aren't dog haters.
At work on Monday I told them that I really don't want to come in anymore since I don't see why I need to be there, and I had nothing to do. I had been helping the PR lady with the newsletter - by proof reading and editing all of the different articles for the columns in it and that was finished so I didn't see the need to be hanging around.
They asked me about the offer they had given me and I told them, excuse me I only got it on Thursday afternoon and I asked for more information and for them to increase it and they haven't got back to me on that, so how can I answer them? I also told them that I can't give them an answer on it right away because I haven't had the time to go out and see if I can find any other accommodation that will fit into my new greatly decreased budget.
Now here is what they are offering me - pretending to be magnanimous - termination - plus the new crappy pay or termination plus one more month pay off. They will also pay me off for my leave days that I have built up and not used. They will not however give me my return tickets for me and my boys that are part of my contract with one year of work (I have worked more than one year) They told me because I am terminated they only need to give me one way tickets but the cheapos are not giving me the actual cost of one way tickets - which cost almost the same as return tickets - they are halving the price of a return ticket which is completely wrong. I told them that I don't see what the hell my annual ticket which is one of the benefits offered in my contract has to do with me being terminted, the reason I hadn't taken my leave yet was that Fatema had been on the verge of quitting since January, and I couldn't leave her alone in the office because I was afraid of what they would to to her. THEY were the ones who refused to find a replacement for her and took advantage of her good nature (she was waiting train her replacement) to force her to stay there 6 months longer than she wanted to stay. So now they are cheating me out of the tickets that I was planning to use to send my kids home and hopefully bring them back again once I got things sorted out (God willing). Furthermore they told me I don't get my gratuity - gratuity is a payment equal to one month's basic salary provided you have worked for a company at least one year - this is mandated in the labor law and yet they told me "you haven't worked here three years yet so you don't get it". I also found out that according to labor law if they terminate me illegally, without any prior warning letter, I am entitled to three months pay off (it is like a fine they have to pay for doing that.) So they aren't being magnanimous in what they are offering they are being cheap and dishonest. And technically, since they are still treating my case as a termination and rehire, if I take the new job with them, I would be entitled to all of those things anyway.
Anyway, back to Max.
I was really worried about him - especially after the Russian lady who owns the hair salon nearby called some of her friends who live in the area and asked if they had seen him. She is married to a local and knows many people who live around there. One of them, who knows what Max looks like said she had seen him on the corniche roaming with two other dogs on the loose. This really worried me since the corniche is across a rather busy road. I know he is smart, but Billy was smart too, and she got hit by a car. So Salman and I dashed over to the corniche and walked the entire length of it and back again calling "Max!" at the top of our lungs. People were looking at us like we were a couple of weirdos. I asked some of the people walking there - ones who look like they might be people who exercise there regularly if they had seen him, both of them said they had seen a dog lying in the grass and one of them said she saw a kid kicking it. This really upset me, because it made me wonder if he was hurt that he would just lay there while some kid kicked him.
Anyway, in spite of walking for almost 2 hours - we still hadn't found him. Salman was really upset and said he was angry at the maid. (I suppose anonymous will accuse him of abusing her too now based on that bit of information.)
Someone I met on my walk suggested I call the municipality in the morning to see if they found him, so that is what I planned to do. I was really hoping they did have him, because I was beginning to lose hope.
The next morning I had to wake up bright and early to leave for my interview in Abu Dhabi. "A" called and said he was on his way from Dubai to pick us up and take us (God love him). I had decided to let the maid go to Dubai for a few days to visit her sister and told her the evening before to be ready by 7 AM or "se-ven morning time" in maid speak (yeah that's right anonymous). She was really happy about that. So of course at 7:05 AM, the kids and I were showered dressed and ready with our things in the hall and the maid was nowhere to be seen, so Salman went and knocked on the door to her room. At 7;15 AM she showed up in kitchen in her pyjama's. I asked her "why aren't you ready?" and when she stared at me blankly, I followed that by "why you no take shower and wear your clothes - you go like this?" her answer "I make breakfast for you" - this she is saying while looking at the cup with eggshells in it from the breakfast that I had already made and that we had just finished eating. Since when does she make my breakfast? I would like to know. Luckily "A" was late - usually he isn't and he doesn't like for people not to be ready when he shows up so she managed to get ready before he arrived. If she hadn't been, I wouldn't be surprised if he had left her or told her to take a bus to Dubai. I KNOW anonymous - the horror of it! I am such a horrible person for wanting to get to my job interview on time!!
Anyway the job interview went really well , they offered me the job right on the spot! The pay wouldn't be bad either if it was in Dubai or here, but for Abu Dhabi it isn't so good because of the cost of housing - really, it is insane there and this job has long hours and only Fridays off. Plus almost all of the staff are men - so its not like I would even be able to make friends on the job. So, I am going to be barely scraping by, I might as well be doing it here in a bigger house and coming home at 4 PM every day instead of 7 PM. But still it felt really good to be offered - and on the spot too! Especially since the Deputy Director at my current place of employment told me "you should just take our new offer, you wont get offered anything anywhere else" Since in money terms this AD offer is substantially higher (though not in real terms in view of the hours and cost of living), I feel like going into the office and waving it in her face. God the way they undervalue people and drag them down is really something!