Monday, August 10, 2009

Further Update

Well first of all, on the job front: As I mentioned before, my current employer has offered me another position but with crappy pay, and I flipped out about that so they raised it a bit, but it still isn't that great, though for some reason my basic pay is higher than it was before. I asked the HR if this was some kind of trick on the part of the management, because quite frankly, I don't trust them at all anymore, and they were like "no, think of this as a second chance," but that really annoyed because the implication still is that I f**ked up, and I know I didn't. Second (and third, fourth and fifth, sixth, etc,) chance is what they gave the useless chick who used to handle their PR, who couldn't write English or Arabic Press Releases who didn't come to work half the days of the week and showed up a couple hours late on most days she did come. They gave her LOTS of second chances and they didn't demote her - no when they moved her out of PR, they PROmoted her. I on the other hand was never late, came to work even when I was sick, and regularly stayed 3-4 hours overtime. And there were the times I did other people's work, at the last minute too to make sure it was done on time, and not once did anyone say good job or thank you or appreciate it one little stinking bit.

Like once HH had to do a speech, so in the evening, after hours, he asked the PR girl to write one for him (for the next day) and she told him it would be ready by noon. And, well, she is good at a lot of PR things, but writing isn't her strong point. So the next morning at around 11 AM or something, she sent me this speech for HH, and I looked at it and right away saw that part of it wasn't that great and part of it looked like it was copied from somewhere else. So I took a suspicious section, copied and pasted it to google, and found out it was copied word for word from some Dean's (of some University in the US) speech. In other words, it was plagiarized. So, I had to re-write the WHOLE thing; it was about noon when I realized that most of it was plagiarized and that the whole thing would have to be re-written, and HH turned up exactly at 12 asking for it. She just nodded towards me and told him I was "checking it", so of course it looked like somehow I was the hold up, the one who was behind on my work. Anyway, I managed to rewrite it and do a pretty good job, if I might say so myself. My boss ended up finding out about it, but he never gave me any kind of credit for it. I don't think he even realized that it isn't everyone who can write a speech at the last minute - or recognize a bit of plagiarism. In fact, as I recall, he didn't know what the word plagiarism meant. Ahhh, I still get so mad thinking about it all.

Their whole attitude towards me just pisses me off.

Then I got that offer in Abu Dhabi, but honestly, the job sounded like a nightmare - 66 hours a week minimum. I am just totally exhausted - after 6 years of stress and spousal abuse and then 4 years of single parenthood at the mercy of jerk bosses (particularly this last year of hell) - I just don't think I could take that. I honestly need a vacation, but I haven't had one in years and I can't afford one. Also it was for a construction company, and all of the other employees were men, including the HR people and receptionists. So, though I would be spending most of my life there, I would not be likely to have loads of friends.

Then, after that, I got an offer in Dubai, but it was originally as much as the offer here (with my current company) and came with a longer working day, a 1 & 1/2 day weekend (as opposed to a 2 day one), and no health insurance for my kids - like I have here. So I refused that, then they raised it a bit, but not by enough, because one thing I remember is that, back when I didn't have health insurance for the kids, somehow any bit I saved ended up going down the toilet in medical expenses for them - one of them needed an operation, or just the routine kids' sicknesses. They also would not provide the annual ticket for the kids. And if I stay here, I can afford a better living space than I would there for the same amount, so we can keep our dog, Max, for now. Though eventually, I guess I will have to leave this place because my eyes are really having problems here, and I don't have a good feeling about it anymore after being treated this way.

So I accepted the new but crappy offer with my old company - at least I won't be reporting to the same guy, and I said I want to have as little to do with him as possible. I will be on probation again for 6 months, so I guess if something better turns up I will / can take it.

Now this one company has called me today, I interviewed with them before I got the offer from my current employer, but I thought it had gone nowhere. Now there is a possibility of a job with a good package, but it is a short term contract. So I am torn about what to do. Because staying here will mean JUST BARELY scraping by every month (if that) but I will be able to relax my mind for a while, come home at 4 (2:30 during Ramadhan - woo hoo!), while going there will mean being able to (hopefully) save some money, but it also means that in nine months I will have to stress out about finding another job (again).

So that is my work-related dilemma. Any thoughts?

As for other things:

Max likes chocolate chip cookies. (Who knew that about dogs?) I made some (from scratch thank you very much) and my maid kind of overcooked the first tray, but then I showed her how they should be when they are removed and the next tray was awesome. Anyway I was standing in my kitchen scarfing them down and totally destroying the headway I have made in the past week (lost another 2 pounds!), and he was sitting there watching me eat them. So I tossed him one and he ate it. He also likes chocolate milk.

As I also mentioned before, I had a car accident last week, and now the back of my car is all mangled and my own back is hurting as well, though getting better slowly. It seems it will take couple of days more to feel better. Meanwhile my car will take a couple of weeks - just great.

It seems that one of the officers took a fancy to me, which was (is?) kind of awkward. After the police dropped me home after the accident, I slept for a while, and woke up with even more back pain. Then the bell rang, and Salman went to answer it. He came back and told me that there was "some Arab guy in a black car" asking for me. I went out and there was this black car with some guy in a Kandora sitting in it and grinning out the window at me. I stared at him blankly thinking "who the hell is this?" until I realized it was one of the police officers who had dealt with my accident - the one who spoke very little English and had driven me in my car back to my house.

Somehow he managed to communicate to me that my report was ready and they needed me to come to the Police Station to sign it so they could release it and said he had come to take me because my car was too messed up and my back was stiff. So we drove there in awkward silence. He asked me "you OK now?" about two or three times, and I told him "no, my back and neck hurt more now." He stopped and bought water at some little shop and gave me a bottle too. I was thinking ... "okay... its not like the police station is hours away," but I guessed he was thirsty and didn't want to look rude only getting some for himself. Anyway, the trip to the station turned out to be pointless, because once they found out my back was still hurting they said I should wait - not sure why, no one at the station had excellent English skills, but it had something to do with them asking me if I " want anything from him (the other driver)" - maybe in case I have some kind of medical problems related to the accident, so I could claim them against his insurance too. So the police officer took me home again. This time he stopped to buy himself cigarettes and offered me one, I told him "No thanks I don't smoke" then he took some rather indirect and meandering route through a neighborhood and stopped at somebody's house, rang the doorbell, and waited a while and smoked a cigarette, meanwhile I was just sitting in the car wondering if he forgot I was there or something and why I needed to accompany him on the rest of his afternoon errands.When we got close to my house again he asked me (again) "you OK now?" I told him, "no back still hurting." The he reached over and touched the back of my neck - and asked me "hurting here?" and suddenly I felt SUPER uncomfortable. Luckily we pulled up to my house at that point. Then he told me I should put Vicks on my neck, and I said "OK, I will thanks" and was getting out of the car. THEN, he said "put Vicks and massage" and I said "OK thanks I will have my son do" and THEN he said "ana (and pointed to himself - means "I" in Arabic) massage you." For a split second I was dumb struck, a combination of being creeped out and just plain shocked. I didn't know what to do. It never even occurred to me that a police officer would do that, and I got all confused thinking that maybe I did something wrong by going with him to the police station, but I thought he was helping me out in the capacity of a police officer and not in the capacity of some guy who wanted to jump my bones. I don't react very well in situations like that, so the best response I could come up with was to play dumb and pretend I didn't get what he meant, so I told him, again, "yes thanks, I will have my son massage",

At that point, Max heard the car and my voice outside the gate and started barking up a storm. The officer looked a little concerned. "You have big dog?" he asked. "YES!", I told him, "VERY BIG." "I afraid dog" he told me. I don't think I have ever loved Max more than I did at that moment.The next day I went BY MYSELF with a taxi to get the police report. The two officers on duty spoke maybe 10 words of English between them. The one typing up the report asked me "you age?" I told him "37" he stared up at the ceiling in puzzlement. "three" "seven" I told him, and again he stared up tracing imaginary numbers in the air with his finger like he was trying to recall what they should look like. "Thelatha - saba" I told him. I know that isn't the right way to say 37 in Arabic, but it was the best I could do and he seemed to understand what I meant.

The day before yesterday, I took Max out for a walk, and when I got back Salman told me that police officer had come by the house AGAIN. I don't think I have any more business with the police regarding my accident so I am glad I wasn't in. Salman told me that he told him that I was "out" and then the dude was like "but her car is here" and then Salman told him "no outside for exercise, walking the dog" and he was like "oh" and went away (yay Max). I have to say, I feel a lot safer having Max than I did before I had him.


Puça said...

Hi desertmonsoon... very difficult to give any advice, whatever suits you better at this moment shall be ok, more money although temporary or stay here that seems "save" even with all happened; in any case what's clear is that you shall search for a new one in a mid-term period.

So Max is a double blessing :P , because any dog is they give soooo much; and also, in your case... is so helpful to avoid this police guy aka I afraid dogs hahahha

Anyway I think you're lucky you can work in emirates, I've been trying to search for one through internet, as I am now learning arabic and I'd like to learn it while working, but I don't come up with websites that don0t ask me for money to post my CV. And when I find they ask for US/Uk law degree..and mine is spanish

Great you update, I follow!!

Misfit Hausfrau said...

I have no advice for the job stuff, but I can tell you that chocolate is POISON to dogs, as are raisins.

You'll want to stop feeding him that pronto so that he will be around to protect you!

desertmonsoon said...

Hi Puca! You are right I will keep looking either way - I mean the knew job shouldn't mind since they know it is short term and if I stay here, well I don't give a crap what they think of me anymore.

Why do you want to work in the Emirates? I am sure you can find something - though not maybe exactly what you are doing now - I am sure there is some business that could use your skills - including the fact that you speak Spanish and English and are learning Arabic. Why are you learning Arabic by the way?

Best way is to send your CV ahead of time, then plan to come for a vacation ahead of time. Try putting your CV on websites like and and also seeing the jobs they have posted on those. Also try Kershaw Leonard and Charterhouse and Clarendon Parker / Manpower - these are all places you can register and they don't charge you money.

desertmonsoon said...

Hi Misfit hasfrau!

Jeez, It never occurred to me that chocolate could be toxic for dogs! Thanks for alerting me to that. Thankfully, he is big and didn't eat very much. I was a greedy pig so I threw a very unchippy bit of cookie at him. So I think he mostly got butter and flour and brown suger.

It is funny they eat rotten things and other dogs' poop and then they can't have chocolate.

Is there anything else they shouldn't have that I am not aware of?

Why are raisins poisonous? I guess chocolate covered raisins are def. out of the question.

Thanks again for tipping me off.

Anonymous said...

I thought a tiny bit of chocolate won't hurt a dog? Especially a big dog... but, I don't own one myself and that's just what I heard.
I would go with the 9-month temp job, if the pay is good - just to get out of that company. Yes, you'll have to stress out again when you're looking for a new job but you'll be stressed out if you stay in your current job.
And it might open different doors, by meeting different people and giving you different experience.
That's so weird about the police officer, and yay for Max! :)

desertmonsoon said...

Hi Aynur,

Yeah, i am leaning towards that one (the higher paying one) too... God, I would so like to just find a nice stable working environment.

Misfit Hausfrau said...

You're right--Dogs eat their own poo sometimes, but there is an ingredient in chocolate and grapes and raisins that causes renal failure or something of that nature. Our friends' dog died a few years back from eating chocolate.

It's a mad world.

Puça said...

About dog's meal... mine used to eat everything, from chocolate to artichoke... but the thing she loved most was...coca cola...she was crazy about it...and she lived 17 years!! I started learning arabic was funny... I decided last year that I had a lot of free time on weekends (as I'm not in my hometown and my friends here are married), so instead of resting in the sofa, I could do something else. So I decided, seeing that the perspectivo because of my mood toward man is 0, I could try with a language that took me up to 4 years to learn. So I chose arabic an russian. What made me decide? As a catalan the reason is that arabic is spoken in more countries than russian; it also helped that russian school never answered my calls; and the fact europe is full of arabs, so maybe I should be able to understand what they talk about, as I already speak spanish and catalan (only used in Cataluña), english and have studied french for 4 years, so prety much I cover the eurozone... italian and portuguese are very similar so were not options, because I believe with 2 years they can be learnt so I leave it to when I'll get older and I0m not in the mood to go downtown 4 hours each saturday...

I thought about dubai after being there, I liked it a lot, thought it was a perfect east-west mixture, and a city between new york and a caribbean resort.. and as I am learning arabic, just great to learn it perfect!

And as I am still single, with no family obligations, I still can move and try to work or do what I want!


desertmonsoon said...

Hi Puca,

Ah OK, makes sense. Well, try the sites I suggested ... also, IQ selection and Michael Page those are two more I thought of.

What kind of job are you looking for and what pay range? If you don't want to answer these things here, email me. I just want to know so if I see something I can let you know --- since I am looking for work myself.

.::Tuttie::. said...

I agree with puca. It is hard to give you advice especially since it doesn't only affect you but your children. My only suggestion would be to continue looking for a better option. It will come inshaallah.

The police officer may have a crush on you, I say you proceed with extra caution.

I think someone already told you but dogs can't digest chocolate and its toxic to them.

May Allah swt make it easy for you, grant you a better job that will benefit you in this life and the herafter. May he protect you and your family from the evils of this world and the herafter ameen.

Puça said...

Which is your email??

I've searched but have not found it!

Puça said...

hahah now I see you asked me for mine in the comment left:

AlabasterMuslim said...

You need that dog to live to keep those creepy policemen away! what a friggin PERVE! The reason I say you need that dog to live is because chocolate kills dogs. That is what I hear. (but maybe its large amounts?)

I feel so bad about your job situation. Those Jerks! Inshallah you will have something better soon! I'm going to read some more of your blogs now so i understand more about your situation.

Oh guess wut. i lost two pounds too! this rocks.

Puça said...

Hi! Don't know how hat works but if you receive a message saying I refused to post one of your comments in my blog, is the one that contained youe email adress... I did it for what we've spoken recently... The rest have been published as always!!

desertmonsoon said...

Hi Misfit - oh that is so sad about your friend's dog! the raisins thing makes even less sense to me - i guess now that i think about it I do know that chocolate has some almost drug like qualities - but raisins/?? weird. I reads something about onions now too= but with no explanation

Hi Tuttie, Thanks for praying for me - i feel so down sometimes.

Hi alabaster - thanks for commenting - I had no idea about the chocolate and dogs - now max is on a chocolate free diet - which I really should be on too.

Poor dog though, he looks at you while you eat, and then you just feel bad not giving him some too...

Hi Puca, no worries - I saw you didn't publish it and I knew why :)

eyes said...

I wish you luck with the job situation. It's a tough decision, the devil you know and all that...

The police officer is very creepy and I'm glad he's afraid of dogs. I hope that keeps him at bay but it seems like maybe not, since he still came around again. UGH!!!

Take care and good luck with both situations!