Friday, 13 June 2014

Look Back in Wonder


The following message dropped into my inbox a couple of weeks back. After a little light editing, I have decided to release it to the wider public, and for the benefit of the global education fraternity.

I would like to write a brief story about my awful experience at HCT.  

In June 2012 I was given little more than two weeks' notice to close down my working life, sell everything I had accumulated over many years, and leave the country. This was because HCT, in their ultimate wisdom, had decided to eliminate my position.  

OK, let's fast forward two years now.  I apply for the same position, and HCT initially start dragging their feet; then they tell me that I have three weeks to get there. Let's keep in mind here that I had applied in June 2013, that they had interviewed me eight months later, and then did not even offer me the position until the third week of March. Yet they wanted me there in April!  

OK, if that was not bad enough,  the salary stated in the letter of offer did not match the salary that was stated in the email!  Ok, please allow me to repeat; the salary mentioned in the offer letter and the email were different!  The email salary was 20% higher than the one in the letter of offer, and guess which one they stated was the correct one?  Yep, it was the lower offer!

When I questioned this with the HR person, SR, she stated that the higher rate was for someone with a PhD. This was of course a lie, and we both knew it. The offer was in fact LESS than I had been making before I'd had to leave, it included no housing, and you could not rent an apartment for what they were giving as housing allowance.  It was MUCH worse, in other words.

Although I sometimes kick myself for not having taken the job, most all of my former colleagues are gone, no doubt having been replaced by lower salaried teachers. In fact, my former director assured me that he would be gone by the end of this semester, as he was being replaced by an Emirati (who may or may not have an education degree).

In closing, reading your blog has kept me strong in my decision to not return to the UAE.  I met many lovely people there, expats and locals that have made my life better, but thank you for your words of encouragement about not working for this organization.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think the above scenario is rare at HCT by any means. I can think of at least two other colleagues who were apparently lined up for 'redeployment', only to have the rug pulled from under them at the last moment.

You can't trust anybody at HCT these days. You can't trust HCT, period!

Anonymous said...

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Suede Oasis said...

Hi, and thanks for looking in, Dr Drummond. I see that your current contributions are as coherent as ever!

Anonymous said...

Hct should implement its policies instead of just it being on paper for show. Why extend contract of old grannies and grandpas above 70 but not renew contract of those younger and with newer skills ?. Lots of pseudo-zionist has infiltrate hct to destroy it from within. The white folks that smile in front of you is the same white folk that ctitise your religion and culture when we are among ourself in mirdif or wafi or jbl... Why promote the teacher that cheated on swa by giving answers via emails to student on the weekend before the exam eg swa paper literacy 351 on 23 jan 2012 ... Just need to see the email log of that teacher who is now acting chair and you will see ... HCT promotes and renew the contracts of these jokers who tell their students to just submit 2 page assignments and claim that their teaching method is so effective they do not need their students to submit large assignments ... and HCT terminate or simply don't renew contracts of real dedicated teachers that stood up for quality teaching .. come only if you've lost your soul for teaching

Anonymous said...

Or better still, don't come at all. The package is not half as good as it was even ten years ago, and the amount of bullshit you have to put up with has doubled. And now (or very soon) you'll have a dozy dimwit Emirati for a boss!

This is no place for a proper teacher at all. Look elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Horrible comments about HCT from teachers......however, none of them mentioned that what novel they did for the college?

Anonymous said...

"that what novel"?? Erm, sorry..?

If this is the standard of English of the new Emirati 'masters' (or rather, figureheads) of HCT, God help their students!

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess if you compiled the horror stories from this website, and also some from the UAEU Watch website, and threw in some Jin or whatever they are called, and added some Sharjah Women's College threesomes (with Viagra for the 70-year old teachers and higher grades for the little angels) then you would kind of "have a novel for the college"!

Anonymous said...

I remember one chick at SWC, she was smitten by me big time. She would always come up for questions when I was at my desk, and just stare at my crotch! She was cute and tall with big tits, but she had a very hairy neck. Not a promising sign....

Anonymous said...

No, that was a camel. You sure do need some glasses!

By the way, she was probably staring at your wallet, not your ballsack!

Anonymous said...

She did have a pretty long neck, come to think of it! And now that you mention it I do remember seeing a camel toe poking out!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this type of treatment is not only to be expected at HCT. It seems that the Emiritization movement has encouraged the mistreatment, lowered pay & benefits, and in some cases, contracts that are not honored, in all govt schools at all levels in every Emirate. My advice would be to avoid the UAE entirely. From what I've heard, the rest of the Gulf states are no better. Let them teach themselves, and then in a few years when they are graduating students who cannot function in the real world, tell them to send their students to English speaking countries where we can charge them $50,000 a year to be properly educated like we've been doing to the Saudis for years...

Anonymous said...

That is some really good advice July 5. Let's up the price to 75k too, since so much remedial repair will be required.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this blog should be rebranded as UAE Sucks!
There is certainly little incentive to make the decision to shift your entire family to this desert pisshole anymore.
Shit money, shit benefits and shit managers (Emiratis!?!) make this a very shit country to work in now!

Anonymous said...

A warning for you on that little remark July 7 - you are dissing the UAE and such evil attacks will have you locked up in this desert shithole for the rest of your life!

Anonymous said...

Well, let them come looking for me.
I honestly think they would not be bothered.
Or they might just send a taxi round to pick me up!

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Anonymous said...

I just remember from my time at HCT that whenever a promotion was up for grabs, it was always the total jerks that got the job.

Decent people from my department would apply - you know, the ones who could do the job well and had the right interests. But it was always the sleazy untrustworthy ones who came out trumps! I guess the senior managers recognised they had the true 'HCT management gene', as one actually said!

That was one of the main reasons I left, as I saw that I had no future there. Sure glad I left the place behind now.

I guess it ain't changed much at all!

Anonymous said...

I was told a story about Ged Ryan by some 10-year vets that started around the same time as he did, before he started his meteoric rise to be the "cream of the crop" at Sharjah...

One of the reporters told me they were teaching a class, and they looked out the window to see ol' Ged hiding behind a tree and peeking in to the classroom, ostensibly to report back what was going on in there!

Ged was polishing up on his "unannounced observations" early in his career!

This, my friends, is how it is done at the HCT.

Anonymous said...

No, NO - I just DON'T believe it! Not Ged Ryan, the Teachers' Friend? I am TRULY SHOCKED!!

Actually you're 100% right - that IS how things are done now at HCT, and how things have been done for a while. I guess the East German Stasi have been selling their monitoring techniques to HCT!

Anonymous said...

Well, I for one am looking forward to next week - the return to the UAE for the new school year! It will be like a breath of fresh air to see those new student faces, inquisitive and eager to learn, and to again see all of the wonderful colleagues I have at the HCT.

I love the HCT and everything it stands for!

Khalifa Exile said...

Your grasp of irony is admirable. I congratulate you!

Anonymous said...

I try! Having had a term at the HCT, I had lots of time to do research on irony and other things!

Suede Oasis said...

Wow! It took you as long as a WHOLE term?

Anonymous said...

I must have been busy with overtime and fielding student complaints!

I am happy to report though that I am on of the few, one of the proud, RUNNERS!

Ha ha! Will only be viewing the UAE from afar for the rest of this lifetime!

Anonymous said...

So you stayed at HCT for as long as a term before you decided it wasn't for you? You must have thought long and hard!

But I congratulate you on taking the decision to scarper. That is the only sane course left to real teachers and lecturers nowadays.

How Old Your Body Is said...

Horrible comments about HCT from teachers......however, none of them mentioned that what novel they did for the college?

Anonymous said...

Deja vu all over again!

Suede Oasis said...

'What novel'?! WTF is this - Indian English?!

Anonymous said...

I have not been on this site for a long time (at least 2 years). No changes at all. Same old problems. I guess HCT is and will always be a hell hole. I am extremely happy and move on. All I miss are my former colleagues who are very nice and help me survive during my days working at HCT.

Anyhow, I can now use my HCT experiences in my teaching and my students are stunned by it. I do not regret teaching there because I can now at least educate how dysfunctional HCT mgmt is, the pathetic HCT organizational culture and absolute deficiency of promoting strong work ethics.

Of course, HCT both male and female students are absolutely undeniably brainless elements. To be fair, I will not say all Emiratis are like them. Now that oil prices are down, what else is left for them? My friend used to mention to me that oil is "a curse" not a blessing. Payback time now I suppose. Whatever goes up always comes down.....

Thank you very much to those who came back to share their experiences here and move on so that those who are NOT familiar with HCT can make proper decision before joining this shit hole.

Anonymous said...

I also moved on and agree with your sentiments.

There were some good things - as you say, we now have an example of how not to act as a manager. But the teaching training does have some value, as I now use rubrics etc. as a matter of habit.

Oil is totally a curse. It makes the job of HR and Emiratisation nearly impossible. How do you motivate people that already have wealth?

Anonymous said...

Let's be frank here, most HCT students are dead from the neck up. In fact, most 'students' in the UAE and the Gulf region overall are determined thickos. Colleges and Unis in the region are simply a veneer - they look like places of learning, but are dumping grounds for hundreds of spoilt and idle teenagers.

The only reason to EVER go there was the money, but now that the benefit packages have declined so much in value, there is absolutely NO REASON to go there.

Anonymous said...

Those cheese bread thingies that are like pizzas in the AM at SWC are pretty good! That would be the main benefit to going there!

Anonymous said...

I hear that the plan is to reserve the highest jobs for those intelligent Emiratis (Ha!) and hire Indians and Phillipinos to do the menial tasks, like the actual teaching. The 'Masters' will earn about ten times what the troops get, and will no doubt display signs of pure genius, leading HCT into the top ten of colleges in the world.
What could possibly go wrong with such a plan?