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I sometimes kick myself for not having taken the job, most all of my former colleagues are gone, no doubt having been replaced by lower salaried teachers.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.