Monday, August 22, 2011

Realities of Working Abroad

Living abroad has its perks and downsides. And sometimes, downsides weighed more than the perks. But still people go out of their country in the hope of grazing on the greener side of the fence. Horror stories of the life living abroad attracts attention once in awhile,but most of them were just discarded and forgotten.

I have my own share of nightmares. My recent was just yesterday, 21 August 2011. It was one of those times that we are blamed for being Asian and because we are not Arabs. One Wednesday on the month of Ramadan, August 04, 2011, around 1:30 pm we were asked to assist the engineers to prepare a BOQ. For those who are not into the construction and engineering field, BOQ is Bill of Quantities which is usually submitted to tender for any project being bid. To make the story short, the BOQ preparation was hurriedly done, we were given the day before the deadline to complete a 4 inches thick BOQ. Being Ramadan and all, we were ordered to stay in the office and finish the job until 11:30 pm without lunch. Good thing, one of the office mate lives nearby cooked instant food, we hid in one room to grab a bite and that was already 4:30 pm. Anyway, we ended up not getting the job because of huge discrepancies. And ho and behold, we are being blamed for it. We only wrote the numbers and we didn't calculated the value. One of the Managers threatened to deduct from our salary for not getting the project. WTF. Sorry, but that really sounded unfair. The good side though, it was not implemented.

My Singapore experience was a different story but still connected with the filling up of BOQ documents. Unfortunately, I'm the only QS doing the BOQ that time. So the manager, told me to work beyond working hours and even on Sundays. There was one Sunday that they made me work and didn't let me go home. My husband, my fiance then who was vacationing in Singapore that time, decided to push me to resign. The way they treat employee is simply unacceptable.

I guess, there really is no such thing as the perfect work - where you will be working with the perfect boss and perfect salary. But I always believe, there are still some humane managers out there who will treat you like a human being and not a slave or a robot. I pray, that once of these days, I'd bump into one of them and change my stars.

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