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Any recent MLI vets?
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grand fromage



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds to me like the MLI_VET is holding some deep-rooted resentment against MLI. While it's probably justified based on his (can't be a her as women have only been around for a few months) experience, I have to agree with some of the other people that things have improved. I was never paid late, although I had to wait a month like everyone else. I wasn't the only one, and if I remember correctly, only the people that took their time opening bank accounts had delay problems.

Regarding the so called assault on an employee, which could be interpreted that way, and really did happen, it should be noted he was not a very stable person, and had confrontations with locals more often than just that once. I hope everyone knows that the ME is not for people with short fuses and big egos, as it will get them in trouble here pronto. I am not sure why MLI_VET is surprised why the guards did not intervene-enlisted guards know their place and they may have known that the local in question was important or a high-ranking officer. Either way, better to look away for them. This is the reality here-locals will stand up for locals, regardless who is to blame (of course, there are exceptions to this rule, like everywhere else).

Back to MLI-with the ship sinking for AMIDEAST, I really doubt Martin R. has the time to make postings here in defence of MLI. And I don't really know who the monster with a western passport and education is. If it's the Prof. development coordinator, he's just an arrogant and self-serving individual with no people skills, but I have worked for much worse guys. Stay away from him and do your job, and he'll rarely bother you. After all, he doesn't even greet you on the corridor passing you, so why should you care. Just make sure he doesn't think you're trying to compete for his position Laughing Sorry Zaf.-couldn't resist.

Yes, things are a bit unclear now, but maybe we'll know more on Tuesday. If you have a job offer with MLI, I would wait a few days till things get cleared up, but I wouldn't go looking elsewhere yet.
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TNT



Joined: 19 Jun 2003
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 8:44 pm    Post subject: Thanks to grand fromage. Reply with quote

I think the points raised by grand fromage make a lot of sense. They seem quite balanced and sensible. The most important point is that so much depends on a person's personality and experiences can be quite unique.

I am new to these boards and recently joined as I am considering a contract with MLI. The information provided by grand fromage, mli_vet, and others has been extremely valuable. I sincerely thank you for your time and consideration in providing your experiences and opinions.

Grand fromage, if you do hear anything new soon, will you please let us know? I value your insight.

Thanks again everyone!

TNT
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15857
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 3:07 am    Post subject: Sorry Holbrook Reply with quote

So sorry Holbrook - A current teacher at MLI just emailed me - greatly amused that you thought I was R Martin. You must be new to the board. The whole time I have been posting here, not once have I been a male. Smile Just a retired ex-ME-teacher with time on her hands to post on boards. After teaching over there for more than 15 years I know a lot of people who have taught and are teaching at a lot of places.

I merely report what I have heard from friends (and identify it as such) or my own experience. I have no axes to grind. There are pros and cons to all jobs and that is pretty much what I said. I find that so often it is the people that have had bad experiences are the ones who post. People whose experiences were good or at least acceptable won't bother.

The great thing about these boards is that many voices can be heard and people considering jobs can hear all sides. I merely try to add details here and there to help out those who may have never taught in the Middle East with all its little quirks.

VS
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mli_vet



Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 2:39 pm    Post subject: Resentment etc., Over and Out Reply with quote

Hey there Big Cheese Very Happy , I do confess a bit of resentment at not being paid on time during my MLI tenure. The 10% gouge was also a very unkind cut Crying or Very sad since I was told it was for one year but ended up being for 2 years. I'm slowly getting over it as my new salary at a new post comes in on time and erases those bad memories Laughing . Isn't it amazing how getting paid on time affects one's state of mind?

Others in a better financial state than I was when hired by MLI might not be as affected as much. But when you've got bills to pay and mouths to feed--well, you know. Potential hires need to know this kind of stuff--as they also need to know if things like this are being cleared up. It's not just resentment though--I hope pressure like this will prompt change for the better. I've had my say and will be over and out to leave things for those with current info to post their bleeding edge insights if they can overcome the paranoia.

And on the positive side of things, from what you and others are reporting, change does seem to be happening, but it wasn't quick enough for folks like me and others who have since left. To those considering contracts, look around! Bargain! Get yourself a good deal! There are better positions and salaries out there, so don't settle for an uncertain assignment to who-knows-where-in-the-middle-of-the-Empty-Quarter (close to it anyway) just yet (remember, don't commit to just anywhere at the interview!!! You'll pay dearly later!). Once you do commit to MLI, no moving after that. They will not give a Letter of No Objection unless your girlfriend knows the sheikh's wife, so if you want to move on, it won't be done easily within the UAE. And if you want to move from one of the remote locations, say to Abu Dhabi, as Mr. Z put it, "You'll have to apply, and you'd better have a good reason."

The figure you gave tefllifer, only 4 out of 50 leaving? Shocked Wait to see how many AWOLs you've got before giving such info. Every year sees a number of those who just don't come back after vacation etc. These should be included in the attrition stats along with those who don't pass the bar/probation period or professional fitness exam.

As for the fellow who was assaulted, he would definitely take exception to being called an "unstable" character. Anyway, I hear he's on his way back to the ME for more excitement and can hopefully post his own version of what happened in this space. Fuses, however long, do have a termination point.

So R. Martin ("what's up, Martin!") is staying on! He's a good worker with very interesting spins on things. What are the others doing, just out of curiosity?

Gotta go. All the best MLI Chums! Hang in there! Keep an eye out for Dr. Zafarious and his nefarious deeds. Come on man! You never said "Hi" to me in the halls either?!? What's up with that? Lighten up! Cheer up! Are you one of us, or one of them, one of these, or one of those? See you at the next T2T Big Z !!! (unless you figure out who I am and dis-invite me Crying or Very sad ) Until then, a BIG CHEERIO ! ! ! Very Happy

MLI Vet
Over and Out
mli_vet@yahoo.com
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grand fromage



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 8:04 pm    Post subject: MLI Reply with quote

Glad to hear you're in calmer waters MLI_VET Very Happy As for us left here, it isn't that bad yet, at least not yet, as things might change that MIDEAST is gone. I have to disagree with you again-nothing personal. I wouldn't worry about MLI not giving you a relase letter so you can move on as they have never given any one a ban in the past. That includes a guy who left for another job 10 or so months into his contract. According to the UAE law, people with a Master's degree don't get bans, so that should take care of that. At least that was the case with AMIDEAST around-let's see if the same holds true in the future.

To all of you prospective candidates, the skinny is that only the current employees might get shafted by the new contract. The military H.Q. wants all employees to start the new contract in August with 0 vacation days. So any one with days accumulated after August will have them bought out at 25%! Bummer, especially if you have a lot of days put away. This is not confirmed yet, but should be tomorrow. Let's see how many people decide to walk when that's made official. So you newbies relax for now-you've got no vacation days to lose yet Wink


TBC
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grand fromage



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:43 pm    Post subject: MLI Reply with quote

Well, MLI had its "new contract" meeting, and it was quite uninformative as too many details remain unanswered. However, it seems that in their disorganization the MLI top-brass means well (sh..t, I hope I'm right as I am stuck with them). Time should iron out the details, and even though some people will be shafted by losing their vacation days (including myself Twisted Evil Crying or Very sad Mad ) , the changes will not effect new candidates. In fact, the good news is that newbies can expect more money than was previously promised Wink
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mli_vet



Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 7:54 pm    Post subject: You're flat out wrong about the bans, Big Cheese ! ! ! Reply with quote

Well then, Big Cheese, we'll have to agree to disagree Smile . You're flat out wrong about the bans on being hired by other institutions in the UAE. What's law doesn't matter, this is the military. I personally knew a number of people who applied elsewhere and had finished their 2 year contracts but were not given a letter of no objection (some were even told--"No, you can't do this by both MLI admin and other inst admin!"). I know of only 2 people who moved on successfully, sorry make that 3, to other institutions, and they had to pull some strings while sweating it out big time between jobs.

The military sheikhs are bigger than other sheikhs.

All milkshakes are not equal Razz .

MLI Vet
Over and Out
mli_vet@yahoo.com
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grand fromage



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 8:39 pm    Post subject: MLI Reply with quote

mli_vet, I have to disagree, but only partially. If the people in question were transfering their visa, than they probably had problems. I don't think it's malicous on the part of the army, but they don't know what to do in those cases. I think it has to do with the fact that they hire mostly non-western employees and treat them as if they owned them. The way to avoid this is to leave the country (cancel your visa) and return on a new one. You can do tis by flying to Muscat, for example.
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mli_vet



Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 4:22 pm    Post subject: Half agreed Reply with quote

All right then Big Cheese, it sounds like we're half agreed on the job switch ban thing. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. Seems that the recent trend has been you can't, though.

You've got it right about the military (and Gulf employers in general) treating you as if they owned you. I think we could agree 100% on that. Who wants to be owned though? Isn't slavery a thing of the past? Will the Gulf Arab States ever modernize Question enough to the point that people can't be owned/bartered/swindled like slaves anymore? Time will tell.

Here's another story for you. I was at GHQ (GHQ is the big castle/fortress looking building you see to the left after crossing the Maqta bridge to Abu Dhabi) one day on one of my many monthly trips to beg for my monthly salary. I waited around for many hours and wandered down the innumerable long grey hallways. It was Orwellian and nightmarish Shocked to see thousands of other people in the same predicament, going to GHQ, wandering the endless hallways to beg for something or other owed to them by the Armed Forces.

In every office were piles of paper, with people lining up having pitiful, begging expressions on their faces. At one point an officer came out, and just yelled at the top of his lungs at some poor Bangladeshi asking for his back salary. The Bangladeshi cringed and cowered Crying or Very sad as the officer yelled louder. When he was done, the officer said, "Zain ! ! !" (good, or like we'd say "Understand!?!"--I'd have to say 'mub zain' to that). And then he pointed toward the door and the poor guy crawled out.

This experience made me glad I was a Westerner (this GHQ place is weird--heard a woman screaming Shocked on another visit--when I looked puzzlingly at an officer--he replied "mareed mumkin"--sick maybe? I beg to differ--sounded to me like she was being beaten the way she was shrieking--or just reached the breaking point after being fed up with GHQ--they really know how to make a person wanna shreik--some twisted mind Twisted Evil studying "What can we do to torture these creatures next?!?") since we generally get better treatment, but it left me fuming at the way Gulf Arab States abuse the hordes of poor Asians who have come to the Gulf seeking a better living and a few shekels to send home to their families.

A joke someone was passing around MLI about the time I was there was a cartoon showing a Gulf Arab (dare we say, 'slavemaster') showing a new employee to his quarters. The Asian (Indian/Paki/Bangli/whatever) looks to the ceiling and says, "But where is the hook in case I want to hang myself?" Confused Sadly Crying or Very sad , many of these poor workers do hang themselves from ceiling fans, or if they are maids they jump from the balconies of high rises (unless the Abu Dhabi police bravely rescues them as happened to one maid last year). Westerners can leave easily enough, but not these poor multitudes of Asian slaves/laborers.

In the early years of MLI, one of the cleaning guys had a heart attack after being forced to work the whole day and go to the doctor after hours. He died in the waiting room at the military hospital, still untended to, and the teachers took up a collection for his family afterwards. A lot of good it did him, though.

This brings up the question of medical benefits--don't count on getting the same level of service you would elsewhere. The service has improved, but even if you are sick, you've gotta come in, get approved leave for the day, before you can go home to recuperate. Getting even basic things like a tooth filled or a prescription or diagnostic test will take days, weeks, and several trips to the main military hospital with long waits in many lines, finding your inevitably lost file. Multiply this times X number of family members, and the stress level increases exponentially. This is why many choose to go with private clinics which are available, but this costs money out of your own pocket, erasing any employer provided "benefit".

I've noticed a few more postings on the Info Journal. Consider carefully. Ask yourself if you really want to do this cause the MLI Veteran knows. He's been there. The UAE can be a nice place to live, I'll say that too. And you'd probably be able to put up with things for the 2 years of your contract. But there are other employers in the UAE--HCT, ADPI, ZU, UAEU UGRU to name a few. So look around and consider all this info that's been posted carefully before signing that letter of intent and packing your bags--cause you won't see the actual contract till you get to Abu Dhabi Doooooooooooooooooooo ! ! ! Very Happy

MLI Vet
Over and Out
mli_vet@yahoo.com
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