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Starting in Oman in September?
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 885
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

omanoman wrote:
The experiences that you mention are outrageous and certainly not any 'norm' here. Why not name and shame? why not put a case and refer to it in social media at least? why not have teachers support each other for these unethical and often criminal acts, go to management, ministry?

I will offer one reason. Because they are either false, highly over blown or completely one-sided..


I will offer another reason. It is because it would be against the rules of this forum. I see you joined recently to swiftly become the resident apologist for the very many problems associated with working in Oman so you wouldn't know the rules.

Sadly, some teachers will believe you, turn up in Oman with little money and high expectations and then pay the price.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would disagree that it is against the rules of the board to name and shame employers. Yes, one must avoid naming individuals, but recruiters? Every day there are many threads adding employer name to an individual rant about their personal complaints.

It is a given on boards like this that most of the posters will be the unhappy employees. Posters like Omanoman who try to be more measured and point out the obvious fact that there are teachers who seemed to have coped perfectly fine with employer X, are invariably piled on. The unhappy teachers accuse them of being "apologists" or "management." I know a significant number of teachers who went to Oman and taught a couple years with various recruiters... coped with the majority of issues... and moved on when they found something better.

But, they won't post here for the reasons I mentioned above...

I don't recall anyone coming on here and claiming that these recruiter jobs in Oman are great. From the day all of them showed up on the scene, we have been getting posts about the issues. Most of those who come here should arrive at their new position with some knowledge of the negatives... and be prepared to live with them for a year or two. I think many of the problems are similar to what is encountered around the world in this field. The pay has always been pretty much the bottom of the Gulf scale. To me the main benefit was that Oman is a more interesting country than the rest of the Gulf and it was a foot in the door - and if one has the proper MA, there are a decreasing number of better jobs in the other countries.

VS
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 885
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
I would disagree that it is against the rules of the board to name and shame employers. Yes, one must avoid naming individuals, but recruiters? Every day there are many threads adding employer name to an individual rant about their personal complaints.VS


I have named and shamed. the MOHE routinely do not pay new teachers for five months. The MOHE break promises about what teachers must do before coming and then after arrival introduce new demands and threaten teachers with termination if they do not comply. Hawthorn provide shoddy accommodation. I was alluding to the rule about not naming individuals.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MuscatGary wrote:
veiledsentiments wrote:
I would disagree that it is against the rules of the board to name and shame employers. Yes, one must avoid naming individuals, but recruiters? Every day there are many threads adding employer name to an individual rant about their personal complaints.VS


I have named and shamed. the MOHE routinely do not pay new teachers for five months. The MOHE break promises about what teachers must do before coming and then after arrival introduce new demands and threaten teachers with termination if they do not comply. Hawthorn provide shoddy accommodation. I was alluding to the rule about not naming individuals.

I know... that is why your comment confused me. And others may have been confused too, so I clarified.

VS
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 885
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
MuscatGary wrote:
veiledsentiments wrote:
I would disagree that it is against the rules of the board to name and shame employers. Yes, one must avoid naming individuals, but recruiters? Every day there are many threads adding employer name to an individual rant about their personal complaints.VS


I have named and shamed. the MOHE routinely do not pay new teachers for five months. The MOHE break promises about what teachers must do before coming and then after arrival introduce new demands and threaten teachers with termination if they do not comply. Hawthorn provide shoddy accommodation. I was alluding to the rule about not naming individuals.

I know... that is why your comment confused me. And others may have been confused too, so I clarified.

Yes, maybe I should have made it clearer I was referring to not naming individuals. I agree with the rule as they are probably not on here to defend themselves whereas I'm sure the recruiters have people monitoring the boards.

VS
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omanoman



Joined: 11 Jun 2014
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not paranoia if it's true ! (checks over shoulder to see if window is indeed closed)

I am not defending recruiters, if anything, I am defending Oman which you seem quite determined to insult and abuse both the government, colleges and the people.

Omanis at the airport escaping Ramadan? hmmm, possibly because it is 45 plus degrees outside?

Don't let cynicism take over MG, life is too short.
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 885
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

omanoman wrote:
It's not paranoia if it's true ! (checks over shoulder to see if window is indeed closed) ???

I am not defending recruiters, if anything, I am defending Oman which you seem quite determined to insult and abuse both the government, colleges and the people. I'm not insulting anybody or anything, I'm relating my experiences.
Omanis at the airport escaping Ramadan? hmmm, possibly because it is 45 plus degrees outside? ...and still will be in August but watch the incoming arrivals then.
Don't let cynicism take over MG, life is too short. I'm not cynical just realistic. As I keep saying it was great here before this academic year but something changed and not for the better.


It will be interesting to see what others post a few months into the next academic year!
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Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 108

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Omanoman:

Why not name and shame?
Simple, it would disclose my identity and thus put me at risk of being fired for telling the truth.

I'm happy to walk away from this job but in my own time, when I have another job lined up and some savings to finance the move across countries.

Why don't you name the 4 different institutions that you've worked at so that we all can apply and have wonderful experiences just as you did?
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nicole2010



Joined: 24 Jan 2010
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am posting in support of Muscat Gary to add to the numbers of people who say it like it is in Oman. I think omanoman is doing a disservice to potential teachers coming to Oman by giving them the impression you can just run down to the Ministry if there is a problem and they are going to jump to help you or that you won't get stuck in Oman with no money- unable to pay your rent (a jailable offense by the way) because your employer doesn't pay you on time or that higher ups in a college are going to help you (they are probably the ones that ordered the lowers to do the thing you have a problem with).

To be honest, sadly, I have found Oman to become a lot worse for Western expats over the last three years- a major decline. Inexperienced teachers will have a rude awakening here about how they are treated by employers. As far as students go they can be a joy to teach but also frustrating and I have no issue with them, but the real problem is how Western expat teachers are treated by the employers these days.

Most Westerns are used to taking someone at their word or believing the law will be followed or they will have recourse, but it is not so. I am not sure how omanoman thinks this from his comments; obviously, he or she has never been at the receiving end of the system here. Even if you come here with the best of intentions and really care about students and want to make a difference for them and even Oman, the treatment you receive in trying to do this makes it not worth it and drives away any self respecting or competent teacher away.

I have actually filed a complaint with Manpower to no avail in the Ruwi office. They do not speak English in the office and you have to file the complaint in Arabic. It was obvious under the law the employer was in violation. It is not easy and I finally just dropped my complaint after a few months in the end due to how long the process was taking and moved on to something else.

I believe some of the other non-western expats curb their indignation as they are not used to labour protections and standards in their own countries and the Omani salary is quite high for them, so they are willing to put up with behaviour Westerners might find exploitative. I have nothing against Oman or the people I just wish that they would realize the situation with teachers and colleges has become untenable and they need to change their system and treat Westerners as they would wish to be treated if in our countries.
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 160
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While the Omani's at the airport may not be 'escaping' from Ramadhan in their travels-traveling is certainly what they are doing, whoever heard of people traveling all the way to the airport to simply 'get out of the heat'? Rolling Eyes
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omanoman



Joined: 11 Jun 2014
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tazz, I think you missed the point. MG made a statement assuming that the Omanis at the airport were leaving at this time of year in order to go to a country that serves alcohol during this month, therefore escaping Ramadan and the prohibition on serving booze anywhere.



And for Nicole, I don't think I am doing a disservice, quite the contrary. I think that one, two and now three people posting on dave's is not even remotely close to an indictment of the entire Oman college recruitment and teaching experience. Let that number double, triple and the numbers are still in favor of ,at the very least, a benefit of the doubt.

I don't believe that whatever experiences have been stated here are normal and may also be exaggerated. Why should these very negative claims be given any more weight than my own opinion? My intention in this regard is to add another perspective to the vocal minority who want to disparage the experience here - even if someone's experience has been negative, we can't know the full story. I have seen enough unprofessional and deceitful behavior from fellow teachers that, while some posters here are cynical about their employers, I have become wary about posters on forums like this and their motives and integrity.

The way that their opinion has been expressed is a blanket condemnation of the whole system and people, I feel I have to push against that. That is also unfair to those who are interested in coming to Oman.

Maybe I have been fortunate and MuscatGary has not. I have been able to work here mostly without problems and when there were some, I acted in my own best interest and saw results, again, perhaps that was down to luck, having a responsive management in place. Maybe the way that I interacted with them was better, maybe I, and others, took action where MG did not, perhaps because he/she knew it was hopeless?

Still, this back and forth has merit, even more so because there can be more perspective for those looking into coming here. I have given advice, linked to the labor law, expressed other details about caution so I am hardly a shill for the corporate side.

o
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 885
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="omanoman"]Tazz, I think you missed the point. MG made a statement assuming that the Omanis at the airport were leaving at this time of year in order to go to a country that serves alcohol during this month, therefore escaping Ramadan and the prohibition on serving booze anywhere./quote]

Actually my 'assumption' was based on what several of my Omani drinking buddies had told me they, and their friends, intended to do and why.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MuscatGary wrote:
omanoman wrote:
Tazz, I think you missed the point. MG made a statement assuming that the Omanis at the airport were leaving at this time of year in order to go to a country that serves alcohol during this month, therefore escaping Ramadan and the prohibition on serving booze anywhere.


Actually my 'assumption' was based on what several of my Omani drinking buddies had told me they, and their friends, intended to do and why.

That will certainly be likely with the wealthier locals with a drinking problem, but I would guess that this isn't true of the vast majority of "Omani's" (sic) who will be leaving this month.

Quote:
but the real problem is how Western expat teachers are treated by the employers these days.

I would say that the biggest problem is from contractors, but yes, there has been a deterioration in working conditions in the whole Gulf over the last 10 years. Salaries and benefits are down... and more of the jobs have been passed to shady recruiters/contractors who are totally focused on income... not hiring competent teachers who will be able to teach the students.

Sad for all...

VS
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 885
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="veiledsentimentsThat will certainly be likely with the wealthier locals with a drinking problem, but I would guess that this isn't true of the vast majority of "Omani's" (sic) who will be leaving this month.[/quote]

Actually one of the biggest problems this year has been the closure of the cheap Bedi bars due to the ban on dancing girls in the summer of last year making them non-viable. This has resulted in the poorer Omani drinkers being displaced from these bars and into the more expensive hotel bars. Not surprisingly they have resented the prices and turned against the bar staff, arguing the bill, refusing to pay and often fighting with other Omanis in the bar. As I keep saying it's not just the work but the country that's changing but maybe this is hard to understand for those who were here before the changes.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a soap opera...

It seems like stuff that expats who are not into the bar scene wouldn't even have noticed. I can see why the authorities look at closing all the bars as a cure for the problem. But we know that only diverts it and grows the black market...

VS
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