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ECSSR

 
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KiteBiker



Joined: 13 Oct 2004
Posts: 85
Location: In front of the computer ...

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:57 pm    Post subject: ECSSR Reply with quote

No rants or raves about ECSSR since 2003. Has anything been happening there?

I ask because:

Rumor of HCT and MLI merging

Indication during an interview in late 2003 that ECSSR wanted to become separate from the military.

Have tried numerous times to contact ECSSR but since the departure of an expat HR employee/director, I have no responses from them. They have positions in the library and resource centre that seem intriguing. Any information as to what's happening in the library?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16085
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I understood it, they did separate from the military. I have only had contact with one teacher there who was eager to leave and did so as soon as he got another offer.

The only thing I know about the library was that another friend discussed a position with them - and decided against accepting.

This was all a year or so ago and I haven't heard anything more pro or con. Where are they advertising?

VS
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KiteBiker



Joined: 13 Oct 2004
Posts: 85
Location: In front of the computer ...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2004 12:49 am    Post subject: ecssr posting Reply with quote

about a year ago they posted a position for system librarian and they interviewed me for it. Didn't have enough UNIX mainframe experience for them so they passed. Recently they advertised a communication specialist doing media monitoring and reference librarian. They apparently have a new building and are trying to make the contents a worthy collection. I have an interest in strategic studies. Why did your friend pass on it?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16085
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2004 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, he didn't share all of his reasoning with me. But, he and I did discuss some of the buzz that had been around concerning some unhappiness from some teachers about ECSSR in the last few years, though neither of us had first hand word about the library. Added to its newness, which many of us old timers find a negative... His current job was stable, if a bit of a yawn, and with kids to educate, he probably didn't feel it was worth taking risks.

It would be nice if we had some more up-to-date news. If the job appeals to you, why not apply and see what they say? From what I have seen, library jobs are not as problematic as teaching positions in some of these new places. Smile

VS
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KiteBiker



Joined: 13 Oct 2004
Posts: 85
Location: In front of the computer ...

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 1:27 pm    Post subject: ECSSR asleep Reply with quote

Ahh, but I have applied and sent e-mails. Since a certain expat left HR no communication has ever been received. Am I alone here with this problem? Is this a case of E-Halitosis? Or is this systemic of how they are treating all applicants due to internal "issues"? Can anyone offer their experiences that is more recent than 2003?
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shebab



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DON'T GO THERE!!! The place is like a prison. Twisted Evil

I am currently in a very stable position in Saudi Arabia, and am 10 times happier now than I was at the ECSSR.

That statement alone should speak volumes to you. Shocked

Private me if you want to know about my inmate-like experience at that so-called "think tank".
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi shebab,

I'd hoped that you would show up to provide the inside scoop. Smile But, may the library situation be different from the EFL teachers?

VS
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shebab



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The people in the library will be subjected to the same nonsense as the people in the rest of the ECSSR. I was initially only going to provide this "intel" by private message, but I just couldn't resist putting it in public domain. Very Happy

Where do I begin?

First of all, you are locked into the building from 8:30-1:30 and 3-6, at a time when most government workers are finished and having their naps at 2pm.

When I say locked in, I mean it seriously. There is a guard outside who notes down when you come and go from the premises. This is in addition to a time clock which, while sometimes broken, is still required for us to punch into (in case the guards forget to write down your time).

Secondly, When I say from 8:30 to 6, I mean that to the minute. At 5:55, people start forming what I would call the "Line of Shame". As soon as the clock turns "5:59pm", the person in front of the line starts to get ready to swipe his card and leave for freedom when it finally turns "6:00pm".

If you are more than 10 minutes late in the morning, you will receive a memo. If you have an emergency and need to leave early, you must get written permission to leave. If your supervisor is not available to give this written permission, you are out of luck!

They will tell you that the schedule will change once they move to the new building, but that new building has been sitting empty and rotting from disuse for the past two years!

Thirdly, if you need to go from one part of the ECSSR to another, (for example to look at their library) you need to get a different kind of permission slip that enables you to move between the villas. If you take books out of the library, you must get a signed permission slip for each of the books you take out plus one to get you back to your original office.

Fourth, if the "director general" decides he doesn't like the way your department is performing, he can "Quarentine" you for weeks at a time. What this means is that you come to work, sit in the meeting room in the HR villa, and do nothing for the time you are at work. You talk to no one, you email no one, you cannot answer the phone.

Fifth, you are not allowed to bring in food, drink, mobile phones, or CDs into or out of the center, unless you have a written permission from your supervisor.

Sixth, they keep your passports, which is illegal in the UAE. To make matters worse, you do not receive any sort of receipt to prove they have your passport.

Seventh, they never give you a straight answer as to whether they are a govt or private entity, so as to intentionally confuse you regarding which labor laws they are covered by. This came up when I decided to seek legal assistance to determine what my rights were under the UAE labor laws.

Eighth, they put "employee/worker" in your visa as opposed to what you really are "librarian/technician/teacher/etc". This becomes important when you try to transfer your visa to somewhere else, bring your dependents over if you are a female, or avoid getting a six-month ban in your passport when you finally leave the ECSSR.

Ninth, the place is so shrouded in secrecy that you never know exactly what you are doing or who you work for. To that end, you are not allowed to have a company intranet address(you@ecssr.com) or print out business cards. The entire time I was there, we used my yahoo account to correspond with others.

Tenth, the ECSSR "Yearbook" that is distributed to the public and to dignitaries has been doctored so that a certain high level Emirati staff member who was canned is now replaced (courtesy of Adobe Acrobat) with another Emirati staff member, shaking hands with people such as Col Qadaffi's son.

Eleventh, the housing allowance that you are given is not adquate enough to live on in the city of Abu Dhabi. People who have never lived in the UAE before happily take their allowance and assume that the hovel they have acquired with the paltry sum of money is sufficient, until they see what their colleagues at comparable institutions are living in.

Twelfth, they deduct 10% of your salary every month as a "security measure" and return it to you only if you complete your contract or give notice. This is also illegal under the current laws.

Thirteenth, your probation period is six months when in most places you only need three.

That about covers the major points. I could go on and on. The only people who put up with the crap at the ECSSR are those too naive or uninformed to realize that there are much better packages there for the same or better salary.

To summarize, I would say that the ECSSR is like the Hotel California-you can check out anytime you want, but when it comes to leaving... Shocked
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KiteBiker



Joined: 13 Oct 2004
Posts: 85
Location: In front of the computer ...

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:10 pm    Post subject: ECSSR & The Skinner Box Reply with quote

Sounds like a military outfit, alright. I wonder if they have true armed guards and video cameras. Any problems with threats from terrorists? Evil or Very Mad

If attachments are ever allowed here, I would love to see someone undertake a grid that compares terms and conditions of employment from various institutions for similar positions.

The most disturbing part of the post is the passport thing. In Oman, they tried to take my passport away but I was [charmingly] insistent. I succeeded. I had a holster like affair on my body at all times with my passport [and various other sundry items]. Then came the day I lost the bloody thing. It was at the Ramada in Muscat. They took it for photocopying and "forgot" to give it back. I had to be extreemely humble to the security/document officer at the college. He merely laughed at me and let me keep my [hard fought] emergency passport from KSA - Canada doesn't have a good office in Oman. Months later I found it at the Ramada when I visited there again. It was in their drawer with dozens of other passports. I asked why they didn't alert the embassy to its whereabouts and they said they simply don't bother. I alerted the Canadian Embassy in Riyahd on that one.

So the question remains, is it an SOP for the HR to neglect and ignore potential candidates they don't want to deal with or are they merely disorganized and/or incompetent?
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mli_vet



Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:30 pm    Post subject: Ya, shebab ! ! ! Ditto, ditto on ECSSR. Reply with quote

Question Exclamation Exclamation Question Exclamation Question Exclamation Question Exclamation Question Exclamation Question Exclamation Exclamation

This ECSSR place has a VERY difficult time with both hiring of staff, and retention of staff, in all departments. I have met some very qualified yet extremely discontent people from this place. Even the locals can't stand working there--"Mafee zain . . . ts, ts, ts. "

The Director is an absolute nutcase and works through tactics of intimidation, persecution of perceived "enemies" [yourself included if you ever decide to work there], and manipulating the variables of your life at his whim.

I've known people of many nationalities who could only take the BS so long. PRISON is an understatement. This place is a lunatic asylum. As Shebab notes, whatever department you're in, you won't escape the lunacy and restrictive regulations.

Are you Muslim, if so you'll get the Ramadan hours. Not Muslim, then so sorry, but you'll either have to convert [no pressure at all, but Mohammed was a prophet--don't you believe? Why not?] or continue working until dark.

Picture yourself surrounded by disgruntled Palestinians [named Jihad, Usama, . . . ], Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians . . . all hating you because you make a few more dirhams than they do. Picture yourself being pitted against your colleagues in power play moves as Dr. J pulls the strings from above.

No one that I knew from this place was ever satisfied, but the admin puppets will give you a good line . . . "It's a fabulous opportunity . . . a think tank . . . look who's been there to visit . . . now come into this dark cubicle and get to work. Leave your sandwich, phone and newspaper w/ the guard at the gate . . . ready to convert yet?"

Ever heard of the Zayed Centre which closed after complaints of anti-Semitic propaganda emanating from His Highness's namesake think tank? [Google for Zayed Centre if you haven't]. This place is/was a sister institution to the ZC, only worse in my view. I woudn't doubt that funds from the UAE oil revenues are being channeled through the ECSSR to causes such as dubious Islamic "charities" and this leaves aside the question of the many "publications" which purport to be legitimate scholarship. In other words, this would hardly be considered a good move to advance your career prospects.

ECSSR is still trying to hire a few good ESL teachers to stay long enough to get their English program going. Oh, I forgot to mention the vacation and salary chain jerk. Thinking of going on vacation your first year? Guess again, you have to wait till the 2nd year, which means you lose your first years tickets and accrued vacation days. Oh well--your fault for agreeing to come to the ECSSR in the first place. 30 days? Just kidding . . . try again next year, heh, heh, heh.

Here's a recent ad from eslemployment.com JUST IN CASE anyone might still be interested in applying. Wouldn't want to discourage anyone from having a go at it if so inclined . . .

URL: http://www.eslemployment.com/dcforum/DCForumID7/189.html#0

Message Information:
----------------------------------------------------
Forum: Jobs in the Middle East
Thread Number: 189
Reply Number: 0 (0 = original message)
Thread Subject: English Language Instructor
Posted by ecssr
Posted on 07:31:09, 10/04/2004


Posted Message:
----------------------------------------------------
ENGLISH LANGUAGE INSTRUCTOR

Applications are invited for the post of English Language Instructor at a leading Research Center institution in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Job Description

• Teach two-to-three English language classes daily. (TOEFL, English for Scientific Research, and/or in-house training classes)
• Prepare lesson plans and in-class tests.
• Monitor students’ attendance and progress.
• Administer ECSSR recruitment exams.
• To conduct TOEFL tests for new employee candidates.
• Provide close support and guidance to trainees in English writing and reviews
• Be directly involved with English language curriculum design.
• Attend staff meetings and teachers’ workshops.
• Design, develop, and teach training courses to ECSSR employees, as needed.

Skills and Competencies

• M.A. degree in TOEFL or related field preferred
• Five years experience in teaching EFL/ESL.
• Three years experience in teaching TOEFL.
• Three years experience in curriculum design.
• Two years experience in computer-assisted language learning. (CALL)
• Good command of Microsoft Office programs.
• Sound knowledge of scientific research methodology.

For all of the above roles, the remuneration packages will incorporate a negotiable and generous tax-free salary, furnished accommodation, 30 days annual leave, medical cover, return flights and education allowance for dependants.

Interested applicants are requested to send a detailed Curriculum Vitae to

jobs@ecssr.com

To answer the previous poster's question, yes, this place is extremely disorganized and incompetent when it comes to dealing with employees and potential hires. So I've heard anyway. Beware, bewarned.

MLI Vet
Over and Out
mli_vet@yahoo.com
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16085
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only regret that I can't come out of retirement to accept this marvelous sounding position in this so positively described institution.

But, unfortunately, I don't have an MA in TEOFL. In fact, I never knew that you could get an MA in a test!! Shocked

Live and learn, I guess.

VS Cool
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mli_vet



Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 4:36 pm    Post subject: I guess . . . Reply with quote

I guess . . . ? ? ?

. . . there's no guessin about it mate! This is not a good gig. Better off at HCT, UGRU, ZU, et al. Strategic studies and "think tank" my arse.

Oh, I see, you meant live and learn, I guess. That was odd about the MA in TOEFL, wasn't it. Never heard of such a thing either. These guys seem rather clueless. Rather? Rather, exceptionally clueless.


MLI Vet
Over and Out
mli_vet@yahoo.com
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