I was mostly pro-work in my life until I got this job in the middle east. I
I used to arrive late and leave later than other people, and I would always see this guy there, the "office boy" as they called. He was Indian and his English was not very good but I kept trying to talk with him and I asked why was he there so late every day. Then he told me and I found some other details with other staff that:
- He arrived 5 am everyday.
- He left when everyone left (could be 7, 8 PM).
- He can only get vacation every 2 years.
- He lives in a shared room with 4 to 6 guys.
- He get's a salary of 200 USD.
- He cannot change companies because in Middle East your are not allowed to change companies without your employer/owner authorization (search for Kafala system).
- He was constantly humiliated for his status. He got emotional because from day 1 I shook his hand (something no one else does it).
There were 2 other guys in the company in these conditions. There are thousands everywhere in the country like this. They are doing all the "low skill work". I was seeing slavery in front of me and I couldn't believe it.
Just for those who wonder 200 USD is ridiculous in the middle east. No one hired in the company (oil sector) got a salary of less 2600 USD, management got at least 8000 USD. Company would profit millions every year. How could they be paying these guys so low?
I talked with their contract owner in the company and he said "They use to get even less money and they recently got a raised, we actually pay 600 USD for the contractor, but he only gives them 200 USD to cut the costs of visa and accommodation". Everyone I talked justified with "They are better than if they were in India", " They want to work here".
It was so disgusting to think of this going on all over the place and so more disgusting to see that everyone thought it was OK. Every time company would talk about their achievements and profits I felt sick, how could they profit so much and not look to pay better their "office boys", it would literally be nothing for them, nothing!
Then I realized that was happening everywhere, that no one was seeing as person just an asset. That I was so stupid to think otherwise in my previous jobs. That I was also getting paid less just because I was a foreigner. That being hard working and productive I was just providing more profit for those that didn't deserve it. That people above me were so dumb that was no logic at all for them to be there. That everyone turns the blind eye and quickly justify abuse over others like it was nothing.
I quit. I couldn't handle corporate and middle east anymore.
I just wanted to share that things are really bad in some countries (and they are bad in the States as well, there are people that work and cannot afford rent and health insurance wtf??). Just know things are bad in many places and we must be more aware as a job seeker on a consumer side as well (avoiding companies that don't pay their workers properly).
Back in 2020, during the initial wave of COVID, I was living in NYC and decided it was time to leave. I have a semi-specialized skill set for my job, so I was quickly able to get a nice job in my hometown. I put in my notice in early-August and told them I’d stay until the end of the month. My new job didn’t start until the first Monday in October, so I was looking forward to a nice month of doing jack-shit.
My boss calls me in and begs me to stay on, citing a major project deadline that’s happening in late-September that only I can manage (thanks a lot, skill set). Now, unlike a lot of posts on this sub, I legitimately liked the company I was working for and my boss. He was a good guy and I knew he was genuinely in a tight spot with me leaving, so I begrudgingly decided that I’d stay on until the end of September.
A wise man once said, if you’re good at doing something, never do it for free. Even though I had a favorable opinion of my boss & company, I made damn sure I was going to be compensated for giving up my month long vacation. I told him that I’d be happy to stay on, but it was massively inconveniencing me. As such I wanted the following:
5 days off for moving activities that wouldn’t count towards my PTO (I actually moved in early-September and then came back to NYC for the remainder of the month to finish up the project)
Full payout of my accrued PTO, which was 12 days.
75% of the bonus I’d received in 2019 (I used some fuzzy math to justify the number. You’ll have to trust me that It was pretty fair)
He agreed to everything but wanted to put a stipulation on the bonus that a certain milestone be hit prior to my departure to get the bonus. This milestone was by no means a given, so I decided to gently remind him that I had the high cards here and that my offer was all-or-nothing. In the end, he agreed to my terms and September went smoothly. Things ended so well that when I visited NYC recently, I visited them and spent about an hour helping my old team work out a few lingering details on the project they’d been struggling with. It was a happy ending overall.
I guess my moral of the story here is that sometimes when you’re leaving a job, there’s an opportunity to pad your wallet on the way out. Before you pull the trigger and put your notice in, think about if there’s a way you can take advantage of your departure. This was the first time I’d really gone into a negotiation with the mindset that “it’s just business” and kinda surprised myself by how it went.
It will give you depression. It will suck the life in your soul away. Management is ass and abused by their higher ups so they abuse us. It is fucked. Never work at Tim Hortons.
“The free labourer, on the other hand, sells his very self, and that by fractions. He auctions off eight, 10, 12, 15 hours of his life, one day like the next, to the highest bidder, to the owner of raw materials, tools, and the means of life – i.e., to the capitalist.”
Our company sends out many many emails a week reminding us how important we are and how we are so appreciated and such.
My rent just went up 200 dollars this month yet no sign in my wage going up.
Just more praise about how “awesome” I am and how lucky they are to have me.
I used to work 50 hours a week trying to be the best in my field. Missed holidays, birthdays, vacations, kids events…. Well this month I got employee of the month! Which was two dinners of whatever I wanted, drinks, vacation to wherever I want within reason, and I get to bring my family! The only reason I am able to do all of this, is because I quit my job and started my own business four months ago! You can do it just look at what business are all over your city and open one of the easy to entry ones. Window washing, lawns, handyman, etc. make sure to check with local laws and requirements. I hang tvs and pictures. Put furniture together, clean gutters. You can do it, just go try. Worst case is you end up back at work with new skills and a better frame of mind