One recent afternoon, a senior colleague at work, Mr. A, suddenly called me.
Mr. A: Do you want to work in Dubai?
Me: Huh? Why do you ask?
Mr. A: We need more people in Dubai office. They are having a tough time finding local people there to do the work.
I thought so too. It’s hard to get local Emiratis to do mundane desk job. They are born privileged. Why would they bother doing office work at a small pay, when their men can earn a fortune running family businesses and their women can go shopping all day!
Mr. A: So how? But you need to quit your job here. They’ll re-recruit you there as local hire. You’ll get paid as a local.
Okay, that doesn’t sound too good. Local hire means I won’t be entitled for EPF in Malaysia, which is a huge deal. And local pay means I don’t get paid as an expat, which is not good. Everyone knows expats get much better pay than locals. What’s the point of working overseas if you can’t get expat salary?
Standard of living in Dubai is high. Rental must be paid a year in advance. Food is expensive, especially for yours truly who can’t cook to save her life. Taxi fare is mindboggling, especially if you stay far away from your workplace. Then comes the balancing act between staying nearby and pay high rental, or staying far away and pay low rental but high taxi fare.
Money aside, I’m currently doing my MBA. If I go there now, when am I going to finish my MBA?
Me: I don’t think so Mr. A. Let me ask around if anyone else is interested.
As much as it saddens me to say no to such opportunity, perhaps it’s not my rezeki just yet. If only the question comes to me after I get hold of my MBA scroll, with better compensation scheme that inflates my disposable income and allows for significant contribution to my retirement piggy bank, I’ll definitely catch the first flight to Dubai.
It’s okay *pujuk hati sendiri*. InshaAllah, something better will come along in the future, if not in this manner, perhaps in some other. I have faith in that!
P.S.: Pjot, if you’re reading this, remember when we were in Dubai you kept telling me to get transferred there so you could visit me every year during summer sale and we could go shopping together? So close to coming true, but not just yet. Waiting for better things to come, inshaAllah!
P.P.S.: They have identified a person to take the post, a Malaysian guy. I met him yesterday to brief him on the things my department requires him to do when he gets there. Wishing him the best of luck!