On this same day last year, I was preparing to go home for my sister’s college graduation. I was already losing hope of finding a job here in the UAE. I arrived sometime September and started applying for jobs in October. I attended a number of interviews and was able to be in the final shortlist on some but still, I remained jobless. I honestly felt bobo that time. I mean hello, I’ve been working for more than 14 years and I think I have a pretty good set of credentials naman pero bakit hindi ako makakuha ng trabaho? Maybe I am under qualified? I tried applying to entry-level positions but then they told me I am over qualified. On positions that I am qualified on the other hand, hindi naman ako makalusot. Susmio, hindi ko malaman saan ako lulugar.
So when I went home for a short vacation, I told myself I am going to enjoy. Because when I get back, I am yet to face again the fact that I am still jobless and will be spending my day at home doing chores. Not that I hate or I don’t know how to do housechores ha, domesticated ata ang yours truly hindi nyo lang alam. But I can just say that since the time I arrived until early April of last year, I was a totally different me.
But as they say, everything happens in God’s time. I was still in Pinas enjoying my time in Palawan when Mr. X told me that one of the companies I’ve applied to, called him and looked for me. Thank god for call-diverts. Hahaha! The funny thing was before I left for vacation, I already got a regret letter from them saying that they will no longer push through with my application. In short, butata na naman si ako. Then they had a change of mind. So there, I went home 2nd week of April and after a week of preparation, I was again back to working.
Ang bilis ng panahon, now it’s almost a year since I got back to working. At times I still ask myself, bakit pa nga ba ako nagwork e mas masarap kumain at matulog (of course after ko maglaba, maglinis at magluto no!) sa bahay. But unfortunately, it’s not enough that only the husband works these days. In our case, there are a lot of things we need to prepare for.
After working for almost a year here in the UAE, let me just give you some things one has to remember when working here. I'm pretty sure there's a whole lot more but for now, let me share with you the following:
1. First and foremost, working here in the UAE is tax-free. Yes my friends, you get to bring home your salary in full. Walang bawas, walang kulang. Not unless of course you have deductibles to begin with like loans, absences, etc. No need to pay for any personal or income tax. After getting deducted by 32% on most of the years I’ve worked in PH, this is something I really appreciate from working here in the UAE. We all know where most, if not all, of our taxes go in Pinas. Masaya na lahat ng pinaghirapan mo nakukuha mo, at hindi napupunta sa bulsa ng mga buwaya.
2. Typically, a workweek starts on a Sunday and ends on Thursday. While most get to have a two-day weekend, some gets only a one-day off. In my case, I get a two-days off. Yebah!
3. During Ramadan, a work day of 8hrs (for some it’s 9) gets reduced by two hours. So if you usually go home at 4pm, you can then pack up and leave by 2pm. That is, if you can bear the scorching heat of the sun since Ramadan falls in summer. I remember last year when I attempted to leave the office at 3pm, I decided to just go back and stay for another 2 hours just because I couldn’t take the heat outside. It really felt like I was in a sauna and that my life is being sucked out of me. Hindi ko kinaya!