Repercussions of Recession

Friday, October 23, 2009

It’s been two years since the credit crunch hit Dubai affecting not only the economy but people’s lives. Here is one among a thousand tales of a once deployed man who faced the treachery of unemployment during recession.

‘I got a feeling of hitting rock bottom. One day I’m at my desk with a steady stream of income, and the next I’m on my laptop rewriting my CV,” reflects, 47, A.A (with held name by request) a highly educated Human Resource Manager, holding a British passport but originally from Pakistan. Mr. A, who has been residing in Dubai for the last three years was made redundant this August, a fate shared by up to one in ten workers in the UAE during the first six months of 2009, according to a recent survey by job sites and YouGov, an internet-based market research firm.

‘I read and heard about people losing their jobs; but I always regarded it was something that could happen to someone else. Not me.’ sighed A.A. ‘It’s quite ironical, as I was in charge of Human Resources, my job was to fire and hire, and the next thing I know I’m fired by my superiors. Losing a job was and still is unthinkable especially during this period of recession and when you have mouths to feed. I have two daughters, my wife and my mother to take care of...’ he adds.‘My company was cutting down on costs, I was told my position was no longer required and that was it, just like that I became unemployed. No complaints, No dissatisfaction, just unnecessary.’ said the outraged A.A.

Mr.A.A was made redundant in August 2009

‘It's insulting, even if you get the little speech on how it's due to economic conditions and not your performance, but the fact remains that you were let go and other people weren't. It's also frightening, because you're facing a bunch of unknowns just when you think you’re doing your job right for the last three years, just when you want your next pay check to pay off all those loans, the next school fees and to fix that leaking tap in the kitchen. Life takes this whole new turn leaving you in the ditch.’ said Mr. A filled with remorse.

Cutting down on costs had become primary. ‘The first thing I did was send my mother and children back home to London.’ said A.A, who reminisced them leaving this September, their school term was midway...but they had to leave, it was for the better. With what had happened, I didn’t know what to expect anymore. As for my wife, she stayed with me and I thank her for that, because without her I would have gone insane.’

When asked what the worst experience besides his redundancy he says, ‘It was the time when I had to tell my wife, my children and my mother. Being the bread-winner, your family depends on you for everything. So, me losing my job was the hardest to deal with.’

‘Then, as any normal unemployed person would do, I started looking for a job. I had a stipulated month to look for one before my visa expired.’ said A. ‘But in vain, he could not find one, recession has hit everyone pretty bad, even to this day.’, he added.

Mr.A has planned to return to London, to join his children and his mother. ‘I will be applying for an unemployment wages once I go back, till I find another job in London.’ said Mr. A.A

But unlike Mr.A.A, there are other Asian expatriates that do not have anything to fall on. No unemployment schemes to rely on, when they go back home, leaving them to start their living from scratch without any aid of any kind. Mr. A.A shares a word of advice to all the people out there, who find themselves in a similar plight like him. ‘Having a good spirit with a strong positive attitude will take you a long way. Everything happens for a reason, take each day as it comes and things will fall in its place.’

Photo Credits: Megna Kalvani


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