JournalismPakistan.com July 24, 2013
It is basically an expat problem but it is a sad one. Yesterday, I met this young man who has just returned from a three-month leave home to find that the hierarchy in his office has changed its pattern and with the new supervisor and the new section head this guy was now sidetracked, his job had been taken and he was told to report to another department for his new post. This is the season for it.
Already depressed at leaving his wife and kids for the next two plus anything years the shock of the loss of his job merely because of office politics and the in house games that people play he is now devastated.
Three months is a long time for people to invade your preserve and chew up your job security. To a great extent the flaw lies in the system that encourages leave after such inordinate lengths of time. To send people away for three months is to break the continuity beyond normal means. The gap is too wide and is engineered only because there is no annual leave.
This is a tradition predicated to the fact that there is no annual leave, only an accumulation. In turn, the practice has been encouraged because managements save on annual air tickets and give them once in two years. That some don’t even do that further compounds the problem.
What happens is that there are no winners. The company has a homesick person on its hands when he returns, the stretch ahead forbidding in its span. The disconnection between individual and his work has been so long that it takes days for the rust to disappear, the process made even slower by the low mood. Into this situation the loss of the post he had when he took off creates further inefficiency and despondency.
So, the belief that the saving on the annual ticket is largely erroneous. It would be lot less expensive if the individual was given an annual 30-day vacation , brought back refreshed and ready to do his best, knowing that within the year he would be on his way back home again. Since the large majority of expats are from the subcontinent the cost of that ticket is not very high. Think about it, HR!!!!
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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