You should stay away from them, be warned!
I’m being interviewed today for HOD position at Mazoon. Any tips? Is that a real possibility or just a fake created position?
What are the misrepresentations here? Anything I wrote here is untrue? And what does my lack of professionalism have to do with them not keeping their promises and not honoring the terms of the contract? Not paying? Classical "poisoning the well" fallacy.
Hey Johnstone, are you the recruiter referred to in the Mazoon comments or actually with the school?
Either way, your comments smell badly. Perhaps its from the smoke created by this situation.
It is only fair to point out that the post Escape from Mazoon College is full of misrepresentations and outright lies. It was posted, I guess, by a person whose lack of professionalism is well known by his peers.
I recently did my first ever Mid East runner. And the place that I ran away from was Mazoon College located at Airport Heights, Seeb, Muscat,Oman. Here is a brief summary of events that led to such an unpleasant outcome:
I was recruited with promises of the following:
1) I was going to stay at the college dorm, free first month and then I was going to pay 140 Omani Riyals per month.
2) Overtime was available.
3) The compensation was to be RO 1300 a month + one ticket during my vacation time.
4) If I decided to live off campus, rents in Muscat were not unreasonable.
The college sent me a letter of offer. The deal was I was to buy my own ticket and then they would reimburse me. They also did not show me the contract and I accepted this fact without arguing because the recruiter was a long time friend of mine.
Upon my arrival in Muscat I quickly learned that :
1) I would not get reimbursed for the ticket until I signed the contract. When I saw it, it was pretty draconian. Basically it said that if we would quit before the end of the contract, we would have to pay the college three months salary if they do not approve of our quitting. This seemed very unsuitable for me because I have an elderly mother and I absolutely cannot accept such terms. But I had already paid for the ticket. Smart!
2) We were very soon told that all male teachers would have to leave the dorm after one month because, allegedly, parents of the female students complained that there were men staying at the dorm. Which was unacceptable to Muslim sensibilities. But leaving the dorm would mean that I would have to get my own place which is not easy in Muscat. I also did not know anything about that city. After all, I came on the promise that I would be staying at the dorm.
The apartments published in newspapers were as expensive as apartments in the USA. Whats more, they often demanded post dated checks paid several months in advance. But how could I get those without a labor card? Also, we had to get furniture because most apartments came unfurnished. That would mean extra expenses. I came on the premise (and the promise) that I would stay at the dorm. After I protested about the breach of promise, the finance officer said that people from the Ministry came and told all men to get out. Which I later learned was not true. Also, they wanted us to get our own places even though we did not pass our probationary 90 days. With many places having lease contracts and demanding post dated checks, would this be a wise move to get into a contract like this and then run the risk of being asked for all this money in case they decide not to keep me?
Well, will I get a furniture allowance? You are kicking me out! Will someone help me find a place? No furniture allowance! was their answer!
I know nothing about Muscat! Yes, we will appoint a person to help you. No such help came, though. I was also told that I could continue staying at the dorm without paying until I found my own place. Which, again, was another lie. After very hard work I found a place that did not require post dated checks in a slum- and that had a bed. But they still deducted the money for the dorm. Even though they said they would not.
And guess what? After they have told us that they did not want any men in the dorm, they moved a couple more men in!!!! What about the parents' complaints?
3) But the biggest surprise of all came when, after having been given overtime and having worked very hard for 84 hours, I did not get paid. Our contract said that we should get paid for overtime every month. And my HOD said that I would be getting 8 Riyals an hour. I did not get a penny. When I ran to my recruiter, he brushed me off like a fly and said I would be getting money at the end of the semester.
Then, I made another shocking discovery. In our contracts the amount of the overtime payment was omitted. It was left blank. The HOD said it would be 8 Riyals but the finance office told me that regardless of how many times I worked I would be getting the payment of 350 Riyals. Which divided by hourly rate means 1.450 Riyals an hour. About the same as the pay at MacDonalds. That is after 24 years of teaching.
Wait a minute, I protested. You said it was 8 Riyals. The contract said I was getting paid every month. I had already budgeted my money for purchases and tickets and all. And I did not get paid. I went to see the finance officer and he just ignored the contract. He said that he had followed the instructions of the Dean. I asked my immediate supervisor to help me but he was not able to even secure an appointment with the Dean. Everybody else was treating me like a nuisance when I was asking to get my due payment back as it was promised by HOD and the contract. They owed me close to 600 Riyals.
The students were paying big money for the course some 900 Riyals per person and I was working very hard. Why was I not paid?
Everyone was telling me to hush down and let the whole thing go. Sorry, I do not like to get shafted. So I did not calm down.
My HOD was also telling me that certain Indian staff were feeling jealous of a Westerner making all this money and thus trying to interfere with my getting paid. Not very professional if you ask me.
4) There were other allegations although I cannot prove them and thus will not post them as certain- but they were those of labor-related mistreatment at Mazoon. For example, Id heard that one employee had to go home for an important family event, but was not allowed to leave even though it was Eid time and there were no classes. Id also heard that employees at the kitchen were working 18 hour days but not getting paid for all the overtime they were doing. I cannot prove it but this added to the very bad feeling that I was beginning to develop while working there.
5) The college expropriates your passport so, if you decide to quit they can just pull out your contract and ask you for three months salary. And not let you leave the Sultanate. They have also conveniently omitted from the contract the fact that according to article 24 of the Omani labor law, within the first 90 days all you need is to give them a seven day notice and you can break it.
Anyway, I did not enjoy working there and not getting paid as promised and having all these promises broken and being treated so disrespectfully. I also did not want to resign properly because I would run the risk of not getting my US passport back without me having to pay them a three months salary. So, I went on vacation and did not come back. That was the only path that I could take. I toyed with other scenarios and they all seemed too risky. Cut your losses and run. A semi slave does not have to resign to his master. He runs when he gets the chance.
Do not confuse Letter of Offer with Contract. Do not go anywhere without having a contract in one hand and a ticket in another. I let my guards down and trusted certain people and I got shafted.
Be extremely careful with Mazoon College. Avoid it if you are not really desperate.
As far as advice by some people to get a lawyer and take them to court and all that to get your money back etc,. I will say this: you need to pay money to get a lawyer. The lawsuit can drag on for a long time, years possibly, and also, how can you sue the college while they are holding your passport and while you are working for them? Does that mean you have to quit first? And then what? Fight for your passport, with them asking you for three months salary back from you? And where will you work while the judicial process is going on? Will it be easy for you to get a job? How about switching employers? All to get USD 1700 back? See how complicated the whole thing is?
Anyway, I got my passport, went on vacation and did not go back.
PS: they did not reimburse me for the medical costs- even though I submitted the receipt in a timely manner.
I cannot trust or work for or with such people. And you should not, either.