Sunday, June 20, 2010

Working in the Middle East

It's a trip here in the Middle East when new job opportunities come your way.

I had a guy send me an inquiry on LinkedIn yesterday wanting to know if I would be interested in a Risk Manager position.

Of course I said yes - I never turn down any opportunity without exploring it first.

I sent him my CV as a .pdf file - locked down (tell me I'm not paranoid).

And he sends me a note back saying thank you and could he have my "complete" CV with my personal details included.


I ignored the "personal details" part as I have my contact details as well as a statement identifying myself as an American on my CV. But I added my first 5 years of employment history (seriously, who cares what I did in 1993?!) and sent it back to him.

I get another e-mail back from this guy, thanking me again for my CV and could I please send a sheet with my personal details. He included a phone number so I called him. 

And he answered the phone in one of the most professional ways possible, "Yeah?". 


I asked if this was XXX, he said "Yeah", and I identified myself and asked what he meant exactly by personal details.

Guess what he wants?

My passport number, my birthday, my address, my age, marital status, where I'm from in the US etc...

Basically everything you need to steal my identity or come rob me.

So of course me being me, I asked why he needed that kind of information to determine if I was qualified for the Risk Manager position. This is the condensed version of how the conversation went:

Him: I just need it.

Me:  Well I need a better reason than that - what are you going to use it for?

Him:  Let me tell you about us, we're a property management company and we need a risk manager.  Give me your personal details, we need them to determine if you will go to the next round.

Me: Well I don't give out that information to people I don't know.  You contacted me from Linkedin and I have no idea who you are or if you really represent this company.  And next round of what?

Him:  Just give me your birthday, how old are you, what is your address?  I need to know if you fit the band.

Me:  Band of what?  I don't understand how my birthday and address are necessary to determining if I have the background for the position.

Him:  Just tell me your age.


Me:  How about this, take the average age of a university graduate, then add on my years of experience.  That will give you an idea.  I'm not comfortable giving you my personal information, my CV should have everything you need.

Him:  Well I'll let you know if you move to the next level.

Me:  Mmmm, Yeah. That's O.K.  Bye.

WTF?!  Give me an Effing break! 

So I look up the company online (I should have done this in the first place like I usually do) - and guess what?  The company doesn't have any listings for Risk Managers in Dubai, and the phone number he gave is not the same exchange as the company.  Numbers here tend to start with the same exchange depending on what area they are in.  Especially large companies like the one this guy was suppose to be from.

Then I went back to check his e-mail address - it was a Google account instead of a company one.  I guess I wasn't thinking this morning.  Maybe coffee deprived?

Best case, he actually did work for the company and was a sexist, racist, ageist, bigot.  At worst he was a thief.  Although really is a bigot better than a thief? 

Most likely not as thieves are usually equal opportunity.

America, America, my home sweet home....

I can't wait to be back in a real job market.

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