Last week I was told it was time for me to move on.
Who told me this and why?
HR at hubbies company.
Apparently I've been here 18 months and I need to let things drop and move on and that I should be used to things here by now and why don't I just google like everyone else does when they need things doing?
Well that's what I have been doing since the very day we arrived in South Africa. So why am I still complaining?
Many of you will know that from my blogs and tweets that despite promising to do stuff, hubbies company have failed and let us down big time. Yes, I've got on with things at either considerable expense, time or emotionally and we have moved 3 times in the past 18 months and received no help whatsoever with anything.
OK again, big deal you say, but the difference is there is a contract stating what help they will provide, it was agreed as part of the relocation package and sorry if I'm speaking out of turn, but I thought a signed contract was legally binding.
So why have we moved 3 times?
We started off in tempory accomodation, it was ideal, a 6 week lease and the promise of assistance to find a more permenant property. So trusting we would get the help, I got on with trying to open bank accounts, get a SIM card, buy a car, settle the kids into school, but all was impossible as I only had a visitor visa and no proof of residency as the apartment was in the company name and trust me I really had to scream and shout to get anything done.
Two weeks prior to us needing to leave the apartment there had been no sign of finding other accomodation. The owner arrived with the new tenants to show them around and the company hadn't requested to extend the lease or find us anywhere else to live. By this time after failing to get a mobile phone on contract I had obatained a PAYG SIM card after asking a stranger to buy and register the card for me and used a very old UK phone which had poor battery life and no internet connection.
I thought I'd visit the estate agents in the mall to discover that's not how things work here. I needed to find the agents name from one of their bill boards and call them. Emmmm bill boards inside security estates and without an invitation, no entry.
So I got in the car and drove to hubbies office, saw HR and said 'we have 2 weeks to find somewhere to live, I need to view some properties'. She dug deep in her bag and produced a battered leaflet, circled a name and walked off, using the office phone I called a few and was told that nothing was available with such short notice. Then I found an agent who showed me a couple, another agent failed to turn up at one address. Then I found a property available on the date we needed it, the rent was higher than the allowance but we had to move and and that point I was still being misled about obtaining a work visa, so thought we'd be out of pocket for a while but that it would be ok when I found a job.
So add to this we'd had no medical aid when we arrived, it was in the contract, we'd requested it and were out of pocket by 1000's of pounds after eldest child was rushed to hospital on day 8, neither had anyone thought of giving us any info on how and where to find doctors, dentists or even where the nearest hospital was. Our car loan has to re paid within 2 years, visa regulations and the borrowing costs were 14%, this was where the HSBC had let us down with misinformation.
So moving forward to December 2011, we had to move, we simply couldn't afford it, so after all the hassle we'd had the company employed an agency to assist with a new move as they wouldn't up the rental allowance to cover our costs.
What a waste of time that was. We were shown 2 properties end of January 2012 and nothing else.
So last week I find myself back in the office, with the new HR, listening to excuses as to how she wasn't in post back then and what did I want? Bear in mind I was only there having sucessfully found new tenants for our old property, found a new house to rent, contacted and supervised removal firms and cleaners, negoiated the contract with the owner, transferred all the utilities. All at the same time as sorting out issues with youngest child afer discovering the company hadn't forwarded all the SEN info we'd provided them with, paid a fortune to have him reassesed. Arranged a reader and a scribe for his exams, at our expense after discovering the company had emailed the school to inform them we were only in the country for 2 years, so they'd not really bothered with him being Dyslexic and having dysgraphia.
And then to top it all off, the agency had invoiced the company for all the work I'd done, claiming it as their own, in regards to the move, some several thousand pounds. Dealt with an emergency trip back to the UK after my father had a heart attack and renewed our visa application.
So what was my point? What did I want?
An apology, an reply to my emails when I said I didn't know what to do and where to do it.
Whay did I get?
I got told it was time for me to move on and if I wanted an apology she could request one.