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#125387 - 01/24/05 07:32 AM Overseas Work
bandb12 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 23
Loc: Crown Point, NY, USA
Have any of you worked overseas? I have been getting various job offers from over there, and some obviously "appear" to be scams. Others seem ligit and offer some super pay. If you have any experiences with this, please let me know! I have investigated the companies, but that still doesn't mean that there isn't someone out posing as a company rep...

I look forward to any replys, and thanks!

Bill

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#125388 - 01/25/05 07:41 AM Re: Overseas Work
bandb12 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 23
Loc: Crown Point, NY, USA
Anyone from the US I mean....Jeez, I thought this might be a good topic???!!!

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#125389 - 01/25/05 06:51 PM Re: Overseas Work
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
I have spent considerable time overseas, though not in the trade.
KNOW YOUR EMPLOYER- AND YOUR GOVERNMENT. Out and out scams aside, there are many pitfalls. Saudi holds your passport until your sponsor lets you have it back. Egypt has currency controls that make it darn near impossible to take your pay home with you. Your pay may be qouted in dollars, but will likely be paid in the local currency. If the deal goes sour, you may have to buy your way home.
Likewise, some governments almost encourage others to trample their citizens. Other countries stand up for their subjects. (You don't often hear of Russians being kidnapped, do you?)
Finally, know where you're going. It's one thing to be prepared to do without flush toilets- quite another to be amongst people who have never heard of such a crazy thing!

Those perils aside, the prime periods for nervous breakdowns seem to be 1)on arrival; 2) after a week; and 3) after three months.
The more successfull you are at home, the more vulnerable you are to this breakdown. Why? My theory is that you become unsettled by every little thing in your world being different. It can be quite unsettling.

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#125390 - 01/25/05 07:24 PM Re: Overseas Work
Knob_and_Tube Offline
Member

Registered: 01/17/05
Posts: 15
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
They're offering $155,000 for electricians. In Iraq.

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#125391 - 01/25/05 08:36 PM Re: Overseas Work
trollog Offline
Member

Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 273
Loc: San Diego California USA
Wouldn't go for three times that much. Makes me wonder where all these overseas electricians go? Are we talking about third world countries here? (aside from Iraq, which is obviously "yes") A coworker of mine also mentioned a recruiter offering ridiculous sums to work in Japan, something he had heard about from the proverbial, nameless "friend" that figures in most stories that are too good to be true. What kinds of countries actually import electricians?

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#125392 - 01/25/05 09:13 PM Re: Overseas Work
bentruler Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/04
Posts: 16
Loc: Bothell, WA
 Quote:

A coworker of mine also mentioned a recruiter offering ridiculous sums to work in Japan, something he had heard about from the proverbial, nameless "friend" that figures in most stories that are too good to be true. What kinds of countries actually import electricians?


Awhile ago I asked a buddy from Oman if anyone did DIY there. He said no, that the labor was so cheap you hired everything out. Of course, he said you got what you paid for.

As for Japan, you're talking about land of the $50 ice cream cone, $100 shop light, and weird electrical standards. See http://ablett.jp/workshop/workshop7.htm at the bottom for a main panel. Sorry Stu...

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#125393 - 01/25/05 11:05 PM Re: Overseas Work
wa2ise Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 771
Loc: Oradell NJ USA
What sort of electrical code is there in Iraq?...

 Quote:
the prime periods for nervous breakdowns seem to be 1)on arrival; 2) after a week; and 3) after three months.
The more successfull you are at home, the more vulnerable you are to this breakdown. Why? My theory is that you become unsettled by every little thing in your world being different. It can be quite unsettling.


I can offer a bit of experience with this. About 10 years ago I was to spend a year in Japan working for a major electronics company. They wanted an American to help them figure out American patents and such. I lasted a week. I then bailed. As in the above quote, I became unsettled by every little thing being so different. Everything in Japan is about 2/3 the size it would be in America. Desks, hotel rooms, name it. My head barely cleared the top of the hotel room doorway. TV with 12 channels of nothing I could watch. And then there's the usual language barrier issue. Oh, they teach English in school in Japan, but what is taught has systemic errors nobody wants to own up to in their education system. Come lunch time, everyone lines up at the cafeteria, gets a ration of rice and some sort of hambeger meat, then you don't just choose a random table to sit with friends at, each seat of each table is filled sequentially. But no long hours at that company, everyone came in around 8:30 AM and left for home around 5:30. Everyone wore this funky powder blue company uniform with cap and wierd shoes that didn't fit too well. Oh and don't wear the cap backwards.... And everyone smokes like crazy there, the whole place smells of it. Even though they had a special lounge for smoking and a containment system for the smoke that didn't work. One time I was helping assemble a test setup in the lab, and needed some washers. Turns out their equivalent of our nickel has a hole in the center, and was about the size washer I needed, so I used them. Boy did I get some strange looks! That ain't done there I guess. One big issue was the feeling of being cut off from the "normal" world, even back then I did a lot of Internet, and there was no real access to it in Japan. Oh and don't order pizza in Japan, they make it way too soggy.

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#125394 - 01/26/05 04:03 AM Re: Overseas Work
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Well I'm already overseas from your perspective, but I guess that doesn't really count!

Here in England the press often advertises for various technical jobs, including electrical work, for the big companies in the Middle East: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc. They're usually in the petro-chemical industries. Personally, I've never been east of France, but I've known a few people who have worked out there.

The good pay, sometimes with very attractive tax breaks is the main draw. The downside that almost everyone comments on is the sheer difference in culture in these places.

To take just one example, bribery to get contracts is pretty much the norm out there apparently. Well, you and I would call it bribery, and the various American or British agencies would call it bribery if it happened in our countries, but it seems that in the Middle-East the size of the "personal gift" shows how serious you are about the contract.

If you like a drink after work, you can forget it in some of these countries. One or two relax the rules for Westerners living in their own little compounds, but outside of that the penalties can be severe.

Even innocent (to us) gestures can be dangerous. There is more than one story around of how somebody has gotten involved in a heated fight out there simply because he made a hand gesture which was misinterpreted. (Apparently the normal Western "STOP" gesture of a palm held facing forwards is an insult in the Arab world.)

Very different......

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#125395 - 01/26/05 04:31 AM Re: Overseas Work
Gloria Offline
Member

Registered: 05/01/04
Posts: 395
Loc: Budapest, Hungary
Don't take it personally, noone, but I don't want to be an american at this time.

I'm not proud I live where I live, and I cannot say I earn a lot, but no six horses could take me to the USA.

Ahh, edited, cause I thought you wanna move to the USA.

[This message has been edited by Gloria (edited 01-26-2005).]
_________________________
The world is full of beauty if the heart is full of love

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#125396 - 01/26/05 04:35 AM Re: Overseas Work
C-H Offline
Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Renosteinke,

 Quote:
Likewise, some governments almost encourage others to trample their citizens. Other countries stand up for their subjects.


The support people got from their own government when abroad 50 years ago was something different from what you get today. These days, too many people travel for the goverments to afford to offer a helping hand. "Help yourself" is the tune of today.

 Quote:
(You don't often hear of Russians being kidnapped, do you?)


Many young Russian women have been tricked or forced abroad to be locked up in near slavery with little chance of getting home. Just because you don't get these kidnappings on the TV, it doesn't mean they don't occur.

I had a laugh at wa2ise's story. Being 6'4" I don't think I want to go to Japan

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