back to article 'My dream job at Oracle left me homeless!' – A techie's relocation horror tale

When Bernd Dorfmueller was offered a job in Amsterdam with Oracle, he thought he had lucked into a dream situation that would boost his professional career in IT. Weeks later, the former network admin was homeless, in debt, and without health insurance. The experienced techie says his story began back in March when, while …

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Oracle could atleast of taken ou tto dinner before the screwed him over bare bare back then violated him.

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Which whisky bottle did you empty last night?

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Hey Rich,

"Which whisky bottle did you empty last night?"

The full one ;-)

Regards,

Guus

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"Which whisky bottle did you empty last night?"

The full one ;-)

Can't be - I don't have any full whisky bottles..

Oh.

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FAIL

What an idiot

I have zero sympathy for this clown. He jumped to conclusions and made life altering decisions without checking on much of anything in regards of what money constraints there will be. Not an employee I'd want by any means.

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It's "have", not "of". Words have actual meaning. Use that to guide you.

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Anonymous Coward

actually it is "to", not "have", And "regard" not regards. And "would", not will. Guide or no guide, people in glass houses...

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my relocation bundle

When I joined the current company I was at, I guess my boss was pretty smart - instead of making it an official "relocation" thing with processes around it, he just made it a signing bonus to use however I wanted. It was $10k to move from Seattle area to the Bay area, probably used about $5-7k for the actual move (was 6 years ago don't remember exactly).

Though the company I am at is really small compared to Oracle of course.

This is the only job I have relocated for. Strangely enough recruiters in Seattle still contact me too lazy to check my linkedin profile I guess.

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IT Angle

Re: my relocation bundle

Whenever I've relocated, I always make sure I completely understand the relocation allowance and how it can and cannot be used.

I also make sure I know when my first payday is with relation to my start date, sometimes starting on a Friday instead of the following Monday can mean not missing a pay period.

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Re: my relocation bundle

Getting information about how to register yourself and researching about bank accounts etc. is also important. Usually you have to work your termination period at your old company, before moving and generally you will have a few days or weeks at the end of the period, where you have to take your overtime and leave, before you can legally start with the new company.

Obviously, this is assuming you are jumping from one job to another, if you are unemployed things can be a little different, but you generally won't start the day after you are given the job, especially if it is in a new country.

When I moved from the UK to Germany, I allowed a week to get myself sorted out, once I got there - I was lucky, I had friends there who helped me find a flat, which I sorted out 2 weeks before I was due to move. Upon arriving, I got myself registered at the local council offices (you have to register yourself in Germany) and opened a bank account. By the time I was ready to start work, I had everything sorted.

When I moved from South Germany to the North, it had to go quicker. It started off with me visiting a mate, whilst I was between contracts (I was working freelance at that stage) and I was offered a couple of weeks work. After a week, I was offered a full-time contract, starting straight away. As part of the conditions, I got a day for the move (traveled on the weekend, the removals company came first thing on Monday and I drove back up the same day) and a day for registering myself and moving my bank account to the local branch.

If you are moving a long distance, especially between countries, then the new employer should be understanding and allow you a couple of days in the first couple of weeks to get things sorted. If you aren't getting time off to get yourself sorted or the company isn't providing a liaison to help you get sorted, I would really think twice about taking on the job.

The other thing is, you really need to know the local lingo. Knowing English isn't enough, especially if you are moving to an metropolitan city. In both cases, when I moved, nobody at the local council offices or the bank spoke a word of English, so I had to get everything sorted in German. For the first move, I had somebody with me who could translate for me and explain what was needed. The second move I managed by myself.

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Re: my relocation bundle

That should be, if you are moving to a non-metropolitan city...

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Re: my relocation bundle

"nobody at the local council offices or the bank spoke a word of English"

I wouldn't be too certain of that :)

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Re: my relocation bundle

Well, maybe a couple of words, but not enough to hold a conversation or to explain what I needed. Also all the paper work was in German, so understanding the language or having somebody explain the small print to you, so you know what you are signing for is important.

In a small village in the middle of Bavaria, not many people speak English. They learnt a few words at school, but there again most of us learnt French at school and I could probably not remember more than a couple of phrases and a couple of swear words. If you don't use a language regularly, you won't remember it when you need it and somebody working in a small branch office in the middle of Bavaria for 30 years won't usually have had much practice at English.

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Facepalm

Re: my relocation bundle

I answered whilst you were correcting your 'non-metropolitan' bit so thought you were talking about a major city :)

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Re: my relocation bundle

"the new employer should be understanding"

"Should" is the key word. In this case the employer was Oracle.

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Re: my relocation bundle

"nobody at the local council offices or the bank spoke a word of English"

I wouldn't be too certain of that :)

In England they might be able to but not necessarily bothered to.

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Re: my relocation bundle

@big_D: "In both cases, when I moved, nobody at the local council offices or the bank spoke a word of English, so I had to get everything sorted in German."

Those cheeky German bastards. Did you remind them who won the war?

Imagine the nerve of those bratwurst-munching foreigners not speaking to you in the Queen's English...

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Re: my relocation bundle

I wasn't saying that that was a bad thing, just that people should speak the local language, or take somebody with them, when they try to sign up for services in a foreign country. You took the comment out of context.

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Re: my relocation bundle

not speaking to you in the Queen's English...

Especially given her family origins :-)

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Re: my relocation bundle

@big_D: "You took the comment out of context."

I know what you meant. I could have said "Well, duh! Of course you had to communicate in the language of the country you were in."

I guess it's a hangover from imperial times that the majority of British people go to other countries and expect to converse in English.

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Re: my relocation bundle

@Snorlax mittlerweile ist mein Deutsch nicht schlecht und viele Deutscher sind sehr erfreut, wenn ich Deutsch mit denen spreche.

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Re: my relocation bundle

"You took the comment out of context."

On the internet? that must be a first.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: my relocation bundle

> Did you remind them who won the war?

The Russians?

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Re: my relocation bundle

I've never been to Seattle yet I get contacted by Seattle recruiters, and I'm thousands of miles away in another country. I think some just go after any living being in the hope they might find someone.

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I don't have to sell my soul anymore."

Says it all. I remember a line from one movie to the effect of "I'm out of all the corporate bullshit" and for some of us.. that's a great thing.

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12k is pretty good, I got £500 to relocate from the UK to Australia and had to pay for my partners flight myself (which was over that £500) = (

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The other half got US$4000 for relocation, but they threw in a hotel suite and a rental car for the first month on the company's dime, we had to pay for my flight though as apparently I didn't count as a moving expense!

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12k is great, so is 24k. Doesn't matter if they don't let you have the money, show no interest in letting you have it, and fire you because you couldn't use it.

This story just confirms my prejudice that Oracle is a viper's nest.

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"Doesn't matter if they don't let you have the money, show no interest in letting you have it, and fire you because you couldn't use it." ... and then demand that you pay it back.

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Pirate

Last time I moved jobs (over 10 years ago) it was within the UK and I was offered £900 as 3 monthly instalments. No conditions on what it could be used for, or requirements to put receipts through expenses. They gave me the money and let me figure out how best to use it towards finding somewhere to live and moving my various gubbins to my new location. In the end it covered all the expenses of moving and part of the deposit on my flat. If I was to do it today it'd cost more, partly because I have a lot more stuff to shift!

Moves are expensive so if you're offering people money to do it, give them the money and let them get on with it. Having to expense everything with receipts and conditions on what it can be put towards just makes them less likely to claim it. Oh, I get it now :)

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Anonymous Coward

So a guy so eager to "live his dream" that he forgot that in _real life_ there are details that need to be checked and terms and conditions that apply. Especially when moving between countries. You cannot assume that simply because you live in a socialist collection of states (i.e. the EU) that free movement of labour means that when the labour decides to move it's all gravy.

Never forget that the EU is above all things a bureaucracy, and those things LOVE their rules.

For not checking the rules that applied to his situation ? No one to blame but himself, imho. Sorry.

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It's also the EU's fault that there are no Amsterdam style specialist cafes in Barking.

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Anonymous Coward

"specialist cafes in Barking."

dear A.C.,, is there any particular reason you choose 'barking' after reading previous AC's comment?

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He probably didn't want to go the full Dagenham.

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a socialist collection of states (i.e. the EU)

The truth made clear by your stated opinion must be why that well-known life-long socialist, Jeremy Corbyn, is happy for the UK to leave the EU.

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What are you guys Tooting on about?

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Dear Sir,

On top of that, and assuming Bernd Obermueller is actually German / Austrian / Swiss, he would have done his own heritage proud, if he could have been bothered to check and make sure...

What is the saying again? Gründlichkeit ist eine Deutsche Tugend? Not for Bernd... Serves him right!

Gimme some thumbs-down ;-)

Regards,

Guus

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dear A.C.,, is there any particular reason you choose 'barking' after reading previous AC's comment?

Overindulgence in skunk leading to full-blown psychosis?

(Yes, yes, I know that there isn't strong evidence tying weed usage to going gaga. Don't harsh my mellow, man..)

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Anonymous Coward

> Never forget that the EU is above all things a bureaucracy, and those things LOVE their rules.

Concerning the health insurance rules, it is actually all the demands from various nationalistic quarters and concessions to them that make the subject a dog's breakfast.

When it comes to more technical things that your average politician does not have a clue about and is too scared to ask for fear of looking like an imbecile, things go a lot more smoothly!

> he forgot that in _real life_ there are details that need to be checked and terms and conditions that apply.

I do not know how many cross-border moves you have been through, but while you might be technically correct, in practice those "details" can easily overwhelm the most meticulous of people. The only reason some of us can move more or less freely is because we are rich enough that we can ignore the rules, by and large, and if someone complains our lawyers will take care of it. As usual, it is the most vulnerable people who suffer the most.

> No one to blame but himself

What is it with people's obsession with "blame"? Personally, I get a lot more satisfaction out of saying "we could have done this better" than saying "it was [your,his,her,its] fault".

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Anonymous Coward

If he had been in the UK

He would have been covered by the disability discrimination act from day 1 as he is diabetic.

They would not have had the right to sack him as he was not in work due to his disability, which cannot be counted as sickness.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If he had been in the UK

But this is Oracle we are talking about. Their $1000/hour lawyers would have found a way to screw him anyway.

Like they do with customers. {cites evidence posted here over the years}

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Re: If he had been in the UK

It's the same in Netherlands or anywhere in Europe. Their disability legislation is as good as UK if not better.

The issue, however is - in order to start pushing the buttons on the lawyer's launch panel you need money. If you do not have it, you are nobody. Even in the UK an initial consultation with an ACAS certified lawyer is > 250£. Case filing if memory serves me right is at least 750. And from there onwards we go.

I suspect NL is pretty much the same.

There is no justice for the poor and broke.

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Re: If he had been in the UK

They would not have had the right to sack him as he was not in work due to his disability, which cannot be counted as sickness.

Oh please, they "didn't" sack him due to missing work due to diabetes complications, they "decided at the end of his probation period that he wasn't a good fit for this role". Sacking people is now an art form to certain HR types - you know why they sacked you, they know why they sacked you, but the reasons for the tribunal are completely different.

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Re: If he had been in the UK

They would not have had the right to sack him as he was not in work due to his disability, which cannot be counted as sickness.

Good job you arent practicing as an employment lawyer.

Reading TFA it said "When I returned to work I was informed that I will not pass the probation time and that I am fired immediately,". He wasnt sacked for sickness he simply wasnt retained during probation. In the UK this can happen at any point within the first two years of "employment" and most of the time the employer doesn't need a reason and the employee has no right to a tribunal.

The Equality Act 2010 (which I assume you mean rather than DDA 1995) doesn't give protection here.

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Re: If he had been in the UK

@Anonymous Coward: "He would have been covered by the disability discrimination act..."

No he wouldn't, because

(a) The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 has been repealed and replaced by the Equality Act 2010.

(b) The guy was in Holland, not Blighty, so the law wouldn't apply in any event.

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Re: If he had been in the UK

Even though the guy was in Holland, Noord-Holland to be precise, Holland (as the combo-province of Noord- and Zuid-Holland is known, which is not even a legal entity in the Netherlands) in and of itself does not exist, other than it being a geographical area.

Just wanted to make sure you know about the local geography...

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Re: If he had been in the UK

Just wanted to make sure you know about the local geography...

Pah. If referring to Scotland as part of England is good enough for the yanks then referring to the Netherlands as Holland is good enough for us!

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Re: If he had been in the UK

Hate to tell you, but even the Dutch government refers to the Netherlands has 'Holland' c.f. http://www.hollandinthevalley.com/

The Consulate in SF has a giant 'Holland' sign on the front door....

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FAIL

Re: If he had been in the UK

@Guus Leeuw:"Just wanted to make sure you know about the local geography..."

Well, we do love our mindless pedantry here at The Register but I will direct your attention to the following:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland

"Holland is a region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands. The name Holland is also frequently used informally to refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands."

You will notice I also referred to Britain as "Blighty" in an equally informal fashion.

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Re: If he had been in the UK

If he had been in the UK

Maybe if he was resident in The Netherlands he wouldn't have any problems either. If he was not resident then his existing insurance in Spain should have covered him, E111 and all that.

I really don't understand why someone with such a medical condition seems to have gone overnight from Barcelone to Amsterdam without checking these things out in advance. That's what the agency is supposed to be paid to do. That said: € 60 k a year for Amsterdam isn't really enough and should have set alarm bells ringing. Money isn't everything but you should never move anywhere where rent is going to more than a third of your take home pay.

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