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 …

  1. kain preacher Silver badge

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

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Which whisky bottle did you empty last night?

      1. Guus Leeuw

        Hey Rich,

        "Which whisky bottle did you empty last night?"

        The full one ;-)

        Regards,

        Guus

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          "Which whisky bottle did you empty last night?"

          The full one ;-)

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

          Oh.

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      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.

    3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

  2. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    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.

    1. BillG Silver badge
      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.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        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.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: my relocation bundle

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

        2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          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 :)

          1. big_D Silver badge

            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.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: my relocation bundle

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

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            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.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: my relocation bundle

          "the new employer should be understanding"

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

        4. Snorlax
          Facepalm

          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...

          1. big_D Silver badge

            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.

            1. Snorlax

              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.

              1. big_D Silver badge

                Re: my relocation bundle

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

            2. tony

              Re: my relocation bundle

              "You took the comment out of context."

              On the internet? that must be a first.

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: my relocation bundle

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

            Especially given her family origins :-)

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: my relocation bundle

            > Did you remind them who won the war?

            The Russians?

    2. Blank Reg

      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.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    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.

  4. Sampler

    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) = (

    1. Colabroad

      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!

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      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.

      1. foxyshadis

        "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.

    3. paulf Silver badge
      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 :)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "specialist cafes in Barking."

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

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

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

          1. Korev Silver badge

            What are you guys Tooting on about?

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          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..)

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      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.

    3. Guus Leeuw

      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

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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".

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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}

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        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."

        @ Voland: You're absolutely right. From personal experience I can even tell you it goes much further than that (which is why I read the click-bait article with scepticism); it is illegal in the Netherlands to work without having health insurance. If this was the case, as suggested here, Oracle, since this is the responsibility of the employer, would find itself in court in no time. So as is suggested here that the techie worked in NL without having a health insurance is highly unlikely and virtually impossible. It would fall in the same category as not paying other obligatory charges like income tax, unemployment, or pension obligatory contributions (e.g. WW, AWBZ, AOW for the insiders). And to stress even more how unlikely this is: this is all deducted by your employer BEFORE you even get your salary, and by law has to be on your monthly payment slip.

        Furthermore, with NL being a part of the EU, he would fall within the work migrant category, which is pretty clear concerning healthcare insurance (and other things). Being a techie aspiring to work "at the Olympics of IT", I doubt he can't Google: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/health/when-living-abroad/health-insurance-cover/index_en.htm

        The gentleman has credit cards. So knowing the Spanish setup for that, these aren't credit cards as in the US, and often UK kind of way ("short term loan/ credit"). More likely, the Spanish ones are given out only when there is a "counter" or "backing account" on which regular income is received. This is what Americans would call a debit card, which indeed says Master or Visa, but only allows payment when there are enough funds on the underlying bank account to do so. And considering the existence of a bank account, it sounds highly unlikely, that salary can't be transfered to his outside-NL account. Especially since the NL banks already introduces IBAN/ BIC more than 25 years ago. (BTW bank account was not needed to transfer deposit and rent? Although knowing the Dutch, cash in hand, non declared payment in Amsterdam would not surprise me).

        What doesn't surprise me though is the described experience about getting a NL bank account. In my experience, Dutch banks are an extreme PITA what that is concerned. If you are there, but can't show permanent residence, meaning a steady address and registration with the council (Gemeente), and a full time steady contract (they want to physically see/ read your contract and sometimes even make copies of it!) they act difficult. Being foreign also doesn't help in this self-proclaimed tolerant country (before you even go there, no, I'm caucasian). And this has been going on for quite some time. I can remember the hassles that young Dutch "starters" used to have to get their financial matters in order, banks demanding rock solid circumstances, while the Dutch employment market went completely the other way. And as usual in the Netherlands, the most heard response was "that isn't my, but your problem".

        @Guus: Really? I thought it was a province of Germany. Or is that a "Beetje dom", and a part of Argentina nowadays? So how are you guys doing? Still all singing that song by that fat, dead Amsterdam alcoholic while waiving that nice flag handed down by those brilliant slave trading "jongens van stavast" and wearing a white haired wig while doing it?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If he had been in the UK

        > There is no justice for the poor and broke.

        ↑ That ↑

        (I say this being pretty far from poor or broke)

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge

      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.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: If he had been in the UK

        "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."

        Which is why you should ALWAYS record all meetings with the HR types.

        When the recording shows what they told you is different to what they told the tribunal, fecal matter hits spinny thing not just for that case but for any previous ones. (and their credibility is shot in future cases)

    4. PrivateCitizen

      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.

    5. Snorlax

      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.

      1. Guus Leeuw

        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...

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          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!

        2. ckm5

          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....

        3. Snorlax
          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.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: If he had been in the UK

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

        Did you even read his post? The key point is even in the title of your reply!

    6. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      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.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I just want to be able to pay my rent, have enough food, walk my dog, then I am fine and I don't have to sell my soul anymore."

    Shhh, don't let tech companies know that I.T. people generally aren't greedy capitalist shills who are in it for the money.

    Yes I know this is a contradiction but I would be happy to just cover my bills and live comfortably.

  8. G2

    quote:

    diabetic, had maxed out his credit cards. Absent a "permanent" residence, he was unable to get health insurance to cover the medications needed to manage his condition, or a bank account to receive assistance funds. This, he says, soon led to health complications that forced him to miss time at work and, as he was still probationary, prompted his bosses and Oracle to swing the axe on the new hire

    /quote

    isn't diabetes considered a disability in Netherlands?

    can this brain-dead hiring process be considered a wilful disability violation at Oracle?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Probably yes

      Unfortunately asserting your rights is very expensive, so you basically need a local lawyer happy to work no-win-no-fee (which means you don't see much of the award), or pro-bono (meaning they either need a tax writeoff or want to improve their reputation)

    2. patrickstar

      I'm assuming it's type 1 diabetes because of his age.

      How did he end up not being able to pay for insulin (it's dirt-cheap, and easily accessible for obvious reasons). And how did he survive not having insulin - did he end up hospitalized for ketoacidosis or something?

      By the way - what sort of "insurance" is it that you can get AFTER getting sick and have it pay for the treatment? Normally getting health insurance involves a medical check-up and examination of hospital/medical records. Just like insuring a building involves a check that, you know, the building is actually there and hasn't burned to the ground.

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        "By the way - what sort of "insurance" is it that you can get AFTER getting sick and have it pay for the treatment? Normally getting health insurance involves a medical check-up and examination of hospital/medical records."

        Health insurance provided as a benefit by an employer often covers continuation of existing treatment when you switch jobs. Such insurance also doesn't normally need a medical checkup either.

        At least in the UK.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        I'm assuming it's type 1 diabetes because of his age.

        Bad assumption. There are plenty of young (10-30 year old) T2 diabetics out there. It isn't *just* a 'lifestyle' condition y'know.

        (My mothers sister died of complications arising from diabetes in her late 20s..)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'My dream job at Oracle'

    Sir, you must have had a radically different opinion of Oracle as a company than me.

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      My dream job is a pretty nebulous thing, but it definitely does not involve working for Oracle.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >My dream job is a pretty nebulous thing, but it definitely does not involve working for Oracle.

        Mine usually involves people paying me vast amounts of moola for sitting at home drinking wine, reading books and listening to music.

        Sadly, the offers have been few and far between.

        Or, more accurately, zero.

    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

      in his defense

      It doesn't mention that it was a good dream

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: in his defense

        There's dreams and then there's nightmares.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Regarding dream jobs.

      Bear in mind that Freddy Kruger was a man of your dreams - AND that wonderland was entirely a dream.

  10. John1918

    Oracle isn't "too big to fail", it is "too big to care".

    Especially at large established companies, you really need to expect them to treat you like an easily discarded wheel.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I just want to be able to pay my rent, have enough food, walk my dog"......

    ...he stayed to go dogging

  12. hellwig Silver badge

    150/night?

    So they don't have an Econolodge equivalent in Amsterdam? Motel-6? Super-8? Days Inn? Red Roof? I could go on...

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: 150/night?

      Yes they do. You can stay in Amsterdam at a Mercure for 59 euros a night, and I'm sure there are even cheaper options as well.

      If this guy was paying 150 euros a night, it was either because he was too lazy to search for other options, or because he thought money wasn't going to be a problem (and was therefore too lazy to search for other options).

      I'm struggling to find sympathy for this chap tbh.

      1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: 150/night?

        "I'm struggling to find sympathy for this chap tbh."

        I have some sympathy, he got pretty beaten up by this whole affair however, it seems like he was blinded by this whole "dream job" bollocks and forgot to deal with the reality. Some people are very adept at drifting through life, they land on their feet more often by luck, the rest of us can't. I never leave anything to chance, especially if it involved more than one person you don't know messing about with your livelihood.

        The second you throw in government bureaucracy to anything you're trying to do, you can pretty much guarantee that everyone except you is a complete f**king tool with barely enough common sense to cope with junior school classes! Treat everyone in any government or council like a tool ( at the very least as though come 5pm they couldn't care less if you dropped down dead! ) and then you'll start consider all the aspects required and you might actually manage to get 75% of what it is you're trying to do. I've worked for various UK gov agencies and quite frankly the only reason we haven't just locked and bolted the doors on this country and moved elsewhere is that every government is the same as ours or worse!

        I think this guy put too much faith in things being sorted out for him when he should have been nagging everyone in the chain to ensure stuff was happening as and when it should have.

        As they used to say in the X-Files, "Trust No One"....'cos most people you meet in companies and organisations are incompetent bell-ends until proven otherwise.

        1. Guus Leeuw

          Re: 150/night?

          "I think this guy put too much faith in things being sorted out for him when he should have been nagging everyone in the chain to ensure stuff was happening as and when it should have."

          Ah, but he's German (presumably) and therefore the rest of the Europeans should be voluntarily doing what needs to be done for Herr Obersturmtruppenfuerhermueller.

          :-D

          Regards,

          Guus

        2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: 150/night?

          @FuzzyWuzzys Sounds about right. Depressing, but right. I was suckered in to my first serious job with promises of glory and riches beyond dreams (but only after two years - right now you're on an intern salary) - I never thought to get it in writing, and was all wide eyed and surprised when at the end of my internship they said congrats, you're now a fulltime employee - but there's no more money in the pot so you'll have to stay at your current salary.

          Despicable practices - but as you say, life's more reliable if you assume everybody except you is a tool, things are only likely to happen if they're in writing and utterly unambiguous, and even then... ...people are tools so they might shaft you anyway.

    2. Timbo

      Re: 150/night?

      "Now I am literally screwed and Oracle asks me to pay the money back that the relocation company has spent on a guest house and overpriced hotels, also travel expenses and whatever."

      Sounds to me like he didn't have a choice as the "relocation company" dealt with his accommodation.

  13. Nolveys Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Trust...

    ...is the emotion you experience just before a knife slides into your back. That goes double for a company like Oracle.

  14. Daedalus Silver badge

    "Experienced techie" ?

    Nope. Look at the LinkedIn page. "Lead generation". "Business development". One occurrence (exact meaning not clear) of the word "programming". "Network Administration" buried way in the past.

    Sales droid. Nothing to see here....

  15. Pomgolian
    Joke

    Surely Oracle could have found him somewhere to live

    I understand houseboats are quite popular in Amsterdam. Apparently Oracle have at least one slow, old boat that they're not doing anything with right now...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Surely Oracle could have found him somewhere to live

      "Apparently Oracle have at least one slow, old boat that they're not doing anything with right now."

      Yes, but it cost a lot and they'd have to charge a big rent on it to get their money back. Remember, this is Oracle.

      1. Pomgolian
        Facepalm

        Re: Surely Oracle could have found him somewhere to live

        You're right. This boat sleeps 8 people. We know there's only you sleeping on it, but you could have slept in any of the 8 berths, so we're charging you for all eight.

    2. Jon B

      Re: Surely Oracle could have found him somewhere to live

      Upvote from New Zealand

      1. Pomgolian
        Pint

        Re: Surely Oracle could have found him somewhere to live

        Sweet as, bro.

  16. jnemesh

    Moral of the story?

    Dont fucking work for Oracle! They are a shitty company with a shitty boss that has a consistent record of screwing over their employees.

  17. Caltharian

    Fairs Fair

    To be fair to Oracle they dont really discriminate, they like to screw everyone

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fairs Fair

      That's because People Soft.

      1. G2
        Joke

        Re: Fairs Fair

        soylent people?

  18. goldcd

    I am more than a little confused.

    €12k moving package is pretty awesome.

    Yes, it's unfortunate you couldn't just use the cash to lay down a deposit on a flat - but seems somewhat reasonable if they're serious about it being to cover "moving expenses", rather than an under the table tax-free-slush fund. If you used it to cover 2 months deposit, then when you left and reclaimed that money, it's not really a "moving expense" is it? Maybe they could have made it a loan?

    Still, even then say you arrive mid-month, and they don't get the payroll sorted until the end of the next full month - that's only €4.5k at €100 a night for a room for 45 days, leaving €7.5 of your relocation. Pay another €6k for another 2 months hotel, banking salary for a deposit (10k less tax and expenses)...

    ..and seriously, it seems remarkably fair.

    Only real issue seems to be the healthcare one..and as you were moving EU to EU, there's the EHIC card which should cover you as a visitor...

    ..still, can't help having this story out there...

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: I am more than a little confused.

      Correct. Especially if he needs specific treatment for a chronic disease, he should have got the proper information about obtaining it in another EU country before moving.

      See for example http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/unemployment-and-benefits/country-coverage/index_en.htm

      Moving to a new job in different country, with a probation period, without a backup plan, no saved money, it's quite a big risk IMHO.

      Then, why the biggest database vendor, owner of one of the most expensive ERP software can't pay an employee who just worked part of the month is beyond my understanding...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am more than a little confused.

        Probably because the software can do that, but nobody in payroll knows how to do it. The few people who knows how to do that are likely consultants not employed by Oracle and charging a few thousand a hour for people who need teaching how to get the best out of overcomplicated and anti-intuitive systems.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am more than a little confused.

      I too am a bit bemused, if you look at his CV he's worked in Spain, Ireland and the UK so you think he'd have some idea about the EU health systems especially as he has a chronic health condition.

      I'm of the opinion he's not done his homework on Amsterdam and Holland or perhaps he was sampling some of Amsterdam's infamous distractions rather than sorting out things he should have been in his first month. Always two sides to a story.

  19. Hans 1 Silver badge
    WTF?

    How can sales droid @Oracle be a dream job

    Does Oracle not have a court case for screwing their successful sales droids ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How can sales droid @Oracle be a dream job

      I think it is being settled now.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: How can sales droid @Oracle be a dream job

      Those weren't the droids they were looking for.

  20. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    "Absent a "permanent" residence"

    Pardon? Please absent yourself from the room while you rewrite that into proper English please.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      It can be used as a preposition in US/Canadian English.

      1. EddieD

        Also in British English.

        If there is such a thing.

        The Cambridge dictionary gives "Absent a detailed plan, the project was doomed from the start" as an indicative sentence.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          I was going off the OED, but the Cambridge does say it's a UK usage too.

  21. Adam 1 Silver badge

    > The story also has something of a happy ending.

    Well, obviously. You already said that he job didn't work out for him. Imagine if after those international moving hickups if he still had to work for them.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't come across as the sharpest tool in the box

    Oracle's hiring procedures probably need looking at.

  23. What? Me worry?
    Flame

    Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

    See title. I think that there must be details missing from the story. I lived in NL for over a decade. NL has compulsory health insurance requirements (https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/living/everyday-essentials/medical-care-and-insurance).

    A Dutch based subsidiary of Oracle would have known about this, their HR would know this, the relocation company should know this, and the candidate should have looked it up!

    Likewise about housing requirements and options. Utrecht is a thirty minute train ride from Amsterdam. There a less expensive places to live than in Amsterdam. Even north Amsterdam is better price wise. Sounds to me like HR, relocation agent and candidate were all ignorant/incompetent.

    Also there is free and/or low fee legal services available that the candidate could avail himself of (like https://www.juridischloket.nl/, and they speak English) What about expat groups on MeetUp? Or through colleagues/friends, or ToyTownMunich, Expatica, etc? Did anyone bother to even do the least amount of effort and search online for support services?

    Such as here: https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/living/move-to-amsterdam/before-moving? I've only had a few relocations (US>DE, DE>NL, NL>SE, all different companies) so maybe I don't know what going on these days. But sorry, nope, no sympathy here. </rant>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

      Completely agree. I live in the Netherlands as an expat.

      He is covered for health insurance from day 1. First as a visitor (three months) and once he has health insurance covered anyway. Getting health insurance is immediate once you are "written in".

      Oracle has a health insurance scheme and he would be able to easily enroll.

      You can write in with a temporary address.

      Getting a bank account with id document is about a week once you have an address.

      And also why stay in A'dam? Utrecht is somewhat cheaper, is where Oracle is based and is twenty minutes with the train from A'dam.

      He could also have asked Oracle for an advance ("voorschot"). It is very unusual to say no.

      Also no sympathy. Some things do need checking out first.

  24. Shred

    Don't people have savings any more? A little bit of planning and some money in the bank to pay a deposit on a home would have saved all this grief... yet apparently it's all someone else's fault.

    1. I Like Heckling

      Savings... in this economy?

      Even if you have savings, the amount of interest you get on £9,000 at the moment is a no more than a few pounds a year... I should know... that's all I got. If you want to lock your savings up in an account you can't access without severe penalties... then it's not really savings.. but at least you've get a few extra pounds on top of the measly few you get in a regular savings account.

      Just after the crash of 08, I was able to invest 15k in a guaranteed fund... the guarantee being that I would not get back a penny less than 15k, but had to leave it in for 5yrs

      Because of the crappy markets, there was almost no chance of it doing poorly, everything was already at rock bottom... and after 5yrs that 15k became a little over 20k... Enough to clear the last of the mortgage.

      Those kinds of investment accounts don't exist any more... you're just as likely to lose as gain.

      But being mortgage free in your early 40's is a revelation... I gave up full time work and now consider myself semi retired. I earn enough to pay the bills, put food on the table and occasionally do up a room in the house. It means that I no longer purchase new cars or buy the expensive end of gadgets and boys toys. my cars are 5yrs old but immaculate, my gadgets and toys are more midrange than high end... But I'm happier and free than at any other point in my life and can enjoy it rather than sitting around moaning about having no money and wishing retirement would come sooner when I'm unable to enjoy it properly.

      I'm not wealthy, I'm not considered too comfortable... but I am content... and I wouldn't have it any other way now. In 10 years I will retire properly in my mid 50's, sell my house and move further North to the country side where I can buy a nice little 2/3 bed cottage or bungalow for myself and a couple of 1 or 2 bed apartments to rent out for extra income... either with tenants or as holiday lets if I get the right area.... I'm already looking at prices in North Wales, around Snowdonia national park and Anglesey.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You don't keep savings to earn from interests - you keep some available money exactly to cope with unexpected situations without finding yourself in even worse needs - i.e. having to borrow money at devilish interests.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: Savings @I Like Heckling

        Even if you have savings, the amount of interest you get on £9,000 at the moment is a no more than a few pounds a year

        If you just stick the money in a bank / building society, then that's true, but there are plenty of other ways you can save with much better returns. I put a modest amount into a managed savings fund each month, and I'm getting returns of c.10% per 6 months. It's not a high-risk investment vehicle, and offers money back out on request (no notice period).

        The moral of the story - shop around and/or find a decent IFA who will help you to manage your savings.

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: RE: Savings @I Like Heckling

          .10% per 6 months ???????

          I order you a pizza if you manage to get $10 back from them!

          Madoff was 15% per YEAR

          Yours has to be high risk ... could you tell me, is the business located in Israel, by any chance ? If so ... unlucky ... and don't trust branches, they might have a branch in the UK, but that is NOT where the funds go ... they go to the head office!

          I am sorry, I really hope you will get your money back, but at best, this is a ponzi scheme, at worst .... get your funds out of there NOW!!!!!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: RE: Savings @I Like Heckling

            Just a regular ISA, a managed fund of funds, with a UK-based blue chip investment organisation. Performance of each fund reviewed on a monthly basis, and investment redistributed/rebalanced as necessary to maximise returns whilst minimising risk.

    2. Barry Rueger Silver badge

      Don't people have savings any more?

      Actually, the answer is increasingly "no." The last few decades have seen a fairly steady decline in real wages for a large swath of the working population while the costs of food, housing, and life in general have continued to climb.

      The direct result is a decline in personal savings, and an increase in personal debt. Throw in a large medical emergency (in the US) or something like the sub-prime crash and any savings you may have had disapear very fast.

      Ultimately a lot of this comes down to blind luck, and a lot of "I'm all right jack", bootstrap types have found out the hard way that self-motivation only goes so far. Some times you really do need help to recover.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Actually, the answer is increasingly "no."

        Exactly. Because there has been a pressure to make people live out of borrowed money, because the financial system like to earn money without investing in R&D or production, which looks less safe, and with uncertain returns. Also, it made people maintain a level of life they couldn't achieve without asking for higher wages, which of course is a no-no if executives want to achieve higher bonuses (which in turn are invested and probably end in loans to the same employees, which return some of the money to the same people who pay them not enough)

        Luckily, I live in one of the European countries were many people, still remembering the hard days of the past, prefer to save and don't listen to the mermaids who try to tell them that making more debts is better! We had financial ministers who advocated the need for families to make more debt, not less!

        Want me to buy and spend more, to make the economy great again? OK, pay me more. I won't make debts. And if the economy looks bad, I'll save more.

        Actually this is one of the reasons I don't like subscriptions for software. It just means to open more liabilities. I prefer to buy if and when I have the money. and then no future payments is needed. Especially when the software is for personal use, and no income comes from it.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "The last few decades have seen a fairly steady decline in real wages for a large swath of the working population while the costs of food, housing, and life in general have continued to climb."

        There's nothing particularly recent about that. It was the same in the 70s. An FY fund is invaluable but almost impossible to put together when you need it most.

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "Don't people have savings any more?"

        Perhaps, perhaps not. Without a full back story, it's hard to know if this person was working in a job for eating money while trying to hook a good position somewhere else. I've been in some tight positions before where the only funds of any consequence I could tap were in retirement or tax-deffered accounts where I would have taken a massive hit in penalties and lost interest. Those also take time to get money out of.

    3. Andrew Moore Silver badge

      I had decent savings before the last recession. Now I have nothing. But given how much I lost to the banks, I will think twice before saving again.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Bring mortgage free is possible in certain parts of the country (UK) but where I live the average house price is £270k and that's for a shit-hole in a shit-hole.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Being mortgage free was my target and I just piled on overpayments until it was gone.

          The mortgage is the main shackle on life, once you are rid of it you suddenly find you are free of the need to prostitute to corporates and life choices open up.

          We will get my son through uni now without debt.

          1. David Nash Silver badge

            Better to pay off the Mortgage than have savings plus a huge debt.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Better to pay off the Mortgage than have savings plus a huge debt.

              I actually made the conscious decision to do the opposite of that.

              While I've been running my mortgage, I've been able to build up a decent amount in savings/investments. As I said in my previous post, they are returning double-digit percentages of growth...interest rates for the past few years have been crazily low.

              What I make from investments far outweighs what I pay interest on the mortgage.

              And I always have the option, if I need it, of taking cash from savings to clear the mortgage.

              Like I said, seek out some advice and planning for what's best for you

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Bring mortgage free is possible in certain parts of the country (UK)

          Especially when you got a 25-year mortgage in 1989 and the subsequent top-up in 1997 was coterminous..

          It's an amazing feeling. For the first 6 months my wife was worried that were had forgotten to pay something as we actually had a surplus in the main bank account at the end of the month.

          I'm endeavouring to make sure we don't now :-)

          1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

            Re: CrazyOldCatMan

            coterminous - a most excellent word. I shall endeavour to use it in conversation.

            Have an upvote

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. jonfr

    Oracle is not ethical company

    This is the most of not ethical companies and this story is a good example of that. I'm not sure if this is legal under EU laws or even laws in the Netherlands. This is should at least be banned by laws if it is not already.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oracle is not ethical company

      So ethical company is supposed to keep employee who does not show up to work without even letting anyone know, am I getting it right ? And probably even lend him money for a deposit while he's away ?

      If you did not get full story go read his blog, to save your time I'll sum it up - entitled millennial without real world experience in anything faced harsh reality of life.

      Boo effin hoo.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oracle is not ethical company

      I'm not sure if this is legal under EU laws

      Whatever you may think of Oracle, one thing is sure. They have the best lawyers they can buy, and whatever they did here was legal, it just wouldn't be worth doing otherwise.

      It does sound like this guy was naive and foolish. You can forgive that in a college grad, but what big company wants to hire "experienced" people like that?

    3. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: Oracle is not ethical company

      One moment, he has a disease which needs regular treatment and HE relocates to a place where he will have to be in a hostel for a few months ... anybody in ? He is the twat in this story, if he cannot secure his treatment, then, when he get sick DUE TO NOT GETTING HIS TREATMENT, how is that Oracle's fault ?

      Don't get me wrong, I hate the guts of Oracle, but this is unfair.

      Now, seriously, I think it is f'd up that not everybody can get treatment in a civilized country (where you have healthcare), even without address ... but then, again, all the patriots, Christians, nationalists, conservatives , think I am a commy ...

  26. Eric Olson

    To be fair...

    I've never left the state for another job, let alone another country. But when I hear "relocation expenses", it's hard to square that with at least not covering deposits or other requirements of moving. Of those who've used them before in three very different sectors (pharma, surgeon, and... retail store manager), they all seemed to cover the expenses of moving from one place to another, including security deposits. Two of them (the pharma and store manager) were more of the "you keep what you don't use" variety, while the surgeon had to document everything in triplicate. Of course, that was the highest paying job by far, so maybe to be expected, especially given that it's almost guaranteed that a resident going into practice was going to be moving.

    I can see not covering on-going rental costs... but the security deposit seems to be right up there with moving van, movers, and boxes. No place will rent without a down payment, regardless of your future income.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: To be fair...

      I'm not inclined to want to go through the upheaval of a relocate, especially with family, when there is little or no job security.

      I have a relative who has hauled himself and his life from one end of the country to the other twice and then came back because the jobs lasted 2 or 3 years.

      One of my previous employers was taken over and relocated to the sunny south coast, loads went with them but within 2 years, another takeover and the jobs relocated to somewhere less pleasant.

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: To be fair...

      I have relocated to another country for work. What you do, is, YOU MAKE 100% SURE YOU CAN SECURE A PLACE TO STAY, even a one room flat, if you cannot, DON'T GO, simple!

      I have lived in 4 countries, I know that shit ...managed to move to France, keeping a good job in another country ... ok, I did not get relocation allowance, but that time, I chose ... and prepared.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My current employers HR dept are utterly f'ing useless. I had to do all their work in getting references as they didn't make any attempt to follow them up, as a consequence I started three weeks later than originally promised in early December a few years ago.

    They sent me all the sign up details for payroll and benefits but didn't bother to tell me they weren't actually going to put me on payroll for another month - not quite lying but as good as. It made it a very stressful time, and I racked up a few thousand in credit card debts, it being Christmas with no pay.

    Eventually I got a mealy-mouthed half apology.

    At the end of that November I managed to get three days of contract work whilst waiting to start, and if that job had a chance to be more permanent, would have taken it.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Freelance job security

      "and if that job had a chance to be more permanent, would have taken it."

      Should have stayed contracting, best decision I ever made. I've had more job security since going freelance than I ever did as a permie, since it's all an illusion anyway. At least being freelance you know what the risks are and can mitigate them (which you typically do with a high day rate and only pay yourself a reasonable salary/dividend - that way your company always has money in it to pay you if you are between contracts).

      You also know to have 6 months living costs in the bank, just in case.

      All that extra money from being a contractor shouldn't really be used to fuel a rock-star lifestyle (unless you want it to end like one too) - it should be used to purchase safety nets.

      The upshot of contracting is that you typically end up working on new projects (fixed budget/timelines) and often get to play with new toys and keep your skills up for free, which in turn makes you more employable which provides you with a solid reputation upon which to raise your rates.

  28. Tronald Dump

    Had he not heard of

    Air B&B?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Had he not heard of

      ... With FREE ride down a flight of stairs courtesy of Basil the III'rd our generous host?

  29. Lotaresco
    Meh

    Oracle treating employees badly?

    Who'd have thought it? Apart from anyone who has ever negotiated pay and conditions with them.

    I was headhunted by Oracle in the 1990s. We talked about salary and other benefits. It took months until they realised I wasn't going to work for peanuts. Salary package agreed. Then they sent me the contract. I sent it to my lawyer. He said I would be mad to sign it because Oracle tried to own me body and soul every hour of the day. This included Oracle laying claim to any intellectual property that I created while working for them. That meant that if I wrote a book, composed any music, created a video all royalties would go to Oracle. I write books that are nothing to do with my work and I'm not assigning those rights to an employer. I told them so. They refused to change the contract. I refused to sign the contract. They decided they didn't want to employ me. The hiring manager took it personally and took to calling me at home and telling me I had "Insulted Oracle".

    Later I heard that at trade shows Oracle staff were blackening my name and telling people not to hire me. Fortunately the publicity did my career no end of good and I ended up as a very well paid consultant. So I have something to thank them for.

    I suppose it didn't help that before they headhunted me that I used to work for someone who had thrashed Team Oracle in the America's Cup.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oracle treating employees badly?

      Don't let facts get in the way of a good tale, right?

      ORACLE TEAM USA was founded on Aug. 11, 2000, by Larry Ellison

      Oracle Team USA is an American yacht racing syndicate initially formed to compete for the 2003 America's Cup.

      1. Lotaresco
        WTF?

        Re: Oracle treating employees badly?

        "Don't let facts get in the way of a good tale, right?"

        I used to work in Switzerland. My employer won the America's Cup for Switzerland, beating Larry Ellison, go figure.

        I like the way that you feel it necessary to hide behind Anonymous Coward because you're the second of those things.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Oracle treating employees badly?

      The hiring manager took it personally and took to calling me at home and telling me I had "Insulted Oracle".

      That sounds like a compliment. It's not an easy thing to do.

    3. Vic

      Re: Oracle treating employees badly?

      Later I heard that at trade shows Oracle staff were blackening my name and telling people not to hire me. Fortunately the publicity did my career no end of good and I ended up as a very well paid consultant

      Many years ago, the department I worked for quit en masse. I'm sure you can imagine how pleasant it had been working there.

      A contracting company came in to take over the workload. And that was all fine.

      Some years later, I was offered a job at a company that had evolved from that contracting company (via MBO). They told me - just before I left - that a major reason for wanting me was that my former boss (at the first company above) had slagged me off so much, I must be worth talking to...

      Vic.

    4. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Oracle treating employees badly?

      "That meant that if I wrote a book, composed any music, created a video all royalties would go to Oracle."

      This is a common type of clause except that they usually say if it's related to your work, or that you have to get agreement in writing to exceptions. Many employers would be reasonable about such things I think, and I doubt that Oracle would be able to win a case claiming that since JR Hartley worked for them when he wrote "Fly Fishing", they owned the rights.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Oracle treating employees badly?

        Upvote just for the J.R. Hartley reference.

  30. adam payne Silver badge

    If you are relocating for a job it is in your best interests to understand the relocation package and understand all costs involved and what is needed to register yourself with councils, setup a bank account etc etc.

    It sounds like he didn't do the research required for this. He think he could have handled the move better but what is Oracle's excuse for leaving someone with homeless in a foreign country?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      I'm all for thinking Oracle are the root of all evil (they are!) but I can't help thinking that the employee inflicted much of the damage himself. Maybe just through naiveity or maybe not.

      I know when I moved countries I managed to get a lot of the pre-work done remotely beforehand - such as setting up a bank account, by using my current banks official partner in that country.

      Any relocation agency worth their salt should have at least been able to provide advice on the shortest path to getting settled. I wonder what went wrong?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paying Oracle prices is also known to leave you homeless.

  32. chivo243 Silver badge

    Raw Deal?

    As a Netherlands resident, I have heard strange stories about banks doing x or saying y when it comes to creating accounts, usually for Non-EU citizens, but this one is a bit over the top. Health insurance is mandatory in NL and I don't think it just gets cut off by your employer effective immediately as YOU the insured have to pay for a substantial duration (3 months?) at the beginning.

    In the Netherlands it's not about being told "no" but about asking the question differently to get to 'Ja'

  33. chivo243 Silver badge
    Devil

    One has to ask

    At €150 a night? How many hookers came with the room?!!

    and what math? €150 x 30 = 3000 my brain and calculator confirms 4500. Was the room above a Coffeeshop?

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: One has to ask

      Coffee shop? In Amsterdam? A pot shop more likely and that may also explain the bad math and health issues...

      1. fajensen Silver badge

        Re: One has to ask

        Regardless of what they serve, It's still a coffee shop.

  34. herman Silver badge

    Well, shit happens. My brother in law once moved across country to a new job, only to find that the new job he was hired for doesn't exist anymore and was stuck in a different position for a while. I once moved to another country, only to find that the company I signed up with doesn't exist anymore and was hired by a sister company a few weeks later.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Huge tracts of this story don't make a lot of sense. He's an EU citizen moving from another EU country. Why doesn't he just use his home bank account until he's moved? Why isn't he using his EHIC to access health services until his employer's insurance comes through? He's moving into a €60kpa job. Why can't he access an overdraft or take out a loan to cover the expenses his relocation loan isn't covering? He's been in the technology workforce for nigh on 30 years. Doesn't he have a credit card with a five figure limit like the rest of us? Why was he surprised there might be a six week delay until he got paid?

    I'm sympathetic to the chap; he's obviously had a horrific experience, but he does honestly just sounds a bit daft, and I'd bet that's the reason more than any other why he didn't pass his probation.

    1. fajensen Silver badge
      Headmaster

      The banks in some countries, like Sweden, do not issue proper credit cards. What you get instead is a charge card with an account that has an overdraft facility. This sucks because usually the full amount has to be paid every month and if the card gets ripped off, the money goes away immediately and its entirely your problem to get it back, with a proper credit card one just dispute the fraudulent entry in the ledger.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm a diabetic. I bare this in mind when I make change of employment decisions. I try and keep a years salary available for problems like this. When I get re-employed, I pay back my emergency fund.

  37. stevenotinit
    IT Angle

    I'm not in IT but a sincere naive question, advance on salary ?

    Is it unheard of in IT to be given an advance on your salary ? I was thinking, Oracle (if they were really nice) could have given him an advance on his salary. He was a brand new hire, so I'm sure trust issues would come into play instantly.

  38. AdamWill

    Olympics? Er...

    "Wow, Oracle," ... "I was proud. I made it into the Olympics of IT"

    Uh...does this guy read, like, any tech news?

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Olympics? Er...

      Uh...does this guy read, like, any tech news?

      No, he is a sales droid ... and as a sales droid, considered Oracle his dream-come-true job, Oracle, who have an open court case for screwing their successful sales droids ...

  39. Dropper

    What?

    "Relocation packages don't always cover things like rental deposits"

    What exactly is it meant for? If you're offered 12K to relocate, that means 12K to move. Renting a new place is an obvious requirement for moving, along with travel expenses and moving your household items.

    Sure he should have researched everything before agreeing to the move, but I would think it was a safe assumption that relocation funds could be used to relocate.

    What should not have been a surprise is being sacked for taking time off work while on a probationary period at a company like Oracle. They are a US corporate. There is no "time off" during your probationary period if you want to keep the job, regardless of whether it's your fault or theirs that you need the time off. It's not right, it's immoral and should be illegal - but it isn't. I guarantee they have a clause written into every job contract that allows them to dismiss you immediately if you miss work during the first 90 days of employment, which is enough to satisfy the law in most countries.

    Working for US corporates comes with huge risk. It's only worth doing if you know exactly what you're getting into and have a backup plan for when it all goes south.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given the absolutely block headed moves I've made in the past, I feel somewhat obligated to sympathize. Hopefully, things work out and he's learned enough to better handle future situations.

    Having said that: If he handles his work the way he handles his life, perhaps his performance just didn't warrant being kept on past the probationary period.

  41. Bernard

    This is a useful cautionary tale, but I'm always amazed by how uncommon common sense and curiosity are.

    My checklist before going on holiday for a week seems to be more detailled than Bernd's checklist before moving country for a permanent new job.

    1) Do I know anyone I trust personally who can talk me through what happens when I arrive in Amsterdam? Ideally can they put me up for a few days?

    2) Is there an ex-pat group online? Is my country well represented there? Are they active and able to support me with information?

    3) Where am I staying. How long for?

    4) How much money do I need? Do I have it? Can the relocation company help?

    5) How does emergency medical care work? (especially if I have a fricking condition that needs to be managed!).

    6) What are my work obligations for the first weeks while I'm settling in? How do I balance those with getting set up? Is my boss onboard?

    It's not rocket science, is it?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sorry, but we only have this guys word for it that the reason he failed to pass his probation period was due to his health. He could have just been terrible at the job and then got all pissed off when he was let go.

    I've not seen anything here that doesn't highlight his own failings when relocating.

    N.B. A probationary period is standard in most countries, including NL and the UK. UK (and EU) employment law prevents company's terminating full-time employee's without good cause, but only once they're out of a probationary period. During these period's, a company has the right to terminate a new hire solely based on performance, personality or any other reason they like.

  43. Hicaspor

    Wow, such a sad storry mate, hope u doing better now, dont give up! Good luck!

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lots of fishy stuff here in my mind...

    - Didn't get the details of the relocation package, just assumed he'd get all 12k for whatever he wanted? I've relocated country several times, and always insisted on having the details up front. Most of the time, the stated figure is aimed at people relocating with family / mortgages, etc. and not a single guy with no ties.

    - Didn't do any research as to what he needed to do before he landed in the country? I've always made effort to get details myself while working my old job's notice period, usually liaising with the new country's staff to get some first hand knowledge that can be actioned remotely.

    - Relocated without having a penny in the bank to pay for any costs himself?

    - Insisted on staying in a €150 place despite many cheaper places being around? (He may have looked and struggled to find cheaper long term, but I'm not sure)

    - Needed a new bank account to receive funds despite being paid in other European countries just a few weeks before?

    - Needed insurance to get medication? What about EHIC? Even without that, how was he getting it in Spain? You don't even need a prescription for a refill, and flights back were cheap if he was really desperate. Why would you not have enough to last you for a couple of months during this kind of transition, even if you're stocking up before leaving?

    Nah, all of this is fishy. Chances are either we have a sales droid who overstated his actual tech knowledge, spent way too much money enjoying himself in Amsterdam instead of working or was such an insufferable prick that nobody actually wanted to work with him following the probation period. He certainly seems to have expected the company to babysit him from the moment he landed and was shocked when he learned they were only going to give him help within certain parameters. I have some experience with people with sob stories like this one, and they usually end up being people who didn't understand what they'd agreed to and want to point the blame at anything other than their own incompetence when they fail to make a soft landing.

  45. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Read and understand

    Always, always, always read everything in the employee package that you are handed when you are officially offered a job. If you are going to relocate, make sure you get the paperwork in advance and take the time to go through it before you start canceling your lease or putting your home up for sale. Never sign anything at an HR office other than a receipt for items you are given (passes, codes, keys, etc). It's a classic move to pressured into signing a stack of complicated documents that are thinly described verbally as being "standard, everybody gets these and we need them before anything else can go forward".

    If relocation money is an expense account rather than a lump sum, find out what the restrictions are. Since a lease deposit is cash held in escrow, it's not tax deductible for the company so it makes sense that they won't allow that. If you know that you will need money for a deposit, try to get a "Signing Bonus" that will cover it and let them decrement the relocation allocation in kind.

    I've always done a bunch of research into the cost of living of an area before I accept a job. One may find that it's commonplace to have to pay a lot extra for a parking space in addition to the stated rent of a flat. You may also have to get a city permit to park a car on the street without having to pay high prices at meters. Flats might typically come furnished or may not which could be different than where you were living before. Don't take anything for granted. I've never moved to a new country, but I can imagine that language skills would be a big factor even in a larger city when dealing with bureaucracies.

    Since the job had a probationary period, there was no guarantee that they would have made it permanent even if HR wasn't working so hard to ruin somebody's life from day one. This means that it would have been doubly important to make sure the relocation money was not due to be paid back. You also wouldn't want to sign a year lease on a flat or make other long term commitments. Keeping a back up plan is a good idea to so you can move back to where you have family/friends and a network to get another job quick in the case things don't work out. A local storage locker would be good to stash anything that probably won't be needed for the duration of the probation. Wait until your are firmly established before brining it along. Make sure you relocation offer will allow that.

    Never be blinded by a job for a prestigious firm or a large paycheck. Take a deep breath, read the fine print and figure out what you will do if everything goes down the crapper.

  46. FatGerman

    Dream Job?

    The guy said that working at Oracle was his dream IT job. The guy clearly knows nothing about IT, jobs, or dreams. With that in mind, this total fuckup doesn't seem all that surprising.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019