Dive Instructor in: Aqaba, Jordan (2)

This is a Life&Dive ProDiver interview. These interviews are given to dive instructors from all around the world to provide you with an idea of their lives, job situations and opinions about the diving industry.
The interviews do not intend to insult employers or damage the reputation of their dive centres. They merely try to provide an honest picture about the working conditions in diving destinations all around the world in order to provide young and aspiring professionals with a helpful overview.

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Name:
Mary & Mike
Age:
32 & 47
Nationality:
Italian & Dutch
Languages:
Italian, English, French, German, Dutch
Number of Dives:
Mary 3000, Mike 8000
Where:
Jordan, Aqaba
Contract:
NO contract, seasonal job
 Position:
Instructors
Salary Range /US$:
0 (the guy refuses to pay, BEWARE!)
Board / Accommodation?:
We’ve been offered a dirty apartment, unhealthy and with most of the furniture broken and unusable. NO food.
Duty time and free time:
7 days a week, if you take a day off he “cuts” it from the salary

Type of operation:
Dive Center
Size of operation:
Small
Location of operation:
Independent
Job characteristics and/or special duties:
Reception, guiding certified divers, introduction dives, not many courses going on (no marketing)
Main courses trained:
DSDs, guiding
Mode of Operation:
shore dives only
average # dives per day:
most of the times none, because he has no guests. When diving, it’s 2 tank trips.

Medical care situation:
Some hospitals are available, including the chamber, cannot judge because we never needed.
Visa Runs:
Nope. Get a 1 month visa on arrival, can extend for 2 extra months, then insh’allah… Probably if you are fool enough to want to stay longer you have to get out of the country and do it again… At your own expenses of course.
Lifestyle:
Own flat, working 12 hours a day you have no real time for social life.

cedar pride
public beach

Your opinion:

We had the most horrible experience in this dive center, after 10 years in the dive industry… After a few days here we had already made up our mind and we were sure we would not stay. But in the end, we “worked” here 20 days (for which we never got paid), giving M. (the owner) notice and all, being extremely honest for what concerns the reasons why we were not staying (mainly money), being totally transparent. Now, here are the main points we didn’t find suitable to our MO:
The quality of equipment : all is broken, old, not functioning…and the rinse tank, is an old bath tub… We just couldn’t believe it.
 Salary: he promised 200 USD per person (400 in total) which, he said, was more than enough for a couple to survive in Aqaba, since it is a cheap town: IT ISN’T! Aqaba is EXTREMELY expensive, unless you eat falafel and shwarma every day. With 200 USD, you can survive one week (groceries, transportation, food, drinks, …). Moreover, he promised commissions on courses and guided dives, but he forgot to say that the commission was per course and not per student: you make a course with one student or 4, you get the same money… COME ON!
Anyway, considering he gave us just the commissions, and no salary, well, never anymore.
Working hours: We agreed by email the working hours were 8:30 to 6:30. Then when we
arrived he decided it had to be 8:30 to 8:30 EVERY DAY.
Guests: All this dive center customers are local. They don’t speak English, only Arabic. So there is always a lack of communication.
In the meantime you have to sit there doing nothing for 12 hours, just call the boss, when customers show up (which happens something like once a day if you are lucky) because you cannot help them since you don’t speak their language.

Well, we’ll stop here. DO NOT WORK FOR THIS DIVE CENTRE! We cannot imagine a worse working condition than this.

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