Pagkababa namin ng eroplano sa Abu Dhabi Airport, me and my colleague Mr. LDR proceeded to the gate for arrivals and we had our bags passed through the x-ray. Then, we went to the immigration lane to secure our Visa On Arrival. We were queued with a group of Nepali workers, about 30 of them, however, the Pinoy officer told us to fall in line at Counter No. 7.
The Emirate immigration officer took my Iqama and issued me a form for filling up and he instructed me to go to the eye scanning section, come back and pay 105 Dirham for the Visa. When it was LDR’s turn, he was told that he cannot be issued Visa on Arrival because his Iqama stated he is an Electrical Engineering Technician. He asked for consideration from the immigration officer, but was told he is only following the procedure. He added that LDR can talk to their Officer-on-Duty if he will be considered. LDR went to the OOD office and explained that he needed to enter Abu Dhabi because of some business meetings, it was official business he will be doing. Again, he was denied and the OOD remarked he must go back to Saudi Arabia. LDR inquired if there is any way he can be allowed entry, and was advised to wait for their Chief, the Captain of Immigration and can talk to him. LDR answered that he will wait.
Flashback: LDR applied as Sales Engineer to our company and have submitted all the required documents related / required of the position INCLUDING his certificates as an Engineer – Diploma, TOR, PRC to the recruitment agency. He was selected by our company and the agency was told to expedite quickly his hiring and mobilization to Saudi Arabia. For want of faster mobilization and to meet their target, the agency was able to send LDR to Saudi Arabia in due time, but he was issued not an Engineer’s Visa but an Electrical Engineering Technician’s Visa. For 5 years, LDR kept on requesting our HR Department to change his Visa status but he was given the run-around of the officer and staff of our HR, promising to change his status in a short time.
After the eye scanning, I talked to LDR and he told me he will wait for the Captain, because it will be one horrible process to go back to Saudi Arabia without the Entry Stamp of UAE in his Visa. He will be holed up in the Airport and depending on the efficiency and willingness of Gulf Air to help him, it may take a whole day or two before he can be repatriated to Saudi Arabia. Notwithstanding, the agony of being interrogated again at Saudi Arabia immigration section. All because of the short-cutting of the recruitment agency and the inaction of our HR Department.
I paid the Immigration Fee and requested the officer for a few minutes before I come out of the immigration gate to talk to LDR. I told him that I will wait for 30 minutes outside, and then will proceed to the hotel. I left LDR the reservation slip for the hotel, because back in my head, I am confident he can make it through.
Upon checking in at the hotel, I advised the Receptionist that my companion is still at the airport waiting for clearance from the immigration. I even wrote LRD’s name in a piece of paper and handed it over to the Receptionist. Inside the room, I tried to call LDR, but his cellphone was off. We arrived at Abu Dhabi Airport at about 445 AM their time, and I was in the hotel at 555AM. At about 645AM, I decided to catch some sleep after a few more attempts to contact LDR.
715AM, I was awaken by the hotel phone ringing and half roused , my mind still unclear, when I talked on the phone the other person on the line told me, in German accent “Heyy Emilio, how arrrrr you! Good you made it hahh! What timeeee did you arrrrrive? So, shall we have brrrreakfast?” I readily answered, “Hey Yvan, good to hear your voice. I checked in at about 6AM, LDR is still at the airport. He’s having some difficulties in the immigration. I am praying he makes it.”
Then, he said, “Sir, okay na. Nakalusot din ako. Finally. Hinintay ko ang Captain, di pa ako tapos magpaliwanag, pinayagan na agad ako. ” It was LDR, who just arrived.
I have proven three things in this incident:1. LDR is a full bloodied Sales and Marketing guy. A full bloodied Sales and Marketing guy will never stop at any hindrances, he will find a way to produce result and overcome the obstacles. 2. He is one Filipino worth emulating. I saw how COOL AND COURTEOUS he was when he talked to the immigration officers. So HUMBLE unlike other Filipinos who are arrogant … reminds me of “AMALAYER”, the customer who tried to feed the cashier with money when he was questioned to pay his bill, our Congressmen, Senators, public servants, pinoy officers and staff at our embassy, and many more arrogant and self serving pinoys. 3. He showed great faith in God. Knowing LDR very well, I know he prayed for guidance and help from God in that situation.
Get it on man! You’ll surely go places and will be more blessed. And our readers too!