Help being diplomatic with employer...
June 3, 2014 11:18 AM Subscribe
My employer signed my housing lease and wants to take over my living space. How do I say no?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Let's assume the law stays out of this; YANML.
I am an American living and working in East Africa. I work for a new school. My compensation package includes a salary that is low or very low by Western standards and moderate-to-high by local standards. From what I can surmise, the package is low when it comes down to my local value. I agreed to the package for various reasons and I do not regret it. My package includes a $300 USD housing stipend. I found a place for about $500, and knew the 'hardship' of the additional cost. At the time, I was not yet a permanent resident and my school told me they "had to" sign my lease. The place is very big, but lovely and I am happy. It is in a residential area and unlike many of the fancy areas with a lot of wealthy expats. In the center of town, I have space on two floors, balconies, room for guests, etc. I am 3 months into the one-year lease.
My school just informed me that they signed the lease not because I wasn't allowed (as I was told), but because they "wanted to make it into staff housing." As mentioned this is a new school. I have been told in various ways that everyone is working hard doing their part and I should do my part to make sure the school succeeds. They said they would reimburse me for all my purchases (furniture, kitchen stuff, etc), and the place would become theirs. "One or two" others would move in. There was absolutely no suggestion of shared/staff housing when I chose the place. YANML and I'm sure there is no one familiar with the local law, even if I divulged my location.
I do not want this; I do not want to share. In my mind, the 'part' I am doing is working for a low salary! In some ways I feel guilty because this is a very poor country and there are people working for $40 a month, and even the owners have no salary yet. However, I have no investment in the company; they have the potential to earn millions in the years to come. Why should I sacrifice my living space? I'm really scared they will 'force' me, but I do not think this would happen.
This is very hard for me since I don't have friends here and no one to process this with. I do not want to get emotional when they mention to this me again. Let's assume the law stays out of this. It would be very helpful if I had a script to practice. Thank you in advance for your input.
What can I tell them? How can I be diplomatic and say no while still showing commitment to the school?