Trials and Tribulations of a Travelling Prostitute by Andrew Mackay
|Trials and Tribulations of a Travelling Prostitute by Andrew Mackay|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: An enlightening look at exactly what it's like when a multinational company sends you abroad to work for another company: it's not at all as you would expect.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 196||Date: August 2017|
Just chance you think that you're picking up a book about what can go wrong in life for an itinerant sex worker I'd better explain exactly what it was that author Andrew Mackay did for thirty three years. A travelling prostitute is a worker who is employed by one company but his services are sold out to other countries, usually at a substantial profit to the employing company and a lot of inconvenience to the employee. Mackay was an engineer who knew all that there was to be know about turbines and generators, or if he didn't could soon be up to speed to the extent of being able to teach other people. Occasionally his skills were used in the UK, but frequently he was abroad. Just every now and again he would be in those parts of the world which has the rest of us green with envy, but then there were those areas which feature heavily in the news and not in a good way.
When you work for a multinational company there's a very strong chance that at some point you're going to be put into the position of working abroad, maintaining or installing equipment or supporting the sales team. I'd like to say that 'you'd be asked' to work abroad, but so far as Mackay was concerned there wasn't a lot of choice. Instructions were given, travel was provided - and then he was on his own. Background information about the local culture was, well, non-existent which meant that he was nearly involved in a fight when he unthinkingly showed the sole of his shoe to a local in one country and was abducted in another. Accommodation and food was often on the wrong side of basic and transport was frequently dangerous. You'd think that companies would take action when they had feedback like this from their employees, but despite making reports nothing changed for Mackay, or seemingly, those who followed him.
An employee working in a company's factory in the UK is protected by Health and Safety regulations, but once that same man steps outside the factory and particularly outside the country the protection ebbs away very quickly: on a trip to the Chevron platform in the UK Mackay quickly realised why everyone was dressed for Arctic conditions - except for him. You're probably thinking as I did that Mackay would have been well compensated for what he had to endure, but he was in a strange position: resented by the locals because he was earning a great deal more than them (particularly when working in third-world companies) but was dependent on overtime payments to make the trip worthwhile - and to fund the odd entertainment whilst you were there.
It's a good read, particularly if you do work for a multinational company and should really be essential reading for the people in those companies who are responsible for sending employees abroad, as they could well be putting employees' lives at risk unless they address the problems which Mackay highlights. The book's not perfect: dialogue is generally wooden and a professional proofreading would have improved the reading experience, but if you can bypass that there's an important message in Trials and Tribulations of a Travelling Prostitute. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
It's a completely different industry, but if you'd like another look at how working in a particular sector changed over the years we can recommend Forestry Flavours of the Month: The Changing Face of World Forestry by Alastair Fraser.
You can read more book reviews or buy Trials and Tribulations of a Travelling Prostitute by Andrew Mackay at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Trials and Tribulations of a Travelling Prostitute by Andrew Mackay at Amazon.com.
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