Thread regarding Saudi Aramco layoffs

Practical advice for American Aramcons being laid off

I'm a former Aramcon. Left under my own decision a few years ago, so my situation not the same as those who are being laid off now. Here's my thoughts about how to get through this transition.

  • Print out your job service letter.
  • Go to JAHA and get your medical records.
  • Sell your car immediately. There will be a lot on cars the market, don't hold out for what you think it is worth.
  • Don't bother selling furniture and household goods. Give it all away. It will bring in so little money that it's not worth your time and mental energy when there's so much going on.
  • Download and keep a copy of the US Dollar Manual, the US Savings Plan, the US Retirement Income Plan, and Retirement Medical Plan. These policies change over time, so it's good to know what they are at the time you left.
  • You don't have to close your bank account immediately. It's helpful to have local ATM card. I didn't close my bank account until 3 days before I left the Kingdom.
  • If you have a pre-paid Saudi cell phone, load up a few months worth of service. I wish I had, but was unable to get texts an whatsapp after it was de-activated.
  • Don't bother with starting job search until you return to US. No one will seriously interview you until you're back. Only exception is if you have an inside track on a job from a personal contact.
  • Change your mindset about money immediately. Save every dollar until you land your next gig.

Most of you will get through this just fine. It doesn't seem like it right now but you will. What will be the biggest loss is the Aramco community and friends. Even though I had good personal reasons to bring me back to the US, I do miss the friends and social mindset of Dhahran, where I was based.

God bless and I hope this helps some of you.

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Post ID: @OP+15yJFXuO

5 replies (most recent on top)

It is a very daunting task to check out of that place. If you have more than 25 years with the Company and are simply retiring, it is not much easier except for the fact that HR will be more helpful. HR does not appear to treat the laid-off people with the same level of courtesy. In other words, the laid-off people are treated very poorly. There is no excuse for this differential treatment.

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Post ID: @lzek+15yJFXuO

Departure Notes

Aon Hewett (Now Alight Healthcare?)
Aon Hewett is a middleman for Aramco Benefits. I’ve had lots of trouble dealing with them and setting up the Health and Pr-scrip-ion Benefits. Leaving Aramco in the middle of the month caused additional confusion. Benefits start the first day of the month after retiring but you cannot set up your account and pay for the benefits ($370/mo for husband and wife) until about a week or so into the first month of benefits. This was not explained to me before retiring and the many AH representatives were not helpful.

I had to reinstate our Pr-scrip-ion Benefits after they were cancelled, apparently because the benefit cards were mailed to Dhahran and were not activated. No explanation why after retiring, the cards would be mailed to Dhahran????

Vacation Days
I didn’t fully understand how the balance of vacations days would be handled and left in the middle of the month. Aramco will apply unused days to the rest of the month in which you leave. I probably would have preferred to leave at the end of the month and been paid for all my unused vacation days instead of just losing them.

Dental Insurance
MetLife needs to be called directly (1-800 MetLife / 1-800-638-5433). The information I had said the employee would receive something in the mail or to contact Aon Hewitt. Aon Hewitt was no help (again).

Car Insurance
Before I left Dhahran I asked for a letter from the insurance company there providing my insurance record. I think they called it a Letter of no Claims. I eventually used it to get decent car insurance premiums. Most insurance companies in the US will consider you as an uninsured motorist if you are not currently insured. My first try with Allstate with whom I had house insurance, gave me an astronomical quote. I was successful when I used the dealership insurance company, Liberty Mutual. They accepted the letter I brought back with me.

Certificate of Good Conduct
If you ever plan to work or live outside the US in the future, getting a Certificate of Good Conduct, commonly referred to as a Police Clearance Certificate is highly recommended. You first need a letter of introduction from the US Consulate. Aramco Government Affairs will then help you with the local police procedure, including fingerprinting.

Service Award
If you leave in a year in which you’re due a service award, you may take the money or the award. I wanted the award but the workflow for this automatically selected the payment. It was a last minute hassle to get the workflow recalled and corrected.

Aramco Mail Center
After about four months of no forwarded mail from the mail center, I called them. They had mail for me, some very important, that they had just failed to do anything with even though I had given them all the information needed. After the call, they have sent me my mail.

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Post ID: @2qua+15yJFXuO

get a police clearence certificate

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Post ID: @1uii+15yJFXuO

Also get a drivers abstract (traffic police) and history of auto insurance, especially if you are Canadian!!!
I hadn't held a Cdn license for years, and what a nightmare when I got back!

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Post ID: @1jex+15yJFXuO

I think I know you. Were you working in the precommisioning of a disastrous project of that time.

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Post ID: @zhy+15yJFXuO

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