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China School Blacklist: ACGEM Leaves Teacher Unimpressed

Situation :  I worked for a school in Nanning for a while, the school was rather smallish, I was brought over to teach IELTS and TOEFL to private students, as well as other classes in the afternoons and evenings.


Problems started occuring from the beginning, instead of a business visa converted to a Z visa, I ended up doing a visa run to Vietnam, which wouldn't have been much of a problem if it were not for the embassy refusing to issue another business visa after my second month in Nanning, instead I was forced to arrive back with an L visa.


At this point a major problem occured, the director was quite pissed at me because I had been unable to access much internet and work on a project she had assigned, far be it from me to refuse to work, but between a foreign environment, and quite a bit of food poisoning, I had been unable to get much work done. I was able to advise them on the visa situation, using a SIM card one of the other teachers had leant me ( a teacher on an X1 visa no mind). 


This experience caused me to start seeking further LEGAL employment, but at the beginning of the next month, my pay had been docked a full weeks salary. Now there were a few problems I had with this, primarily being that the contract specifically stated that the salary was guaranteed at a certain rate, which after being docked I did not meet, and that I had personally been promised in writing as well as orally, that such things would not happen. Secondly, any over time worked a particular week, seemed to disappear as the following week my working hours would mysteriously shrink.


The third experience that irked me about this particular company was that I was told that quite succinctly that I would not be issued a Z visa, that instead I would be working with either an M or an F visa. This didn't matter to me so much as I would at least be here in some sort of semi official fashion. But, tying this in quite honestly with the owner being pissed when ever I mentioned off time, ( I referred to this quite often as My time, which to me it was) wanting over time was also equally as bad, and of course the negative side of working with someone that espoused a start up mentality.


Fourthly the director was quite a direct and forceful person, which honestly I wouldn't have had so much of a problem with, if it weren't for the lack of support provided on a directional level, I.E. if you want me to do something please tell me HOW you want me to do it, not tell me to do it and a few weeks later analyze it in a negative fashion without providing feedback on how you want it changed.


To sum up the experience, I was quite unimpressed and disatisfied, the director seemed to be biggotted towards Chinese culture in quite a few ways, the owner employing a start-up esque atmosphere to generate and push forth the companies corporate culture, and employing foreigners in an illegal and unsavory fashion. Plus, contract violations, and usage of spurious language in order to attempt to insinuate violations on my part, caused me to leave. That plus I was told that I was to be terminated due to not being wholely flexible enough, standing up for myself when it comes to off time, and expecting to not work 12 days straight when needed. ( This would never be a problem if over time was honored and offered, but more often than not, it would simply be viewed as you'll get time off in lieu, which is not a particular style of compensation that I'm fond of.


Beyond that there was the problem of the company eschewing corporate responsibility and placing the blame for any negative happenings on the Chinese employees, on more than one occasion the owner himself placed direct blame for a situation on female local staff, instead of assuming the responsibility that goes with being the owner, he even docked this employees pay due to costs associated with my leaving early. This quite infuriated me, and left me with quite a bad taste in my mouth. 


+2 # RE: ACGEM Leaves Teacher Unimpressedredorangeblack 2014-06-18 08:17
As from an email exchange I had with the school management from earlier today, vehemently disagrees with my assessment, and points out that i left numerous holes in this article, as well as the fact that I was severely inflexible and constantly tried to renegotiate my allocated time.
They also point out that I should have simply been sent home much earlier, and that I do not know everything.

It was also agreed that initially, they did willfully violate the contract. Employing foreign teachers on any kind of visa, other than a Z visa, is of course illegal, but they don't quite admit this.

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