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HESS International English
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

123Loto wrote:
Ok I see where you've come to your ideas - but there's a big difference between someone making a few changes on wikipedia and stating that there is a dedicated "unit" of "employees" (note the plural) whose "sole" job it is to scour the internet for negative Hess statements. (Actually I think I know who the Hess rep was that did some of the changes... in reality he was a bit of a stickler for his own rules - he just stuck to the facts; and I'm also fairly sure he was acting on his own volition - no higher ups told him to do it).

If there was such a unit (and dude, there's not) they're not doing a very good job - which a quick perusal of the current wikipedia page will tell you.
Okay, maybe my "sole job" statement was overkill. But there are definitely people being paid by Hess, on the Internet, manipulating Wikipedia articles, and likely other sources of information, as well. Now, if Hess wants to delete blatantly untrue slander, then fine. But I checked some of those edits, and many of the things Hesswork deleted were not slander -- they were completely true, just not to Hess' liking.

123Loto wrote:
Rooster, you had a some negative experiences with Hess... but let's face it, you struggled to find work after leaving Hess.
Yeah, because I had been terminated, which was a huge black mark on my record, so of course I "struggled to find work after leaving Hess." Whether the termination is fair or not, people don't want to hire a guy who has just been terminated. They assume it's his fault, or don't want to take the chance. Getting back on your feet after a termination (regardless of whether it's fair or unfair) isn't easy, and often requires grabbing any job available (even if it's a job no one else wants to do). That's why I had trouble for a matter of months after the Hess debacle, not because I'm a bad teacher. Oh, I'm not going to lie, I'm not the world's greatest teacher. But I'm also not the world's worst.

And even if I was a poor teacher and my termination was deserved, nothing excuses what Hess did to me. If they wanted to terminate me, then fine -- but they absolutely should NOT have played games with my legal status, should NOT have refused to issue a Letter of Release so as to get me out of Taiwan ASAP, and should NOT have blackmailed me with the 20,000 NTD "Training & Investment Fee" as a way to get me to leave Taiwan. No, I will not forgive them for that.

One can argue "an employer has the right to hire/fire whomever he/she wants." That may be true, but no employer has the right to interfere with an employee's right to look for another job after termination, which is exactly what Hess did.

Eventually, I put Hess and its termination far enough behind me, and got enough post-Hess work experience, that no one asked or cared about Hess. Then it became much, much easier to find good, steady employment. In fact, my gig in Japan took less than 12 days to find from the time I got off the plane at Kansai Airport.

123Loto wrote:
You come across as an intelligent and well-informed person on the internet... but I sometimes wonder if you're a natural teacher? Sorry, I don't want to sound patronizing or whatever, but some people are and some people aren't...
It doesn't matter if I'm a natural teacher. Let's just say for the sake of argument that I'm a terrible teacher. Does that give Hess the right to terminate me? Sure.

But does it give them the right to throw up every possible roadblock to my future employment and my future ability to make a living? Definitely not.

Does it give them the right to play Russian Roulette with my legal status in Taiwan, waiting until the last day of my visa to file critical paperwork, lying to me the entire time and claiming they've already submitted it? Definitely not.

So...whether I'm a great teacher or an awful teacher is completely irrelevant. Hess treated me in a way that is inappropriate even for a bad employee!
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123Loto



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rooster_2006 wrote:
Okay, maybe my "sole job" statement was overkill.


Overkill? It was slander - not so much exaggerated as just flatly untrue. It is exactly that kind of crap that has really ticked me off over the years.

Quote:
But there are definitely people being paid by Hess, on the Internet, manipulating Wikipedia articles.


Your use of the present continuous indicates you believe the current described verb is ongoing. It's not though, is it...

Quote:
Now, if Hess wants to delete blatantly untrue slander, then fine. But I checked some of those edits, and many of the things Hesswork deleted were not slander -- they were completely true, just not to Hess' liking.


Give some examples?

Quote:
Yeah, because I had been terminated, which was a huge black mark on my record, so of course I "struggled to find work after leaving Hess." Whether the termination is fair or not, people don't want to hire a guy who has just been terminated. They assume it's his fault, or don't want to take the chance. Getting back on your feet after a termination (regardless of whether it's fair or unfair) isn't easy, and often requires grabbing any job available (even if it's a job no one else wants to do). That's why I had trouble for a matter of months after the Hess debacle, not because I'm a bad teacher. Oh, I'm not going to lie, I'm not the world's greatest teacher. But I'm also not the world's worst.


Uh, why did you tell anyone that you were terminated from Hess? You had, about 6 weeks with them? Why didn't you just say you were taking a break for that time?

Quote:
And even if I was a poor teacher and my termination was deserved, nothing excuses what Hess did to me. If they wanted to terminate me, then fine -- but they absolutely should NOT have played games with my legal status, should NOT have refused to issue a Letter of Release so as to get me out of Taiwan ASAP, and should NOT have blackmailed me with the 20,000 NTD "Training & Investment Fee" as a way to get me to leave Taiwan. No, I will not forgive them for that.


I don't know what happened at this point of your interactions with them. I believe what you are saying... but in my experience (9 years compared to your 6 weeks) they don't actually target anyone, and any mistakes that might occur are the result of bureaucratic silliness rather than malevolence. Trying to make you pay $20,000 is simply against Hess policy - so whoever was saying that to you was flat out wrong; in your post you mentioned that it was your local branch who was doing that, and after getting verification from Main Office they got their crap sorted. That was your ignorant branch being idiots, and it sounds to me like the human resources department took your side (actually the side of their own policy).

If there is a lesson for anyone reading this who thinks they might want to join Hess - it's "know your rights" and when in doubt get the Human Resources team involved as soon as you can... but the latter does not replace the former!!!

Quote:
One can argue "an employer has the right to hire/fire whomever he/she wants." That may be true, but no employer has the right to interfere with an employee's right to look for another job after termination, which is exactly what Hess did.


But they didn't in the end, did they...

Quote:
Eventually, I put Hess and its termination far enough behind me,


...your involvement on this thread suggests otherwise...

Quote:
and got enough post-Hess work experience, that no one asked or cared about Hess. Then it became much, much easier to find good, steady employment. In fact, my gig in Japan took less than 12 days to find from the time I got off the plane at Kansai Airport.


Good for you! Did you get your quals updated in the end? My advice would be to keep going - get the CELTA, get the DELTA or an MA... you definitely have the smarts for it; and the crap you went through at Hess will coincidentally have made you "tougher"... (doesn't forgive it of course!)

You know why I'm here Rooster - I got fed up with all the misinformation out there about this company, and I figure if I had an overwhelmingly positive experience with them then others could too... but they might choose not to if they read the unadulterated bullshit that often gets spread around about Hess.
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

123Loto wrote:
rooster_2006 wrote:
Yeah, because I had been terminated, which was a huge black mark on my record, so of course I "struggled to find work after leaving Hess." Whether the termination is fair or not, people don't want to hire a guy who has just been terminated. They assume it's his fault, or don't want to take the chance. Getting back on your feet after a termination (regardless of whether it's fair or unfair) isn't easy, and often requires grabbing any job available (even if it's a job no one else wants to do). That's why I had trouble for a matter of months after the Hess debacle, not because I'm a bad teacher. Oh, I'm not going to lie, I'm not the world's greatest teacher. But I'm also not the world's worst.


Uh, why did you tell anyone that you were terminated from Hess? You had, about 6 weeks with them? Why didn't you just say you were taking a break for that time?
Two reasons:

1. I'm an honest person who doesn't lie/cover up a termination. To lie about it and say I was "taking a break" would be dishonest.

2. Even if I had no ethical problems with lying, any prospective school is going to see a big fat Residence Visa with "HESS" written on it in my passport.

321Loto wrote:
rooster_2006 wrote:
And even if I was a poor teacher and my termination was deserved, nothing excuses what Hess did to me. If they wanted to terminate me, then fine -- but they absolutely should NOT have played games with my legal status, should NOT have refused to issue a Letter of Release so as to get me out of Taiwan ASAP, and should NOT have blackmailed me with the 20,000 NTD "Training & Investment Fee" as a way to get me to leave Taiwan. No, I will not forgive them for that.


I don't know what happened at this point of your interactions with them. I believe what you are saying... but in my experience (9 years compared to your 6 weeks) they don't actually target anyone, and any mistakes that might occur are the result of bureaucratic silliness rather than malevolence. Trying to make you pay $20,000 is simply against Hess policy - so whoever was saying that to you was flat out wrong; in your post you mentioned that it was your local branch who was doing that, and after getting verification from Main Office they got their crap sorted. That was your ignorant branch being idiots, and it sounds to me like the human resources department took your side (actually the side of their own policy).
Wrong. It was Colleen who was pushing for that. She's the Area Supervisor for the southern Taiwan region, not just a Head NST or branch manager. She knows darn well what company policy is. My branch's Head NST didn't agree with her (he said so to me when she was out of the room), but didn't want to contradict her in front of her (after all, she could have easily terminated two people that day, instead of one).

No, Colleen knew what she was doing. And Hess HQ hardly "sided" with me at all. They gave a face-saving excuse of "Due to the poor economy and the involuntary nature of the separation, Hess has decided not to pursue the 20,000 NTD Training & Investment Fee." Not exactly an apology or an admission of wrongdoing.

321Loto wrote:
If there is a lesson for anyone reading this who thinks they might want to join Hess - it's "know your rights" and when in doubt get the Human Resources team involved as soon as you can... but the latter does not replace the former!!!

rooster_2006 wrote:
One can argue "an employer has the right to hire/fire whomever he/she wants." That may be true, but no employer has the right to interfere with an employee's right to look for another job after termination, which is exactly what Hess did.


But they didn't in the end, did they...
So? The point is that they tried to blackmail me with the fine, not that they succeeded in doing it. I fought it and they caved, but that doesn't change the fact that Colleen tried to blackmail me.

I'm not ignorant of the law and the contract that I signed. But I'm sure there are also plenty of NSTs who do not know their rights, and who end up giving Hess 20,000 NTD, or leaving Taiwan.

321Loto wrote:
rooster_2006 wrote:
Eventually, I put Hess and its termination far enough behind me,


...your involvement on this thread suggests otherwise...
Professionally-speaking, yes, I did, and you know darn well that's what I was talking about when I typed that sentence.

In terms of the bad memories of what they did to me, though, no, I haven't "put those far behind me." Why should I? What has changed from the day I was terminated? Does Hess behave more ethically? Have they apologized to me? Have they stopped treating NSTs like crap? A simple Internet search would say "no, they haven't."

321Loto wrote:
rooster_2006 wrote:
and got enough post-Hess work experience, that no one asked or cared about Hess. Then it became much, much easier to find good, steady employment. In fact, my gig in Japan took less than 12 days to find from the time I got off the plane at Kansai Airport.


Good for you! Did you get your quals updated in the end? My advice would be to keep going - get the CELTA, get the DELTA or an MA... you definitely have the smarts for it; and the crap you went through at Hess will coincidentally have made you "tougher"... (doesn't forgive it of course!)
I had CELTA before I even worked at Hess. I have since added on another TEFL cert for teaching YL earlier this year.

321Loto wrote:
You know why I'm here Rooster - I got fed up with all the misinformation out there about this company, and I figure if I had an overwhelmingly positive experience with them then others could too... but they might choose not to if they read the unadulterated bullshit that often gets spread around about Hess.
Then I can understand why blatantly untrue statements like "Hess has a 65% turnover rate in the first three months" would tick you off. However, everything I've said is true and provable, except for my "special unit at Hess" remark. As for that remark, I apologize for saying "special unit at Hess HQ whose sole job it is (...)." That's probably not the case, because Hess has only made 16 provable Wikipedia edits under the name "Hesswork," which does not seem to support the existence of a "team," so I redact my "special unit/special team" statement. However, Hess definitely does engage in Internet propaganda, and I don't believe for a minute that they've stopped doing it (they just no longer use "Hesswork" as their nickname when making the edits). My only error was over-exaggerating the scope of this propaganda effort.
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123Loto



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Listen Rooster, I've only really called you on your "special unit" claim. You may believe that "Hess" is still working on the internet to somehow affect its reputation... but I'm afraid I don't. You have no evidence for that, and it doesn't really stand to reason either.

I also don't agree with naming anyone in person on this or any other forum - unless you are willing to put your own name next to your posts. It would be ok to refer to the person's position but not their name.

Again, I don't know what happened with your departure from Hess; but I believe what you are saying. (That's why I found your leap to saying there is a "dedicated unit" alarming). Still, in my experience, Hess managers don't "take aim" at anyone.

I absolutely don't believe what you are saying is systemic to the company.
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creztor



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 476

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not find it a stretch of anyone's imagination that someone at a company goes around editing posts or replying to negative comments about a company they work at. A whole team? No, but it is clear that Rooster was just exaggerating that part, and I don't blame him.

What's it like working at HESS? Well, I worked there three years and had no problems, but YMMV and it does if you look at the wide range of comments posted about HESS online. They are a great place to work if you are new to Taiwan, but I believe this to be true for any of the big cram schools. This is also true if you have never taught before, because they will provide you with training, something that some other schools may assume you already have.


Last edited by creztor on Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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123Loto



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

creztor wrote:
I do not find it a stretch of anyone's imagination that someone at a company goes around editing posts or replying to negative comments about a company they work at. A whole team? No, but it is clear that Rooster was just exaggerating that part, and I don't blame him.


Ok, we can agree to disagree - but consider, where are people reading about Hess? The answer: forumosa, youtube, wikipedia and here. That's it. Take a look at those sites and tell me that there is a single person running around chasing down negative Hess press (other than me Smile ) I just don't see the evidence.
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

123Loto wrote:
creztor wrote:
I do not find it a stretch of anyone's imagination that someone at a company goes around editing posts or replying to negative comments about a company they work at. A whole team? No, but it is clear that Rooster was just exaggerating that part, and I don't blame him.


Ok, we can agree to disagree - but consider, where are people reading about Hess? The answer: forumosa, youtube, wikipedia and here. That's it. Take a look at those sites and tell me that there is a single person running around chasing down negative Hess press (other than me Smile ) I just don't see the evidence.
Okay, I agree that we will just have to agree to disagree, then. It seems like we're both getting tired of debating this issue, so that seems like the best policy in this case.

Personally, I'm getting my JLPT N3 scores tomorrow. If I passed, I'm going to be absolutely ecstatic and won't want a debate to spoil my fun. And if I failed, I'll be in a foul mood, and a debate won't help that. So I'm done debating this.

321Loto, I have nothing personal against you. Actually, you seem more reasonable and you've been a lot less likely to "blame the victim" than a lot of other users on Dave's and Y!A. It's just your organization that I have a problem with, not you. But I've said my piece, so I guess I'm going to take a week or so hiatus from Dave's (after I finish my backlog of other posts, tonight, that is).
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creztor



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 476

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If companies go are prepared to make videos about how good/fun/exciting it is to teach English in Taiwan, then I see no reason why they won't go and join up to forums and post comments. Promotional videos or editing public sites like wikipedia and posting comments is all part of marketing and protecting a brand, at least in my books. I would do the same if I ran a business and found someone posting negative comments that I thought completely mislead potential clients/customers. Now, are they doing it blatantly out in the open like you said they aren't? I honestly don't know and I really don't care Smile It's obvious they wouldn't have a "team" working on it, but I think it wouldn't be far fetched that someone may on occasion go and reply to posts or edit information (if it can be edited publicly) where possible. I really do see your point, so we will just have to agree to disagree.

Anyway, as above, HESS is an OK place to work in my books, but so are most big cram schools in Taiwan. However, I STRONGLY suggest people to think of a way to get out of working for them, because the pay and workload are usually higher than other schools, but that is another story altogether and will probably also lead to a twenty page heated debate Wink.
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123Loto



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rooster_2006 wrote:
Okay, I agree that we will just have to agree to disagree, then. It seems like we're both getting tired of debating this issue, so that seems like the best policy in this case.

Personally, I'm getting my JLPT N3 scores tomorrow. If I passed, I'm going to be absolutely ecstatic and won't want a debate to spoil my fun. And if I failed, I'll be in a foul mood, and a debate won't help that. So I'm done debating this.

321Loto, I have nothing personal against you. Actually, you seem more reasonable and you've been a lot less likely to "blame the victim" than a lot of other users on Dave's and Y!A. It's just your organization that I have a problem with, not you. But I've said my piece, so I guess I'm going to take a week or so hiatus from Dave's (after I finish my backlog of other posts, tonight, that is).


That sounds reasonable Rooster - good luck with your test scores!!! Smile
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123Loto



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

creztor wrote:
If companies go are prepared to make videos about how good/fun/exciting it is to teach English in Taiwan, then I see no reason why they won't go and join up to forums and post comments. Promotional videos or editing public sites like wikipedia and posting comments is all part of marketing and protecting a brand, at least in my books. I would do the same if I ran a business and found someone posting negative comments that I thought completely mislead potential clients/customers. Now, are they doing it blatantly out in the open like you said they aren't? I honestly don't know and I really don't care Smile It's obvious they wouldn't have a "team" working on it, but I think it wouldn't be far fetched that someone may on occasion go and reply to posts or edit information (if it can be edited publicly) where possible. I really do see your point, so we will just have to agree to disagree.

Anyway, as above, HESS is an OK place to work in my books, but so are most big cram schools in Taiwan. However, I STRONGLY suggest people to think of a way to get out of working for them, because the pay and workload are usually higher than other schools, but that is another story altogether and will probably also lead to a twenty page heated debate Wink.


I can't really argue with that creztor - so I won't! As you say, it doesn't really matter anyway - hope anyone reading this just does their homework and goes into their workplace with their eyes open!
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