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Is AEON a cult?
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RM1983



Joined: 03 Jan 2007
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems quite a common misunderstanding from us gaijin, that our employers will be highly considerate and knowledgeable of western ways and working culture. Everything Ive heard suggests youre better off fitting in.

My friend was ranting last night about her work evaluation, which was basically 'be more Japanese', when she was hired more or less BECAUSE she is foreign.

End of the day, fight it all you want but most people are gonna be better off just trying to fit in


Last edited by RM1983 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 458
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is better to quit places like that.
At universities there is less conformity.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 898
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
It is better to quit places like that.
At universities there is less conformity.

Better work conditions. Better pay. Better status. Hmm. Why didn't I think of that before? Quit the eikaiwa and get a job at a university. What could possibly go wrong...?
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitarou wrote:
rslrunner wrote:
Pitarou, you said that in another post that in order to work in Japan, one must adapt to an environment of "extreme conformism". How do new hires need to conform? How is this required conformity extreme?

Japanese workers emulate their superiors and adopt the company image and culture at a level of detail that would seem absurd to Westerners. Foreigners are often given more leeway, and not all schools are run along Japanese lines, but until you hear otherwise you can assume that this is what's expected of you. Certainly, it's what the Japanese customers will expect.

This is basic knowledge. It's Japanese business culture 101. The fact that you didn't know about this before you came to Japan is entirely your fault. (As is the fact that you surrendered your visa. There was nothing to stop you from staying and eking out a living with GABA until you could find a better job.)

I'm telling you this because you should understand that your efforts to warn new teachers are wasted. Those who bother to do basic research don't need your help; the information they need is already there for the taking. Those who prefer to walk in blindly, the way you did, are beyond anyone's help.


Well, the condescending tone doesn't detract from the accuracy from what you just said in terms of the business culture.

In terms of the visa, the AEON employee who told me that I would have to pay taxes after one year of having the visa, even if I was outside of the country for the whole time and then came back, obviously did not have my best interests at heart. I didn't research the visa issue simply because I thought what transpired was inconceivable. But I didn't want to stay then, and I believe it was wise for me to leave immediately. Nevertheless, people should know that the visa is for them to keep, and that one is not liable to pay taxes, simply because the government cannot tax income that was never earned in the first place.

I did a great deal of research on AEON. I know that they needed teachers to conform to the methodology, the business suit, etc... I did not know that they would demand a level of obedience that requires everyone to sublimate their personality. I just didn't. AEON never set that expectation either until after everyone arrives.

Do you think that people who come to Japan should resolve to become like the Japanese? Not only to respect the culture, which one should do everywhere, but also to become the embodiment of the culture? Which means adopting the persona and behavioral patterns of the particular company that one works for, whether it is AEON or any other company? Should every newbie have that expectation?

While university positions would be great, we all know that there are not enough to go around, and most newbies to Japan have to join the eikeiwa work detail first. So hopefully this thread should be of value to these newbies, so ultimately they gain a clear sense of what is expected of them.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 458
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well most university positions are limited and often teachers just have to do as they are told and their opinions are not wanted.
But some people don`t mind and prefer better pay and longer vacations.
Some people don`t mind changing jobs every 3-5 years.
Some people don`t mind fawning and kissing butt, but I do.
That is where I draw the line.

Even with tenure, what I have heard sounds bad, with endless pointless meetings that eat up your time. There is a trade off.

So work at a private high schools is another option although most don`t advertise. Networking and who you know seems to trump everything.

Why people stay at bad eikaiwa is beyond me. I know people that start out there, then move on.
It is a place to start for some.

To me, sure, learn Japanese. But you don`t have to act and be Japanese, unless you want to change your nationality.
Be tolerant but do not be an apologist.
Bend but don`t break.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 898
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rslrunner wrote:
Nevertheless, people should know that the visa is for them to keep...

I reiterate: they do know. I was well aware of this fact before I came to Japan. The people who come to Japan not knowing ... well ... they won't know anything unless it's shoved in front of their noses. So unless you're prepared to start a leaflet campaign at Narita airport, there's nothing you can do to help them.

If it's any consolation, there are newbies even more ignorant than you were. I knew a guy who turned up two weeks early, and couldn't understand why nobody came to meet him at Narita airport. He didn't even know whether the water of Tokyo was safe to drink.
Quote:
I did a great deal of research on AEON

I don't believe you. Here's why:
Quote:
AEON never set that expectation either until after everyone arrives.

You relied on AEON to set your expectations.

Even dumber, you trusted them to look after your best interests after they sacked you! You thought it "inconceivable" that they were bullshitting you.

If this had happened 30 years ago, I might have blamed AEON. But now we have Google there's no excuse for being caught out that way.
Quote:
Do you think that people who come to Japan should resolve to become like the Japanese? Not only to respect the culture, which one should do everywhere...

Where are you going with this?

There are people who campaign on such matters. If you really want to join them http://www.debito.org/ is a good place to start. But you don't seem to have much to offer them.


Last edited by Pitarou on Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:13 am; edited 4 times in total
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jmatt



Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rslrunner wrote:
Pitarou wrote:
rslrunner wrote:
Pitarou, you said that in another post that in order to work in Japan, one must adapt to an environment of "extreme conformism". How do new hires need to conform? How is this required conformity extreme?

Japanese workers emulate their superiors and adopt the company image and culture at a level of detail that would seem absurd to Westerners. Foreigners are often given more leeway, and not all schools are run along Japanese lines, but until you hear otherwise you can assume that this is what's expected of you. Certainly, it's what the Japanese customers will expect.

This is basic knowledge. It's Japanese business culture 101. The fact that you didn't know about this before you came to Japan is entirely your fault. (As is the fact that you surrendered your visa. There was nothing to stop you from staying and eking out a living with GABA until you could find a better job.)

I'm telling you this because you should understand that your efforts to warn new teachers are wasted. Those who bother to do basic research don't need your help; the information they need is already there for the taking. Those who prefer to walk in blindly, the way you did, are beyond anyone's help.


Well, the condescending tone doesn't detract from the accuracy from what you just said in terms of the business culture.

In terms of the visa, the AEON employee who told me that I would have to pay taxes after one year of having the visa, even if I was outside of the country for the whole time and then came back, obviously did not have my best interests at heart. I didn't research the visa issue simply because I thought what transpired was inconceivable. But I didn't want to stay then, and I believe it was wise for me to leave immediately. Nevertheless, people should know that the visa is for them to keep, and that one is not liable to pay taxes, simply because the government cannot tax income that was never earned in the first place.

I did a great deal of research on AEON. I know that they needed teachers to conform to the methodology, the business suit, etc... I did not know that they would demand a level of obedience that requires everyone to sublimate their personality. I just didn't. AEON never set that expectation either until after everyone arrives.

Do you think that people who come to Japan should resolve to become like the Japanese? Not only to respect the culture, which one should do everywhere, but also to become the embodiment of the culture? Which means adopting the persona and behavioral patterns of the particular company that one works for, whether it is AEON or any other company? Should every newbie have that expectation?

While university positions would be great, we all know that there are not enough to go around, and most newbies to Japan have to join the eikeiwa work detail first. So hopefully this thread should be of value to these newbies, so ultimately they gain a clear sense of what is expected of them.


I think that anyone reading this thread who has the most basic of comprehension skills would never, ever, take your advice concerning anything that has to do with EFL in Japan.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 802

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmatt wrote:

I think that anyone reading this thread who has the most basic of comprehension skills would never, ever, take your advice concerning anything that has to do with EFL in Japan.


...and that about sums it up. Which is a shame, because way way back at the beginning, before it turned into a nutjob rant, there was some useful stuff.
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 913

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
jmatt wrote:

I think that anyone reading this thread who has the most basic of comprehension skills would never, ever, take your advice concerning anything that has to do with EFL in Japan.


...and that about sums it up. Which is a shame, because way way back at the beginning, before it turned into a nutjob rant, there was some useful stuff.


yes, he did have some points. But his insanity has long since drowned any validity out.

I do think the TS had some sort of break down. I feel bad for em. But this is getting really silly
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nightsintodreams



Joined: 18 May 2010
Posts: 234

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still can't fathom what's going on in this guy's head...

How long ago did he return from Japan again? Over a year ago wasn't it...?

Personally, I agree that perhaps he had a mental breakdown and his only outlet has become posting on random Internet forums for attention. Quite sad really.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 898
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised no-one's questioned my sanity for continuing to respond to him.

It's a matter of record that I strongly disapprove of the practice of psycho-pathologizing opinions you disagree with. That's why I've been calling rslrunner a fool, rather than a nutter. Still, you're right that something's a bit out of kilter.

It seems that he's desperately trying to turn the story of his humiliating sacking into some kind of "victim turned campaigning hero" story. And, in fact, this kind of behaviour is consistent with a certain personality disorder. This disorder would also explain why he was so upset about the criticism he received in training. But I don't think it's right to reduce somebody to a label like that. We all have our madder moments and pet obsessions....
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RM1983



Joined: 03 Jan 2007
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suppose a bad expeience like that can be a bit traumatic. Ive been sacked before and spent a while ruminating on how to get revenge.

On the other hand though, I think that although the thread span out a while back it is pretty useful to get an insight into what to expect when ya come
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 913

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not disparaging him for having the break down. We have all hit lows. There is no shame there. Going on and on about it, and thinking you are doing people a service, that gets loopy.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 802

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitarou, usually I would be the first to agree with you, but I think there's an important difference between pyschopathologising opinions and psychopathologising paranoid and obsessive behaviour. This isn't about opinions. As I said, at the beginning (of the saga rather than this particular thread) the OP had some valuable and valid insights. I won't call him foolish, because I don't think he is, what's going on here is not due to stupidity or even ignorance.

Personally, I am trying not to respond anymore. I'm getting the increasingly uncomfortable feeling of being a voyeur at a car crash. I will try harder not to lapse in future.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 898
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
Pitarou, usually I would be the first to agree with you, but I think there's an important difference between pyschopathologising opinions and psychopathologising paranoid and obsessive behaviour....

Yes, you're right. And, on reflection, my use of phrases like, "This is what monomania looks like, folks." shows that I haven't been exactly consistent in my "no psychopathologising" attitude.

And I quite agree that there was some useful info about AEON that got lost in the noise. I have gained the impression (can anyone confirm this?) that AEON's policy forbids people AEON employees from discussing their workplace in public forums, so it would be useful to have some insider sources. Unfortunately, rslrunner's obsession makes him unreliable.

Back in November, I promised to quit this thread. I didn't feel bound to that promise when rslrunner revived it this week, but maybe I should have done.
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