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Is AEON a cult?
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1490
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rslrunner,

Quote:
Just don't seek to control others as a way of life.


You look like you are having control issues. Consider getting counseling. Sessions with a priest, pastor, rabbi, psychologist can really help you sort out priorities and identify good and bad habits of mind.

Meditation and prayer help, too. There are lots of online guided meditations, mantras, prayers.
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moviefan1987



Joined: 23 Nov 2015
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a 21 page thread started two years ago by a guy who never worked for AEON. Dude, seriously, move on. See a counselor or something. Eventually you just have to get over it. Some people will work for AEON regardless of how bad you say it is. It's a typical chain eikaiwa. But then most of those people will quit, go back to their home countries, or find something better. Working for a chain eikaiwa is not as traumatic or even close to the same thing as working in a coal mine. Sorry you had a bad experience but sometimes you just have to let go.
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TokyoLiz wrote:
Rslrunner,

Quote:
Just don't seek to control others as a way of life.


You look like you are having control issues. Consider getting counseling. Sessions with a priest, pastor, rabbi, psychologist can really help you sort out priorities and identify good and bad habits of mind.

Meditation and prayer help, too. There are lots of online guided meditations, mantras, prayers.


OK, I'll bite......

What are the specific control issues that I seem to have, from your point of view?

What should my priorities be?

What is a good habit for a mind to have? What is a bad habit for a mind to have? How can we objectively classify an inherently subjective judgment?

Do you come to help me, or are you looking to control me by first pointing out what is wrong with me?

By the way, I am agnostic/atheist, so a pastor/priest/rabbi would be a tough sell, as endearing as these figures may be personally.


Last edited by rslrunner on Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:26 am; edited 2 times in total
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

moviefan1987 wrote:
This is a 21 page thread started two years ago by a guy who never worked for AEON. Dude, seriously, move on. See a counselor or something. Eventually you just have to get over it. Some people will work for AEON regardless of how bad you say it is. It's a typical chain eikaiwa. But then most of those people will quit, go back to their home countries, or find something better. Working for a chain eikaiwa is not as traumatic or even close to the same thing as working in a coal mine. Sorry you had a bad experience but sometimes you just have to let go.


1. I didn't create this thread for my personal benefit alone. I created it so that people know what to expect in terms of the inevitable behavior modification that will occur. I seriously believe this, very strongly and very deeply.

2. I never thought that Aeon would somehow disappear or people would stop working for them. That's not the goal. The goal is to let others anyone considering this course of action in their career to understand that their success depends upon mimicking a persona that does not belong to them. Then people can make an independent choice.

3. I would never compare the job to a coal mine, or a Bangladeshi textile factory. I do compare the organization to a cult. That's because you have to be someone different from who you really are, and this is key, you are not told beforehand what you will become. This is not a healthy place for many people to be.

4. I have moved beyond my personal perspective quite a while ago. I see a power arrangement that benefits the company to the immediate detriment of new hires. By posting all of this, I put the company on the defensive, and inform and empower the people who have decided to choose to work for this company, or go elsewhere.

I have demystified the initial training week. I have pointed out the reality of the schedule. I have called into question the methods utilized to mold people into something different from who they are. I believe, in my heart of hearts, that this makes every potential applicant better off, because now there is a dissenting perspective to counteract the groupthink that prevails from the first interview. People can decide for themselves how to proceed.

5. Again, I have no problem if anyone wants to "commander" this thread. I was aware that this happened a while ago. What I find objectionable was Marley's Ghost's proclamation that people should not talk about the original thread, but instead only talk about what Marley's Ghost wants to talk about. That is simply not his place. He is not the arbiter of this forum, just like I am not. (Yes, I am saying that Marley's Ghost has the issues with control, not me.)

6. I did work for Aeon. For about 3.2 days. In fact, and I say this with some bemusement, I may have been one of the worst employees in its history. (Although I committed no crime of any kind, and certainly no serious crime that hurt others, so that would make others worse.)

7. If someone at Dave's ESL Cafe contacts me directly and says that something that I have said is objectionable, then I'll stop. But I haven't said anything objectionable that needs to be deleted, in my view. It is easy to differentiate between specific facts and my personal opinion. I am willing to take criticism. And, let's face it, this is a pretty interesting thread.

I have said all of this before. You can take me at my word with everything I have said above. Or you can proclaim what my motives are, even when I state that they are something different. It's your choice.

I am as much a member of this forum as anyone else. Not more, not less.....
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dove



Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Posts: 264
Location: USA/Japan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why am I responding? Why?

Rslrunner, your purpose with this thread is to warn potential AEON applicants that they might be expected to become someone different than they really are? Child, please. You might as well warn everyone who is applying to any job at any corporation. Have you actually been in the work world? Ok, I admit I have been around the block and I am jaded as hell, but almost every job I have ever held, I had to adapt a persona. That persona is called worker. Because if I had my way, I'd be home in bed with the remote, Netflix, rum raisin Haagen Daaz. Next best thing would be at the bar, rolling my eyes at the managers who believe the corporate BS spiel, drowning my sorrows that I have to pretend to believe the spiel. Because that is what people who need a paycheck do. We pretend. If you want to call it a cult, whatevs. I--and most likely millions all over the world--will just call it work.
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1490
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What is a good habit for a mind to have? What is a bad habit for a mind to have? How can we objectively classify an inherently subjective judgment?


Work that one out with a counselor.

A 21 page, 2 year rant from a person who didn't last a week at the job.... Looks like a habit....
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TokyoLiz wrote:
Quote:
What is a good habit for a mind to have? What is a bad habit for a mind to have? How can we objectively classify an inherently subjective judgment?


Work that one out with a counselor.

A 21 page, 2 year rant from a person who didn't last a week at the job.... Looks like a habit....


Oh, come on, Tokyo Liz, you are better than this.

I asked for your perspective in good faith, and you provided a gratuitous response: "Work that one out with a counselor."

You are not telling me to see a counselor because you want me to be helped. You are telling me to see a counselor out of contempt.

This actually insults everyone who sees a counselor in order to better themselves.

A poor and disappointing response....
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natsume



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 409
Location: Chongqing, China

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rslrunner wrote:




You are not telling me to see a counselor because you want me to be helped. You are telling me to see a counselor out of contempt.

..


Actually, I'm 99% sure she is sincere. She strikes me as being fairly compassionate.
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kpjf



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 385

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rslrunner wrote:

Who cares what the groan icon is? Just speak your mind. You can act superior to your heart's content.

Just don't seek to control others as a way of life. That is what Aeon does. That is not and will not happen in this forum.


Groan. Groan. Groan. You sound like you've been taking some lines from some tacky self-help books.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11433
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
6. I did work for Aeon. For about 3.2 days. In


I think it would be very reasonable to take the position that this work history doesn't justify 2 years and 21+ pages.

I was once a bank teller for a full working week, back in high school. I hated it and they were awful to work for. Big chain bank, too. Probably I should go on about it for a couple more years.... Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1490
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natsume, thanks.

I've mentioned in another thread that I, too, have had rough times in 20+ years of working in education. In my hometown, I was laid off from a school and fortunately qualified for a job counseling program for a month. In Japan, I have been mentored and counseled by Buddhist priest friends (I don't identify as Buddhist) and cross cultural counselors. Teaching has its stressors, and teaching in another culture takes a lot of knowledge and perspective.

From experience, I know how valuable counseling is.

The old folks like me who live and work here have confirmed again and again that you are right - Aeon, like a lot of other businesses in Japan, treat employees badly, abuse their time and use nonsensical "methods", and generally micromanage the behaviour of employees. They take advantage of inexperienced and uninformed recent grads, and those with little knowledge of Japanese culture and business practices or the labour laws.

Japan has a huge problem with "black companies" , businesses that are contemptuous of the labour code and take advantage of the working poor and students. Aeon is not the worst, and foreign employees are not the only victims.

Few are recommending these crappy Eikaiwa corporations. I routinely tell people on this board and in person, don't even think about working for eikaiwa unless it's your only way to get a visa, and you have a clearly thought out exit strategy to implement when you hit the ground here.

The last thing, and this is harsh, but 2 years and 21 pages later, you have done nothing meaningful to change the situation, and you haven't put yourself in a position to change it. You didn't last a week, so you didn't get any real experience of the working world here. You've merely told us what you object to and how you have complained to the company. You mentioned the contact with the cult-watchdog, but the cult issue is tangential to serious labour issues.
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rslrunner



Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dove wrote:
Why am I responding? Why?

Rslrunner, your purpose with this thread is to warn potential AEON applicants that they might be expected to become someone different than they really are? Child, please. You might as well warn everyone who is applying to any job at any corporation. Have you actually been in the work world? Ok, I admit I have been around the block and I am jaded as hell, but almost every job I have ever held, I had to adapt a persona. That persona is called worker. Because if I had my way, I'd be home in bed with the remote, Netflix, rum raisin Haagen Daaz. Next best thing would be at the bar, rolling my eyes at the managers who believe the corporate BS spiel, drowning my sorrows that I have to pretend to believe the spiel. Because that is what people who need a paycheck do. We pretend. If you want to call it a cult, whatevs. I--and most likely millions all over the world--will just call it work.


This post is predicated on the assumption that I speak about a typical corporate environment. I most definitely do not.
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Lamarr



Joined: 27 Sep 2010
Posts: 190

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TokyoLiz wrote:
Japan has a huge problem with "black companies" , businesses that are contemptuous of the labour code and take advantage of the working poor and students. Aeon is not the worst, and foreign employees are not the only victims.


That's true. The Japanese girlfriend of a guy I was working with recently was working for a black company somewhere in Roppongi. She knew what it was like and what she was letting herself in for, presumably because she couldn't get anything better. She was doing ridiculous hours (until 11pm even), and I think even having to work weekends sometimes, and all for pitifully low pay (maybe even lower than eikaiwa).

TokyoLiz wrote:
You mentioned the contact with the cult-watchdog, but the cult issue is tangential to serious labour issues.


I didn't realize this guy had done that. I thought he meant it more figuratively, as a joke.

I've done my own research and reading into cults, and these dodgy eikaiwa and black companies do kind of act like them, in the way they get their claws into you to make it difficult for you to quit your contract, wear you out with ridiculous amounts of hours, intimidate you out of leaving by making various threats, or try to control your behaviour with negative appraisals, or humiliation and criticism in front of other staff. The other one I've seen is managers spying on staff, making sure you know they're there so that you feel uncomfortable with being watched.

However, these are dodgy labour practices which are better dealt with by the labour standards bureau or a union. The instigators of these practices may have lifted them out of "How to run a cult for dummies" or something, but it's a bit of a stretch to call them cults, even if they do act like them and use similar techniques.
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1490
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

About negative appraisals -

During brief employment with Interac, I caught the branch representative off guard a few times. The first time was when he tried to misinform about the social insurance system. When I confronted him with the law, he shrugged.

The second was when he critiqued my lesson demo. This guy had no TESOL background, and probably just stumbled into eikaiwa. He misused ELT jargon, couldn't understand a simple lesson plan, and misidentified the grammar and function I taught in the lesson. Basically, if you are a TESOL trained and experienced teacher, you'll be dumbfounded by the nonsense know-nothings will try to peddle.

Lamarr
Q
Quote:
However, these are dodgy labour practices which are better dealt with by the labour standards bureau or a union. The instigators of these practices may have lifted them out of "How to run a cult for dummies" or something, but it's a bit of a stretch to call them cults, even if they do act like them and use similar techniques.


Spot on.

I don't know how many times I have posted this, but here is the government-issued labour handbook.

http://www.hataraku.metro.tokyo.jp/sodan/siryo/H23_handbook_all.pdf

That's essential reading for everybody working in Japan.

If you have a dispute, go to the labour office. If they won't move on an "unfair labour practice", go to the union or to court.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 3292
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TokyoLiz wrote:
If you have a dispute, go to the labour office. If they won't move on an "unfair labour practice", go to the union or to court.

Is it possible to (also) take the LSO itself to court if they refuse to act? I know they like to build up a picture of or dossier on the bad employers but how much evidence do they need? The employment contracts alone in black and white (albeit in English*) would seem sufficient to prove illegalities, no need to take the workers' words for things.

*I've never understood either the 'the Japanese contract takes precedence' clauses, which seem to suggest that it can differ substantially from the English version without that even raising a murmur from a judge. Or do they just fob differences off on bad translations? Can the translator then be held liable? And on and on the can may get kicked down the road LOL.
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