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Urgent help/advice needed- university and accomadation
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nathrodgers



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject: Urgent help/advice needed- university and accomadation Reply with quote

Hi guys,

Basically to cut a long story short I arrived in China today to start an esl post in a university based in guangxi. I was picked up at the airport, and all was well, until they showed me my accommodation on campus.

The floor was concrete, the shower was in the toilet doorway and drained by the toilet, there was a hose attached to the bathroom sink which again drained by the toilet, and as for the kitchen, it looked circa 16th century (concrete sink and surfaces and rusting tap anyone?). Not to mention the walls were dirty as f"ck when I was assured the flat would be cleaned and painted.

To end a long story short, I'm now in a swanky hotel room after refusing the apartment and threatening to leave on the spot. I was sent pics of sample accomdation before hand, and while I was not expecting the Ritz, I don't want to catch an illness, and refuse to live like a pauper.

They are meeting me next week to sort this out, but basically I need some advice. Maybe just reassurance!
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chinatimes



Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm now in a swanky hotel room after refusing the apartment and threatening to leave on the spot.


Quote:
They are meeting me next week to sort this out


So, who is footing the bill until then? This will tell you what to expect. Personally, I would be looking for another school unless there is a reason why you need to be in that location.
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twilothunder



Joined: 09 Dec 2011
Posts: 442

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Threaten to walk until they sort it out IMO.

Without having seen your actual contract, they are likely in breach of contract. You should be able to leave in a probationary period with no repercussions (probationary periods are for BOTH sides remember). Stand your ground, because the cost of them (both financial and administrative) of getting another teacher if you drop them in the sh** would be much more than sorting you out with proper accommodation.
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Ariadne



Joined: 16 Jul 2004
Posts: 960

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry you arrived to such an unwelcoming abode. The kitchen sounds pretty normal... stone sink, grease everywhere. That could be cleaned up and made, well, somewhat acceptable. The bathroom set up sounds awful. Are all their FT apartments the same? Do they have anything else to offer you?

It's important to feel comfortable in your apartment. It's your home, your haven in a foreign country. A massive clean up and hanging a few things on the walls can transform a lot of places. It doesn't sound like that's going to be the answer for you though. I hope the school steps up and finds you a more suitable space. I think it will work in your favor that you voiced your objections immediately.

Good luck and let us know what happens.


.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3233

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I was sent pics of sample accomdation before hand


Did they look like the place? Do you still have them?

Quote:
The floor was concrete


That's VERY common.
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nathrodgers



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:09 am    Post subject: in response Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies. The photos I was sent looked like the inside of the apartment, just, well, better. The kitchen was modernish, the bathroom had a bath and plumbed in sink, and the floors were all covered with lino. Like I say I was expecting the Ritz, but something more in line with the pictures. Even the teacher and businessman (I know, I am as bemused as you) who came to pick me up said they would not stay there!

The university is footing the bill for the hotel. If they try to charge me, again, I will walk. I am today going to sort out arrangements for bailing if needs be, but as I am the ONLY englishman at the university, I think they will accomadate me.

Out of interest, is it is just to pick up your things and walk? If I break contract, what will happen? Surely they will not chase me out the country or to HK if it comes to that???

It's just made me feel a bit down I guess about the whole thing. There I was worried about the actual teaching and then the accommodation comes and smacks me in the face!
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dean_a_jones



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1140
Location: Wuhan, China

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they are paying the hotel bill and are willing to help you sort this out, then it doesn't sound like you need to do anything as dramatic as leaving. If you are their only English teacher just stay firm in terms of what you are expecting and make sure they understand clearly what that is. It sounds like they might be willing to make some changes to ensure you are happy (and stick around). As has already been mentioned, this is likely to be much cheaper than finding someone new.

In terms of your contract, have you signed a proper physical copy yet? If not, then there is not a great deal they can do in terms of your leaving if it came to that. I assume you entered on the z-visa but have not yet got your residency permit. If that is the case, you have thirty days to either apply for the RP if things work out or leave the country.

Hope it works out.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3233

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Surely they will not chase me out the country or to HK if it comes to that???


If you leave the mainland there is nothing they can do. If you're on the mainland, the government will require you to leave. Either way, you ain't gonna go to jail.
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1537
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What dean_a_jones said. If you were promised a separate shower and toilet area, then stick to your guns. However, it is quite common for the shower to be merely that: a shower head connected to a water heater and limited space usually near the toilet, to bathe, all draining (hopefully!) from the floor. Chinese maintenance usually leaves a lot to be desired, and ideas of what is clean and presentable vary as well.

Stick to your guns, but don't lose your temper. Come across as a enthusiastic, professional teacher and they will probably fix up the apartment or find you a better one. If this is the only problem with the new job, and if they seem to be addressing it, then I would prefer to stick around. If you get major attitude from them over your "unreasonable demands" then it might not be your only problem there. Good luck.
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kungfuman



Joined: 31 May 2012
Posts: 1471
Location: In My Own Private Idaho

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to FIRST decided if you want to stay there( as a teacher in the school - not the hotel). If your answer is yes then you have to calmly have a frank discussion with them about how important proper living conditions are to you. Don't yell or threaten anyone just make your expressions and feelings known. Don't agree to live in the hellhole again and impress on them the pictures you were sent by them were a factor in your decision to agree to work there.

Tell them that this can be fixed easily by moving you into a (much) nicer apartment on campus or off campus.

Making threats or running is not the wisest choice. And no, no one will call the police on you over this matter or if you leave.

So TRY to be diplomatic in your approach if you really want to stay there.

If not, then if you want to stay in China or that city then start looking for a new gig while you live on their dime in the hotel.
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and while all this is going on, you still have only 30 days to apply for
your residence permit.

applying will involve turning your passport over for xxx days.

during this time, no running possible.
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kungfuman



Joined: 31 May 2012
Posts: 1471
Location: In My Own Private Idaho

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^ Nath never mentioned what type of visa he has.
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nathrodgers



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. I have a z visa, so I will have to hand my passport over. I'm, meeting the school administrator on Monday at 8am as he wants to take me to the medical check. However, I have not signed the hard contract yet, and I will not until living conditions are satisfied. Thanks for the tips re the flat, I will use that kind of language,
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xiguagua



Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 768

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dunno.....the whole thing sounds kinda normal to me. Concrete floors, I guess not so normal as i've had tile and wood floors, not that it matters insulation wise since there is none with concrete walls. Shower draining into toilet normal, most hotels, Chinese peoples homes are like this assuming it's a squatter and not a western toilet. That's weird and I'm not sure how that works if it's a western toilet.

I'd complain about getting the sink fixed at least so it's not drained by a hose. I dunno, doesn't sound THAT terrible/abnormal. My place atm is pretty bad in that there's no furniture and my clothes have been on the bed and in the suitcase since I got here.....but that doesn't bother me for some reason. Makes clothes more accessible!
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3233

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kinda off topic, but every private Chinese home I've EVER been in has a Western toilet. I was told that the Chinese toilets are almost always only in public facilities.
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