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GT's "I want to quit my job thread"
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:15 pm    Post subject: GT's "I want to quit my job thread" Reply with quote

I want to quit my university job at the end of this term despite the fact the contract lasts until June 30th for a laundry list of reasons. I have worked several years in China and this is the first time Iíve wanted to leave a school early. While there are a number of issues that I consider to constitute an unsuitable living and working environment, Iíll try to just list the major ones.

I was recruited by a FAO with reasonable English who made a number promises and one week after school began she informed me she was going to another city to work on her masters degree. This left a FAO office of ineffective English communicators to work everything out through my co teacher, including relaying simple messages like ďcome pick up your payĒ.

The contract I signed stipulates 150KW of electric per month in the contract. I looked that up and knew it was a very little bit and when I asked the former FAO about it she clearly stated that I never had to worry about it and that the foreign teacher was never charged electric bills. Now the new FAO is asking for moneyÖ go figure.

The apartment is the smallest I have ever lived in, it does not have a living room and the bedroom cannot fit a full sized bed. The FAO promised I would be satisfied before I arrived and and never bothered to mention that it was actually a dormitory sized apartment. Around me are students in the other apartments that teachers have rented out because they do not want to live there. Less than five meters away from my windows is a makeshift farm that the locals are burning randomly causing lingering smoke for all hours of the day. I once had my windows in the afternoon and woke up with a cloud of it in my bedroom.

The city I live in is just ridiculously small and undeveloped. There are no other colleges or foreigners in the city and the students in this school are ridiculously over scheduled in a way that I never yet encountered in China, they literally have zero free weekends and evenings so hanging out with students is also out. Lastly, my school employs one other foreign teacher, he is seen so rarely that it debated that he actually exists. He socializes with absolutely nobody., in short my social life is nonexistent and Iím feeling isolated, Iím also drinking a lot more than I would like recently with no good excuse for it I just feel depressed here.

Ok, so the number one issue is that my visa expires on June 30th. The last day of school is not even until July 7th. I have had visas that expire in August every year and Iím furiously upset with this school for expecting me to either have a new visa or be out of the country within a day or two of final exams. While they themselves took all summer to get the medical FEC and new resident permit for me. I have tried to talk to them about this and they gave me the glazed over eyes, polite half smile and said they could not do anything about it. I really want to purchase an airline ticket to travel home this summer, I have not been home in two years and I for once actually miss my home and family. However doing this and trying to arrange a new visa for June 30th is really stressing me out. I donít feel comfortable buying a ticket for say July 30th when I donít know exactly how a new school would handle renewing my resident permit. I think if I switched schools during the break I could get a new visa that would expire in August fairly easily in a more desirable location.

In summary, Iím currently living in the smallest Chinese city I have ever lived in, working in the smallest school I have ever taught in, staying in the smallest apartment and sleeping in the smallest bed Iíve ever had since I was 10. I have the smallest social circle Iíve ever had in a city with no foreigners and no other options (no clubs, no other colleges, universities) with a school that is operated on par as a local high school despite its prestigious name. Iím having a hard time coping here despite several years of living in China, I feel a lot of stress about the visa and I just think I would be better off somewhere else next term.

Feedback appreciated.


Last edited by GeminiTiger on Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The good news: there's a long holiday coming up in another five or six weeks. Spend the holiday looking for new work and traveling or doing anything as long as it's somewhere else. If you don't find new work over the holiday then head back to the place you are now and knock off the last few months of the contract. You've been in China quite awhile so I'm pretty sure you're up to it. During that time focus on finding new work. Having something to look forward to can make living in hell a lot more bearable. I once lived in such a place so I know what you're feeling.
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My plan is to prepare a resignation and and start searching job offers, I think it would not be difficult to find a job because for 1 term I would go to places I wouldn't normally consider (BJ,SZ,SH).. for a change of pace.

These next 30 days I will make a decision but I will be prepared to quit after December 20th (the next pay cycle).

If they play nice and make my transition to a new school as easy as possible, I will stay until the end of term and hand in grades.

If they don't play nice, well let's just say I don't think they want this option.
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milkweedma



Joined: 19 Nov 2006
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get the heck out of there! Life's too short to put up with so much misery!
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creeper1



Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 213
Location: Beijing, China

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:39 pm    Post subject: no idea Reply with quote

+1 to the above comment.

I got depressed just reading that story. You are lonely. You can't even hang out with the students. Time to get out. Us humans need social interactions.
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choudoufu



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

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

do it. quit. better than diving off the roof.
check your contract for breach penalties, know what to expect.
maybe offer to help find a replacement?

when will you tell them your decision? probably better to let
them know in time to complete the visa arrangements for
your replacement......unless you think telling them will cause
extreme unpleasantness.
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zactherat



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also agree with above. Leave. Sometimes you just have to put yourself first. But this:

Quote:
If they don't play nice, well let's just say I don't think they want this option.


won't get you anywhere. you don't have any leverage.

Keep their oral English grades?
- they'll just make them up.

No teacher for classes?
- They already have the students' money.

Plan your exit, but don't get any delusions about teaching the admin a lesson. They don't care. They're already dining out on your showing up. It's you that has been taught a lesson.
Turn that into something positive - don't get caught up like this again.

Why on Earth did you go there anyway?
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zactherat wrote:

Plan your exit, but don't get any delusions about teaching the admin a lesson. They don't care.


Of course your right to some extent, and I don't have delusions teaching Chinese administrators-- lol-- but I think Chinese care something about face, especially when the cost to them is so little.

It is better to have me finish the term than not. It is better to get grades than not. It's better if I don't sling shit on my QQ blog that has over 300 of this schools students who able to read it, it's better if I don't post on teaching sites what a miserable hole this place is (for them).

Again, the cost to them is little so, I think they will see it my way.

Also, about a breach penalty, I'll simply remind them that as a foreigner living in China for 8 years I'm the most qualified expert available to decide what is suitable living and working conditions, and I say they are not. The very nature of this clause is subjective and opinion based. What Chinese person can claim to expertly pronounce that I have a suitable environment? -- Exactly nobody!

As an aside-- after living here for 3 months and after posting this thread for 1 day-- I met 2 foreigners in a coffee house downtown. Nice guys who made living here a lot more comfortable in just one hour of conversation before one of them had to go teach a private. Just a bit of native communication, perspective and understanding did a lot to make everything a lot more bearable here.
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zactherat wrote:


Why on Earth did you go there anyway?


Im also interested in hearing this.

Most 'complaints' I have seen/read are often a case of people accepting jobs I would never consider ... so Im not surprised they have problems. Interested to know why you took this job GT.

But as an aside ... Because I also think you should get out of this job asap. Its not good to stay somewhere you are going to be really unhappy. Not good for you, and ultimately it will end up showing in the class too IMO.
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took the job because it's close to two major places of interest for me and because the name of the University far outweighs the reality. I'm not willing to say the exact name of the place at the moment, but according to it's namesake is should be a decent University of good size. Some of the new students I have talked 'about school life' have told me they also thought the place should be great based on the name. Everyone is disappointed.
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maxand



Joined: 04 Jan 2012
Posts: 257

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeminiTiger wrote:
I took the job because it's close to two major places of interest for me and because the name of the University far outweighs the reality. I'm not willing to say the exact name of the place at the moment, but according to it's namesake is should be a decent University of good size. Some of the new students I have talked 'about school life' have told me they also thought the place should be great based on the name. Everyone is disappointed.


GT, can you name the city?
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kungfuman



Joined: 31 May 2012
Posts: 1476
Location: In My Own Private Idaho

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeminiTiger wrote:
but I will be prepared to quit after December 20th (the next pay cycle).



try to stick it out till after the long vacation - assuming you get paid for it and assuming you get 4-6 weeks off. Why throw away free money?

Also explain to the new fao that the former fao told you not to worry about the electric bill. have you EVER got a detailed usage summary? An official one? Chances are you didn't because they really can't provide one.

Small apartments really bite. Living next to a burning mess is not a good life.
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chinatimes



Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
However doing this and trying to arrange a new visa for June 30th is really stressing me out.


My understanding is that they have to cancel your FEC if you want to get a new school (you get a new one with the new school, right?). Are you saying you just want to travel around China?

Quote:
try to stick it out till after the long vacation - assuming you get paid for it and assuming you get 4-6 weeks off. Why throw away free money?


You can move that free money to the summer holiday where you would not get any unless you re-signed for another year (which we are safe to say won't happen in this case.) So, if there is a good job offer now at another school, it might be better to get that straightened out, move and then go home for a visit. Return with a year contract already sorted and then you'll get the "free money" later.
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kungfuman wrote:
[
try to stick it out till after the long vacation - assuming you get paid for it and assuming you get 4-6 weeks off. Why throw away free money?

Er, the reason I would tell them on December 20th is so that they would have a chance to hire a new teacher for the next term. I'm doing this in large part because I want my FEC cancelled and I need a reference letter. If I wait until February to tell them that I'm not coming back they are going to be in a tough spot and a lot less likely to oblige me. Yes, I could simply go to work somewhere else but in order to renew my visa at my next job I need a degree of cooperation from the last employer. I'm less concerned with free money and a lot more concerned about down the road problems.

chinatimes wrote:
Quote:
However doing this and trying to arrange a new visa for June 30th is really stressing me out.


My understanding is that they have to cancel your FEC if you want to get a new school (you get a new one with the new school, right?). Are you saying you just want to travel around China?


The original condition of my visa expiring on June 30th means I somehow would have to plan a summer holiday, move all my gear, have a new job and new visa arranged at the same time I'm supposed to be giving finals.
I consider this impossible, I'm just not that organized. If I change jobs I want my FEC cancelled so I can get a new visa that lasts until August or longer, so that I can actually have a nice summer holiday, but tickets now and not worry how hell to manage it all.
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chinatimes



Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
have a new job and new visa arranged at the same time I'm supposed to be giving finals.


Isn't that the same now? At a university, finals are in December. I am sorry, I don't see how this issue makes it more difficult.

Perhaps, the weather is a concern? It will just be too hot in summer?

A school would process a new residence permit in either situation, now or summer.
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