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Why are employers in China so awful?
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the lowlander



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 171
Location: The Oort Cloud

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found this in about 30 seconds on the ESL Teachers Board.

1. Recruiters have a terrible reputation.
If you dig into the archives of the TEFL internet, you'll find a wealth of horror stories about wrongs committed by recruiters.

One of the biggest complaints is outright lying- people are promised Hainan and then get shipped to Inner Mongolia, they don't get the promised salaries or benefits, they ask for adults and get kids, and so on. Some recruiters have been reported to confiscate teachers' passports and documents in an effort to force the teachers to accept their situation.

Then, when teachers feel they have been ripped off by their employer, the recruiters are nowhere to be found...or worse, they come down on the side of the school and try to cow the teacher into just taking it.

One of the best known cases is that of "XXXX XXXX", who has worked China for many years under dozens of different names. He's one of the worst of the bullies and liars, and those lies extend to phony "testimonials" from non-existent "expats". I hate to even think how many people have been his victims. As far as we know, "XXX XXX" is still out there setting his traps, under who knows what names...and so are many more dishonest recruiters. So, are you feeling lucky?

Plenty, plenty more where this came from!!
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choudoufu



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

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sure, this here's the wild west, but you can minimize the risks if you
follow the advice found on this board:

-avoid recruiters, deal directly with the school
-work only on a legal z-visa
-get the z-visa before you come to china
-speak with current/former teachers at the school
-ask for photos of the actual housing to be provided
-avoid recruiters
-have sufficient cash for the first three months
-do not accept promises, revise the contract
-keep copies of all correspondence
-read your contract
-avoid recruiters

i'd guess most of those horror stories start with:

"the recruiter said..."
"when i tried to convert my tourist visa...."
"the 'agency' that gets the z-visas said....."
"i didn't read the contract but....."
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:35 am    Post subject: Re: China Reply with quote

the lowlander wrote:

Chinese employers are not unique when it comes to screwing teachers over, but to point at other countries and say well, it happens there too, is not any kind of excuse, and does not make getting screwed over in China any more acceptable.


Id suggested it happens everywhere earlier in the thread ... but yes, you are right ... that certainly doesnt make it acceptable. Generally, and in my own experience, I would suggest the TEFL market in China is not really as bad as it is painted. Of course bad employers and recruiters should be named and healthy discussion about them should be encouraged.

I did also mention I take many comments I read with a pinch of salt. The ESL teachers board which has been referred to is a perfect case in point. One of the most vocal posters there isnt in China and hasnt been for many years yet has incredibly strong opinions about places he has never even visited let alone worked for. I also had another situation on that forum with the craziest ideas and accusations thrown at me for daring to post something open, balanced and positive about an employer of mine.

It is unfortunate to hear about people getting ripped off. I've only met one person in the flesh who has had one of these horror stories with the employer being entirely at fault though. I honestly believe these situations (rip-offs/contracts not honoured etc) are not as common as forums, and some posters on them, would want you to believe.

I have to say I have probably been more disappointed and let down by my fellow FT's than I have by my employers. I dont expect that is a popular view ... but I have met very few FT's that I would be happy to employ TBH. Thats probably another reason why I take a lot of what I read with a pinch of salt ... knowing the calibre of many FT's, I just cant take all their complaints at face value. This is sometimes reflected on the forums too.

A Daves ESL cafe for Chinese employers to post on would surely contain more horror stories about employees, than this one has a horror stories about employers!
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Lancy Bloom



Joined: 23 Nov 2012
Posts: 124
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK here is my story. This fall I was negotiating with many recruiters. Sorry to say this again also. Recruiters have the governments OK for Z visas. I took everyones advice and deal directly with a college. I go to a city about an hour south of Beijing. I get there do an interview because they changed the rules. I had signed a contract did the skype and then they said I must do two demo's. They then offer me a three month contract of a contract that would cover my tourists visa. They did not have the right to hire teachers and give them the Z
I then get back to another recruiter who I had signed five different contracts with. He sends me to a high school in Hunan that had teacher make a run. This job turns out to be 30 hours of teaching a week at three different schools. I spend about four hours a day on a bus. I am constantly be asked to do promotional classes. So my teaching load goes up to over thirty. I am told this is just temporary. I get 4.5 for the month.
I complain and go to another high school with the same Ronald Macdonald routine. No teaching just a song and dance. I met many here in Hong Kong with the same story. You are not teaching you are there for the show and prestige for the parent who can tell their friends that their kid has a foreign teacher
The people running the ESL industry in China are so corrupt that when they die they will have to screw them in the ground.
Look at the leaders of China. Number 1 Xi Jing Ping has his daughter in Harvard. All the princelings have their kids studying abroad. They even change their kids names. They have no intention of making any changes to weed out the corruption. It doesn't affect them. Parents are duped into thinking that their kids have foreigner as a teacher. This foreigner sees their kid in a class of 60 students forty minutes a week. There is no real contact with the teacher. No needs analysis by the teacher. The teacher never gets to know any of their students.
It is just gloss to rip of parents who don't know better.
And when the three months is up on the tourist visa it's austa luego. You lose and there is another sap who falls for the same trap. You come on your dime sign a contract that is never honored.
But there is one last thing. The Chinese worker is even worse off. Anyone complaining Chinese or wai guo is labelled a trouble maker. Remember we can leave they can't
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DirtGuy



Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 529

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lancy,

Sounds like you got put through the ringer and I do not doubt the veracity of what you say.

I am 4+ hours south of BJ and there are 4 of us at this uni plus another 4 or 5 at another uni in the city. None of us here have been through what you describe nor have, as far as I know, the teachers at the other uni. We all got out Z visas before we left home. It sounds like any school that would bring you over on something other than a Z visa is one to be avoided.

DirtGuy
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the lowlander



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 171
Location: The Oort Cloud

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A story here about an unfortunate teacher who met his death in China, along with some advice and commentary from his mother.

RIP.

http://www.teachinginchina.net/
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choudoufu



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

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lancy, maybe i'm not supposed to ask......but do you meet the
minimum qualifications to apply for a z-visa? from your posts,
it seems you've been on tourist visas teaching illegally, moving
from sad contract to sadder contract, for two years.
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wonderingjoesmith



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 910
Location: Guangzhou

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why winding up the messenger?

Javelin of Radiance wrote:
the lowlander wrote:
My previous post is not massive hyperbole.

If you take the time to look, you will find that quite literally, many thousands of people have written about their bad experiences in China.

I call BS on this. Dave's is easily the most well known and most visited site for ESL teachers and the number of complaints on here is miniscule compared to the size of the Chinese ESL market. It's already been pointed out that many of the complaints that do appear here are by the same people or posters who get banned and reappear with a new name but same complaints. There are other ESL sites but with less traffic than this one. If you're aware of thousands of unhappy people posting their complaints online where can we find them? Wouldn't they post their stories where they'd get the widest audience? Your previous post was massive hyperbole.

China can be a minefield for newbies but sites like this one, with experienced members ready to pass on helpful advice, can be the mine detector that helps most people avoid most problems.
Interesting conspiracy theory alongside the nice overview

Quote:
Javelin of Radiance
I hear complaints about working in China everyday. The water went out over the weekend, no-one told me beforehand. Internet was spotty for a few days. Salary was a day or a few days late. Students are unresponsive. I had to work Saturday so I could get the Monday holiday off. I was told I had to go to English corner every week. My apartment is next door to a drum school. My FAO doesn't respond to emails within 48 hours of me sending them. This is typical workplace banter that everyone complains about at some point, but it's not the stuff of awful employers.

Do I hear people complain about working for an awful employer who withholds their salary? Provides a shithole for an apartment? Takes away their passports and refuses to return them? Abuses them verbally or physically? No. Because most employers are not doing these things, and if they were this forum would be lit up with the stories.
What kind of a teacher would have to hear all those complaints? As for “the stories”, the only fireworks I see are from one direction. Perhaps, that’s what is captivating me.
Quote:
Javelin of Radiance
China can be a minefield for newbies but sites like this one, with experienced members ready to pass on helpful advice, can help most people avoid most problems. What this site cannot do is prevent people from making stupid decisions like coming over on the wrong visa and working illegally, or taking a job with terrible conditions that were spelled out in a contract that someone didn't bother to read. I've been on this forum awhile now and I see the occasional job that went pear shaped for someone but not "many thousands" of them.
There’s some truth about the” minefield”, although it seems to be a repetition. Debating the above would not fit the regulations, would it?
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GeminiTiger



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

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been here more than a year, it should be obvious that thousands upon thousands of Foreigners have moderate to severe problems working in China for a wide range of issues.

Dealing with such problems is the ability of people who make it past the first year.
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GreatApe



Joined: 11 Apr 2012
Posts: 424
Location: South of Heaven and East of Nowhere

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would generally agree with the statement in the OP that no "degreed teacher" needs to work at a Language Center. I won't say, however, that "no degreed teacher SHOULD teach at a Language Center" ... it all depends on the teacher, the center, and the employer.

I'm certified with a B.A. and M.A. in English, and I worked at a Language Mill when I first came to China because the principal there was American and I knew I could get my "foot in the door" that way. It lessened the risk I was taking BEFORE I got on the plane! The job wasn't the greatest, but it helped me network and make some good contacts in a variety of different schools in the city where I originally worked. I made some good friends there ... friends that I still talk to via
e-mail, QQ and in person when I go back to that city.

At one point during my Language Mill days, I taught 9 different levels of English per week! ... I taught kindergarten, secondary and middle school students, 3 different levels of Cambridge English, high school students, college students, university English majors, and Business English for Adults.

I made some great contacts that way and could always pick up some extra cash tutoring and teaching one-on-one. I met a Chinese guy who used to pay me 180 RMB an hour to go to lunch with him and talk to him twice a week. He always bought me lunch on top of it. We had English conversation and I helped him with business phrases and grammar for his business communications. He recognized my teaching time was worth something and he was willing to pay me for it. We're friends to this day, and although I am no longer living in the same city and he is no longer my student, we get together and have dinner when I am in the city in which he lives. He's given me some very valuable advice on living and working in China. He's helped me meet people and introduced me to people at universities and colleges.

Having said that, I've also worked for two bosses who were not particularly ethical or wonderful individuals and who basically cared more about the money they made off of me than they did about me. Quite a bit of that goes with the territory.

I guess what I'm saying --from my experience-- there's certainly no ONE WAY to finding a good job here in China. There's generally something good about most jobs and something bad about them too. No job I've had has ever been perfect, but that goes for teaching in America and Mexico as well.

I have what most people would term a GREAT job now, but I still find myself asking if there isn't something better out there. I get frustrated and some weeks are better than others. A lot of that has to do with communication (or a lack of it) and the way in which things are done and "Academic Institutions" here are run or managed. It can be frustrating, but I'll keep working this job until something better comes along, or until I'm ready to run the risk of leaving and --to some extent-- find myself willing to "roll the dice" again. But after three years here now and putting in the earlier ground-work, I feel like I can limit the risk to a manageable level.

--GA
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Javelin of Radiance



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

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the lowlander wrote:
Found this in about 30 seconds on the ESL Teachers Board.

50% of the posts on that "discussion" forum are made by three posters, turnoi (who is a complete hack), and two others named silverboy, and san migs. Posters who write anything praising any employer in the country get shouted down by these three stooges. Sorry but that discussion forum has zero credibility.
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the lowlander



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 171
Location: The Oort Cloud

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know".

Thomas Chalkley 1713.
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teachingld2004



Joined: 17 Feb 2012
Posts: 386

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:48 am    Post subject: China jobs Reply with quote

Guess I am lucky. My job is great.
I am not in a big city, and i wanted it that way.

I was in contact with many universities, and her is why I choose this one:

The boss has great English, and on my third e-mali he gave me he e-main address of a coupe who had been here for 4 years.

they told me that many of the foreign teachers stay, one had been here for 2 years, and one 4. Two had been here for 3 years.

there is some crazy rule that you can not stay more then 5 years. you have to eave for 6 months and you can come back.

There is nothing very exciting to do here, but there is always the bus and the train. travel is not a lot of money.

granted this place is not for everyone. if you want bright lights and a big city,, do not come here.

but we get a good amount of vacation time, and the staff is really nice, and they speak english.

Just check things out as best as you can.

I have worked in Korea and got stuck plenty with some awful bosses.
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the lowlander



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 171
Location: The Oort Cloud

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear "teachingld2004"

You are clearly not a native speaker, and your nom de plume is extremely close to that of a major recruiter based in Guangdong.

Are you one and the same?

If not, you should take a long hard look at your own ability to write in the English language, and maybe leave this profession to those who are properly qualified.

Unfortunately, unqualified "teachers" who could not string a grammatically correct sentence together abound in China, and elsewhere for that matter, and they drive down the salaries and the credibility of genuine EFL teachers in this field.

Role on the coming regulation.


Last edited by the lowlander on Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the lowlander wrote:
Dear "teachingdl2004"

You are clearly not a native speaker, and your nom de plume is extremely close to that of a recruiter based in Guangdong.

Are you one and the same?


Huh?

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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