Monthly Archives: July 2013

The new title of the blog will be “Adventures in somewhere”.  This has been a stressful and aggravating summer with regards to my new position.  When I left China I was coming back for August 1st for that high-paying job in Beijing.  I wanted the Zhuhai job but I also wanted the money, and the money was a trip to Australia.  So what went wrong?

The company (Kaplan China) works in cahoots with a company of morons in Beijing who could never figure out what they needed to get me a visa.  Every day there was a new email saying, “we need this, we need that”.  Their excuse for their incompetence was that the rules this year for getting a working visa had changed.  All I know is that if I performed at my job like they did, I’d be out of a job.

It got to the point where I was sending them nasty and insulting emails.  Then I calmed down and even apologized (they didn’t deserve the apology) in the hopes of making things happen.  That didn’t help.  I had bought plane tickets in anticipation of my August 1st start but that wasn’t going to happen so I asked if they were going to reimburse me.  No one answered for 2 weeks and then I got an email that said, “we have to ask the boss and he will let us know”.  Ha, ha.

They sent me a contract to sign and I told them I wasn’t giving them anything until they settled the plane fare reimbursement question.  Then they asked for it again without telling me anything but they had copied another teacher.  I wrote him to see what was happening and he wasn’t a happy camper either.  He found a University in the States that the program in China works with and called them.  He wrote me and suggested I do the same since they seemed rather interested in his story.

I called Northeastern University and spoke to a nice lady who got one of the Kaplan International VP’s to call me.  He seemed reasonable and said he was going to escalate it immediately to his boss who was in Shanghai (their head office).  Their boss did call and said the airfare reimbursement was obvious since it was their fault and I would get it.  I also told him I wanted to be paid from August 1st since that’s what we had agreed to.  He said he needed to discuss it with some people.

The bottom line is he was another scum-sucking liar.  He said his labour lawyers told him it would be illegal to pay me if I wasn’t working at the time.  That must be the only illegal thing in China.  I know there are ways around that but I didn’t want to argue and I didn’t trust any of them so I said I didn’t want the job anymore.  So that job was gone.

While all this crap was going on I still was searching.  Beijing University in Zhuhai wrote me and asked if I were still available, as they had figured out how to do the medical in Canada so it would pass muster in their province.  I told them okay and I got my papers to them and they were very professional and said I would have my documents around the beginning of August to get my visa.  Now I found out that the school year doesn’t start until September 16 and they want us there on September 9th.  I don’t know if I can hold out.  I have to get out of here.  Two months of basically doing nothing except stressing has taken it’s toll.  The other thing they told me was no one would pick us up at an airport but that they would be happy to provide us with directions.  That’s plain inhospitable and wrong.  Therefore, I no longer have good feelings about them but it’s a job in the bag.

I did apply for another job in Wuxi (nice city) in Jiangsu province (nice province) where Jurong was.  It’s a high school program for students who want to go to University in the West.  I would rather do University but Wuxi is nice.  The hours would be longer but it might not be too bad.  I took that job too.

However, they are not sure how to get me there to start work August 15th.  I don’t understand how if the University can get my papers the beginning of August, why these morons can’t.  They tell me not to worry, as they’ll figure it out.  I’m still waiting for them to figure it out.

The money isn’t bad (not as good as the Beijing job would have been), but the job wouldn’t be in Beijing, which is good.  I think I’m leaning towards the higher paying job in Wuxi if they can get me there before August 15th.  I need to get out of here, and I need to start earning money.  I also think it would provide enough money for an Australian vacation.  If they drop that ball, there is the University, which I’m sure I’d like best.  I’m not looking for any other jobs now since I can’t take these “don’t worry, be happy” attitudes of imbeciles who don’t know what they’re doing.

Depending on what develops this week, will determine the rest of this endless summer.  If it works out that it’s the University then we will take a “holiday” around the middle of August.  It will be either a 5 or 6-day cruise (Shujie has never been on one), or an all-inclusive resort in Cuba.  I hate the sun and I hate the beach but it’s got to be better than just sitting in the house.  And since the drinks are free, it does give me a good opportunity to learn alcoholism.

We’ve pretty much seen everyone we should see (which are not a lot of people).  My sister and her family have been great.  They don’t make us feel like intruders but it’s only natural that they are getting sick of us.  But I have the BEST SISTER EVER and her kids (19, 17, and 15) feel almost like they’re my kids, which is weird since my kids don’t talk to me (but that’s another story).

Tonight we’re going out for dinner with someone I used to work with at the hellhole, but he was the salesperson and an almost normal person.  It’s been a couple of years but we’re looking forward to going to dinner with him and his wife.  I’m now stressing over whether I should go overboard and have the lobster or stay cheap.  You only live once (except if you’re me and I seem to live 1,000 lives).

Shujie would rather stay in Canada but I don’t think I could get a job.  I send out the occasional resume but people are so narrow-minded.  So what if I haven’t worked in computers for 2 years but have been teaching.  I think it would be wise to hire a well-rounded personality rather than a narrow-minded one.  Such is life.

I’d work outside of China but I’ve done Korea and I have no desire to work in Taiwan.  I don’t want to work in a Language Academy (school work after you finish school).  Russia has some opportunities but Shujie doesn’t want to go there.  She lived in St. Petersburg for 2 years in the early nineties so I understand.  I’d love to do Africa but the money is just too awful and I had an offer in Afghanistan but there was no plane fare.  I’ve applied in Iraq and Warsaw and other places but nothing was doing there.  South America would be perfect but the money is not good and you have to take care of your own airfare.  If I were very rich, I think I’d do this teaching on a 6-month volunteer commitment in places like Africa and South America.  It would be better than a vacation because you’d learn so much more.  And if we were volunteers, there would be work for Shujie I’m sure.  However, I don’t’ think the lottery is going to drop a bucket of money in my lap.

So we are returning to China at some time in the near future (I hope), and will be in Wuxi or Zhuhai.  I look forward to a good year as I see positives (as well as a few negatives) about either position.  But in both cases the positives outweigh the negatives.

So that’s my mid-summer update which basically tells you nothing except this is been the worst summer of my life in recent memory.  However, if it really is this bad, won’t work at school look that much better when it starts?