Ajarn.com can go to Hell

Ajarn.com can go to Hell

You can please some of the people some of the time

Recently we sent out a teachers newsletter to let people know about all ajarn's latest developments and news. Although a lot of the feedback we get is complimentary, this letter from Dave Bryant proves that it's not always a bed of roses running the ajarn.com office. This e-mail was totally genuine. My responses (or in some cases comments) are in bold italics.

Hi. As you have contacted me, I thought I may answer you, and tell you what I think of Ajarn.

Thanks a lot Dave. It's always nice to get feedback.

On the basis that you might just actually reply to this, I am sending you a copy of an email I sent to the BBC. They did a feature on internet distance learning schools - schools that feed naive potential teachers to you. You are part of what I suspect is a ‘gravy train'

(So reading between the lines and having read the e-mail that Dave sent to the BBC, Dave has obviously got the hump over on-line TEFL course providers who promise teachers that if they spend a measly couple of hundred bucks on a TEFL certificate that a half-blind, half-daft chimpanzee could acquire, the teaching world is their oyster. You'll be literally beating off potential employers with a shitty stick. Dave has found this not to be true so he's chosen to blame ajarn.com for it. Er.....thanks Dave)

Just for your interest Dave, no one feeds teachers to me. I don't employ teachers. Period. I have done some recruitment for overseas organizations in the past but those organizations have never been in Thailand.

But I doubt you will reply, because just like so many Thais you just won't be bothered to reply - you ignored so many emails I sent to Ajarn and I even tried to contact you many times by phone, but no one ever answered.

Dave, I think you've been at the cooking sherry. Firstly, you never ever had my phone number so you couldn't have called me once - let alone ‘many times'. And I have never ignored ‘so many e-mails' from the same person in my life. If you called the phone number that we used to display on the ajarn jobs page, you would have spoken to one of our full-time call center girls. Yes, they would have completely ignored your calls because after all, that's what we paid our call center staff to do.

I have just spent a year in Bangkok trying to find work as a teacher.

That's a hell of a long time Dave. I think most people in your shoes would give up after several months.

I want you to know that now I am back in the UK after leaving Bangkok a week ago, I am going to do as much as I can, to dissuade graduates to going to Thailand to look for work and certainly not to trust or use Ajarn.

I keep scouring the BBC website to see if there's a story about a guy marching up and down outside universities with a placard or chaining himself to the railings outside the Dean's office but I haven't seen such a story yet.

Whilst in Thailand - I found nothing but rudeness, greed, racism and corruption. I was even robbed of £400 by Thai Airport Police as they found an administrative error made by Hull Thai Embassy, in regard to my one year visa.

Yes, rudeness, greed, racism and corruption do exist in Thailand. They don't exist in the UK of course and you wouldn't believe how difficult it is to keep a straight face as I type that out. I'm genuinely sorry that you were robbed of four hundred quid by the airport police. I think you were genuinely unlucky because I have flown in and out of Bangkok dozens of times and I don't think I've ever seen an airport policeman. Do you mean immigration officer? - One of those officers who spotted a mistake with the visa when you left the country but didn't see the mistake when you entered? Now that's just bizarre.

Far be it from me to make assumptions but four hundred pounds is about 20,000 baht, which also just happens to be the maximum fine for overstaying your visa. You did remember that you just can't stay in Thailand indefinitely right?

I dutifully used Ajarn's web page to try to find work both in international schools, ESL training schools and universities.

Good man!

I emailed, rung, sent letters and made personal visits, but found only rudeness, arrogance and contempt by senior teachers and education officials to me trying to find work.

That's funny but when I call up advertisers and they think I am a teacher looking for work, they couldn't be nicer. Perhaps you weren't putting on your best telephone voice or maybe there's a slight possibility that the tone of your e-mail communication comes across as a little abrupt.

I thought I knew the Thai culture, as I have been married to a Thai for five years and visited Thailand many times, and before my recent experience I was very fond of Thailand.

Sadly Dave, it doesn't always follow that someone who has been in a country for years automatically becomes an expert on that culture. It's possible for someone to be immersed in a culture for a long time and still be a complete cock.

But worse of all, I found that much of my efforts over a 3-month period using Ajarn was a complete waste of time, as most of the adverts placed on Ajarn, which I assume are paid for, have in fact already gone and a teacher had been already appointed.

Some of the ads on ajarn.com are paid for and some aren't. Your assumption that ‘most job ads' on ajarn.com are paid for is wrong Dave I'm afraid.

Call me old-fashioned Dave, but I don't think paying to display a job ad on ajarn.com for a position that has already been filled makes a great deal of sense. Do you? And believe it or not, it is not against the law to fill a teaching vacancy by word-of-mouth or perhaps even offer it to a walk-in applicant. Then again - perhaps you saw the ad, applied for the job - and you were just too late. It does happen you know. But to happen to someone for a whole year (as it did in your case) would be most unlucky.

I spent a great deal of time, writing letters and crafting my CVs so it was specific for the job I was applying for - a total waste of my time.

Yes, I can understand that.

This happen to me time after time and it was only due to my Thai wife's family who lived in Bangkok, ringing up the schools to be told the position had been taken some time ago - BEFORE the advert appeared in Ajarn

Now you really are losing me Dave. Did you call the schools or did your wife's family call the schools? And how did you or your Thai family know about a job vacancy on ajarn.com before it even appeared on ajarn.com. Will you excuse me while I go and have a lie down?

Ajarn is either incompetent or as I have learnt from painful experience, no farang organisation can survive in Thailand unless it operates as the Thais do, and I expect that is the case I so often found due to the many ‘scams' Thais are so good at.

You really don't like Thailand or the Thais do you? That must be a hell of a burden given the fact you are also married to one.

The placing of adverts on Ajarn will be of some financial reward or favour to some one, but it certainly won't be for the benefit of a teacher seeking work.

Yes. It can sometimes be a financial reward for me, because I get revenue for placing the job ad. It's also a financial reward for the employer because they get to keep the students happy. And I know this might come across as far-fetched but it's also a financial reward for the teacher because it allows them to get a job, earn money and prolong their stay in this land of greed, racism and corruption.

I wonder if you reply, or like the Thais, just dismiss what they don't want to hear.

I did reply to you Dave. I received your e-mail at 9pm and typed out a reply at 6am the following morning. Thank you for your feedback.

These were the main points of Dave's response to my e-mail.

Well thank you for replying, it is a shame that no one at Ajarn replied so quickly and in detail over the nine months I was in Bangkok. Much of what you say is true, I may not be suited to Thailand because I am a very moral person, who believes in honesty and respect - which I stupidly believed I would find, because of my lovely wife and her family.

In terms of replying to general teacher enquiries Dave, ajarn.com is very much a one-man show. There is no one else here but me. I wouldn't say that those teachers I reply to ever get things ‘in detail' though. I don't mind answering a basic question or two but I don't offer time-consuming free consultations I'm afraid.

I think most of us believe in honesty and respect don't we? You make it sound as though Thailand is completely devoid of those characteristics. That is simply not the case.

I don't want to get into a ‘tit for tat' but yes, you are right about the £400, I am still extremely angry, especially as it was a very senior police official who did it to me, with his juniors laughing at my situation. If I had not checked myself, I expect would now be in prison. I did not overstay my one year visa.

No disrespect Dave but how did you know the policeman was ‘senior'. Perhaps you should have filed a complaint if while this ‘senior officer' extorted 400 quid from you, his junior officers wiped tears of mirth from their eyes at your unfortunate predicament. And two other things Dave - firstly I don't think you would have ever gone to prison and secondly, you never had a one-year visa to begin with. A teacher looking for work can't get a straight one-year visa before they come to Thailand. The fact that you thought you held a visa that entitled you to stay for one year in Thailand shows a quite staggering lack of research.

On purchasing my Non-Immigrant B visa, I asked several times by phone and email that I wanted to stay for one year without the need to renew after 90 days or do a border run. I could have not made myself clearer to Hull.

That doesn't stack up Dave. Why would you ask ‘several times'? You would only ask several times if you were unsure so surely it would have made sense to ask another expert. The immigration department comes to mind. And you obviously never looked at that big stamp in your passport telling you what date you have to leave the country by. Sorry Dave - that's just plain stupid and irresponsible.

Apparently they did not send me the standard document, warning you that my one year visa was really a 90 day visa.

They (I presume that's the Thai consulate at Hull) didn't need to. You couldn't even apply for a one-year visa if you had wanted it. What you applied for (and got) was a multiple-entry non-immigrant B. It allows you three months in Thailand and then you have to leave and re-enter the Kingdom in order to get the next three months and so on.

I could give you at least 30 stories, where I initially showed politeness, smile, showing respect which always lead to either being either fleeced, cheated, treated with rudeness and so on. I am by nature a nice guy who has travelled a great deal, but Thais have changed me.

Dave, I think you did the right thing going home when you did. In fact if I were you, I would double-lock the front and back door and never go out!


Seems like a bitter post.

Firstly, it is quite obvious that there was no rip-off, just a misunderstanding concerning the visa. After 90 days Mr. Bryant should have crossed the border to renew his visa. Unfortunately, that did not happen, for whatever reason, and led to the fine and anger.

Secondly, Thai people are gentle, as long as you are. It is wise to remember that in Thailand, about anything is negotiable. Image is of primary importance, and of course, once you lash out there is no turning back. I have been able to be exempted from being fined whereas I should have been, and believe me, this did not happen because I protested. The same goes for corruption

Of course there are agents and recruitment agencies that ride the 'gravy train'. Let it be... It's not my cup of tea.

Finding and landing a job takes some time, but with the right attitude and credentials there is a good chance of landing a job. Some people however , are less lucky than others.

When a foreigner comes to Thailand, he should learn to bend like bamboo. What is right to Western values may not be right to Thai values, and vice versa. Unfortunately, Thai people are not outspoken, and you have to learn to interpret their expressions, as the culture gap creates a whirlpool of misunderstandings.

In this story, there is no right or wrong, and there is no need to hold grudges against or blame one another. Just try to understand and learn from the experience and mistakes :-) One might actually widen his/her horizon.

Good luck to all of you!

By Matthias Van Kerckhove, BE (3rd December 2010)

What a gobshite. I have been in Bangkok seventeen months and never out of work. What I would like to say in defence of ajarn.com, ALL my jobs have come from this website, thank God for ajarn.com. Also, the language schools in the city, ECC, Inlingua, Edufirst, etc etc...are ready to take you on. What's wrong with that Dave dude is his attitude, lose the pathetic UK attitude and humble yourself. I've done that, I love the Thai people I have met and made friends with, I absolutely adore Bangkok. Buddy I feel sorry for your Thai wife, God bless you lady.

By Wendy Livesey, Bangkok (25th October 2010)

Surely not? Things must have eased off an awful lot over the granting of Thai passports since I was there 5 years ago - and was really married for 6 or so years before I moved back. I hope you are right in your assessment because that would be great news for me but somehow I doubt it.

By David Fahey, UK (14th August 2010)

So Dave asked his wife's family to call the schools for him and they said the vacancy's already been filled. You see, I have this funny feeling that Dave's wife doesn't want him to stay in Thailand. She wants to go back to the UK, so now she's sabotaging his job hunts. Call me negative minded, pessimistic but Dave, if you're "married" to your wife, then you should be able to get a dual citizenship: a UK citizenship and a Thai citizenship. Now why didn't your wife suggest that to you instead of getting you a non-immigration visa?

By J, Bangkok (13th August 2010)

Kanadian, Yes, they are easy to spot. How many times have we seen this type of teacher? LOL

By ralph l sasser, Nashville, Tn. (8th August 2010)

By Ralph Sasser, Nashville - tell him the truth bro. He has no clue ! This is the typical " off the boat teacher " Thai schools want.. enough said

By Kanadian, Jiangxi China (8th August 2010)

D, Bangkok,
WOW! you're a Super Teacher. It's a shame no one is interested in super teachers. As I said, after your ears get dry and you've been in Thailand long enough to know the "ropes", then tell me to chill.

By Ralph Sasser, Nashville, Tennessee (8th August 2010)

Ralph,I have been in Bangkok a year. Cambodia 5 years, Korea 2. I will tell you to chill out now. My students have gone on to go to uni in the UK, Canada, and Australia. They are sharp. They are flexible and persistent than most students in the USA...just as I teach all my students to be. I stand by that.
Chill out sister! hahahahaha

By D., Bang k (6th August 2010)

Well D., Bangkok. Obviously, you haven't been in Thailand long enough to know much about the education system. I can tell you that it SUCKS! After teaching here in Thailand the last 8 years, anyone that hasn't had their head in the sand knows education is very low in the pecking order. Yet, the Thai teachers and directors try to defend the MOE (Minister Of Education). Why wouldn't they? They were educated in the system. Why do you think anyone with the money goes to America, Europe, or other English speaking countries to get an education? When you've worked here long enough to know the system, been around the Thai English teachers that can't speak a word of English, THEN you can tell me "chill out brother."

By Ralph Sasser, Nashville, Tennessee (31st July 2010)

I've taught in the USA, Korea, Cambodia, and now in my first year of Bangkok I can say it is the easiest place I have lived and worked. It has problems, sure, but in the USA the schools are the worst I have worked in with regard to violence, morale, and attitudes, as well as bureaucratic nonsense form the well-educated western politicians and school admin. In Asia things have been great in comparison. Korea was no cake walk, but it is not a violent country, and it is modern. Most of Asia is easy to live in, especially for males. I've traveled a lot in Asia, maybe Thailand is not your cup-of-tea. Chill out brother!

By D., Bangkok (27th July 2010)

This is great. I have been back in the UK for five years now following seven spent TEFLing in Bangkok - if memory serves, I think I did the first ever ajarn hotseat! I understand that sometimes life can get a little frustrating living and working in a foreign land and burn-out is a real threat, and yes, generally, the more flexible you are the better you get on. Whilst I now run a successful recruitment business in the UK and my Thai wife, once a teacher at ISB, is busy undoing all the stereotypes of Thai women people generally hold in the UK, and enjoying spending time with our children, we both miss Thailand and not a day goes by without some reference to it and when we might return there to live again. Part of this unbreakable connection with Thailand now and again manifests itself with a periodic logging on to ajarn.com. Despite the comings and goings of teachers and language schools (my own included), ajarn.com has remained constant for many years. I knew it even back when Ian was running the site and Phil was the Bangkok Mouth (apologies if you still are Phil!) and the forums were lit up with running battles over the usefulness of CELTA between the likes of myself and ajarn-ajahn. Indeed, ajarn.com is a part of the very fabric of the Thai TEFL scene and provides an invaluable service to school teachers and ultimately the students themselves and long may it continue to do so. Nice one Phil.

By David Fahey, UK (14th July 2010)

It's good to see that some expats have found good schools. I have found good students but, it's not common. I myself will never teach in Thailand again. The major difference between China and Thailand is beyond words. I have seen a few others who are now teaching in China ( college, uni etc ) and they all seem to agree. The land of tea is best for me ! LoL

By Kanadian, (5th July 2010)

If the school checked your passport for valid visa. No way you are going to get the job after 90 days.

By T, BKK (5th July 2010)

I have worked in Thailand off and on for 6 years. I utilize the contacts on Ajarn..but I dont make it my job finding bible. I have had success on the site 2 times, but this was checking the site for jobs several times in a day, researching the schools and keeping them on a rotating contact schedule. Just because a country requires English teachers doesnt mean in 1 or 2 days you will get a job. There are peak seasons for hiring, the positions get filled and then a low period. Also if you are stuck on living in one place or area..well so are up to 20,000 other foreign persons of varying English teaching skill sets. I think if you are open to just teaching in Thailand, teaching to students who seek to learn..anywhere, then you will find success. Yes, I lived in some parts of Thailand that went to bed by 8pm at night, didnt rock and roll or have beaches, but the school was so respectful and grateful to have me, the students really came to class with excitement to learn and strived to learn..they felt the opportunity to have a native speaker for English was a way to get the best skill in learning English. More so in questions about grammer or specific casual conversation that a Native speaker may have the immediate answer to. It was these remote towns that people waved at me all the time, parents came up and introduced me to others to say I taught their child, or their child would go running to the parents with a new English phrase..excited to really understand what they are saying...So..utilize Ajarn, find the other websites, talk to Directors for further contacts, make appointments and make a contact circle in the ESL life of all of Thailand...its there, but not just in BKK or Chiang Mai, the 2 highly saturated places for teachers.

Chok dee...good luck

By sweetpea, Canada (3rd July 2010)

Do you see a pattern in your experiences? You were always there, in each one of your experiences. I had the most wonderful time in Thailand.The thing is I have never been treated poorly in the states.People are always very polite and never rip anyone off here in the States. The police are always kind and incorruptible. You might want to avail your self of some insight therapy.

By Alan Bower, States (1st July 2010)

Hey! I really like the ajarn site and visit regularly. Have also enjoyed teaching in Thailand and plan to go back soon. It is very interesting to read the strange experiences others have had in Thailand. I had a very good experience with a big chain school outside Bangkok. Was it weird? Yes sometimes it was. however is that not a part of why we teach abroad?

By Thomas, USA (1st July 2010)

I read ajarn.com almost daily and I hope many other foreigners who are teaching in Thailand ( not me ), use this site to monitor schools. After all, if you see a school or schools requiring teachers every three months, and perhaps they require 5 or 6 teachers.. You know why... Run baby Run !

By Kanadian, leaving soon (28th June 2010)

Hmmmm. First you said you had paid staff then you said it was you and only you who replied to inquires. I myself do not like the ajarn site. I think it is a waste of time and TIME for anyone really wanting to teach English here in Thailand. Just get out there with your docs and a smile...good luck.

Phil says "our paid staff were call center girls. Their job was to advise Thai customers who couldn't speak a word of English on how to post job ads and how to use the resume database,etc. They had nothing to do with the written content of ajarn.com and nothing to do with answering general teaching questions. I was referring to general teaching enquiries when I used the word 'enquiries'. I'm sorry that you don't like the site but you can't please all of the people all of the time. A lot of teachers find ajarn very useful. Some don't. That's the way it is"

By phd, Thailand (28th June 2010)

Just a quote of the exchange where AJARN got it wrong:

This happen to me time after time and it was only due to my Thai wife's family who lived in Bangkok, ringing up the schools to be told the position had been taken some time ago - BEFORE the advert appeared in Ajarn

Now you really are losing me Dave. Did you call the schools or did your wife's family call the schools? And how did you or your Thai family know about a job vacancy on ajarn.com before it even appeared on ajarn.com. Will you excuse me while I go and have a lie down?

What Dave meant was that the job had been taken before the ad appeared, i.e. the employer posted the ad for publication on ajarn, then filled the vacancy separately, then the ad appeared on ajarn.com, then Dave read it, then his family called ,,,,, and so on.

As to the rest, I'm with AJARN. A hilarious read, nevertheless, thanks for the entertainment.

By ulf, bangkok (19th June 2010)

Dave, I am sorry you have had such a bad experience and feel so much anger towards Ajarn.com. I feel it is misplaced.
My experience of job hunting was much different from yours. I applied for 2 jobs, one on ajarn and the other on another website. I presented myself in person as suggested by the ads and I was offered both jobs. I took the ajarn one at Mataneedol, KK, it is a great school with really great experienced and friendly staff, Thai and farang. You have missed a wonderful opportunity to experience the joy of living and working in Thailand. Teaching young Thais is great, the little "scamps!"
All the best to you in the UK.

By Allan, Khon Kaen (18th June 2010)

It's easy to see why UK Dave couldn't find a job. Had his wife's family calling schools? That will really make the director want him. (sic) Obviously the man doesn't like Thais or Thailand. It's good that he went back to where he needs to be.
I have always found Ajarn.com as a needed resource for finding a job. With the exception of one, every job I have had came from Ajarn.com. Philip has always been friendly and as helpful as he could be. What dumb nuts doesn't make sure of the date his visa expires? Unless of course your wealthy and it doesn't matter if you pay a 20,000 over stay fine.
I too have flown in and out of Thailand dozens of times and never had any problems with the police or immigration. In fact, they have all been very friendly and helpful.
UK Dave surely needs to stay in the UK because they are the only ones that will put up with him.

By Ralph Sasser, Nashville, Tennessee (18th June 2010)

Tangential to one point made by UK Dave, there is an issue about the posting of part-time jobs ads on ajarn.com. You can't work unless you have a non-immi B visa. You can't get a non-immi B visa without a school's sponsorship. Sponsors will not hire you unless you commit to full-time work, normally with an exclusivity rider in the contract. How do teachers get around the visa issue to take part-time jobs? I've heard various stories but all solutions seem to be technically illegal. So - is it irresponsible of ajarn to post part-time job offers?

By Tewee, Malaysia (18th June 2010)

I'im with ajarn.com definitely, Dave appears to be unemployable even by his lack of admission. i was a mechanic for 25 years got a tefl at a weekend course in '06 came here a month and a half ago and got a part time teaching job by word of mouth and nil teaching experience as such other than instructing apprentices.
Dave you married a thai lady years back but know nothing essentially of this lovely country? i'm guessing you might be one of the many who can just about say khorb khun khrap? and badly at that. Thais are generally nice people who will help if they can, the corruption/rascism ive found is in the bus companies who use the "oh walking atm/farang" pricing system, i was turned over just the other day travelling to buriram my bus was 50bt the same bus the next day going the other way was 29bt so his som tam was on me that night i guess haha.
My visa was also from hull and they explained in great detail about visa exit and reentry every three months, you're just not ready for NASA at this time in your life.
for the record 9 holidays over five years and i speak good Thai i'm told all of which is self taught.
Enjoy the UK personally i love the kingdom of Thailand

By khun rob, isan (18th June 2010)

I strongly believe someone is extracting the Micheal out of you as I’ve live and worked here for over 5 years and never met anyone that stupid and I have met a lot of first class plonkers but never anyone who cannot get any sort of teaching job or who doesn’t understand the rules of Thai visas

By Jimmy, (17th June 2010)

Jessica - you do have a point. I think Dave's problem with his visa was the embassy in the UK didn't advise him of the 90 day run... shit happens ! EXPENSIVE but still the same, shit happens.... I was just advised last night from a good friend of mine, he handed in his 30 day notice. He quit.. Oh yea, he's been working at the same school for 4.5 years. Why did he quit, his terminology was " it's not worth it "

By Kanadian, (16th June 2010)

Hi, just wanted to say that when I applied for a few different teaching jobs that were advertised on Ajarn a few years ago, I had no problem getting two part-time jobs within a week. They were fairly good jobs with fairly good salaries and lasted me up until I left Thailand. I think there must be good reason why this guy couldn't find a job even though he looked for a year...

By Jessica, Australia (15th June 2010)

I'm sorry Phil. I must agree with Dave on many issues. As many expats in Thailand or no long in Thailand. I have found many Thais to be below ( to be nice let's say below par ). The Thai teachers or the vast majority don't give a hoot ! They are just picking up their pay check. Thai admin staff and deans - lazy dogs ! Thailand for many people has become a liability in many ways.... In short, I'd sooner sleep on the beach then work in Thailand. As King Rama the IV said, " Thailand is good, Thai people, not so good" I guess this is why it's called a 3rd world

By Kanadian in China, resting on the beach (15th June 2010)

Oh my God,What is Dave's favorite whine? Answer; I don't wannnaa worrrk. I have done minimal advertising in my area with a "flyer" written in Thai and now have new clients calling daily and most of my schedule is full. Attitude is everything Dave.

By Daniel, praram 6 rd. bangkok (15th June 2010)

Sorry Philip but i cannot believe this e-mail! I strongly believe someone is extracting the Micheal out of you as I've live and worked here for over 5 years and never met anyone that stupid and I have met a lot of first class plonkers but never anyone who cannot get any sort of teaching job or who doesn't understand the rules of Thai visas.I think that Dave is having a laugh at your expense!!

By Steve, Bangkok (15th June 2010)

Oh dear! those terrible Thais. There's always one isn't there. When in Rome do as the Romans is an expression that comes to mind. If you try to live like you do in your own country, then you are going to come a cropper. Thais can be annoying but so can we foreigners, and lets not forget it is their country after all. Speaking from personal experience I have never been without a job here.
Dave I feel really got the wrong end of the stick from the very start, he was either very naive or just plain daft. Anyone with half an ounce of common sense would have researched a big step like moving to another country in much greater detail.
Thailand is far from being a perfect country, but that is a lot of its attraction. Anyway now Dave's back in England will the jobs market change because of his email to your good self, I very much doubt it.

By Steve, Bangkok (14th June 2010)

Hey guys! What are you all saying and doing to Dave? I must say I fully agree with Dave Bryant on all or at least most of his claims here. (little Joke hahaha). It's kind of like the weather reporter who is never wrong. Just the reporter's timing is wrong but the weather always turns out exactly the way he/she predicted it would, just not on the same days as predicted. First let's go with this quote:(rudeness, greed, racism and corruption). I agree because I met 3 Thai people who fit this description and I met them all within the last 8 1/2 years. Most Thais have been honest, friendly, kind, sharing and simply great people to be around with. I guess that's why I'm still here after almost 9 years and still enjoying myself more now than ever. Forget it! I just do not have the time to address each claim that I agree with about Dave. So I will just ask all of you if you get my point (please excuse me but I'm trying not to laugh toooo much) be easy on Dave Bryant. After all it's pretty obvious that he is a mentally disturbed unfit indiviual who thinks Thailand and Thais are all the same and he thinks he is 100% right because he claims to be such a nice guy by nature! I only wonder by being so disorientated how he was able to find a lovely Thai wife? Ummm.

By Donald Patnaude, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok (14th June 2010)

It is always amazing to see how far we humans go in justifying and finding scapegoats for our own failures.

From this e-mail Dave appears to be a real nutjob, but in fact he probably is actually a fairly normal guy but in this situation has a strong need to blame someone, anyone, somewhere, anywhere for what he sees as a failure in his life.

Few of us have gone through life without at least one irrational justification for our own failures and/or behavior.

As teachers, how often are we blamed by our students for their failures?
It happens to me quite often, and sometimes there might be some justification in the criticisms of the students, other times the blaming is used by the individual student to maintain his or her self-esteem after an undesirable outcome.

We should understand and try not to overly judgmental of our students who blame the teacher for his or her failure, and we should also try not to be over judgmental on Dave here.

Blaming others is a normal part of human behavior and is probably necessary for all of us to do so from time to time to maintain our own feelings of self-worth, at least for a length of time until we can evaluate our own behavior from a bit more distance.

Being the bad guy, as a teacher of manager, can be of valuable in maintaining your students and subordinates feelings of self-esteem.

Phil is Dave’s bad guy, this is obviously irrational, but still blaming Phil has probably helped Dave get through this episode and move on with his life without tearing himself apart. I suspect a few years down the pike when Dave is a little more secure in himself he will revisit the situation and realize it was not really Phil that caused the problem, but himself.

By Scott, At home in BKK this week (13th June 2010)

12 years in Thailand and 6+ different teaching jobs, 50% of them from ads on Ajarn. Oh, I've sent many more applications and received no response, but (my) perseverence was rewarded.
How many long-stayers have NOT forgotten their visa expiry date, or to get the re-entry stamp? My passport/visa, my mistake, my penalty.
I learned recently that the Thai habit of 'laughing' at Falang misfortune is to cover embarassment at not knowing what to do or say.
Keep up the sterling work Phil!

By Nuttyprof, Pathumthani (12th June 2010)

"Phil’s comments/responses were a bit sarcastic for my liking for an ajarn cover story. Since this was a business correspondence, I’d have used plainer language without the derisive comments. In a business letter, that’s the better practice"

To be fair Guy, these were not the actual comments and responses that I sent to Dave Bryant in my initial response to him. I was far less sarcastic. I've only upped the sarcastic tone to add a bit of color to this article and to probably say what I really wanted to say. Dave Bryant's statements have not been changed by the way. These are still his exact words (less the correction of the odd grammar and spelling mistake)

I welcome negative feedback on ajarn.com, I really do, but when a lengthy e-mail is nothing but groundless accusations and basically 'a pack of lies' then I defend my corner. I would like to think anyone would.

By philip, (12th June 2010)

Ah, the magic 'one year visa' fools many who first apply for it. Although it has to be said it is ambiguous and should be made clearer by the consulates who issue it.
Instead of putting his misunderstanding down to experience, Dave goes on a rant about how people are dishonest and deliberately misleading.He believes that his polite and respectful nature,however disingenuous that may be, will get him around the rules.

By Timbo, Bangkok (12th June 2010)

Frankly speaking I'm a bit surprised that somebody blames ajarn.com for not being able to get a job or all the difficulties faced in the country....

By Waniphok, Lulea (12th June 2010)

That's hilarious!!! :o)

By ScorpioPower, T'land (12th June 2010)

Dave needed to look at his immigration stamp on entering Thailand. Certainly, his wife could have helped him understand the 90 day reporting requirement since she is Thai, but the responsibility was his as well. As far as a job goes, no one owes anyone a job, especially in a difficult economy. The ajarn.com jobs board makes no express or implied guarantee of finding a job by making use of this free service. The same goes for craigslist and every other on-line newspaper 'help wanted' section. I don't understand the sour grapes there, especially since the job market is miserable in the UK now, too. Phil's comments/responses were a bit sarcastic for my liking for an ajarn cover story. Since this was a business correspondence, I'd have used plainer language without the derisive comments. In a business letter, that's the better practice.

By Guy, home (12th June 2010)

Actually.......despite his relative ineloquence..it is quite easy to see where the original author D.B is coming from, so it's not very nice to try to humiliate him - especially when the forum is your very own! ;-)
Without justifying any of his comments, I think I can see where the frustration, negativity and feeling of hopelessness begin.....
Over the last 6/7 years that I have become (fairly) familiar with the Thai "educational" system:
-Salaries have stagnated/regressed.
-Quality of schools/school staff/school attitudes to farang teachers have plummetted.
-BKK (and probably other parts of Thailand) has become much more expensive.
-I have seen many farang consolidate themselves in "middle" positions - then begin to handle other foreigners as though they believe themselves to be (now)Thai.
-Students are now immune to ridiculous turnover rates - which allows schools to hire and fire at will....not very sensible....
-A steady influx of "cheap" labour from the Phillipines et al.
-The increasing usage of (illegal) financial means to bully new teachers, i.e making them pay deposits or deducting amounts from their salaries to "give back" at the end...etc etc.
-The tendency to seemingly employ teachers that schools feel "can be trusted" (i.e that tend to piss away/porn away their monthly salary) because they know they are in Thailand for the long run ?!?!?!?!

All in all, I think we all love Thailand as a geographical entity, and sometimes even for the "warmth" and "friendliness" of the local population (once you can filter the genuine from the fake).
Working in Thailand is steadily becoming a less attractive proposition with every passing year. Is this due to the schools, the teachers or governmental policies?
A disturbing trend is appearing whereby people seem to confess their love of the land, but for some reason or another don't seem to want to work in Thailand anymore.
I think the original post(er) was trying to express himself after coming to this personal cross-roads....don't worry...you are not the first..and you won't be the last.....
Sooner or later all of Thailands "teachers" are gonna feel the same way....I guess when the salary eventually no longer covers the monthly beer/hooker bill.
It does not offer a very glowing tribute to the current state of Thai schools - but from my experience, when given a list of candidates, they often seem to choose their personnel based on very strange reasoning.
This is of course, only an honest personal opinion - and I will not be at all disappointed if no-one else feels there is any substance in it.
I think it is a good idea to discuss the real issues here though - because sooner or later Thailand is going to lose recourse to a lot of "good quality" people...and will be replacing them with the cliched "dirty old-man"...which only makes me feel terribly sorry for the students - I do think they deserve better than that.
Shouldn't schools take some responsibility for not exposing their "high-fee-paying" customers to not quite so many socially-challenged "role-models"? But look to try to employ a few "decent" people too? Or am I from a different century/planet?

Concerned older citizen.

By stevie g, korea (12th June 2010)

Peter, I don't really want these blog comments to turn into a visa FAQ section but to answer your questions
1) It used to be possible to get a multiple-entry one-year non-immigrant B from your home country but I believe many places have tightened up now and the most you will get is a double entry. It's not free. It's about fifty pounds per entry in the UK.
2) There is no such thing as a marriage visa. It's a one-year extension of a non-immigrant visa based on marriage to a Thai. Not the same thing.
Please folks - no more visa questions. We have a seperate section of the website called the visa / work permit FAQ and visa questions are answered there. Thanks.

By philip, (12th June 2010)

Call me stupid, But I didn't think you could get a 'multi entry B visa'? to look for work? If you can, would it be free or cheaper than a married man's visa??) Only if he had an offer of employment, which he could confirm was for one year in a written contract? He could get an O visa due to Thai wife which would allow him to gain employment also. I noticed he did not apply to government schools. Still his return to the UK seems from his letter to be Thailand's gain!

By Peter, Phetchabun (12th June 2010)

An interesting exchange of correspondence. I seem to recall from Thai Visa a poster moaning and groaning about the lack of positions that were suitable to them. One wonders if it was the same person.

In all seriousness I am of the opinion that the complainer would never be satisfied wherever they may be and that the poster expects the world to revolve around him and him only.

Here with a one year visa?

Totally knowledgeable (in his own view ) concerning Thailand ?

I love the implied threat of ''The B'B'C.''

Indeed the complainer is plainly suited for the lucrative position of ''Court Jester.''

Indeed I have not had so much amusement from any article for a considerable length of time.

I laugh,I laugh,I peed myself !!!

By fortesque smythe brown, Samut Prakarn Thailand (12th June 2010)

Ha ha LOL :) That was so funny Phil, and I thought it was only me that got a bad rap from disgruntled site visitors and members. The phrase 'Looking for a Scapegoat' springs to mind! Sorry Dave, but it's easier to blame others for your disappointments and let-downs than you yourself (generally speaking of course). To some extent its human nature I'm afraid. Even world leaders do it!

Having said that, you might want to just look at the palm or your hand when you point the finger of blame! As you do, you will see that there are 3 more fingers pointing right back at you!

I get these kinds of emails almost weekly Phil, or certainly a few every month. Not usually as long as the one sent by our Dave here, but more a short paragraph from annoyed advertisers complaining about how their free ads aren’t converting. They say things like it's my fault for wasting their time. Precious time squandered by uploading ads only for their phone to lay silent. It's my fault for not sending a plethora of Deal Digging Dave's to their handset, all fighting to snatch up their offer of a lifetime.

I don't get into debates, but always respond to every email, usually during the same day, and with civility. For some strange reason, being polite and courteous to irate free advertisers and disgruntled bargain hunters, seems to rile them even more. I've never have been able to get my head around that one!!!

I also get told off for not answering my phone or replying to my emails, when in fact not a single one of the 3,000 + ads on the site belong to me nor do they have my contact details displayed on them. I don't know who these advertisers are any more than those folks who are reading them do. When I explain the site is a free platform built to bring sellers and searchers together in one place, I then get scorned for not pointing this out.

So, I then go on to say that I do point it out on various pages throughout the site, and thus give the home page links to the pages in question. Usually at this point, the mail then stops abruptly and there's no more communication between us.

I wonder if people call up the Bangkok post classifieds (which cost an arm and a leg I hasten to add), and give their advertising department an ear bashing when the contact details in the paper are incorrect, not responded to, or the ads misleading? Hmm! Now there's food for thought! After all, they've only printed what the advertiser told them to print!

Oh well, there's none funnier than folks, especially those in the virtual world. So common are certain gripes, that I now have a standard copy and paste response for most of them. This means that I just have to change the name, and perhaps add a couple of personal lines specific to their electronic protest.

It has to be said though, that these types are in a minority, but they are out there, buzzing around looking for something to sink their teeth into like a mosquito at bedtime.

Of course, no matter how good, or bad, a product or services is, there will always be happy and unhappy campers. With regards to embarking on a teaching career in Thailand, there are those who do okay, there are others who do really well, and there are those who just can't get their act together despite 'their' best efforts. Hey;

Of 100 people who start with a plan today, 80 will drop out within 6 months.
Of the 20 left, 16 will drop out within the next 6 months.
Of the 4 left, only 1 will still be at it 6 months later.
Be that 1.

So there you go Dave. Don't give yourself a hard time for throwing in the towel. As you can see from the above, you are not alone, and perhaps in this case, teaching was just not your forte. Better to have tried and failed, than to have never tried at all, that's what I say ;-) So give yourself a big fat pat on the back for having bloody good go. And may I (and I'm sure others reading here too), take this opportunity to wish you well in whatever it is you move onto next……………..a journalistic career with the BBC perhaps?

By A, Thailand (12th June 2010)

Blimey, Dave's a bit of a card.

By Mr Biggles, Bangkok (12th June 2010)

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