Make sure to get that contract

I am from Canada, and I have been teaching here for 6 years part time. Most of the time my contracts are there, everything is great and work is fine. I just arrived to start my teaching time here in Thailand and was offered a 5-week intensive training contract in Trang. My specialty is hospitality. The intensive program was in Hospitality Training at the big resort outside Trang.

The school offered me the job over the phone and by email. We talked several times and I felt good about it. They asked me to get to Trang ASAP, so I bought a train ticket with no offer to help with the cost. Then the school said oh, you need to fly here please. I said the ticket was expensive, so they offered to pay half. But didnt mention that I would lose half the cost for the train ticket. I arrived 5 days after accepting the job. The school was to source or arrange for an apartment. When I arrive there is nothing set up, the whole day is spent looking for an apartment for 5 weeks, the school seems annoyed that I would like to have a fridge in the apartment as nowhere seems to offer a fridge. I finally settle on buying a cold box. I pay for 1 month plus deposit. I feel a bit put off that they didnt offer to pay for the apartment if I fulfilled the contract...Oh the contract...Still didnt sign anything, still going on we do in Canada, because people dont rip you off in the work environment. The wages were discussed, hourly and for the total program. But when I calculated it, the wages were much less then what I was being told. I was feeling this HAD to be dealt with. So when the Thai boss was alone I showed her the calculation and said this is 250 baht per hour by your way, not 350 baht an hour...oh, she said..yes, well the school has added more people and were losing money on the contract..its okay you work for 250? I said no, not really, you promised 350 several times and in BKK before I left, now I am here its not fair you change the wage. I said you should honour the original agreement. She thought about it a bit and said okay.

The next day she gave me the contract to be signed, it was very unclear about hours of work, details of the teaching schedule and very one sided. All the clauses were about things not done by the teacher, like not going to work, or swearing in class, but nothing about the school not giving me materials to teach, or the school witholding salary..etc. I felt uneasy about one particular read that if for any reason, any reason at all that the client cancelled the contract, so would my agreed contract for 5 weeks pay also be cancelled.

I meant to bring it up, but then things got faster and faster and the school had clearly stated they would provide the lesson plans, not me. On Sunday night at 8 pm I am told they didnt make a lesson plan and did I have any ideas? Tomorrow is the first day of the program, the first day to impress the client, and the school has done absolutely nothing..again..strange feeling...I pull together some ideas and try to get a good rest, I am teaching the entire day from 9 am to 5 pm.

I arrive at the school with the husband of the Thai who is from England, I am from Canada. We do have differences in our speech. The students are slow to arrive and I only have 5 out of 20 students. I am starting a warm up with greetings. The husband's boss starts rolling his eyes and shaking his head as he observes me. This was what he said he was doing for the day...observing my teaching to offer support or changes at the end of the day..I feel disrupted everytime I look over his way, he is showing disapproval all the time.. I have only been there 20 minutes. Next thing, he gets up and takes problem, I dont me what you would like..BUT the part that gets me is he teaches the students to say:

What duh yuh do?...Not...What do you do?...he tells the students there is no need to pronounce everyword..just say the sentence quickly and people will understand?

Really?...The second class starts and I begin the warm up again, students are shy, afraid, not ready and I like them to warm up with English greetings and feel relaxed and ready to learn. This time the husband comes up and starts to tell me in front of the entire class that I am doing a very poor job and to stop the lesson right now and go to a work sheet. I refused. I told him the lesson was a 2 minute warm up and the students could finish first and we would go to the worksheet next. Then the husband said, well I think your finished right now...and I said no, I will finish the class and then you can take over or do what you want. He said fine, your fired.

So I am now with an apartment rented for one month, no income, no proper discussion about anything, just paid to come all the way here, didnt sign the contract or ask for one first in Bangkok, but came here on faith, only to be fired within 2 hours of the first day..and you know what happened??? They fired me, because the client demanded they find a hospitality NES, they did, and then fired me, so they could say that they would teach the course and pocket the whole contract themselves..the whole thing was just a big fat lie and I was the dumb one for not getting the contract dealt once again teachers...get the contract first.


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