Teaching in Phuket was a costly mistake

Teaching in Phuket was a costly mistake

I was recruited in Bangkok to teach at a well-known university in Phuket. Unfortunately, I failed to ask myself an important question. That being, "Why would a university in Phuket come to Bangkok to recruit when Phuket has so many teachers?" The answer, of course, is because no one in Phuket wants to work for them. Failing to realize this proved to be a very costly mistake. My meeting with the school representative involved promises of two incentives. The first was being able to live in an apartment on campus and the second was a guarantee of overtime (work after 15 hours) to make up for the below average salary of 35,000 baht. In Phuket you need at least 40,000 baht to live in the corruption. The school's representative also boasted that many corporate hotel contracts become available so teachers may earn extra money (you find out that it's for pathetic wages).

My investment to move to Phuket involved losing an apartment deposit in Bangkok (7000baht), paying for a non-B visa run to Penang Malaysia (3000 baht) and then losing another apartment deposit to leave Phuket (7000 baht). Then I had to pay another apartment deposit to relocate to Bangkok (7000 baht). Grand total 24,000 baht and it gets worse.

When I arrived at the university, I was told no apartments were available and I had to live off campus at an inflated price. Then during our first teachers meeting the Thai manager of the department (hospitality and tourism) didn't want to pay overtime wages and tried to say that it was the recruiters mistake to offer this (apparently the recruiter was fired and not paid and they didn't tell him he was fired). After three months of working overtime I had not received anything (a loss of 18,000 baht). New grand total of losses: 42,000 baht.It gets worse.

It didn't take long for teachers to get upset as three months had passed and nobody had a contract. Moreover, it began to surface through office tension that this university in Phuket knowingly and willingly hired teachers without documents. This resulted in terrible work relations. One day the Thai manager brought a few hundred 13-page work internship essays in to be marked for 20 baht each (they took 30 minutes to mark one). No one was marking them so he threatened to fire people if they didn't do what he asked. This was enough for me. No contract, no overtime and threats equals no teacher.

Many schools in Phuket operate with a factory worker mentality and it is obvious as they are constantly advertising for teachers. I find it hard to believe that a so-called prestigious university operates without following basic Thai labor laws or MOE standards. This was a very costly lesson for me and I hope no one makes the same mistake.

Derrick the trusting fool


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