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Do you get offended easily?

Popularity 14Viewed 11196 times 2016-8-18 00:29 |System category:Life| working, China

 

I have been approached (spammed) by numerous recruitment agencies over the last few months and out of curiosity I respond back to learn more about what they have to offer, should I choose to change where I work.

There is a list of questions – included below – that I ask to learn more about the position as many are vague in what is on offer. These are all reasonable questions anyone would ask of any potential employer in China to ascertain if the position is worth pursuing.

Invariably there is no mention of what visa they offer, so it is always my first question. This happens quite often.

 

What Visa do you offer?

  1. Will I have responsibilities other than teaching? (like cleaning your classroom or the school, recruiting students, evaluating students for placement, handing out flyers for the school, etc.)  If so, will I be paid for that time?
  2. Will I be expected to stay at the school even when I don’t have classes?
  3. How do we decide if the students are progressing or successful?
  4. Will there be a curriculum provided?
  5. What salary do you offer?
  6. How many students are in a class?  How are they placed or evaluated for placement?
  7. Does the job provide housing?  Is it furnished?  What does “furnished” mean? 
  8. How are the bills paid?  How far is it from the school?  Is it easy to get to work from there?  Do I have to pay a deposit for it?  How big is it?  Will I have to share it?  Is there a monthly “maintenance fee” that I must pay?  How much is it?
  9. Who is my boss?  To whom do I report?  Who evaluates me?
  10. What criteria is used to decide if I am successful?
  11. Will I have a work space available at the school?  A desk, an office?
  12. How much sick and vacation time do I get?  Who decides when I can use it?  Can I use it all at one time?  Does it accrue monthly or can I only use it at the end of my contract?
  13. Is there a bonus or gratuity payment at the end of my contract?  How much is it?  How is it determined?
  14. What teaching resources does the school provide?  Teacher’s manuals?  Photocopy machine? (who regulates it’s use?), Internet? Computer? Printer? Paper? Chalk/Markers?
  15. Is there air conditioning and/or heating in the classrooms?
  16. Are there other foreign teachers at the school?  Can I talk to them before I make my decision?

All of these, as I have said, are very reasonable questions a professional should ask in a foreign country to ensure that the work conditions are clear and above board.

No problem? Quite the contrary.

I have received threats and offensive comments for asking these questions.

Why would this be?

I am a professional and expect the staff I deal with to be equally professional in discussing the work conditions on offer, and it is important that these questions are answered before I consider continuing by sending any personal information, but invariably I am met with:

I don't know why you have so much complaint, arrogance’.

Is it arrogant of me to want to know a bit more about the job?

These questions were asked just after establishing contact and me asking if they can please answer a few questions for me to establish a few things.

‘Whatever you said, I have added you to be a trouble person on website. If foreigners like you, nobody is willing to give you a job.’

I just want some answers !!!!

My favourite response when I asked these questions was, when I was assured that it was ok to work on an ‘F’. I responded that I knew it was illegal to work on anything but a ‘Z’. eventually this individual reached the verbal equivalent of frothing at the mouth that culminated in:

‘……and the police will find you and catch you’

Yes, of course they would because I would be an illegal worker.

Employers in China who want to hire a non-Chinese person seem to forget that they also are being evaluated for their ability to interact with non-Chinese.

 

Should a non-national want to learn more about a job I advertised I would expect them to ask, at the very least, a few of the questions I ask to show they were thinking about how the job is done.

 

What do you think?

 

 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)

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Comment Comment (39 comments)

Reply Report voice_cd 2016-8-19 14:17
thanks for sharing such a good topic, old friend, we have highlighted it.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-8-19 15:11
voice_cd: thanks for sharing such a good topic, old friend, we have highlighted it.
Thank you  
Reply Report ExileMick 2016-8-20 22:54
When faced with such attitudes in the past, I have simply stated that, unlike most people in this country, I am an English Master and, as such, would choose carefully which establishment I would grace with my unique skills and talents. I have then added that, due to the respect I demand for my abilities, I would expect to be paid more than any other foreign teacher. This was often followed by a muffled conversation with someone else in the speaker's room and an assurance the school would call me back forthwith. Of course, no one there ever called again.

You may well consider it somewhat remiss of me not to explain that most of my countrymen could also describe themselves as being an 'English Master'. However and to defend myself, I would state that the conversations were never long enough to go into such detail.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-8-21 13:44
ExileMick: When faced with such attitudes in the past, I have simply stated that, unlike most people in this country, I am an English Master and, as such, would  ...
I have found that many attempts at objective conversations regarding work conditions or issues invariably end with one of us (not me) taking things personally and cutting the conversation short.
How else are concerns going to be addressed and resolved?
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-8-21 14:54
I'd love to hear the Chinese perspective on this.
Reply Report ExileMick 2016-8-21 15:25
BlondeAmber: I have found that many attempts at objective conversations regarding work conditions or issues invariably end with one of us (not me) taking things pe ...
Ask to see the contract then check the English translation. Ask a Chinese friend to check the Chinese version to confirm the translation is accurate. If you are asked to do something that isn't in the contract, don't do it. I refused to sign a contract as the English translation was terrible. I then rewrote the contract and gave it to the school who then translated it into Chinese. I believe the school is still using it.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-8-21 16:49
ExileMick: Ask to see the contract then check the English translation. Ask a Chinese friend to check the Chinese version to confirm the translation is accurate.  ...
I always do before I sign.
And I ensure everything is included in the contract to ensure there is little to no ambiguity when it comes to expectations and responsibilities.
I have sent contracts back if they failed to include everything agreed on.
And I record every concern I have when dealing with issues by backing up any communication I have by email, as it is more difficult to 'misunderstand' or 'forget' something when it is written (a common ploy attempted when the staff member does not want to do something.)

What I really want to know is why so many 'take offence' and refuse to engage when asked perfectly reasonable questions, such as I have outlined above.

It is this that is really undermining any positive image China wants to have internationally when it comes to employing FT's.

If you behave like a spoiled child (IMO) when it comes to dealing with reasonable professional concerns prior to being engaged, it begs the question about how things will be dealt with should there be a more serious problem during the duration of the contract.
not very encouraging for dedicated professionals who don't want to spend their free time having to deal with BS, but on petty trivialities that are only there due to a staff members incompetence or unwillingness to engage.

we as all supposed to be adults.
Reply Report AndrewCraven 2016-8-22 15:50
Of course, no one will recruit a foreign teacher to send out flyers. However, they surely want you to do more than the items written on the contract.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-8-22 16:31
AndrewCraven: Of course, no one will recruit a foreign teacher to send out flyers. However, they surely want you to do more than the items written on the contract.
You would be surprised at some of the things friends of mine have been TOLD to do by their schools, that were not in their contracts.
And when my friends objected, saying that they were not part of their teaching responsibilities, or in their contract, the schools have got very aggressive and threatening.

The problem is that schools are unwilling to talk about their non-teaching requirements when asked directly.
Any reasonable employer would be more than happy to answer these questions.
Expecting an employee to give up their free time for anything work related without negotiation shows poor management.
An employer is expected to honour a contract, and be up-front about an FT's responsibilities, otherwise they just seem dishonest, they are not being 'clever'.

And to get offended when questioned on the legality of offering a Tourist visa just shows their dishonesty more.

As I said, I would like to know why so many places 'get offended' by reasonable work related questions.
Reply Report 12342904 2016-8-23 02:46
What do I think? GO HOME EXPATS - CHINA IS NOT YOUR HOME.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-8-23 05:21
12342904: Foreign teachers are nothing more than LOSERS in their home country. BEGGING in China as if its their homeland.
I laugh when I here those expats sayi ...
Thanks for giving great examples of the kind of responses I have received from alleged professionals.   

For the purpose of other readers, this poster has given the sort of response that is quite common when a Chinese school staff member or recuiter spams, and is asked a civil question when related to a professional question.

I don't want to think it is typical of the better education institutions in China.
Reply Report AndrewCraven 2016-8-23 15:34
You might not have found the right employer.Are the recruiters themselves non-Chinese? Maybe, you asked in an aggressive tone, or in an offending way, who knows. If I were your employer, I mean if, I wouldn't be bothered unless you didn't show respect to me.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-8-23 16:06
AndrewCraven: You might not have found the right employer.Are the recruiters themselves non-Chinese? Maybe, you asked in an aggressive tone, or in an offending way, ...
The recruiters were Chinese and contacted me first - spam.
I can tell from the English used.
with email the tone is neutral as I keep things professional - it is what I am when dealing with anything work related.
but once I begin to probe for more information, always courteously, the language of the other person changes immediately to offence being taken and insults given.

I am not about to hand over personal and confidential information without more from whoever I am dealing with, and I make that clear - and always politely.

As I said, these questions are all work and contract related, never personal.

I am not being disrespectful by asking more questions, in fact I would expect potential employees to ask these and more.

so my question is - why do so many places 'get offended' so quickly by reasonable work related questions?
Reply Report AndrewCraven 2016-8-23 19:44
BlondeAmber: The recruiters were Chinese and contacted me first - spam.
I can tell from the English used.
with email the tone is neutral as I keep things professio ...
from spam? That can tell a lot. They are seemingly not very professional. So the next coming to offense those who ask details would not be surprised.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-8-23 22:01
AndrewCraven: from spam? That can tell a lot. They are seemingly not very professional. So the next coming to offense those who ask details would not be surprised.
I did say at the start of my blog that they were spams that I responded to.
my point was that the conversation deteriorated very quickly to insults on their side, even though I gave no indication that I was not serious in looking for a job.
I approached each place as if I was either applying myself, or on the behalf of another person.

I have been spammed by universities, public schools and recruiters.
But seems that from some of the comments I have got for this blog above, there are those who just take offense at foreigners working in China.

Even some public school HR's got 'offended' by my questions despite me maintaining a tone of courtesy and respect.
Reply Report AndrewCraven 2016-8-24 13:19
BlondeAmber: I did say at the start of my blog that they were spams that I responded to.
my point was that the conversation deteriorated very quickly to insults on ...
Just Because Some HRs don't know How They can be a HR But They are chosen to be a HR. You know what I mean?
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-8-27 22:03
AndrewCraven: Just Because Some HRs don't know How They can be a HR But They are chosen to be a HR. You know what I mean?
It seems to be a common problem with more than a few HR's in China.
It does not say much of the competency of a school or company if they don't hire staff than can actually do their job, especially if their job is to deal with members of the public.
Reply Report 1105852048 2016-8-27 23:17
12342904: Foreign teachers are nothing more than LOSERS in their home country. BEGGING in China as if its their homeland.
I laugh when I here those expats sayi ...
I had to laugh reading your diatribe and, I think you DO need an English teacher. You also show a need to clean up your racism and bigotry.
If China would have truly qualifiied English language teachers, it would not find it necessary to take on any and all 'English teachers', you call 'losers in their own country'. Get a life yourself first!
Reply Report Ratfink 2016-8-28 00:30
BlondeAmber: Thanks for giving great examples of the kind of responses I have received from alleged professionals.   

For the purpose of other readers, thi ...
12342904 is using comcast in the USA.  He's likely to be about as Chinese as my left finger.
Reply Report Dracarys 2016-8-28 10:55
well... That's depends ..

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  • Do you get offended easily? 2017-8-4 11:56

    TESOL is a joke.Really. Yes many Chinese who teach English are not good at it.

  • Do you get offended easily? 2016-12-27 23:33

    Ashikujaman: Thanks for your information.
    what is your opinion on this topic?
    i look for feedback, thanks

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