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Do you get offended easily?

Popularity 14Viewed 11369 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)

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Reply Report BlondeAmber 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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Recent comments

  • 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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