Calling all editors!

All: Of course companies hope to hire at local pay, and no doubt these are somewhat accurate rates. But it still doesn’t feel like it’s worth it to me.

Chessman, horrors. I wouldn’t mind doing 2 articles for free but at 12 I’ve got a pretty suspicious mind. What better way of getting free translation at the best of that person’s ability by giving such an explanation, and then fobbing him off with a really low rate?

I went for an interview where they asked me to write an article based on info from the Web, so I did. They called me back later and said they had some problems with it and would I come down and write an article a day for three days to prove myself, they’d pay for transport.

I decided not to bother. In the first place the worst I could do would definitely be better than someone without any writing experience, so why would they have problems; and why would they need THREE days? Wouldn’t a second test do? Or even actually hiring when there’s probation?

Yeah I was suspicious too but I was desperate to get a real editing job to establish myself. No problem, that experience just added to my education.

Got a question: How many of you are working for English teaching magazines??

Hi Mr Klegg,

I don’t think I am alone in sitting here wondering why, for god’s sake, did you put up with that for 5 years? Given inflation and at minimum, annual pay raises, you must have begun working at Trade Winds as a volunteer and slowly worked your up to the princely sum of 37K, pulling poor Daniel’s teeth out every time you asked for that 5K annual raise. Or did you even bother to ask?

It is simply mind boggling.

It is especially confusing given the fact that I am now the managing editor at Interface Global, which is, may I add, no longer Trade Winds. I do not really care what happened to you when Trade Winds got bought out by a much, much bigger company - as I’ve heard, many of the staff simply walked out because they didn’t like the changes, and others, like you, were fired.

And I’m glad they did clean house before I joined the company. Looking back at the old publications you apparently edited is embarrassing, to say the least. If I had been you, I would not have allowed my name to be put inside the covers of any of them.

But there it is - Editor: Julian Klegg, the man who knows more about Interface Global (a company he never worked for) than any other foreigner on this planet if I read his numerous posts and personal website correctly.

It is true: get paid shit, work like shit. I guess that’s what happened to you Julian and I’m sorry for that. Sorry, but baffled by your apparent acquiescence, timidity in asking for more money, and last but not least:

the way you have been lambasting the company I work for on the forums.

I need not remind you that you have kindly left details of your current place of employment for all to see on the net. You are employed legally, aren’t you?

For everyone’s information, Interface Global is a well-backed trade publishing company run by a dynamic group of people, all under 40, with broad experience in media and Internet. In 2002 we are launching five glossy magazines - the latest of which you are welcome to pick up for free on June 3 at Computex - the title is Tech Asia. Please read it and tell me what you think at the email below.

We also publish industry buyers’ guides under the bought-out co-branded Trade Winds name, but I can safely assure you that given the synergy with our magazines, the quality of their content is on the way up. I wouldn’t hesitate to call it journalism, although of the business kind, which many writers may find a bit dull. But please, go pick up a copy of Tech Asia. For something that we slammed together in a month it’s pretty damned good, I think. It will only get better.

It is extremely frustating for me to post an ad on for an editor and then read Julian’s scorching comments regarding his (bewildering) experiences with a company that he assumes is the same as the one I am now working for.

Please stop this Julian. Your own ad is ridiculous, as most posters here would agree.

For anyone who is interested, Julian’s comments about increased quality of journalism at Interface Global are correct, and yes, I am looking for yet another Chinese-speaking editor to join the team. We offer frequent travel around the island, possible overseas travel, and a very open, relaxed atmosphere at the office (Yahoo’s ex-office space, quite nice), on the Blue line.

As other participants in this Rant Against the Company I Used to Work For forum may want to know: salary for editors, bilingual or not, will never be as high as what you can get for teaching. Unless you’re a full-fledged expat you are highly unlikely to make the 100K in a full-time office job that you can get teaching kids 35 hours a week.

But if you want to leave Taiwan or find a better job with something on your resume and with a portfolio that you’re not ashamed to show at home (or anywhere else for that matter), then you will have to settle for less. Less money - the quality is up to you.

I’m offering 50K to starting reporters/editors and I dare anyone to tell me they make more at the English papers in Taipei. There is a 3-month probation period and if your quality, attitude and output is good, I can see a bump up to 55K. After the first year is up, 60K. And on from there.

It is more than possible to make a decent living in Taiwan on this kind of salary (without living for free at the YMCA). The average salary in Taiwan is, after all, somewhere around 35K I believe.

There is also the occasional take-home C-E translation job which is paid at generous rates (ironlady please contact me) and if you are really going for the dough, there is freelance editing for other companies, and of course, teaching English evenings or weekends. Absolutely no reason why someone who is motivated couldn’t make their 100K.

For all of you who are dying to get out of teaching, it will be painful at the beginning. A pay cut is inevitable. You have to decide if you want a short high-paying quickie in Taiwan (unless you are really a professional in what you do), or a longer, two-year plus stint that puts some meat on your resume.

I’m now looking for resumes with writing samples from people who want to do a good job. The position is open on June 10.

Oh, and Julian, we need a freelancer in Taichung if you need to top up your, uh, income.

Please excuse the rant.

The Managing Editor
Interface Global

Tech Asia, Consumer Asia, Hardware Asia, BAM Asia, Medical Asia

Buyers’ Guides:
Gifts, Stationery, Toys, Bikes, Motorcycles, Auto Parts, Building Materials, Medical & Health and more


Well, for your information, I got paid a basic NT$33,000 for 3/4 time for the five years I did at Trade Winds (now Interface Global.) If things were busy, I did extra time and was paid more accordingly. Had I been working full time every day, it would have been NT$44,000. That was certainly better than my pay as a volunteer at the Youth Hostels Association, which was two biandangs a day and a bed for the night. So my average pay at Trade Winds was about 37,000 a month. After five years of that, Trade Winds suddenly decided that I was a terrible burden on their budget and sacked me. “roc” (Ron C.), who appears on these forums occasionally, went to work there after me. Since his job involved more in the way of journalism, I suppose his pay was somewhat higher than mine. Ron has now left and none of the other editors they have hired since then has lasted six months.
I think these kinds of firms don’t want to pay their laowai editors much more than they would pay to local people doing the same job. The skill of translation does not seem to have much monetary value in their view. Besides, firms like Trade Winds/Interf*ck, Infotrade, “Wenbi” etc. are largely based on Taiwan’s traditional manufacturing industry, which is shrinking fast. Therefore, these publishers are all sailing close to the rocks, so you can’t expect stellar salaries from them. Who knows where you can get better pay as an editor in Taiwan? Any offers as to the going rates for various types of publication?

Ah, so that’s it, is it? I was sacked because I am over 40? So I could be replaced by a baby like Torrid. I hope for your sake that you’re not aged 39!

Last October, a whole lot of people did leave Trade Winds/Interf*ck or whatever you prefer to call it. The reason is that the company tried to intimidate them into signing a contract which reduced all their rights to severance pay and pensions to zero. Some people did sign and a lot of those have been sacked since then, including the caretaker and the receptionist. The latest one to leave is your predecessor as managing editor, Daniel Foong, whom you mention. From what I have heard, Interfake tried to force Daniel, who has been an editor for decades, to change to being an advertising salesman. Well, Daniel was the one who gave me the 90 minutes’ notice to quit last September, so that shows what happens in the end to those who help management screw their fellow workers.

You also claim that Interface is no longer Trade Winds. Sure, that is what they say to anybody who is owed any money by Trade Winds, like me (NT$210,000 severance pay, now in the hands of my lawyer.) Still, Interface feels compelled to call itself Trade Winds when addressing its advertising clients, as none of them has ever heard of Interf*ck.

I notice you categorise yourself as “just got here.” Uh-huh, you sure did. You’ve obviously been given a lot of BS and swallowed it all. Fact is Interface Global is managed by a bunch of arrogant backstabbers. You can play along with them now, but I’d watch your back if I were you, pal - Look what happened to Daniel.

My dear Sir,

I have no idea of your age, nor have I ever asked anyone about you, your identity, personality, or your gripes against the company. I am simply going on what I read in your posts here.

This is not the place for personal pettiness. Write me at and I will be more than happy to exchange phone numbers and talk further.

When a company goes broke and gets bought out by a bigger one you can’t expect a pretty picture can you? We all read the newspapers.

Daniel is very satisfied now that he’s got his Public Relations Director position. I would call that a worthy promotion. And yes, I work very closely with him and he with I.

I can’t imagine the turmoil the company went through last October, but I assure you, we are now on a different track than you seem to be used to.

Perhaps you should confine your legal problems to R. Hartzell’s legal forums? I expect you will end up owing your lawyers a lot more than 210K. That is not my business though, nor does it have anything to do with my recent advertisements for reporters and editors here on Does it?

And you would be better off not assuming that someone who is bilingual with five years of publishing experience online and off in Taiwan and China is a “baby”.

Thank you.

I think the “just got here” stuff is posted automatically by the program at ORIENTED. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with a person’s age, experience, or blood


Torrid, if you really are the managing editor of Interface Global, then your own posts here have done far more damage to your company’s reputation than Julian could possibly have done with his. Talk about petty and unprofessional…

My guess is that you’re an imposter who’s set out to further malign Interface Global’s name.

“…and he with I.” ??? Where’d yu lurn yer grammer, dude?

Torrid, I’d say you should be advertising for a pretty good PR consultant. Sounds like your company has screwd quite a few people over is a short amount of time. Sure, talk it over with Juba in a private email, but the reading is that your companies name is mud.

Suggestion for a new company slogan too - Would a rose by any other name still smell as sweet?

Yup, I too read Torrid’s posts, and I have to say, the idea of NT50K+ to have to work for the type of person suggested by those posts is … um … somewhat less than enticing. By the way, Torrid, is that for part-time or full-time? I earn just under 50 for a part-time editing job with no writing required.

Oh, and another thing. Writing style. You really need to change your handle. Turgid would be far more apt, I think.

Juba’s been screwed out of a lot of money. I think he’s entitled to be bitter.

Originally posted by Torrid: I'm offering 50K to starting reporters/editors and I dare anyone to tell me they make more at the English papers in Taipei.

I made more than 50k at the China/Taiwan News, and starting salary at the Times, I believe, is 70k. GIO publications pay even more than that.

Good suggestion… Turgid… hmmm.

Would that make me a turgid member?

Thank god I don’t call myself a writer. I’ll leave that up to you guys.

Slight change of tone there after your previous references to “shit” etc. If you think Trade Winds mags used to be “shit” then you’d better tell it to Daniel Foong, since he was the managing editor. Anyway, I suggest that any further discussion of Interfake Local be conducted under the ‘Warning: “Interface Global”’ forum, lest we bore the pants off everybody else.

Interfake Local - i like it, really. It is the first thing on this forum that really got me laughing. Thanks.

My mood changes just like other people. I may want to rip your heart out one moment, but the next, well, I wonder how we can work together, lawsuits aside (that is not my business).

Your Taiwan editors’ website is a great start. Why not make it more open and less of a diatribe against your former employer? It’s not very welcoming as it is now.

The MSN communities are designed to be idiot-proof, but the flip side of that is that they are a little inflexible. The registration process may seem a little daunting because when you sign up for a “passport” you are gaining access to the whole gamut of MSN and Hotmail services. Of course, Microsoft wants you to get into the habit of using these services, but it’s up to you whether you get drawn into that or not. Now I have switched off the requirement for people to get my approval to join the Taiwan Foreign Language Editors’ Corner. Zack is already a member, and you are welcome to join, too, if you like, Torrid. Just click here.

The Taipei Times has never offered starting salaries as high as NT$70,000 per month – unless you are friends of the Chinese management. Copy editors certainly don’t start there.

Torrid you sound like the saddest two faced ba*tard I’ve ever heard.

My first editing job in 1993 paid 65,000 a month. At that time, I had next to no experience.

Sorry, you’re right, Wolf. It’s actually 60k or thereabouts. Over 50k, in any case. I was offered 70k once, and I just assumed that was starting salary.

1 ping = 3.3051 sq. m.

Hey guys if you want to get paid really badly try editing for a local merchant bank. You get to work 12-hour days in an itchy-arse suit, get blamed for everything that goes wrong, pay tax on NT$40,000, not have an ARC, and then get booted out on your cakehole the first sign of a jitter in the market.

Or, em, so I’m told. Ahem.

(P.S. Isn’t it the “Phonetic Alphabet” not the “Police Alphabet”. Merchant seamen were the first to use it, and you have posted the British one (which I am familiar with) but I think there’s also an American version…?)

Why would you not get an ARC??