Micro managing boss and overtime

I mentioned in a previous post I was taking on a job in Shanghai with a JV, teaching a few hours a week, and creating content.

Turns out my Singaporean boss is an annoying ‘micro manager’, observing all my classes (along with half the middle school’s staff). Constantly calling pointless meetings, and booting me out the office if I’m deemed not necessary to the meeting.

The contract calls for 40 hours work/week, 9-6, with an hour at lunch. No one really takes a full hour, as the office is isolated, and we all eat in the canteen in the basement, then back to work.

At contract signing yesterday I queried whether OT was paid/unpaid - no, it’s not. And they’re also fiddling the books so that I get 5k on the 5th of each month and 15k at the end of each month. So for September I’ll get 5k on October 5th, and the remaining 15k on October 30th - WTF!

Today he says I’ll be taking on another project (with a look in his eyes suggesting OT was involved).

Fuck OT, I want to get this year contract out the way, and move on. If they’re going to piss me around I’ll leave sooner.

He reminds me of a boss I had when I was 20 who was belligerent when I told him I was taking a weekend off - one weekend in a month (2 days out of 31). I told that clown to piss right off, and have never looked back.

I’m going to sit tight for now, but I need to make it clear where I stand on unpaid OT, excessive hours, and being micromanaged. This needs to be done diplomatically, with me or him losing our cool or face.

Suggestions please.

BTW Shanghai is a pile of shite - overpriced accommodation and air quality that’s given me a painful set of lungs.

Just moved to Taipei after two years working in education consulting in Shanghai, with a similar boss. Unpaid OT is how you build loyalty and kiss ass. And it is always unpaid. One of the reasons I quit was because, in addition to there not being enough work to fill the 9 to 6 day, he would want me and the rest of my external relations team to stay until 9 or 10 at night just because the tech team was still working. People who did stay just watched TV. Didn’t matter that the time was productive. You just had to be there. Honestly, that was true during the work day as well.

Your contract is, at best, a set of guidelines. Your true contract is doing whatever the boss says. And if you didn’t sign a Chinese language one, its not viable anyway.

The book fiddling is to avoid taxes, though that is an interesting way to do it.

You can absolutely complain, but the chances of getting what you want are probably slim. Instead, you will have made your boss lose face and will probably suffer worse conditions for the remainder of the year.