The Dark Lord

1st installation.

As promised by Stragbasher in this thread - [url]Volunteer in Taidong?

Sorry but I don’t see the problem here…seems like typical management in Taiwan.

I believe that these two threads might be related to the OP. I found Aslan’s advice to be particularly interesting. … 318#215318

[Volunteer in Taidong?

What, is ranting now prohibited on Forumosa?

Most people find typical Taiwanese management to be problematical. James Dean Lloyd’s ads usually stress that you’re working for him, a foreigner, rather than for a Taiwanese. ie he leads you to expect something different from what you, Vannyel, consider to be normal.

For the record, I work for a Taiwanese employer that I have not had a single cause to complain about in over 12 months of working there. We are now in the process of renewing my ARC. James Dean can’t keep teachers. Who needs to learn how to deal with people?? Who is the problem here?

I first met James Dean more than 1 year ago, after going through a very long and arduous process to get hired by Wesley Girl’s High School in Neihu. The schools had a couple of foreign teachers and also worked with Foresight.

After many interviews and demo’s - there were at least six people giving demo classes on the day I did mine, and I believe they did several days of demos - they called to inform me that they wanted to hire me. I don’t claim to be the greatest teacher in the world, but I had them convinced and I think that the process was long and detailed enough that they had arrived at what they believed to be the best decision.

There was just one small problem: When they actually stopped to think about the situation they realized that their existing teachers were in Taiwan on missionary visas, or were provided by Foresight. They couldn’t get me an ARC, and wouldn’t let me do work elsewhere to get one.

So I found myself being interviewed by James Dean Lloyd, who had been asked to provide an ARC. We discussed salary and he was very vague - unlike the school, who had made me a clear and attractive offer. And the meeting concluded positively, no problems.

I called the school a few days later, because I had heard nothing from them. I got an evasive reply, referring me back to James Dean as he was now apparently ‘responsible for my case’. Oh yeah?!? Yeah, my job went away. According to James Dean, one of the other teachers at the school (who had been part of the long process that got me hired) had objected and instead the school had decided to take a contract teacher provided by Foresight.

Of course, it would be entirely inappropriate for me to suggest that that fucker saw an opportunity to take over my job, and replace me with one of his own people. But what would you think in the same situation?

What, is ranting now prohibited on Forumosa?[/quote]
Of course there is no problem with ranting. I was just saying that this seems very typical of management in Taiwan. Of course there are exceptions.
I worked for two chain schools and had more or less the same problems - lies, miscalculated pay, unpaid overtime, etc.

He promised to attend a last-minute-announced class performance I had to prepare and deliver at 7:30 am on a Friday (the day I usually had off), but didn’t. Both semesters, he didn’t. Not for me, or the other foreign teacher.

He promised that my entire Chinese New Year break would be paid, but then decided that only the days that were officially within the official span of CNY days would count. That left about a week unpaid.

He promised, at the beginning of the second semester, that he would bring in some kind of expert from Oxford to hold a seminar about how to more effectively teach from their texts. That never happened.

Before signing a contract, I asked (among other more serious concerns, of course) if I would be provided with name cards. He said sure, no problem. They never appeared.

He cancelled half of the weekly meetings during the Spring semester, and when he was able to make them, nearly always had some kind of negative (sometimes unsubstantiated – “Please do not sit on your students’ laps”) feedback for us. I can’t ever remember him saying anything complimentary. And usually right after or before these meetings, I’d say hello to the company big boss, a Taiwanese guy, who’d tell me, “Oh, I talked to the principal at your school again. He said the students really like you and you’re doing a great job!”

He loved to feign expertise on Taiwanese culture and spook us with warnings about keeping the regular teaching staff at our school at a distance, or if we had to come into contact with them, being super sweet and super evasive. This was, he said, because “they all hate you guys, because you’re making more money than they are and have easier schedules and are perceived as less strict on the students, yada yada.” Well, I never encountered even the slightest hostility among the teachers and staff at my school. Mostly, they were curious about who I was, why I came, what I thought of Taiwan. I never got a question about my salary. I even became quite good friends with one of the Taiwanese English teachers.

And of course he couldn’t even hold up his threat not to offer any summer work to me. :laughing:

next time: THE epitome of a self-centered Canadian

Generalizations frequently contain a grain of truth but that truth usually says more about the person making the generalization than it does about the person towards whom the generalization was directed. Hence Westerners conclude that most Asians are hard working because secretely they are worried that they might be a bit lazy themselves. Some people label Canadians as self centered because somebody started a thread saying they were, and because they are too lazy to think for themselves a bit. Too insecure to comprehend that the world is infinitely more complicated than their simplifications would suggest. I’ve known a lot of Canadians and there isn’t a single generalization that I could make about them except that they have long winters.

The winters are not long in Vancouver

You got to really watch out for people with names like Lloyd.

My my…

It was interesting to see how very popular a guy I am on this website. Some of the things said person wrote are true. For example, I often make typos or small mistakes when writing lesson plans. Who doesn’t? At least I provide lesson plans! Yes, I do follow the textbooks of the regular semestered classes. That’s what I have been asked to do. It’s called, doing your job. Yes, I need to have more and better proof-readers. Yes, sometimes I didn’t attend functions that I said I would, for whatever reason. Did that make said persons life or job unbearable, a reasonable person would assume not. Yes, I do have pressure from the Taiwanese side of the company to balance the books, and heaven forbid, even make a profit. As for the rest of the rants, heck, there’s some truth to that too!
Can a boss always have all his or her employees love them? As they say, you can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. It was this same person that asked me for a reference, even after all said persons employment woes. I of course said I would be happy to do so. Gee, thanks for your screaming endorsement.
As for the guy who talks about Wesley, don’t you think you’re assuming a little much? I mean, I don’t even remember your case, and do you really think one little foreigner can have that much influence on a school? Although I would like to think my sphere of influence is bigger than it is, I have a boss just like the rest of us. He’s the one that pulls my strings. I am not going to post a rant about him on this website however.
Truth is, nobodies perfect! I try to set a good working environment, and I think I could get many more testimonials from others if I wanted, that contradict whatever has been said here. But heck, do I really care? If one didn’t like my management style, couldn’t one always quit? I am not holding a gun to anyones head. If this posting has scared some of you away from my employ, that’ cool. It’s a free country!
I don’t even feel the need to dispute what said woman has ranted about in her post. I would remind folks that there’s two sides to every story, I just don’t feel the need to rank about said teachers short-comings. It’s not appropriate.
So that’s pretty much all I have to say about that. Please feel free to continue to write about me. Although I would remind some to not speak outside of their sphere of understanding. Oh yeah, one more thing. My speaking is bad? What, did I say eh! one too many times? I am from Canada after all.

The Dark Lord

That’s a great nickname. Shows creativity…well done!

Interesting that you should have so many problems with James. I worked for him for almost 2 years and felt lucky to have such an easy-going and extremely helpful boss.
It’s true that there were some typos in the lesson plans and it’s true that there were, at times, unexpected events to attend, but guess what, WE ARE TEACHERS! I’m so sick of people who come to Taiwan and expect to do the least amount of work they possibly can, for exorbitant amounts of money. What do you mean, correcting lesson plans isn’t in your job description? It’s the material you are providing for YOUR students. YOU should be checking the lessons and making any changes you need to beforehand. Finding the mistakes while teaching the lesson??? Does that mean you didn’t even read it before the class began?
If you don’t care about teaching or the students, get another job.

Dear Mods,

After reading this thread [url] a few questions came up. Please be so kind as to take some time to consider these questions.

A. How come

It comes down to this:

Employers want to get as much work out of their employees for the smallest amount of money possible;

Employees want to do as little work as possible for the maximum amount of money.

One thing no employer in Taiwan understands is that an employee’s time costs money. It doesn’t matter if the teacher is teaching, or if he’s sweeping the floor. If he’s working for the company, he gets paid his hourly rate. Why do you all think salaried positions are so popular now ? They were unheard of when I started teaching here.

I’ve always had great fun with the idea that teachers should work for free for a certain part of the day “for the children, man”. On occaision I have laughed out loud in the face of managers with this idea. I told one that when she works for free “for the kids” I would match her hour for hour.

On the other hand, some newbies come here with no common sense. Remember a school is a company. It is designed to make profits. The biggest cost is you. Management will do anything to cut the cost of you. That is management’s job (or part of it). If you can’t pin the school down on exactly what you are required to do and exactly what you will be paid for everything they expect you to do, wlak away. Or even walk away. Ahem. There are a million wide-eyed Canadian university graduates lining up behind you to work for NT$60,000 a month. That sadly is the market here now. And I have to say I have met a few who have made the NT$60,000 thing work well for them. But it doesn’t work out to NT$600 an hour for 100 hours a month. (Ask yourself why they don’t just pay you NT$600 an hour)

[quote=“Oasis”]Dear Mods,

After reading this thread [url] a few questions came up. Please be so kind as to take some time to consider these questions.

A. How come

Thanks Oasis,

My gripe with Mr LLoyd was that I did exactly as you suggested. There’s even a thread here somewhere that I started listing issues that needed to be made clear before starting. The deal was clear: You get paid for teaching. That’s all you have to do. You show up and teach the material that is provided.

Five weeks later I find myself working late on a Sunday night because some idiot has just called to tell me that he needs me to write a test. I knew that schools test every six weeks, that’s why I asked him about this sort of crap. He had worked with this very same school for at least a year previously, so he knew as well.

I can’t see any valid reason for breaking the agreement. Hence my unhappiness. I’m teaching at another school now where my duties have been made clear and I do quite a lot of ‘unpaid’ work, which is reflected in my hourly rate. My gripe is not about the extra work, it’s about extra unpaid work.

And trying to cut someone’s salary, in violation of their contract, because you are not making a profit is unforgivable. Businesses take risk, and hope for higher returns. Employees accept a lower income in exchange for security. If you can’t manage your budget so that you make a profit and keep everyone happy then that’s your loss.

" Yes, I do follow the textbooks of the regular semestered classes. That’s what I have been asked to do. It’s called, doing your job." Following one book is one thing. plagiarising copyrighted material and making thousands of copies is another. I have a book in front of me titled “Can you believe it”, the content of which is almost identical to the worksheets ‘written’ by James Dean Lloyd which are sitting next to it. This is very strange behaviour from someone who threatens to withhold payment from people who don’t return the teaching material he claims to have written.

[quote=“Oasis”]Dear Mods,

After reading this thread [url] a few questions came up. Please be so kind as to take some time to consider these questions.

A. How come “The Dark Lord” thread is not in the flounder forum as well? Wouldn’t you say the two threads are somewhat similar in nature? Can the reasons that this thread is not in the flounder forum because,

i. Not enough Forumosans know James Dean Lloyd personally?
ii. Not enough bickering is going on in this thread?

In the other thread, which has caused quite a controversy, people speak about how there are two sides to every story, some issues should be discussed in private…blah blah blah. Yet, this particular thread has been on here for…months.

B. Should it be considered alright to post an individual’s real name on the website and rant about the person? Without any consideration whether the person’s reputation can be wrongly influenced?

C. Just to be fair, if an ex-employee can rant about an ex-employer while stating the real name of this employer; can an employer post warning messages on any unruly ex-employees? Of course, no wise employers would do that…but it’s a thought to take into consideration for Question B.

This thread’s been on here a tad too long that any negative impacts would have had already occured, but still…shouldn’t someone do something about it?[/quote]

I do not see this thread as a “personal attack”. The negative statements seem to be based on personal experiences/facts and there have been some positive comments also. And Mr. Lloyd has every right and opportunity to address the concerns mentioned in this thread…and I hope he continues to do that.

And one of the most important services the Teaching Forum provides is letting people know about good and bad schools or organizations to work for. If we were to flounder this thread it would be doing a great disservice to our readers.

[color=red]I also recommend researching all venues when choosing a school to work for. This site is just one of those venues.[/color]

[quote=“Dr Doom”]
Remember a school is a company. It is designed to make profits. The biggest cost is you. Management will do anything to cut the cost of you.[/quote]

Exactly. I’ll say it once again, “It’s all about the money”.

When I was teaching I hardly ever got ripped off by a school because I was pretty careful who I worked for. If you grab the first job you see, well, you’re taking a risk. It’s important to remember that at the cheap end of teaching you are an easily replaceable commodity.

I should add that, in all fairness, James Dean was not a bad employer - relative to a lot of newbie jobs out there. I was still recommending people to work for him until this summer.

But the level of unacceptable bullshit seems to be rising, doubtless due to pressure to make a profit. Personally I believe that you make a profit by being upfront with people, instead of springing nasty surprises on them later.