Ugly Truths About Working in Taiwan


#1

It is time to understand the realities of working in Taiwan. Many people like to live in Taiwan because of their spouses, the food, weather, etc; but almost unanimously everyone knows the work culture sucks. Why does it suck?

  1. Low Pay-Minimum wage is $15 dollars in most western countries, you only make $5 dollars more here;
  2. Abusive Managers/Laobans -These people hate foreigners. You can tell this by how they treat the majority of non-white foreigners such as Filipinos/Vietnamese/Thais. They take their passports, cheat them out of money, make derogatory remarks against the female carers etc. If you’re white, they only respect you to the degree that you’re needed as a white monkey.
  3. Pure incompetence -expect pay to be paid late, cheated through deductions, penalties and all kinds of nefarious activities;
  4. Contracts don’t mean a damned thing- burn your contract. Yes burn it. Taiwanese won’t follow it at all, so just burn it.
  5. Jealous Coworkers- Co-workers are jealous of your minimum wage job in Taiwan because they make Taiwanese minimum wage as a result of their non-existant country of 22 million unable to innovate or trade like NZ with a population of 4 million or Israel with a population of 7 million.
  6. Lack of Advancement -Working in Taiwan is dead end. Your resume is not improving in Taiwan. People in the west will look at it and say, “You taught ESL in Taiwan?” and then discard it.
  7. You’ll always be an outsider. No matter what, your on the fringe of this society, a waiguoren, unwanted, trying to get into the inner circle. Just don’t waste your time. You know your passport power is more powerful than that green thing that only 5 or 6 small African countries recognize.
  8. This place is China. No matter how you cut it, this place is China. The name is REPUBLIC of CHINA. Not Taiwan. Taiwan doesn’t exist. It has no diplomatic relations. Everyday the motherland calls, and more and more young Taiwanese flock to it. This place will be subsumed before the next 50 years and Taiwanese know it themselves. It is not Taiwan No.1! but rather, China No.1.
  9. Brain drain. The best and brightest Taiwanese left in the 1980’s and 1990’s. So your left working with the bottom IQ folks. The folks working in the Buxiban and ESL industry are not the cream of the crop in Taiwan and are bottom feeders. Some are Tai Ke and Tai Mei’s.
  10. If you’ve read this far, you know I’m right. Avoid working in Taiwan. Your health and sanity depends on it!

#2

Internet-Hugs
there… there…


#3

So…the carpet didn’t match the drapes?


#5

It’s some rant but most of it is correct.


#6

Loled at this part. Well done sir! You sound like me after my first month here.

I think we can all agree that the brain has been thoroughly drained at this point.


#7

Hard to disagree with many of the points you made there. I think everyone experiences some of these at some point or another. Its not an easy place to live for foreigners I think.

Point 2 I’ve experienced a lot. It’s truly saddening to see how Taiwanese treat South East Asians as if they are second class citizens or worse. It’s downright disgraceful but the vast majority of board members here will have never experienced that side of Taiwanese society as the majority are married to or date only locals.

Point 8 is actually pretty valid if you think about it. The native people of Taiwan came from South East Asia actually. Hence the darker skin etc. As everyone knows most Taiwanese are descended from Han Chinese and marry Han Chinese (masquerading as Taiwanese) and have Han Chinese children. There is very little ethnic mixing. If they do mix it’s usually only to whiten their bloodline in some vain attempt for a social boost. The true Taiwanese are persecuted and basically driven out of their country by the Han Chinese invaders.

Though I sense this is changing. As I read recently in the newspaper that 10% of 1st green students in elementary school are now mixed children. With the majority of them being of Vietnamese Taiwanese origin. And of course most of those Vietnam mothers are unfortunately bought as vietnamese brides.

So what is a Taiwanese? Amis people of Taiwan are the only ones who deserve that title in my opinion.


#8

Over 1 million Taiwanese work and live in China, do I need to say more.


#9

Yes. They are not there cause the work culture is better they are there cause the paycheck is better.


#10

Considering all the smart people left years ago, and only idiots are left in Taiwan and you still only make 20usd/hour, have you considered that perhaps you also suck?


#11

I’m not in Taiwan buddy!


#12

Please, please tell me that you are aware there are, what, 23 and counting? indigenous tribes in Taiwan.


#13

ahh, it’s all starting to make sense then, especially #8

This place is China. No matter how you cut it, this place is China. The name is REPUBLIC of CHINA. Not Taiwan. Taiwan doesn’t exist. It has no diplomatic relations. Everyday the motherland calls, and more and more young Taiwanese flock to it. This place will be subsumed before the next 50 years and Taiwanese know it themselves. It is not Taiwan No.1! but rather, China No.1.

If you are “not in Taiwan”, then why are you using the word “This place”. Shows ownership, as if you have a stake in what’s happening.

And, last I saw, R.O.C. does have a few diplomatic relations still around. You don’t know this?


#14

Please, it’s not THAT bad. I think people whine everywhere, but IMO Taiwan has it pretty good.

  1. Min wage in the US is only $7.25, maybe $10 in some more progressive states. But studio apartments in the city go for $1000/month nowadays, plus you need a background check, waiting list, years of pay stubs and W2s showing you make at least 3 x that per month. Even if you make minimum wage in Taiwan (only $5/hour) you can get an apartment easily for $250/month without any credentials, cash = key. So US low-skill worker has to work 100 hours a month to make rent (if s/he can even get an apartment), Taiwan worker only has to work 50 hours.

2 & 3 & 5) I don’t doubt that there is exploitation, incompetence, abuse, and jealousy in the work place, and it’s probably worse than in the US. But it’s also probably not as bad as in Japan where they never stop working.

  1. As far as contracts go, most jobs in the US are on an at-will basis, meaning it doesn’t matter what the contract says. You work for their terms when they need you and then you’re gone when they don’t need you. Of course, there is the exception of union jobs, which are mostly govt jobs nowadays. Do Taiwanese govt employees still get 15% ROI on their retirement funds? LOL That’s harsh.
  1. Lack of advancement and upward mobility. Yeah, we have all of that in the US now. Before I left I was meeting people with master’s degrees making minimum wage. Wage labor is no longer a practical way to achieve upward mobility. If you want upward mobility you should be a landlord or invest in stocks.
  1. While Taiwan is very homogeneous, it’s also very laid back. People never seem to bother me at all and are mostly totally friendly, despite my weak Mandarin skills.

  2. I’m pretty sure that Taiwan’s de facto diplomatic relations are just as good as those in China for all intents and purposes. In fact, it’s even better since Taiwan offers 90 days visa-free for most Westerners.

  3. Typically when you move abroad for higher pay, you end up paying a higher cost of living. I’m not convinced that people moving away from Taiwan have it any better. If they move to North America or Australia they might enjoy better air quality. Personally, I don’t think it gets much better than what Taiwan already has in terms of low cost of living relative to pay. Taiwan could be made more a attractive place to live if air quality could be improved. More people could ride bicycles and stop burning ghost money in the streets. But people feel entitled to ride crappy scooters.

  4. All work sucks in most countries. The gate for upward mobility through wage labor closed more than a decade ago. In fact, that’s why I’m in Taiwan. I don’t want to work 40 hours a week to live with roommates and have no savings, despite spending 5 years in college.

Consider this, Taiwan has almost no crime compared to the US and some other Western nations. Just one of many advantages: Low cost of living, friendly laid back people, tropical/subtropical climate, reasonably clean and developed. The main things I’d like to see change are legalize weed and improve the air quality. :wink:


#15

Considering all the smart people left years ago, and only idiots are left in Taiwan and you still only make 20usd/hour, have you considered that perhaps you also suck?

xD

I have considered this. I think actually I’m not dumb enough for today’s work culture in America. Most of the people who stay and slug it out do so because they don’t have any other choice: No college degree and/or have kids, partner, mortgage, hence they can’t easily leave.


#16

Touche :slight_smile:


#17

what is a true American?
The true American are persecuted and basically driven out of their country by the Anglosaxon invaders.

what is a true South African?
The true South African are persecuted and basically driven out of their country by the Anglosaxon invaders.

what is a true Australian?
The true Australian are persecuted and basically driven out of their country by the Anglosaxon invaders.


#18

What’s all the other non work related stuff about ?
Ignoring the nonsense part about the republic of China etc.
Pay for professionals and managers sucks balls in Taiwan and work conditions are crap as well. What’s worse is little opportunity for advancement, in the US the sky really is the limit in some respects once you have the educational requirements down.

I tell you what I like though…Low taxes.


#19

Pay for professionals and managers sucks balls in Taiwan and work conditions are crap as well. What’s worse is little opportunity for advancement, in the US the sky really is the limit in some respects once you have the educational requirements down.

Again, I don’t think the pay is that bad relative to the cost of living.

There is no upward mobility for working people in the US anymore, and I say this with 5 years of college under my belt. Better off becoming a truck driver or a welder at this point. Upward mobility is for landlords and business owners.


#20

The bureaucracy is so efficient, it boggles my mind. I drop my ID and chop off with the same lady at the tax office every year, go get a coffee and scarf a butt. By the time I head back upstairs, taxes are done.

Health Care? C’mon…where is there a better system? A little conservative when it comes to getting on the medicinal sticky icky train, but I am actually working on that. BION

Entrepretentiality? Once you have your APRC, you are free to try and tap this economy for all you can.

Launching point to travel Asia? It’s all right there man. The one thing that will rock under prolonged Chinese occupation will be a bridge across the strait. Road Trip.

I’m paying 1000Cdn for my swanky pad. In Vancouver? Not a fucking (sic) chance.

I’ll even posit that the justice system is fair and efficient. I tout this from personal and anecdotal evidence.

And how about that democracy? One of the highest voter turnout rates, hotly yet evenly contested constituencies, and an ever-peacining transition of power.

Free press if they wanted to be (press). Spoiler: they don’t.

Behind on many things but is and has been trending up more than down for the near 20 years I’ve been here.

Of course, I don’t and refuse to work in an office culture. It is poisonous and larcenous. Get your 5 years in and then do your own thing.

Doing nuthin’ but doin’.


#21

Not true. In the tech and scientific industries there are vast numbers of opportunities at all levels in the US.

Unemployment rate is low, opportunities are up.

Heard similar in a construction and other fields.