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: Juba, 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 Juba 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 oriented.org 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 oriented.org for an editor and then read Juba’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 Juba. Your own ad is ridiculous, as most posters here would agree.
For anyone who is interested, Juba’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 Juba, we need a freelancer in Taichung if you need to top up your, uh, income.
Please excuse the rant.
The Managing Editor
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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”, 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?