And the saga continues…
I told you China has issues especially when it comes to working. The longer I stay here the more I hate my job and my boss. I love my students but this work environment is ridiculous.
The newest issue was that Jared and I were almost screwed out of our over time. In the month of May, not only did we have an extra class for ground staff or people who want to work in the airport which gave us more classes, the other foreign teacher also just randomly took 2.5 weeks’ worth of leave without notice. So Jared and I had to cover her classes as well. This was our busiest month so far. We worked double what we were supposed to be working according to our contract and even though it wasn’t pleasant and we didn’t want to do it, we knew we would get some nice overtime pay. That day came last Friday when I was called into the office to discuss my overtime. I was told my overtime pay would be 180 yuan or 30$. I was outraged and on the verge of loosing it and crying at the same time. I controlled myself but even arguing with them about it they just kept saying “this is how it is”. They wanted me to sign a paper saying it was ok and I said no and walked out. I found Jared and explained the situation.
Basically what I was told was that no matter what time we arrived or what time we left, we only got paid between the hours of 9-11:40 and 1-5. And besides that, we only get paid if we are teaching. Of course Jared and I were never told that and we had previously gotten overtime in the amount of 1200 yuan or 200$. They said we get paid by class no by hour and again we were never told that and our contract says we get paid by hour.
Jared and I were furious and we had a meeting after lunch and basically we argued some more and said it was non-negotiable. We don’t work and not get paid. So they accepted and we got the overtime we deserved because really what could they do? We weren’t going to be doing any more teaching unless we got the money we deserved. We said we understand all the rules now, especially since you’ve just laid them out 20 times and we will follow them. These rules didn’t exist before and even if they did no one was ever told about them. I was especially upset because they tried to blindside me and they didn’t want Jared and I together. They had come and gotten me while Jared was teaching and I was alone in the office.
So now, we are only at work from 8:55-3:3pm. And we have gotten 3 pages worth of new rules that they want us to sign but Jared and I have no intention of signing because it’s not only ridiculous but we get deducted money for EVERYTHING! No I don’t agree and no I won’t sign that. I have 2 months left, I don’t need to be told what uniform to wear on what day and I will not wear the same uniform for like 5 days in a row that’s gross. And I’m not gonna say it’s ok for you to deduct money from me because of that. If I didn’t have only 2 months left, I would have quit already. Our office is just always changing and there is no consistency. Our boss is a conniving woman who treats everyone with disrespect. When all the arguing was going on about the overtime, our boss didn’t even look up from her computer screen or try to participate in the conversation. My answer to everything is no now because 1) I don’t make enough money for this crap 2) you couldn’t pay me enough to stay 3) I don’t want to put in extra work 4) I’m not appreciated and my boss just wants to cheat me out of money and deduct money from me for retarded and ridiculous rules that she doesn’t even have to follow.
Jared and I emailed our program coordinator Kelvin, who is awesome, and both our emails were the longest emails you’ll ever see. We were and are very unhappy with our company and our boss. And now that Kelvin knows what has been going on, he too is upset. He has called the lady in charge of CIEE participants in Chongqing and they are in the office next door and they too are upset. So there have been meetings and there are more meetings. I’m sure there will be more meetings and actually we just had one today where they said they just wanted us to be happy.
We came to the conclusion (after they repeated the same things like 20 times) that there needs to be more communication. I came up with the awesome idea for a handbook, who would have thought, and they are going to include everything about the job and related to the job in that. Jared and I will be writing normal things related to jobs in America so they know and that there can be more communication. We also are coming up with a list of things we like and dislike so that they can try to accommodate us and we can combine Chinese and American culture. They told us to just talk to them when we have a problem (20 times) because that was the problem honestly. They never tell us anything so we never know and everything gets completely messed up and confusing. I feel better after the meeting because it wasn’t just our boss, the dragon lady, but another boss from a different department and some other people. Our boss is still as bad as I said but the rest of the company is great. Seriously, it is just our department. I love Miss Liu, the boss from the office next door and her staff because they are all so nice and we have made friends with them.
Oh well, I have less than 2 months left and I am so excited for my mom to come to China, to go home, to see all my friends and family, and then to jet off to Spain. Yupp. That’s right. You heard me right. I’m going to Spain. Sometimes, I can’t believe that this is my life and all the amazing things I get to do. Sometimes, we don’t appreciate life and we have to stop and enjoy the little things in life because it is so easy to get caught up in life and forget about all the things that make us happy. Life is too short not to enjoy it and for me travelling is what I love. I can’t wait to see my madre again because I have missed her and speaking Spanish and that European lifestyle.