Just thought I would share with you all some of my experiences in my travels.
Some of you have seen this as it is just a cut paste of an email I sent to my contact list.
This is another blanket update for everyone. Some reading may not be suitable for children under 13… Only half kidding.
First off, I quit my last job. It was not making me enough money and the boss was really starting to get on my nerves. Most importantly, every time I asked about my visa renewal I got a different answer. I was not going to trust him with my visa. I am with a new employer now and my Visa has been extended. They are also starting the paperwork for the residency permits. This should have happened 5 months ago.
I told Shawn, my old boss, that I was quitting in 30 days. He said there is no need for 30 day notice and that I was quitting that day. If I didn’t have the 5000 RMB breach money then he would see me in court. I said sorry to hear that but my lawyer expected as much. The court hearing is already scheduled for Friday to review my state of financial stability. See you there. Never have I seen someone back-peddle so adroitly! The end result was I had 45 days instead of the 30 to pay off the breach and could work for others while doing so.
A week later I held him to his word as I had an interview in Beijing for a new job. I also suspected him f not holding to it. So, I scheduled an appointment with the US Embassy in Beijing to discus my options with a counselor there. I then told him that I needed to go to Beijing for 2 things and will not be able to teach on Monday. He asked why. I told him the first was an interview and demo class at 8am for a new job. Before I could even mention the second he said I am not allowed to go because that would mean missing work. So, I told him he doesn’t have the choice. I am notifying him. Not asking him. He threatened again to take me to court. So, I told him that the second appointment was at the Embassy to formally file for my Financial State of Destitution before I sued him for keeping me in it.
I was allowed to go to the interview.
I also got the job. They gave me an advance to pay off the breach penalty. I did not like my old boss. He did not care for me either. Lily was awesome and she bent over backwards to make her teachers happy. I have no desire to screw her out of a business because her husband is an ***. I did not want to sue. But I would have if they didn’t provide the correct paper work to allow me to legally pursue other work.
My new job pays about the same but takes nothing out for any reason. I get 7000 RMB a month salary. They pay for my house, utilities, Internet, transportation, and provide a food allowance of 60 RMB a day or 3 meals a day. I prefer the allowance as that is about 2000 a month and I only eat about 800 a month. I was in Beijing for just over 2 weeks getting trained on the system and how things are done. Everything is changing in the company right now because they are expanding and 2 managers had to leave for the US. One handled recruiting. I am taking his position over. I get payed a bonus for each teacher I recruit. I have 8 coming next month. 5 from South Africa and 3 from the USA. I work about 18 hours a week. I go exploring the rest of the time. Or write silly emails to all my friends…
The other manager also taught in Puyang. Someone else took over the manager portions as they are familiar with the schools here and the contracts. But they still needed a teacher to take his classes. I am now in Puyang teaching about 15 hours a week. The other 3 are lesson planning and emails to candidates. Occasionally my recruiting gets very busy and I am stuck in front of my computer for 5 hours at a time but, that really doesn’t bother me as it is only about once a week. This will change after my next meeting with Mr. Hu. He is the owner of the company. I now work for AGTA by the way… I am having an awesome experience here! I highly recommend a visit to me! OK… That sounds odd.
Speaking of experiences in China!!! I have a story you will all love! Feel free to share this with whom ever. Be aware that this is the 13 and over part.
I have been in China now for 6 months. This trip is the first time I have been in a hotel. The first odd thing I noticed was the large clear window in the main part of the room that allows you to view the bathroom shower… You will NEVER see THAT in the US! Right, forgot Vegas existed… Secondly, in the US they clean the rooms daily. Here they just sort of spot clean them. So, it took me about an hour of explaining to the staff that I was NOT the person that used the towels and I would like CLEAN towels so I can take a shower… This resulted in them bringing the cleaning cart and a maid to clean my entire room. Which was fine, but that could have waited till morning. This was at midnight. I will say that they have cleaned my room daily since.
The next odd thing is the governments way of fighting aids. Hotel rooms come with all kinds of sexual cleanliness products and the random disposable vibrator aptly named “DIY Kit”. “Do it yourself when she is not around.” All the lotions and ointments have an English label and all say they kill 99% of everything. Most state they will kill HIV-1. One said it may also kill HIV-2. The last warns you that it does nothing for HIV but can safely be used with a list of other products. I read all the packages because I wanted to wash my hair and the first I picked up was labeled “Shampoo”. Upon closer inspection I saw that it was a pubic shampoo for prevention of crabs or a few other random STD’s. I did find the correct shampoo almost immediately but my curiosity was sparked. I felt inclined to read all the packages that had English labels.
That was all day one. Day 2 is where the fun really began. The drain to the shower was clogged. So my first shower was very short. Day 2 I called down and asked them to fix it. I spoke English as I did not know the Chinese for any of what I was trying to say. They passed me from one person to another. So, I said the same thing about a dozen times. “The plumbing is clogged. Can you send someone to my room to fix the drain?”
About 90 minutes later I got a knock on the door. FINALLY! I opened it and a very pretty women came in. Best looking plumber I have ever seen! She didn’t speak much English but asked what I wanted. So, I took her into the bathroom and tried to show her the shower drain. Next thing I know she isn’t waring anything and telling me it will cost 800 RMB to ‘fix you up’. She will even work all night. At this point I just put her IN the shower and turned it on. After a second of confusion she started dancing. Took about 2 minutes for her to realize the problem and that there was a MAJOR malfunction in communication. Still naked, she went to the phone in the room and called reception. Explained everything to them having to repeat her self several times because she was laughing so hard. After she hung up she went back to her pile of cloths, used one of my clean towels, and redressed. She offered her self to me again for 400 for the night. 50% discount for the miscommunication? I politely declined and showed her my morning schedule. She kissed me and left as the actual plumber showed up. The manager also came and personally apologized for the mix up. I didn’t know Chinese people could turn so red… The plumber fixed it in about 3 minutes. He was chuckling the whole time. The hotel staff now bends over backwards to make me happy. They even paid for the driver to take me shopping for a new hard drive to fix my computer. He helped me out with translation and everything.
This is a nice hotel. Even if the staff is a little confused…
I am scheduled to leave here next Sunday and go back to Beijing for a little bit before heading off to Chengdu. I will be there teaching and managing the new operation there for 2 months before moving on to a new city. That is how they operate at this company. Teachers teach in one place for 2 months and move on. Many of the teachers like this because they get to see more of China in their 1 year stay.
Everyone told me to wait until I was in Puyang to get a new hard drive as Puyang is much cheaper then Beijing. They are right for everything except electronics. I ended up getting a 160 GB HD for 400 RMB. That was after talking him down and he was the only one I COULD talk down. In Beijing I could have gotten a 250GB HD for 388! That annoyed me. But this is working now and I am reconnected to the rest of the world. After my third email to Skype, they finally fixed the Linux software to work in China. So, I am no longer running windows at all! This confounds the Chinese staffers that try to use my computer… And that is a good thing! I don’t need a bunch of Chinese bit torrents on my computer downloading who knows what. I also feel much safer virus wise in China with Linux on my computer. My HD died about 20 days after I put windows on my computer.
That’s about all for now as it is past lunch and I am really hungry. It is about a 2 Km walk to the really good street food. I will take my camera and throw some Puyang pics up on my facebook.
If there is anything about China that any of you want to know please feel free to email me your questions. If I do not have the answers I am SURE I can get one of my students or coworkers to find out.
I will post some others as they happen either here or in a new post. Hope you enjoyed the read!
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