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Author Topic: Beware of Westbourne Academy, SUZHOU  (Read 4734 times)

Raoul F. Duke

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Beware of Westbourne Academy, SUZHOU
« on: August 25, 2007, 04:54:01 PM »
The rumors of misbehavior and abuse from this school are coming thick and fast now; it's time to say something.

First of all, some disclosure: I was fired from a part-time job at this school...but that's not what I'm unhappy about. At the time, I was early in my diabetes treatment and not feeling so well much of the time. The medicines the local doctors were prescribing me were not working. I missed a Monday soon after I started. Tuesday I went to the doctor and got new diabetes medicines. I took the first dose Wednesday morning. I ate lunch and headed out to my college gig. During the long cab ride, the new medicines took hold and my blood sugar plummeted to dangerously low levels. It was the best high I ever had! I was laughing uproariously at everything- especially the utterly bewildered students- and couldn't stop. Fortunately Dr. Con and a person who's a new member here were my co-teachers; they gently suggested I get the fuck out of there and go home. I was eased into a taxi, went back to El Rancho Raoul, chased my semi-ex-wife around the house like Jack Nicholson in The Shining  for an hour or so, and finally collapsed in a heap, where I stayed until well in the evening. The S-E-W called Westbourne and told them what was up. When I came to, a message on my mobile told me I was fired.

This much I can understand. Their prerogative.

The burn came in when I went to collect my paycheck. I had been promised 150 per hour to teach there; they claimed they had never said such a thing and paid me 120 per. They assured me that it had all just been a misunderstanding (despite the fact that the negotiation was done by pretty easy-to-follow text messages), and that they were real sorry. The weaselly British DoS I'd negotiated with collapsed like a blancmange and failed to back me up. I had no recourse at all and could only walk out with what I could get.
Oh, and I could make sure every expat teacher and Chinese student in town heard about it. uuuuuuuuuu

Since then:

- Teachers sent out to corporate sites were promised (by said weaselly British DoS) that they would get paid for travel time. When payday came around, the school refused to pay any travel time at all, and every one of the teachers (some of whom had quite substantial banks of travel time) doing these jobs got soaked.

- Other teachers have left due to not being paid for hours worked as promised.

- One teacher agreed to do a 3-hour "Movie Class", and was promised 300 RMB for the job. He was paid 200 RMB; the school refused to honor the original deal "because he enjoyed himself" watching the movie.

- Another teacher, after months of foot-dragging by Westbourne's owner, just told me tonight that he was NOT going to get his new promised residence permit after all because they've decided to start hiring Filipino teachers who will work for half our wage and quietly do what they're told. The teacher is going to have to leave China and go home. Apparently Westbourne told him he would not receive all his pay unless he could show proof he was leaving the country.

Mark your map with a big red 'X' on this one, folks. Don't go there.

Oh, and don't take the diabetes medicine the doctors here prescribe. Go to the pharmacy and buy Amaryl. I've felt great since I changed to it. Great stuff! bfbfbfbfbf
« Last Edit: August 25, 2007, 04:55:41 PM by Raoul Duke »
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Glasgow Kiss

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Re: Beware of Westbourne Academy, SUZHOU
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2007, 05:44:15 PM »
Although it may have been horrible for your health, you did seem to be in a fantastic mood that day...


Felix Li

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Re: Beware of Westbourne Academy, SUZHOU
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2007, 02:09:41 AM »
YEAH Most schools tend to do shit things to teahcers. But got to say that some of the problems are caused by different ways of thinking. Some Chinese mangers do what they want without noticing you they will happen. The communication there is really bad. Don't want to offend anyone here, according to my experience, some teachers don't have a good sense of responsibility,they don't honor their job. When i worked at Webi, a teacher kept calling to tell me he can't come to teach because he was not feeling well. If he was really sick, that's fine, everybody gets sick sometime. BUT the fact was he got really drunk everytime when he said "he is not feeling well". That pissed me off a lot. And now if we hire a teacher, we'll tell them if work well, they'll be paid this much. If not,they'll be paid less. The difference is that i tell them what will happen instead of doing shits first.

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Beware of Westbourne Academy, SUZHOU
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2007, 07:45:00 AM »
Felix,
I think I know who you're talking about. That guy was  scum. The local expats are, if possible, even happier than the Chinese that he's gone.

I think most of us here will readily attest that some of the alleged "teachers" running around here cause more than their share of problems.

But the topic and point of this particular thread is to talk about a school that's gone seriously rotten. The teachers who have been victimized by them (excluding me, who is well-known as both a terrible teacher and a repulsive drunk) were in many cases outstanding teachers and good, solid people. If you'd like to start a new thread about problem teachers, please do. We probably have more such stories than you do. uuuuuuuuuu
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Felix Li

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Re: Beware of Westbourne Academy, SUZHOU
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2007, 01:02:50 PM »
it's been harder to find a good school to work with now. Most of them out there are money-driven llllllllll

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Beware of Westbourne Academy, SUZHOU
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2007, 01:25:49 PM »
They're ALL money-driven. And there's nothing wrong with that. A school can be honest and still make a profit. That's just how it SHOULD be.
A school can and should make money (happy managers) AND give the students value for the money (happy students) AND take good care of its teachers both foreign and domestic (happy teachers). This is not hard. But in too many cases greed eats up the management; they want it ALL. The teachers and students get disgusted and leave. Soon, no one is happy.
But it really doesn't have to be that way.

Meanwhile: Felix, this thread is about Westbourne and it's in an on-topic area. If it's not about Westbourne, please start a new thread for it.
You're new here. agagagagag
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)