Reading time: 7 minutes
Let us kick off the year with habitual moaning/reviewing, as today I will be picking up from where we left off last year, and for those of you who don’t remember what happened, because, well, why would you, I will offer a brief recap below in the form of a Jeremy Clarkson ‘summary’ (read in his voice).
“Last year I had accepted a job from a Scottish chin. I got on a plane. Ate a McDonald’s. Got spat on. Drank an old smoothie. Saw a boy poo, and probably had the strangest Christmas… in the world.”
I want to dedicate this post to talking about, or ‘exposing’, the company that hired me to go to China in the first place. Now before you think, “ah, fu*king well boring“, I’ll have you know that that language and negativity isn’t welcome here, plus, it’s because of them that I had the desire to make ‘Clueless in Asia’ initially. I wanted to write about all my tribulations and encounters with one of the worst men I had ever met in history, well, my history, but that’s still nearly three decades, and I’ve had the displeasure of knowing some right wa*king lowlifes.
Though I began to consider that for a reader without the experiences of meeting such a ‘man’, this may all be a tad tedious and irrelevant to you. That’s why I’m going to illustrate Dick in such a way that you can still enjoy reading this with a nervous grin from ear to ear, like the one you get when the doctor tells you to take off your pants for an ear infection, or after you’ve been victim to a Glasgow smile, either or, my friends, either or.
To offer a shard of light into the background of this swine, he went to China almost fifteen years ago to start a business not related to education, and after a very brief insight into seeing how companies were making their riches in language centres, he changed his ‘strategy’ completely, and decided to open language centres instead.
So it would be fair to say that this is a man who has no care nor passion for education, just eyes for money.
Dick, the biggest penis I had met thus far, was, as mentioned previously, continuing with his scheming to save money, as opposed to actually making money. This would take form in little, sly, harmless tactics, like… not paying his staff, deducting salary, and even charging his staff fines on a few occasions too (I’m devilishly sarcastic).
For me, working for this man and having him included in my life, was as painful as my step dad’s fists (oops), so for me, this topic has a great deal of energy, emotion, and careful consideration weaved into every selected word.
Remember Wallace? My great breezy serene fellow islander whom I rejoiced in seeing on Saturdays (the other Scottish one if that didn’t jog your memory). Well, after our morning classes on a Saturday, we would share funny and unbelievable experiences that we both had in China (usually with brownies that he’d make), and it is here ladies and gentleman, that I share with you a story, that I, at the time… could not believe.
A story so farfetched, that I think is one of the most ridiculous examples of Dick being the terrible-money chasing, penny-saving, breathless pacing, McDonald’s grazing wanker, I ‘ever did meet’.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this, is the biggest Dick… in the world.
“I received a phone call from Dick asking me to do an extra class and “make up my hours”, as the school I was working at, was on holiday. As I was new, I wanted to make a good impression with the boss, so I accepted his request without hesitation. He had told me to go to the metro station ‘Pangyu Square’ for the following day, giving me only one day’s notice to prepare some classroom materials and a lesson plan. I asked him, “what will I be teaching?”
“You won’t be teaching at all, no teaching. Just go down ‘there’ and speak English and play with the kids.”
I didn’t really want to do it, as Panyu Square was really far from where I was living, taking me at least two hours, give or take, to get there.
Dick said, “When you arrive at the station, ‘Panyu Square’ you’ll meet someone in a car, this is his phone number. Call him and get in the car”.
The following day I arrived at Panyu Square and called the unknown driver. I got in his car which was a really nice, blacked-out Mercedes; we drove for 45 minutes away from the city to the middle of nowhere, passing fields and villages and heading towards some forest. At that stage, I was adamant I was getting killed. I thought to myself, “Why would children be out here?”
After driving for another hour or so, I arrived safely, thankfully, with the driver turning to me and saying, “this is the English camp”.
“Camp?” I said.
I was in the middle of nowhere, literally, nothing around. I was greeted by a few Chinese individuals who began with offering me a pot noodle, not the official brand, just some knockoff version. So, there I was, in the middle of some forest, being offered a knock-off pot noodle by random Chinese people.
I accepted said noodle.
As I began to eat the pot noodle, one of the individuals explained to me, “Okay, so, today you need to do a one hour’s presentation on the differences between Norway and China”.
“Eh? I’m not from Norway. I’m from Scotland.” That was my first reaction followed by many other things, and then I thought about how I was the new employee and how I really wanted to make a good start, so I just accepted what she said, no matter how crazy it was. Under normal circumstances, of course, I would have turned it down!
“It doesn’t matter. Just make it up” the woman replied.
“Why wasn’t I told about this yesterday?” I asked.
“No one told you? We told your boss a few weeks ago”
I had tried calling Dick a few times, but he didn’t pick up his phone, in fact, I’m sure on one occasion he rejected my call.
I go into a building and then into this large room, full of at least one hundred children, all sitting on stools looking up at a stage. Accompanying them were all their parents, so in total there must have been close to three hundred people in attendance.
I asked the woman, “what time does my presentation start?”
I looked down at my watch and it was 2:27, I remember it so clearly, it’s still so scarred into my mind. So, I had three minutes to think up a one hour’s presentation on the differences between Norway, I country I don’t come from, and China, another country I don’t come from. As I stood there panicking, I noticed at the back of the room that a massive TV film-camera came in, followed by a small TV crew.
My three minutes were up, and they handed me a microphone.
My heart was pounding, and as I took my place on this stage, I just racked my brain for what to teach, “what can I teach Chinese people about Norway? I can only assume as I’ve never actually been to Norway” I thought to myself.
“Norway people must be polite, and they have salmon.” I guessed, still thinking to myself.
So, I thought, “okay, so I’ve got two things here, manners and salmon, I need something else… potatoes? They must eat potatoes. No one will know”.
So, for one hour, I gave examples of polite greetings and how ‘we’, ‘The Norwegians’, eat and enjoy salmon with potatoes. I winged a one-hour presentation, whilst on television, in front of hundreds of people and Dick knew all about it beforehand.
Still to this day I don’t know how I did it. I even told them about toilets.
Before I got driven back by the driver, I received an envelope with cash inside. I was told to give it to my “handler” (the driver), and then I assume he would then pass it onto Dick. I was told that the envelope contained money for my time and money for my travel expenses, which Dick had requested they pay.
I never received my travel expenses money and when I asked Dick about it, he denied he’d received it or asked for it.
He lied to me, put me in the most uncomfortable situation, and took all the money, even the money I spent on the metro. I never received an apology from him for putting me through that.
To add to that, months later when telling another teacher of my story, I found out that Dick had asked other members of staff to do the presentation, but they rejected it because they too didn’t want to be on TV making a fool of themselves.
So, he purposely didn’t tell me the details, all so he could make £40”.
– Wallace, 2016.
Clueless in Asia was initially conjured up to warn people of this man, and to offer advice for anyone going to China, so here’s my advice… stay the fu*k away from him.
All positions that Dick arranges for his staff to be in, be it public schools, kindergartens and training centres, are told, by Dick, strictly not to discuss pay with the teacher. This is because the schools and kindergartens pay all their teachers holiday pay during the holiday seasons, even the teachers under the management of Dick. It was revealed that Dick pockets all of the holiday pay that the school intended to be for the teacher. So, for doing nothing, he would steal thousands of pounds from his teachers and then deny he had ever done it, despite the fact the schools told teachers, “we gave Dick your holiday pay to pass to you“.
As someone who was employed by this man, I can confirm categorically, he does not issue/supply the correct legal documents to apply for a legal working visa. He does not pay his staff correctly and nor does he pay them on time. He lies, cheats and manipulates both staff and customers to best suit his needs. I have seen teachers come and go, and not a single one left his company happily. He has threatened staff with lawyers for wanting to leave (a truly empty threat), he habitually withholds pay and will do all he can to make your life a living hell if you hand in your notice.
I, along with many others, had gone months without receiving our salaries and without apologies, all whilst he posts pictures boasting the latest laptop, watch, TV or fridge that he has bought, with most likely, our money.
He is an agent, nothing more, nothing less. He cares not for education, only for making money, paying off his massive life-crushing debt, and buying the latest gadgets to compensate for his meaningless life.
If you want to travel around the globe in search of an adventure, please find a credible and legal company to seek employment with. A registered business has to comply with laws put in place to protect you.
If, however, you’re like I was, desperate to leave your country because you saw no future being awake long enough to watch Frasier at 6 am, then go to Dubai and become a building slave, as at least they offer accommodation; and no matter how terrible that must be, it’ll still be better than working for the biggest knob in China, Dick.
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