You've been here 10 years and you can handle it. I think agencies are garbage, but I've worked for two in the past. After accepting an assignment, my first stop is the agency to john hancock an agreement. If that isn't important to you, then it isn't important. Cheers.
This is it... The apocalypse.
So Dingomeister...you are in your 50s and trying to get work at a Thai school through an agency. What's the story? Is this job needed or just for a bit of fun.
Well, the agency has got a problem. Who is to say you are on a 9.5 or 10 months' contract for less than the colleagues whose remuneration you know?
The relationship is often made in hell. I know the owner of an agency and he is dealing with demands for kickbacks. Oops, I mean voluntary donations to the English Departments. When he lost a contract, he was crying and even vomiting!
Q: Who paid you on Thursday?
Oh yes. And it often is costing them dearly.
First, they were so dreadfully disorganized that they had to extend a "2 days seminar" to a whole week, paying for the accommodation etc.
Second, the "booked" speaker didn't show up.
A colleague had to wait more than a week for his first salary - for less than half the month. It was unreal. While my salary was deposited on time, they really could not sort this out? They all had to open accounts at Kasikorn Bank. But one can make such a deposit at Bangkok Bank for further credit to Kasikorn Bank. All they needed was an account number and the money! A business as a going concern has to have cash to cover payroll. WTH went down? How dare they discriminate against one of their many employees? We are talking about less than 11 grand!
Third, they would send Skype messages after 11 pm. There was nothing to discuss - it was just a matter of holding hands or something.
Fourth, they assured me a new job in their town where they had many schools. The they let me down at the very last minute. While teachers vote with their feet, this is bad by an agency which at the time continued to advertize for teachers. (Seems some want to sign up folks just like realtors want listings).
Fifth, they wanted countless photos and videos and some of their instructions caused great offense!
Sixth, they put the owner's cell phone # on their website and the other number was often unavailable. Then they complained about bothering the boss! (At the time, I had no idea whose phone that would be).
Seventh, insisting on i) taking half the office staff to see us off by train near midnight was some service they felt was required. ii) Many days before the start of our jobs! This was iii) most inconvenient and costly as we ended up in a guesthouse... Exercising control days before they would begin paying us is something I haven't encountered anywhere else before.
Hey, are they even licensed? Amazing Thailand!
Thanks Chris for your informative post! Amazing Thailand. Compared to that my situation is close to 'normal'. Just the usual delays because of incompetence.
I'm used to that from the locals but the owner of the agency is a foreigner. Disappointing.
I assume the majority of posts on this site are from Brits working in Bangkok. It's a whole different business atmosphere in the big city, most businesses are more experienced in dealing and communicating with foreigners, and are more professional in handling the paperwork.
I've spent my time in the boonies where locals have not dealt with foreigners and things are a bit backwards. They don't have the experience and it takes time to get used to new processes. Entire 'English Departments' at high schools are not able to communicate in English.
Of course one shouldn't start a job without a signed contract (and receiving a copy of it) but if one refuses to show up when school starts the job is gone.
Since I know it takes time for these people to sort things out I knew I had to start work or look foranother job. This was the only acceptable job after several interviews with other schools.
I posted this thread to hear other teacher's experiences and learn more about agencies; how they operate, how widespread they are, how professional they are and how much they get paid per referred teacher.
Friday morning the school told me some obscure story and told me the agency will pay me. No cash was left for me yesterday because of more obscure reasons. I sent an SMS to the agent who wrote back: "The school will take care". So no contract, no pay so far.
Concerning the contract I will have a private meeting with the agent today, Saturday, which suits me fine.
Again, I am simply stating facts, not looking for advice and welcome a discussion about agencies and their practices.
^ Would you like a job in Nang Rong? It's a private school and with all the bells and whistles and the agency is dependable. P level, 15 contact hours a week. I think the pay is 35k, 11 month contact with a 1 month's pay bonus at the end of the contract.
"While Jim is milking the Russian Boar, I'm in the shade of a Baobab tree being served a cool drink by a beautiful young indigenous girl. "
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