|"oh Vikki you are very smart"|
|Yes yes that is the phrase that sums up my dealings with contracts in a
Chinese school. When I fist came to China I was naive and soft, not imagining that they would try to trick me. I mean they kept saying we were friends, they
wouldn't trick me...right? WRONG. I hate to sound negative because China is a big sprawling beauty of a country. BUT
I want the newbies out there to watch out.
Two days after I arrived at my school and one day before the contract was signed, my school started adding duties not already agreed. I agreed to some and said no to others. They were mad! However it was okay for them to cut the pay we agreed claiming a typing error. So we signed including an extra 6 hours at the weekend for society training. This didn't happen due to not enough students so my school decided to schedule other classes. I said no due to the timing and they claimed it was in my contract. It wasn't. The society training was very different and I only said yes because it was for poor kids. They smiled and said "oh vikki you are very smart". I also got screwed over working vacation. Eventually I got wise and contacted the labour union. I told my school what I had discovered and they said...you guessed it. "oh Vikki you are very smart". When I handed in my notice that I wouldn't be resigning my contract, they tried to get out of certain contractual obligations such as flight home and salary! I am convinced they think I am dumb so I pointed it out clearly and threatened government action and they said "oh Vikki you are very smart". They even tried to just keep postponing the flight till I went and reserved it handing in my boss's telephone number as person to call to reserve it!
Chinese business is ruthless. Schools here are just business and you are the money maker. Get that in your head. The problem is never the students. I have had to toughen up here. Heck this posting could have been miles long with stories where I had to think quicker than them. It is exhausting. But china is good and so worth it!