Hello Dr. Greg,
Fantastic site! I recently moved here as a burnt out Spanish teacher from Arizona. I taught for 3 years, have a BA in Spanish and psychology, and a master's degree in education. I love the advice and insight this site offers. I was wondering if you could help me gauge the appropriateness of my present employer.
The school is in Nanjing in Deji Plaza at Xienjieko (heart of downtown) and seems reputable: however, it is brand new. My contract is for 12,000 yuan a month with a 1st month probationary payment of 9,500.
My first payday is approaching and I have been told they are going to pay me the full 9,500 by cash but that the next month my 12,000 will be "double taxed" to make up for it. Does this seem strange to you? It does to me, what do you think they are trying to pull?
I guess I might be being a little naive but my job started out with me being told I'd work 5 days a week then after my first 5 days the "education supervisor" approached me 45 minutes before I had thought I finished my 1st week and asked me to work 2 more days. So I worked 7 days in a row my first week. I expressed that I thought it was deceitful and an old American corporate trick but since the company was new that I would do so to help. I expressed this jokingly but as you probably know every joke contains 50% truth.
The next week they carted me around to two universities to do PowerPoint presentations to market business. It was a parallel of celebrity status and slave labor as I noticed posters of me with the company logo and, although my contract stipulates that my work hours are from 9:30 to 6:30, I worked 12-hours per day on those two days.
Could you please tell me what you think they are doing in regards to their "taxing" method. Also any insight would be great....I guess it's like the website says, "I need to establish boundaries." I am just wondering if these are true "red flags."
They seem to have a lot invested in me by using me as the "face" of their company (I am the only foreigner amongst a staff of 15 in a well-developed skyscraper on the 30th floor overlooking their equivalent of Time Square; they've given me business cards, I am on their website, and they did give me Christmas Day off although it was a work day).
I was very careful taking this job and did so after I already arrived in China and avoided a job I accepted over Skype in Jiangyin: a job where the director slept with the secretary who collected the company money and hired nothing but unqualified teachers. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time.