I thought I’d pop in to put one little update about Liuzhou New Standard Training Center. I’m back in the States after finishing up the year working at a decent-enough university (Guangxi Normal University in Guilin), and while my experience with New Standard soured me to the concept of ESL in China such that I will never go back to that country as a teacher, I do still like to keep in touch with some friends I made there.
A few days ago, I was surprised to log onto QQ and see one of my friends, a Chinese teacher at New Standard, relaying a message from the boss trying to get me to delete all the negative posts I had made about the school. It seems that they have finally noticed that just about all mentions of Liuzhou New Standard English Training Center on the Internet are unequivocally negative, and instead of working to change the poor conditions for foreign teachers at the school, they’d rather attempt to pressure their former employees into silence with such phrases as:
did you say something bad about New Standar on the internet (your blog) ?
It’s not good for you, just delete them all.
Such idle vague threats despite the fact that I reside on the other side of the planet and have no plans to return, and certainly not for anything related to employment in China! In the ensuing conversation (the non-English-speaking boss quite obviously present and speaking through my friend, and then in the end angrily typing in Chinese), I received a rhetorical whirlwind of approaches, jumping schizophrenically from the initial angry outburst to:
- scraping the bottom of the barrel for “kindnesses” the boss had done me, bringing up a time when I had broken my foot and the school had provided crutches for me to continue working (as if that was a sign of the World’s Best Boss; even a performing dog gets taken to the vet) — or when he had so generously roped my fellow teachers and me into paying extra to move from the provided apartment with years of mold growth in the kitchen and no promised Western toilet
- claiming that all the negative experiences we had gone through (detailed at length in my other posts) were simply because “this is China” despite constant accounts from other teachers and the coordinators from our CIEE program (and my own better experiences at GXNU later on!) that this situation was significantly worse than normal
- acting as if all of our complaints were confusing, impossible to understand, and had never been properly raised despite the five months of us all being clear and vocal on the reasons behind our complaints, which were routinely ignored
Considering all of us former teachers are still showcased on Liuzhou New Standard’s website, and I personally saw our visages used on newly-created flyers and advertisements five whole months after we all left that school (added to the collection, next to the photos of the foreign teachers who had left before we had arrived), I can’t particularly see a reason why I would censor myself so ludicrously. If anything, this little episode would hurt them further by inspiring this post. But after all, the boss was never good at dealing with people.