Tuesday, August 30, 2011

'CrapJobs!' for an Indian Summer!

I would like to offer my sincere apologies for this belated battering of summer school ‘Crap Jobs!’, but adverse circumstances put themselves in my way. If you had the misfortune to walk into one of these nightmare jobs, paying 'Indian-style' wages, please leave a comment below and apprise us of your personal horror!

First up is the Eckersley School of Oxford, a dignified Tefl institute that, according to the advert on tefl.com, “has a long history of learning and teahing” [sic]. Clearly, though, the school has no extended background in correct spelling or proofreading. It also claims that “many of our staff have a long history with the school”, which probably means in excess of six months.

Anyway, this outfit was offering Celta-belters a mighty £13.60 per hour for 21 hours of classroom capering, resulting in an impressive weekly paycheck of ... 285 quid!! In my view, any Tefl job that pays less than 300 quid a week is still living in the 1990s, when it was possible to earn that sum for the usual timetable of 25 contact hours per week.

If you’re interested in making an early application for next year’s round of summer shenanigans, try contacting the Academic Manager, Jackie Halsall, on 01865 721268. I’m sure she’d be happy to lie through her teeth and kid you what a wonderful experience the whole things is!

Next in the queue of awful summer employers stand the infamous cheapskates OISE, who were offering a measly 280 quid for 22.5 hours of intensive classes in small groups, which works out as less than 12.50 an hour!! In admission of this truly derisory financial offering, the tefl.com advert proudly states that “Newly-qualified teachers are welcome, and will be supported.” Clearly no experienced teacher would consider going near the place, then.

In my experience this company are exceedingly shifty. So the statement that “Contracts generally offer ... some leisure supervision in the afternoon on a rota basis” needs to be treated with extreme caution, as there’s no mention of any payment for these rota duties. The same goes for this – “There is a Saturday excursion, for which supervision duties are available on a voluntary basis for extra payment”. This ‘extra payment’ is a mere £50.00, which is around minimum wage level!

Still interested in this ritual humiliation? Well, please call 01865 258323 and ask to speak to Duncan Jamieson, the ‘Academic Mangager’ [sic], who also appears to have a problem with his English.

Last up is the well-loathed Devon School of English, who are already familiar to readers of the pages of this blog. This bunch of shysters were offering a true financial slap in the face – 299 quid a week (the same they were paying in Easter 2009), from which they deduct £35 to cover your accommodation!

The thoroughly obnoxious Bret Hawthorne is the boy to contact here, on 01803 559718, if you’d like to pre-book this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

So there it goes – or went, rather. But perhaps you had an even worse wage or experience this summer. Feel like sharing it with us? Please do!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Crap Jobs, British Council style...

Yes, it looks like the British Council is really scraping the barrel recruitment-wise. One of their recent adverts proudly claims a need for 10 newly-qualified Tefl twerps for Cairo – no experience needed at all!!

Of course, there was a time when BC only accepted highly experienced and well-qualified teachers, but now a greenhorn – no, TEN greenhorns! – will have the lucky chance of being inducted into the BC House of Horrors. As the advert states...

No post-certificate experience is needed; this programme is for teachers without the two years experience we usually ask for.

To which we have to ask ... why? Maybe, just possibly, there’s a financial reason lurking behind all this. After all, the salary is a measly 1100 quid a month, and there’s NO accommodation allowance – so you can kiss a lot of that money goodbye immediately. Mind you, there is the very heart-warming promise of “Assistance provided in finding accommodation plus reasonable time off in first two weeks for this purpose”. There you go – that’s BC being generous for you!

And they’ll have you work your butt off for them too – teaching up to 20 hours a week in the first six months, and then the standard 25.

Of course, if that’s not bad enough for you, try this other one, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It’s allegedly a ‘local contract’, which is why it offers no baggage allowance or airfare at all – and no accommodation allowance either! But of course, if you just happen to be there already...

As the advert admits, “For a poor country, Tanzania is surprisingly expensive.” So trying to live on the measly BC salary of LESS than 1000 quid a month (in a declining local currency) might be very difficult indeed.

So, does anybody else have any Crap Jobs from the BC camp? Sandy would be very interested in checking them out, seeing as he’s got a LOT of free time on his hands right now!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Six Weeks in Chokey!

So how can I possibly explain my sudden and unexpected absence? Suffice to say I was obliged to spend a few weeks entertaining the lads in a certain establishment of Her Majesty, not too dissimilar to the pristine hallways of the residential institution pictured alongside. And of course, the offer of free food and lodgings, together with the chance of a little homegrown whacky baccy (courtesy of Mr Screw) to help while away those long summer evenings, is not to be sniffed at, is it?

Anyway, I had NO IDEA that selling 'genuine replica IELTS certificates'on the internet was a crime - really, I didn't! I just looked on it as a small source of extra tax-free revenue, and doing my least capable students a little favour when they couldn't quite hit the high notes. Shame, really ... and it was all going so well.

Anyway, now that I am back (released at 13:00 hours today) I can confirm that the normal disservice to the Tefl Trade will be resumed soon. In fact, I have a couple of neat stories concerning BC and several crappy summer school employers to share with you.

But not the whacky baccy - I ain't sharing that!