Our agency had a 3 year contract with this school ending this year. Rumours have been floating round for the last year or so about whether it would be extended or not. On Sunday the Bilingual Program teachers were in doing prep work for the new semester and they had a meeting.
The meeting said the agency had lost the contract and they would be taking over our staff room ( as they are expnading another year upwards ) and another agency would be coming in and the they will be sharing the thai teachers staffrooms.
Obviously as we have friends in the program word soon got out and by Tuesday it was the talk of the staffroom but no word yet from our agency. Wednesday no word, or wait a minute, maybe there would be a staff meeting. Yes there would be one on Friday. Today comes along and we have it. Our lunch is 11.25 - 12.55 or depending on what level you teach 11.55 - 12.55. The meeting is scheduled for 12.00. The minutes drift by and at 12.15 we start the meeting. The cynically minded are thinking mmm good waste of time so far, lets see how they spin the message.
1st item up - trivial
2nd item up - trivial
3rd item up - trivial
then the baited breath
And to paraphrase
" this may be of interest to those wanting to stay in thailand or with the agency"
"you may have heard negative reports about the contract and probably they are true" WHAT??
" negotitations are still ongoing and we have a final meeting to go to, to get a final decision. They ( the school) want to change what they want next year and I dont think anyone will want to do it"
OK, tell us the changes then.
" well its about working in October, teaching more but I dont think we will get the contract"
Ok, give us the details. We are here on stupid training for two weeks in October anyway so...
" If any one wants to get the full details they can come and see me"
" Current contracts not affected blah blah, we have contracts with other schools and can always use teachers with good records and attitudes blah blah....."
But the bilingual teachers have been told we arent coming back and are moving into our staffroom.
" oh, they have jumped the gun, its not definite yet!"
EH!!!! This has been the worst way I have ever been told that effectively I have been fired. Lets review. Other teachers in another program were told before we were. They have even seen plans of our refurbished staffroom! During almost the entire first couple of minutes our FUD was delivering the news with his head looking down into the noteboard he had and was mumbling about we had had a final decision yet and not to worry because good people will be kept on...... yes, those who dont rock the boat and tow the line. Hmmm Sniff Sniff, I smell BULLSHIT!
In a way the worst thing is that when I found out the other teachers knew before I did, I wasnt actually upset. Thats how immune I have become to this countrys and this agencys way of working. Back home a union would have gone ballistic!
We supposedly will have a concrete answer by the end of this month. I wont hold my breath. Maybe 2 1/2 years is too long in one school in Thailand and it is time to move on. My greatest concern is not finsing a job its my visa and work permit situation. I dont want to go through the whole visa run to get a non imm b to jump through hoops with the MOE .... again. Our contracts are due up on March 31 which means the WP and visa is valid til then as well ( at least according to some folk, other say different and others say different again but any way it is.... I dont want it )
I had hoped to go back home for a holiday in April but know I might be running around trying to sort out a decent job and or my visa. No point trying to organise one now as the only schools who hire this far in advance are true international ones who want fully accredited teachers which I am not - just a degree and a TESOL man me. ( but if anyone knows of a job starting May next year and paying 50k+ please let me know, pretty please with honey on top ! )
Have a good weekend!