I’ve pulled this off of my Facebook, it was written on 10/30/2012
About 5 weeks ago I met a guy who offered me a job. He came up to me in the middle of my school’s lobby and told me how he’d been eavesdropping on me for the last week. He said he thought my English was great and I had to be successful because Donald Trump was also from NY. His name was Marc and he was part of the business department at a Beijing college nearby me. He wanted me to teach a 4 part power point course that focused on American culture and taught formal English skills. He told me I would be paid 300RMB an hour, or 50$, and it would all be under the table.
When I accepted his job offer, he bought me a 500$ fitted suit and told me we’d start in a week. I asked him if I had to pay him back for the suit and he said no, it was a gift to show me that he and his partners were serious about my employment, and nothing will be owed by accepting it. Waiting for classes to be scheduled, we would meet to practice the power point and add to it whatever was needed. Over the course of 5 weeks I spent about 15-20 hours fine tuning the course with him, and also doing demonstrations for his colleagues. Multiple times I was assured that we would begin in the coming week, only to be assured again that week with the same “Next week, we’re very close” line.
During this time of practicing I found out some disconcerting things about Marc. He was the only person on the project, which contradicted his story about his business partners. He invited me to dinner at his house and I found that he also lived with his parents. I began to notice he wasn’t exactly a social butterfly either, and when we went over the student-teacher relationship aspect of the course he told me that I was to treat them harshly. The 4th week I saw the biggest red flag yet, he wanted me to tell the students that they were weak, and physically not allow them to reenter the classroom if they left to use the bathroom. His reasoning for this was that the course’s goal had changed, now being meant to mold future Fortune 500 Company CEOs. The course itself also had no reward in place for a student who paid and excelled, other than Marc’s unqualified declaration that the student was fit to be a Fortune 500 Company CEO… It wasn’t exactly going to open any doors for them. Marc also told me it was my job to design parts 3 and 4 of the power point course that he’d originally said were finished. All the while, he still continued to postpone our start, every week telling me classes would start the next week.
After being assured that the 6th week would be our start for sure, and that there were no more obstacles, I received even more disconcerting news. He told me the college had denied his proposal for the course and we would have to set it up ourselves. He began to ramble on about how to create marketing campaigns, all of which consisted of me handing out fliers of some forms and ambushing unexpecting students coming to and from classes for, wait for it, a commission that equaled $1.50 per sale. This was the final straw and I decided it was time to cut ties and accept sunken costs.
My conversation with Marc about quitting. Enjoy the chinglish
Marc: “How’s it going?”
Me: “God. I have been putting thought into this though and am starting to question it as a job. I have put in almost 20 hours of work without pay and was supposed to begin 5 weeks ago. I have even turned down other opportunities for this job. It still has not started and now we are on our own. I am thinking I must begin to pursue other interests.”
Marc: “Iunderstand you are eager to see cash. But it takes a little more effort. If u are no longer interested, we can depart.”
Me: “I am thinking so. Best oF luck.”
Marc: “Not luck, our effort will pay off. We take you and christinas well being into consideration. We are not kid english.”
Me: “Thank you.”
Marc: “And I learned. Best oF l@ck. Haha.”
1 hour later
Marc: “You made contribution to this course. How much should I pay?”
Me: “1500RMB would be reasonable.”
Marc: “and I get my suit and shoes back.”
Me: “Those were a gift of good faith and not contingent to employment. I would expect more if I return those.”
Marc: “ok u keep those. I feed America. Your new job seems good, and you are in finance trouble. I wont see this as offense. You are too young and bold. But the best oF luck thing, if u do not apologize, I counteract.”
Me: “I am not in financial trouble, I just do not donate my time. It has been almost 3 times as long as promised, and you still have no classes for me to teach.”
Me: “And in America best of luck is a friendly and good expression. No apology is necessary.”
Marc: “u use uppercase, drop F bomb. But this is china.”
Me: “No it was typo because my phone here is crap. Haha not at all what I meant. If I wanted to say the F word to you I’d simply say it, but I have no reason to.”
Marc: “You return my stuff or I wish you best of luck on your way home, your way to the gym. Beijing is much safer in NY.”
Me: “No it was a gift and now compensation for my lost time.”
Me: “It will not be returned. I think you are upset over confusing a typo. Think rationally instead of making threats.”
Marc: “You have chosen best of luck.”
There was no way I was going to give back the suit, besides the fact it had been tailored for me personally and wasn’t going to be of much use to anybody but me. My gym was located in his housing complex, and I had to walk by his house to get there and to leave. I’m pretty sure he tried to follow me home a couple times, but I always took alternate routes and lost him. I saw him several times in the lobby of my school as well; he would always yell hello to me, and I’d nod and say hi. He’d then glare at me for the duration of us being in the same room together. Nothing ever came of it, and I haven’t seen him since November. I learned that day typo’s are serious business. He was an interesting guy…