Sunday, March 16, 2014

I'm Afraid This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record

As mentioned, getting a job in the Middle East is now a matter of interminable amounts of paperwork, including in the case of this job at least, a thorough professional background check, including a credit check and a national and international criminal record search.

The funny thing, though , is that the background check isn't completed until AFTER you arrive in the Sandbox, and there's usually a point after you arrive that you are informed whether you passed or not

Now of course English teachers are a pretty fly-by-night bunch; especially those of us who started in the 90s. We taught on tourist visas and got paid in cash more often than not. Before the internet, somebody checking your references was pretty much impossible anyway. What third-world TEFL school could afford the long distance call? Plus, our directors and school owners rarely spoke any fucking English.

(I'd imagine being the person who gets to follow up on all these background checks now is a pretty thankless if occasionally pretty amusing job.)

But, you know, as I discussed in HOW TO SURVIVE LIVING ABROAD (still available free here) especially in the last ten years, there is such a thing as a permanent record, even in the headbanging world of English teaching. Even places like Thailand are demanding police background checks and apostiled teaching certificates.

So: bottom line, here in the Sandbox, occasionally people get fired because they fail the background check.

AFTER they arrive.

One guy got fired for lying about the dates regarding some of his experience; you're supposed to have at least three years full time experience to get this job. The guy who did it apparently told everyone he only exaggerated by "a few months" but somebody else who knew the guy said he lied by an entire year.

Another guy got fired for reasons unknown. Very suddenly; it was literally a case of his visa being revoked within three days.

Everybody wonders what exactly he might have done. Speculation runs rampant and the guy himself remains mum. Wanted on criminal charges somewhere? Something like a family connection to Israel? (The guy was Scottish but who knows.) Another source said he got in a big argument with the security guards in the parking lot here, but that seems unlikely to be the kind of thing that would get you fired instantly.

So: keep it in mind. TEFL. Job security still practically nil. And we're not off the grid anymore.

1 comment:

Dion said...

Globalization. A fugitive's worst nightmare.