Friday, May 01, 2015
What the Fuck is Going On Here?
All right, god knows, I'm not exactly the King of TEFL or anything, but I certainly thought I was employable. Not too old yet, fairly well-qualified -- BA in English plus DELTA - and a wide variety of experience in a wide variety of countries. Sure, a few gaps in my employment history, and some wanton job-changing, I guess, but doesn't everybody have those?
It seems like there has been a VAST sea change since even just the beginning of 2013 when I was last looking for jobs. (I mean, I wrote about it myself. There's a GRAPES OF WRATH-style mass migration to the Middle East going on.)
I got turned down for the third and final job in Abu Dhabi -- it was a rather fishy-sounding affair through a contracting company -- so I applied for a couple more jobs -- one was a highly-paid military contracting job in Saudi, the other was at a college in Bahrain.
Both of these involved uploading ALL my stuff onto websites.Scanned copies of documents, references, all of it. And of course, "Master's Degree preferred."
From both I got no response at all. (Well, not yet anyway, and it's been ten days or so.)
Not a rejection ... just no response at all.
That seems to be the norm now, even for shitty chain-language school jobs, these application portals.Your information will be scanned not by humans but by algorhythms. Your diplomas and certificates and references will be checked BEFORE YOU EVEN GET A JOB.
The world of TEFL is now shitty AND competitive as well! And completely ON THE GRID!
Now let me reiterate: my certificates are all real (now). I have good references from my last couple of jobs.
I'm sure I'd turn something up. I did get offered a job in Saudi in Riyadh, in a sort of bait-and-switch deal. "Oh, our positions in UAE are filled now, but we do have some in Riyadh." And I could go back to my former employers (or so they told me when I left.)
But it got me wondering: what about all the poor fuckers I know who don't have any references, any real qualifications, who just amble along doing private lessons and working on tourist visas? What's going to become of those poor fuckers in this new era of TEFL? Never mind the police background checks and verification of documents even in places like China and Thailand.
Jesus wept. What's going on here? Who's the commanding officer here?
Well, fuck it. No more job applications, it's too distracting. I make the equivalent of a shitty chain-language school franchise salary from my books and stock dividends, so it's time to hunker down somewhere for a while. Probably have to go back to Russia for a while and live with the Girlfriend, and get that straightened up one way or another. Work on some books -- got one porno novel to finish and then I'll get to hard work on my next memoir, about my early life -- and get that stupid master's degree done. Hell, maybe I'll get TWO master's degrees. I got the loot, anyway. Fortunately.
Although, shit, I might have to change the name of the blog, if I can't teach English any more ...
ANYWAY! Enough about that.In five days, ruminations on Bangkok then and Bangkok now.
(EDIT: It's official, as of 2013, Saudi and UAE are now requiring a letter from your university verifying that you did NOT do your education online. This article is specifically about health-care workers, but it would apply all around. And here's another article from a visa service about that.