Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

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Re: per the above union membership drive

Unread post by jon » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:38 am

Sorry. Freudian slip: that should be - sex sensei

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Re: per the above union membership drive

Unread post by ex_sensei » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:10 am

jon wrote:Sorry. Freudian slip: that should be - sex sensei
I knew something like that would happen with sex_sensei's choice of a name.

Argh!
[i]Ex_Sensei has left GCOM, and is now working for the competition.[/i]

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Re: per the above union membership drive

Unread post by sex_sensei » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:11 am

:idea:
Last edited by sex_sensei on Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: per the above union membership drive

Unread post by sex_sensei » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:12 am

sex_sensei wrote:
jon wrote:This is what one could describe as a knee jerk reaction. I've seen a lot of them on this topic. As I have mentioned before, I think it has more to do with general negativitity towards collectivism than it has to do with the failings of unions per se; although I am sure that ex sensei himself is a regular contributor to a number of NGOs and commuty enterprises in his sphere of operations.
Go back on this thread on any thread pertaining to eikaiwa and see what percentage of 'negativity' comments you find. 90-95% ? This is a place to vent and criticize, the very nature of a message board. And, being dismal times in our industry, there is a lot of negativity. What I objected to in the 'generalunionone' post was the propaganda tone of it-- implying that through the General Union's valiant and unrelenting efforts, GABA is now a better place and that they have been held to account for past misdeeds. The reality is that GABA may have mostly made their own improvements to maintain teacher ranks and recruit new teachers. They may have done so begrudgingly, but they responded to the environment they are in. In effect, the General Union has taken credit for improvements they aren't responsible for.

ex-sensei, welcome back and make your presence known more often. We miss you. :beer:
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Re: per the above union membership drive

Unread post by japansmith » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:49 pm

jon wrote:
sex_sensei wrote::eyes: OK, now t...............uckin' break. :guns:
This is what one could describe as a knee jerk reaction. I've seen a lot of them on this topic. As I have mentioned before, I think it has more to do with general negativitity towards collectivism than it has to do with the failings of unions per se; although I am sure that ex sensei himself is a regular contributor to a number of NGOs and commuty enterprises in his sphere of operations.
I think I'm in agreement with sex_sensei. Unions in eikaiwa suck lemons. Unions work better when there's a lot of money to be made in the industry and management aren't passing it down, they don't work when the company is breaking even in a dying industry and the workers are demanding more. ('I demand 50 million yen for cleaning toilets'. If you want fifty million yen, get a job in another industry.) There's not enough demand in the industry to pay for the benefits being sought after. What they would be capable of doing is sinking the company by getting what they want. If that's what everyone wants, then fine. But I don't think so.

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Re: per the above union membership drive

Unread post by jon » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:56 pm

sex_sensei wrote: Go back on this thread on any thread pertaining to eikaiwa and see what percentage of 'negativity' comments you find. 90-95% ? This is a place to vent and criticize, the very nature of a message board. And, being dismal times in our industry, there is a lot of negativity. What I objected to in the 'generalunionone' post was the propaganda tone of it-- implying that through the General Union's valiant and unrelenting efforts, GABA is now a better place and that they have been held to account for past misdeeds. The reality is that GABA may have mostly made their own improvements to maintain teacher ranks and recruit new teachers. They may have done so begrudgingly, but they responded to the environment they are in. In effect, the General Union has taken credit for improvements they aren't responsible for.
I wasn't complaining about negativity as such, more questioning its nature in this case.

It's good to know the underlying reason for your 'vent'. In this case, irritation with the sales pitch. I can understand that (having a general distaste for most sales pitches myself). However, I don't think it's fair based on generalities alone, and without supplying detailed information to claim that the union played no beneficial role in what at face value appears to be a good outcome.

And it goes without saying that if the membership of the union is greater, the bargaining power will be increased. It's reasonably logical. So beyond your distaste for the pitch, I can't see anything wrong with the union trying to recruit on the basis of hard news. If I was at Gaba, I'd be in the union. However, I do think that fees are too high as a percentage of income.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by exUsagiCoalMiner » Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:47 pm

You know (and flame me all you want), I've never actually understood why the "union" :roll: fights so hard for Eikaiwa teachers to get all the national holidays off. Especially in eikaiwa like Gaba, these are the days when you make all your money.
We all know the Japanese are incapable of actually taking a fucking break from anything and have to stay busy. So, what do they do when they have a great day off? Do they enjoy the weather outside? Do they have a picnic? Do they spend valuable time with their family? FUCK NO!! They come pester the rest of us who still have to work and help fill our wallets come payday.
Now, I never said working on the national holidays wasn't a pain in the ass (thankfully I work at a university and don't have to worry about it), but it is still a good money day for eikaiwas...

Did any of that make sense? :eyes: :D
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Unread post by sex_sensei » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:38 am

exUsagiCoalMiner wrote:You know (and flame me all you want), I've never actually understood why the "union" :roll: fights so hard for Eikaiwa teachers to get all the national holidays off. Especially in eikaiwa like Gaba, these are the days when you make all your money.
We all know the Japanese are incapable of actually taking a fucking break from anything and have to stay busy. So, what do they do when they have a great day off? Do they enjoy the weather outside? Do they have a picnic? Do they spend valuable time with their family? FUCK NO!! They come pester the rest of us who still have to work and help fill our wallets come payday.
Now, I never said working on the national holidays wasn't a pain in the ass (thankfully I work at a university and don't have to worry about it), but it is still a good money day for eikaiwas...

Did any of that make sense? :eyes: :D
Two comments:

1) Yes, it made sense-- perfect sense. A great post and factually and intellectually astute.

2) I like working on national holidays to avoid the huge throngs that clog the roads, shops, restaurants, trains... everywhere. It's impossible to go anywhere in Japan and enjoy a national holiday. I'd prefer to be working and sitting in the air-conditioned comfort of my cubicle making money. I would much rather have my regular weekday days off when everyone else is working.
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by jon » Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:06 am

exUsagiCoalMiner wrote: Did any of that make sense? :eyes: :D
There is no doubt that there are inherent problems in setting your sights on trying to get all employees the same rights to the letter as Japanese workers when many of those rights are only of interest to a small subset in the group and the views of the company actually coincide with those of the majority of workers. It seems like an issue that needs to be rethought so as to find ways of protecting the minority who need some of these protections, whilst being more inclusive of the majority - who are in fact a specialised type of employee. It's a complex area.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by MacGyver » Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:46 am

exUsagiCoalMiner wrote:You know (and flame me all you want), I've never actually understood why the "union" :roll: fights so hard for Eikaiwa teachers to get all the national holidays off. Especially in eikaiwa like Gaba, these are the days when you make all your money.
I'm not familiar with the union's agenda so I freely admit I could be wrong but my question to you is are you sure it isn't so much about getting public holidays off but more about getting time off in-lieu? I don't know the exact specifics of the labour laws but I do believe companies have to pay extra (time and a half I think) for working public holidays and even weekends. My company (non-eikaiwa) follows the labour laws to the letter and when we work public holidays (my department doesn't get them off so that means all public holidays including GW and oshogatsu) we don't get paid extra but we do get days-in-lieu. As I say I don't know the specifics of the labour laws but I do know my company follows them exactly so it must be legal to give days-in-lieu instead of overtime rates.

Once again correct me if I'm wrong, but eikaiwas don't give DILs nor do they pay extra for public holidays right? Assuming I'm correct, then it makes sense for the union to be pursuing DILs and/or OT rates in line with labour laws.
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by MacGyver » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:18 pm

PanicInducingGaijin wrote:MacGyver,

IIRC, Gaba doesn't pay a salary at all but pays teachers per lesson worked, so giving them a holiday off or even a day in lieu only means that there's one less day available for them to earn money.
So does that comply with labour laws? Should they not get paid extra for working on public holidays?
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by sex_sensei » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:45 pm

PanicInducingGaijin wrote:
MacGyver wrote:So does that comply with labour laws? Should they not get paid extra for working on public holidays?
IANAL, but I never got paid extra for working on public holidays when I was a freelance translator -- I was contractor working on a piecemeal basis (per page). Is working on a per-lesson basis different?
GABA instructors are considered "itaku", like independent contractors whereby you bill GABA each month for the lessons you taught. No work = no pay. You take any and all days off to your own financial sacrifice. There are no paid holidays and no paid vacation. It's very straight forward: you only get paid for the time you are teaching. Some people cite this as their major gripe for GABA being a "shit place to work". On the other hand, for travelers in and outside Japan, the schedule freedom is great and you can come and go as you please-- within reason. This system must be legal, otherwise GABA would have been hammered by the government by now. With so many GABA instructors working entirely different schedules and hours/month, it would be a headache to decide who is worthy of a paid day off and who isn't.

The beauty of this is that, being Japan (and not North Korea or Burma), if you don't like the system or these work conditions, you aren't required to stay on the job or even take it. :wink: At the company's informational seminars everything is presented in crystal-clear terms. There are are no surprises once you start working. This isn't a plug for GABA and I'm not saying it's the best eiwaiwa gig going or that I am completely happy there; I'm not. I find it odd that most bitching about GABA comes from people that aren't employed there.
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by jon » Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:56 pm

PanicInducingGaijin wrote:
MacGyver wrote:So does that comply with labour laws? Should they not get paid extra for working on public holidays?
IANAL, but I never got paid extra for working on public holidays when I was a freelance translator -- I was contractor working on a piecemeal basis (per page). Is working on a per-lesson basis different?
It's not. But there should be a rate of remuneration that reflects the subcontractual basis of the work. If that rate is only the same as, or less than what you could get in full time employment, then there is obviously something wrong. Certainly you can argue that it's the workers choice to accept the terms, but with union support you could create the conditions to collectively pressure for more normative terms.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by jon » Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:05 pm

novawhiz wrote:
I'd put the number of people who don't want national holidays off and who's interest coicide with the company as the minority. If you don't have Japanese friends who want to do things with you on the holidays, than sure, you don't care if you work holidays.... If you don't have a GF/BF/Spouse who want's to do things with you on national holidays, then sure.... working over golden week is no problem... If you have a social life outside of eikaiwa.... than yes, you would want national holidays off.... especially since most eikaiwa teachers are working over the weekends...and many working later shifts..
In the case of national holidays you could well be right, I'm not sure. I was actually thinking more generally, for example on such matters as the Shakai Hoken issue. I agree that a lot of the problem there rests more with inflexible government rules and practices that don't make it easy for employers and workers to find an equitable solution that is satisfactory to both parties.

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Unread post by sex_sensei » Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:48 pm

novawhiz wrote:... just saw this on the main page; "F: Both G.communication and G.education, who effectively operate NOVA, will, in good faith, engage in collective bargaining with the General Union, and strive to uphold labor laws."

collective bargaining is a big step, is there any other eikaiwa who is engaged in collective barganing with it's union? none to my knowledge...
Man, they are in trouble-- courting the GU in a plea for help! :omfg: When any eikaiwa, which operate under the "It's our way or the highway" (= "do what we say or we'll fire your fat ass") school of management brings an olive branch to the table you know they are truly desperate. Now if there could just be concrete employment/pay/work condition promises in writing in the G-spot contracts before a teacher even signs and begins their training.... :roll:
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Guy-Jean Dailleult » Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:50 pm

Just saw an ad for a couple more Gaba recruiting sessions in the next couple of weeks, one in Toronto and one in Chicago. I think these are the second and third sessions, after the Vancouver session, which the original post on this thread was referring to. Havn't come across any comments or info as to how the Vancouver session went though, or any comments about the upcoming sessions either. Anyways, it would be interesting to know how the overseas recruiting is going for Gaba, and how successful or unsuccessful it is.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by burly » Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:44 am

Guy-Jean Dailleult wrote:Just saw an ad for a couple more Gaba recruiting sessions in the next couple of weeks, one in Toronto and one in Chicago. I think these are the second and third sessions, after the Vancouver session, which the original post on this thread was referring to. Havn't come across any comments or info as to how the Vancouver session went though, or any comments about the upcoming sessions either. Anyways, it would be interesting to know how the overseas recruiting is going for Gaba, and how successful or unsuccessful it is.
Yeah, Jean the guy, it would.
Let's all watch this space, yi all.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Level3 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:19 pm

The rationalizations are kind of sad.
Yeah Gaba per lesson pay actually works out to about the same as other eikaiwa.
Yeah, the scheule is flexible, and it's just like being a pay-per-job contract worker

But people keep seeming to want to dodge the main point.
Gaba charges 8000 yen or more. They give you 1400-1500 of it, and don't even
pay train fare. If they don't have students for you, you end up with empty pockets.

If you wanna rationalize that Gaba is basically like a pay-per-job contract job, then
let us know which contract jobs of this type let the "agent" as it were, keep over 80%
of the customer's money?

Other eikaiwa might only end up paying 1500 per hour, but you get paid
even if there are no students, plus you have some illusion of job security, even if it is 1 year contracts.
The employer gets to keep a nice cut of the profits,
but takes the risk and responibility for "providing" students to the teacher.
They have motivation to get students for every teacher because they're paying you either way.

Gaba takes no such risk or responsibilty. There is no motivation for them
to get students for every teacher.
It's a brilliant scheme. No losses.
Student comes? Keep 6500 and employ a teacher.
GABA +6500yen Teahcer +1500 yen -train fare -commute time
Student doesn't come? Tell the teacher to stay home without compensation.
GABA -0yen Teacher -prime time kept open for Gaba, other opportunities lost
Teacher is not as handsome as the others? Tell the teacher to stay home without compensation.
GABA -0yen Teacher -prime time kept open for Gaba, other opportunities lost, training time vs. work time becomes unacceptably high
Teacher presents any problem at all to management, send teacher home without even train money, you
don't even have to "fire" him, per se, just say "there are no students, for you"
GABA -0yen Teacher -train fare -45minutes lost time -commute time lost - training time wasted and lost
And people keep accepting it!!!

1500 out of 8000?!?!?

Where does the 6500 go? It can't be for the space,
If I want, I can teach privates at a very nice, quiet cafe for
the price of 400 yen.
It can't be the computer, net cafes seem to make a profit
while only charging about 400 yen for an hour on a PC and they
give away free drinks.
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR CANADIANS!

Unread post by eikaiwashark » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:55 pm

novawhiz wrote: Take a look at this picture:
- were shown a physically ideal couple, the teacher male, student female
- the two are handcuffed together but if you look closely you will see the students cuffed hand is pulled in closer to her body, the teacher's cuffed hand is pulled away, outside of his control (as though she is about to lead him away)
- She (the student) is smiling ever so slightly, the instructor expressionless

This picture is one of the quintessential examples of the type of contextualized advertisements that play strongly on the emotions of the Japanese female - and it's no wonder that female Gaba students are over represented and generally younger than at other eikaiwa. as time goes on, eikaiwa teachers will be paid less and less for the quality of thier lessons (it's almost not even a factor now) and more and more for their gender, race, age, personality, etc. and NOT for any skills or experience they possess, very much like hosts or hostesses. Things get really interesting when we dissect Gaba's recruitment material (I'll save that for another time). I personally can't decide who is being led down a path of fantasy more: the students or the instructors..... it's a toss up.
Interesting. I found the Pfaff paper online and downloaded it. But I can't find this image or the analysis of the content of the image in her paper.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by strongbad » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:29 pm

eikaiwashark wrote:Interesting. I found the Pfaff paper online and downloaded it. But I can't find this image or the analysis of the content of the image in her paper.
Really? Any chance of a link?

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by unlimited lou » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:24 am

... if it's the image from the old train ad you're after, you can see it here

http://www.angelfire.com/apes2/gaba/

-and anyway it's a great site - so go take a look.

BTW - can anyone -still working at GABA- tell me if they still have that QA/DC message from head office on the intranet?

I don't know if it's still called QA/DC, but it's a kind of "column" that some stooges in the HR dept. put out, where they post a customer's complaint - and then riducule the (anonymous) instructor for not being good enough or unprofessional or whatever.

Apparently it's a kind of constructive criticism.
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by eikaiwashark » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:21 pm


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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by chimpsky » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:48 pm

eikaiwashark wrote:You mean, this work?

http://www.envplan.com/abstract.cgi?id=d418

But there's more, if you search:

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/r ... .alexandra
just wanted to thank you guys for posting some of this literature on eikaiwa... very intriguing stuff! i wonder if the style of discourse that Pfaff describes is unique to the Japanese marketing scheme? are there examples of other businesses in Japan or worldwide that use such personal marketing campaigns to compensate for a low-grade product?

the GTA site is great, it's got the satirical "onion" feel to it

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Karen Kelsky

Unread post by Belkin » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:51 pm

novawhiz wrote:Here's an interview by Karen Kelsky.
This lady looks like a total dyke http://www.ealc.uiuc.edu/ealc/people/fa ... kelsky.jpg

:puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke:

:puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke:

:puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke:

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Wage Slave » Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:22 pm

This bit caught my eye:

(My bold)

Interviewer: But then there are the women who are competing with Japanese women - like American women in Tokyo. And in some places they're losing the competition! At least, that's what I've seen in Hawai'i and in Tokyo. All the white men are going out with Japanese women.


Mitsuko: Why is that, do you think?


Interviewer: Well, that's a long story. Western men have liked Japanese women for a long time because they think they're feminine and docile ... there's that stereotype, you know. Anyway, those American women are pretty angry about the situation. I think women are angry that there are fewer people willing to go out with white women.
Good grief! No, it is because they are often more physically attractive than American women. There are a few factors here but the main reason IMO is pretty basic and it is that they have spent their childhood and adolescence eating something like a proper diet and getting something like enough exercise. As a result their BMI is in the normal range and believe it or not that is far more attractive than someone who is way high and unfit on top of that.
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Belkin » Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:49 pm

Wage Slave wrote:
Interviewer: But then there are the women who are competing with Japanese women - like American women in Tokyo. And in some places they're losing the competition! At least, that's what I've seen in Hawai'i and in Tokyo. All the white men are going out with Japanese women.
And, the white women are as jealous as hell about it.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Belkin » Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:51 pm

Wage Slave wrote:
Good grief! No, it is because they are often more physically attractive than American women. There are a few factors here but the main reason IMO is pretty basic and it is that they have spent their childhood and adolescence eating something like a proper diet and getting something like enough exercise. As a result their BMI is in the normal range and believe it or not that is far more attractive than someone who is way high and unfit on top of that.
EXACTLY!! Wage Slave, you hit the nail right on the head.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Wage Slave » Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:58 pm

Didn't remember the name but the photo did the trick. Her work has been on here before:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1731&hilit=lesbian
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Unread post by parallel universe » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:43 pm

Wage Slave wrote:...it is because they are often more physically attractive than American women. There are a few factors here but the main reason IMO is pretty basic and it is that they have spent their childhood and adolescence eating something like a proper diet and getting something like enough exercise. As a result their BMI is in the normal range and believe it or not that is far more attractive than someone who is way high and unfit on top of that.
I would also add that, worldwide, men like to see femininity displayed through nice, colorful and attractive skirts, dresses and sexy shoes, an 'advertising talent' which many Japanese women have perfected. On a fashion level they do stand out in a positive way that gets second glances.

I'm from America and every time I go back home I have to readjust to seeing young women traipsing around shopping malls and in restaurants in sweatpants-- fucking sweatpants!--, $3 flip-flops, t-shirts and often ratty hair. There are a lot of slob, underdressed American men, of course, but we've never been one to fuss over our appearance. :mrgreen:
Always seeking good craick.

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Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 9:27 am

Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Belkin » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:22 am

billyshears wrote:Gaba English School is off slave-hunting in the colonies this month:

Recruiting Event
Information Session
March 21st, 2008 at 1pm
Downtown Vancouver
Interviewing March 22 & 23


If you are contemplating working for this dire company, please be warned that you will get (even if you work over 200 lessons a month):

NO HOLIDAY PAY WHATSOEVER
NO PAY IF YOUR STUDENT DOESN'T SHOW
NO PAY ON YOUR DAYS OFF
NO PAY FOR DAYS SPENT TRAINING
NO TRANSPORT FEE REFUND (WHICH EVERY JAPANESE COMPANY NORMALLY PAYS)
NO SICKNESS BENEFITS
NO MEDICAL INSURANCE COVERAGE (WHICH IS DEMANDED BY JAPANESE LAW)
1,400 YEN PER LESSON, FOR WHICH STUDENTS PAY OVER 7,000 YEN (GIVING GABA A CLEAR PROFIT OF OVER 3,500 YEN)
A 10% INCOME TAX DEDUCTION (EVEN THOUGH THE ACTUAL TAX RATE IS LOWER)
A CHANCE TO PAY YOUR OWN CITY TAXES
NO VISA SPONSORSHIP (HENCE THE NEED FOR WORKING HOLIDAY DRONES)
NO RENT OR ACCOMMODATION ALLOWANCE

Make no mistake, this is one of the worst kinds of companies that have helped to create the "working poor" class here. Should you decide to work for Gaba, you will be no better than a scab, helping to worsen the already declining standards of employment for foreign language teachers in Japan.
This company was started by a Japanese guy who has a small penis. He has a Freudian hatred of foreigners because he sees them as a grim reminder of his own inadequacies. Therfore, he is going to take revenge on them by enslaving them through capitalism, and legal loopholes.

This will continue until he gets his karma back, in a big way, like Saruhashi did, and like Interac will.

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