Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

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unlimited lou
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by unlimited lou » Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:27 am

I think that guy sold the company to the current owners years ago - then went off to live like a king in Europe ...with his blonde Canadian wife...
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Wage Slave » Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:39 am

Wasn't it a management buyout/stock listing deal?
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by unlimited lou » Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:09 pm

I believe it was - which I'm sure goes some way to account for the ¥1400 per hour pay rate.

When you're charging ¥8000 to ¥10000 per lesson and only kicking back ¥1400 to the worker, it must make your soon-to-be-public company look very attractive on paper.
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by parallel universe » Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:23 pm

unlimited lou wrote:When you're charging ¥8000 to ¥10000 per lesson ...
:huh:

Do I hear 12,000 en/ lesson 13,000? As long as we are getting goofy and playing "one-upmanship", I thought I would throw those figures out too.

Depending on the package/plan that students buy, the per-lesson rate is anywhere from 5500-7000 en/lesson. That's more than enough for a 40-minute lesson, I admit. But for those intent on bashing GABA, the figures they use on this thread just keep going up : 7000 yen.... 8000... now 10,000.

For what it's worth, the minimum lesson rate for instructors is 1500. Just the facts, don't shoot the messenger.
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by unlimited lou » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:16 pm

fair enough - my info on the lesson rates is out of date.

I realize you aren't an apologist - as I recall the ¥1400 rate was per hour -happy to see that the rate has increased - it's still not enough, and sets a bad example (in my opinion) but it's a start.

is it now ¥1500 per hour?, or per 40 minute lesson?
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Big Shane » Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:23 pm

parallel universe wrote:
unlimited lou wrote:For what it's worth, the minimum lesson rate for instructors is 1500. Just the facts, don't shoot the messenger.
Thats a joke!!! I get paid 1375 an hour to work the night shift at Matsuya!!
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Wage Slave » Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:03 pm

Big Shane wrote:
parallel universe wrote:
unlimited lou wrote:For what it's worth, the minimum lesson rate for instructors is 1500. Just the facts, don't shoot the messenger.
Thats a joke!!! I get paid 1375 an hour to work the night shift at Matsuya!!
Says it all really.
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by suria » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:01 pm

Delurking because of misinformation- the current base per lesson rate at Gaba is ¥1500, for 40 minutes. Previously it was ¥1400. It never has been ¥1400 per hour, that is not correct.

I work there a few half days a month for some extra pocket money and because I don't work long hours at my main job. I went back this year after having worked at Gaba from 2002 to 2004 full time. I agree with the people who say it's good as a supplement to your main job, but I wouldn't want it to be my only source of income.

*relurks*

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Level3 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:10 am

someone above wrote: Thats a joke!!! I get paid 1375 an hour to work the night shift at Matsuya!!
yeah, but the winner is the guy who works for a wage almost equal to Gaba at midnight dishing out donburi,
BUT leaves himself free to teach privates during the prime time around 5-9PM weekdays or any time on weekends
even at a mere 3000 per hour plus coffee AND doesn't even have to bother wearing a suit
or paying dry cleaning bills.

That's (one of) the main insults of the Gaba wage, they pay so little AND
odds are that it is during Prime Time.

But I don't know. Do most Gaba lessons fall during the typical evening/weekend eikaiwa peak?

If you're working for Gaba from 1PM to 4PM or something, it almost makes economic sense,
if we ignore the transportation and cleaning costs, because you probably couldn't get a private student during that time.
Althoguh it seems that you still need 3 solid Gaba lessons to outweigh a single private lesson.

And while the 1500 yen per lesson figure keeps getting thrown around, is there a break between lessons?
How long is it? To be honest in accounting (not acting like Nova's scam to yield 29.9 hour workweeks]
you have to include the break time between lessons on top of the 40 minutes if you want to compare to hourly wages.
Can you actually teach 3 40-minute lessons in a row in 2 hours with no gaps? That would yield 4500 yen, or 2250/hour.
But a 5 minte break and/or filing paperwork means (the quickest mathematically convenient case is) teaching 4 45-minute lessons in a row over 3 hours for a total of 6000 yen, yielding 2000yen/hr.
What is the hourly rate, really?

And if there are any free lessons, the hourly rate plummets.
"Facts all come with points of view. Facts don't do what I want them to." - Talking Heads

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by suria » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:05 am

Okay, briefly delurking again. The half days I work are from about 10 to 2 as I teach either private students or exercise classes in the evening. The breaks are 5 minutes, and there is no admin as the student's lesson page is filled out (on a laptop) in the last couple of minutes of the lesson while giving feedback to the student.

As you say, primetime for private students is mostly evenings or weekends, so working mornings or afternoons at Gaba is ideal as long as your schedule fills up, which mine usually does, but even if it doesn't, it's just pocket money for me as I said and I'm quite happy to wander out to Starbucks or wherever. It's a different story if it's your main source of income, which is why I don't recommend it. Suburban schools like the one I work at tend to be busier during the mornings than the evenings, but that really depends on location. Schools in central Tokyo are usually the opposite.

Probably because they are paying ridiculous amounts, Gaba students are the most motivated I have ever come across (I have taught at various eikaiwas, culture centres, schools and corporate classes), so it is mostly a pleasure to teach them. (No, I'm not fooling myself that I'm a "real teacher". I'm not, and I'm fine with that! I believe I am contributing in some way though.)

I used to have a lot more private students, but I started to find teaching at cafes embarrassing, so I only have 2 now who I teach at their apartments. I also found the cafe lesson private students were very fickle in terms of cancelling, quitting, and forgetting to pay me- more hassle than they were worth. The pay is not fabulous at Gaba, but there is very little effort involved either. Back in the late 90s I worked at Nova and hated the observations, expectation to teach kids lessons, Voice and sales- none of that at all at Gaba, although you can teach kids and do sales if you want to, and will get paid more if you do.

For anyone serious about EFL or needing a stable income, don't even bother with them unless you are running out of money and need something, anything, in a hurry. For anyone who just wants to work a few hours a month here and there, doesn't really need the money and can't be bothered chasing up private students, Gaba is actually not that bad a deal. The situation there now is a far cry from back in 2002-2003 when they were under different management and did all kinds of things to screw over the teachers- this is mostly where their bad rep comes from I think. It is a totally different atmosphere there now.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Toon Army » Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:34 am

what`s the typical notice period if you were to resign at Gaba? 1 month in advance?

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by suria » Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:46 am

You just don't book any lessons for the next month, and that's all you would have to do. You submit your lesson schedule for a particular month by the tenth of the previous month. If you were planning not to teach there again, you would just not submit a schedule, and then let your contract (6 months) lapse. You would probably be asked by your manager if you intended to put a schedule in again at any time, but that's all. No actual resigning necessary, as far as I know.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by chimpsky » Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:57 am

Lamarr wrote:A friend of mine was working at Gaba recently doing early mornings, 7-10am. He said that was the prime time for the morning slots. He'd done some extra training with them and was getting, I think, 1,800 for a lesson, so if he filled up that 3 hour slot, he'd be getting 7,200 for 3 hours. Not bad for extra pocket money if you've nothing else to do.
Sorry, but the math doesn't seem right here, don't you mean 5,400 yen for 3 hours?

anyways, I do agree that if you really need some extra pocket money, teaching (w/o certs/creds.), landing a p/t ALT job can be pretty profitable especially if you're in a team-teaching situation. But it would also have to depend on the school, company, board you are working with. For example, some companies such as Interac would list p/t positions for 14,000yen but require you to stay on board for the entire day, instead of an hourly wage in which you can just pack up and leave right after your lesson is finished.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by suria » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:19 pm

Remember that a lesson is 40 minutes, so for 3 hours it's not 1800 times 3, it's 1800 times 4.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by chimpsky » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:50 pm

suria wrote:Remember that a lesson is 40 minutes, so for 3 hours it's not 1800 times 3, it's 1800 times 4.
oh right, my bad... never been great with numbers..

seems to me that quoting lessons at 40 minutes gives GABA some leverage for justifying the lower wage, i guess..

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Silmaril » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:41 pm

Toon Army wrote:what`s the typical notice period if you were to resign at Gaba? 1 month in advance?
Yes.

I guess you could just let schedule lapse, but I'm gonna be a good girl and hand in my notice, as I'm actually leaving the country, plus folks there have been nice to me and I don't want to just bugger off. I dunno though, kinda worried my last month could be a bit awkward (especially as I'll only have been there 2 months total by the time I leave!) so very tempting not to resign until my last day of actually working, if you see what I mean.

Have to wonder how it'll work with invoicing for september's work - anyone got any idea on that? because if I hand in notice, making 29th september my last day, but we don't submit invoices until into the following month . . . and it's all done online - am just a bit worried they'll close my account and then I won't get paid!

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by suria » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:47 pm

I'm sure they have something in place for that kind of situation. Probably they will either leave your account open until you have been paid or your LSM will submit it. I very much doubt they would just not pay you. Actually it seems like the invoice isn't too crucial to being paid- for some reason I couldn't submit an invoice online for the first 3 months I was back there- I still got paid.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Silmaril » Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:31 pm

Thanks - that's quite reassuring.

I'm sure they would pay me - just worried that through some muddle with paperwork it might end up late . . . I have a tight schedule for getting pay/close bank account/leave country :lol:

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by jon » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:54 am

Silmaril wrote:Thanks - that's quite reassuring.

I'm sure they would pay me - just worried that through some muddle with paperwork it might end up late . . . I have a tight schedule for getting pay/close bank account/leave country :lol:
It's a bit of a hassle, but if the worst comes tot the worst you can still get the money out and close the account from a distance after you have left the country.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by devin_james » Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:41 pm

Hi all,

Im Devin. I am in the u.s. and Gaba is recruiting me...
I have not went thru with anything yet... But I can tell you, Louisville KY US job market is not good. And I have $2500 dollars to my name. I would like to start anew...
I am interested in Gaba because I can begin work immediately. Where as other recruiting agencies want me to wait until April. I am looking to come to japan sooner than later. And, they can help me with a visa. Do you any of you know of any other schools that would help me with a work visa? And help me get there... now? Let me know what you guys/girl think if possible. All input on this matter would be greatly appreciated. If you want to email? feel free to pm me.
Thanks, Devin

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Lucio Argento » Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:22 pm

Devin, I would wait and look for something better. You can read in this thread about Gaba and make up your own mind but it seems like an extremely bad deal. You could make a living there but just barely. I would try some of the other schools like Aeon, ECC, Geos etc. They have there good and bad points but Gaba seems the worst of the bunch. There was recently a post at GP where a new recruit talked about the difficulty of making a living wage. He was leaving after one month.

You could of course come over on the working visa with Gaba and change jobs after a few months but the job market is fairly tight at the moment.

My personal opinion, give Gaba a miss ....

P.S If you decide to go with another company it will take a number of months before you arrive in Japan.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by Level3 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:51 pm

devin_james wrote:Hi all,

Im Devin. I am in the u.s. and Gaba is recruiting me...
I have not went thru with anything yet... But I can tell you, Louisville KY US job market is not good. And I have $2500 dollars to my name. I would like to start anew...
I am interested in Gaba because I can begin work immediately. Where as other recruiting agencies want me to wait until April. I am looking to come to japan sooner than later. And, they can help me with a visa. Do you any of you know of any other schools that would help me with a work visa? And help me get there... now? Let me know what you guys/girl think if possible. All input on this matter would be greatly appreciated. If you want to email? feel free to pm me.
Thanks, Devin
Getting a work visa usually takes about 3 months for Americans.
If you "can begin work immediately" and they're getting you a visa, that must mean they want you to come here and work illegally
under a tourist visa, than you have to leave the country and get your work visa at a Japanese embassy abroad, and then reenter the country
and hope there are no problems. Has Gaba explained this to you? Are they going to pay to send you to Korea and put you up in a hotel until
the visa is processed locally? Are they really going to be able to get you a visa before your 90-day tourist visa expires? Have they explained
how they will pay you? In cash? Or via the normal bank trasnfer, even though opening bank accounts in the country is becoming harder and harder
without a gaijin card, which you won't be getting until you get a visa.

Lots of people have done this, but it costs money, usually takes a day or two, but can take more, and usually there are no problems at Immigration, but there's no guarantee.

BTW, has Gaba guaranteed a monthly salary? How can you be sure you'll get enough lessons to live well?

Look before you leap, dude.
"Facts all come with points of view. Facts don't do what I want them to." - Talking Heads

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Something isn't making sense

Unread post by sex_sensei » Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:01 pm

Level3 wrote:...Are they really going to be able to get you a visa before your 90-day tourist visa expires? Have they explained how they will pay you? In cash? Or via the normal bank trasnfer, even though opening bank accounts in the country is becoming harder and harder
without a gaijin card, which you won't be getting until you get a visa.... BTW, has Gaba guaranteed a monthly salary? How can you be sure you'll get enough lessons to live well?
I'm a GABAite and it's been their longstanding policy not to sponsor visas until AFTER you have been with them for a while and you're up for work visa renewal. They want a chance to evaluate you, see if you'll stick around, are popular with students, etc. I don't fault them for that. There are, however, a lot of Canadians and Aus/NZ teachers with GABA because of the working holiday option.

Furthermore, if you have "$2500 to your name", half of that will go toward a plane ticket and the other half will be chewed up within two weeks of arrival (place to stay, deposit, food, transportation, etc.)
GABA does not guarnatee any minimum wage in any way. You are on your own from day one and it takes a few months (minimum) to get a 'following' of students that you can count on to keep you funded. Building up a stable of reliable private students to supplement your income would also take a while and the current situation there is dire too.

Japan is no longer the easy livin' eikaiwa paradise it was 15 years ago or even one year ago. Thanks for nothing, Saruhashi.

Which reminds me, is that co*ksu*ker in prison, out on bail, exempt from criminal charges? He's off the radar these days.
Nobody gets out alive-- Jim Morrison

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slowed-down pay increases?

Unread post by parallel universe » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:06 pm

I've heard from a couple people that the rate of 'Belting Up' has slowed considerably in the past few months. Belting Up is GABA's way of giving lesson rate increases to the instructors, after you take the unpaid training and take a test. Anyone else heard of being being denied or held back from ascending through the ranks from Belt A (lowest; trainee) up through B1, B2, C1, C2, D1, D2 (the peak)?

Maybe with more teachers fighting for a finite numbers of jobs, they've found they don't need to offer much incentive.
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by suria » Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:00 am

Although I defended Gaba above as a decent part time job, with the changed economic situation I would give different advice now. Anyone thinking of working for Gaba, make sure you really don't need that money.

In another thread a couple of Gaba teachers mentioned that days where they used to have a full schedule are now half empty- that sounds bad to me. The very few lesson I put in for this month haven't really filled at all, which is unusual for me. It could partly be because of the typical end-of-year slowdown, but it is likely to be at least in part due to the recession, and I would expect new student sign-ups in the new year to be pretty low. That remains to be seen of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the smaller branches quietly closed some time next year, particularly given the contents of the message that was sent out to all instructors recently.

I wonder how the 300+ lessons a month guys are doing? :eyes: If their numbers have dropped significantly, look at that as a definite warning sign.

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:02 pm

suria wrote:That remains to be seen of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the smaller branches quietly closed some time next year, particularly given the contents of the message that was sent out to all instructors recently.
Don't be shy :?:
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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by suria » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:18 pm

It was posted in the "has the recession affected your school?" thread several days ago so I didn't bother repeating it here...

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:41 pm

My bad :oops:

:cheers:
"Do you know how a falcon is trained, my dear? Her eyes are sewn shut. Blinded temporarily, she suffers the whims of her God patiently, until her will is submerged and she learns to serve - as your God taught and blinded you with crosses."

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Re: Gaba English Schools: WARNING FOR ALL!

Unread post by suria » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:34 pm

No worries, I'm just lazy about copying, pasting and linking- I have to do too much of it at work :)

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Re: Something isn't making sense

Unread post by unlimited lou » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:57 am

sex_sensei wrote:
Are you sure about that? I know Gaba used to sponsor work visas several years ago but then stopped doing it. I've heard and read accounts that it was because they were found to have forged a degree certificate for someone they were sponsoring.

Of course, it could be one of those urban myths, but why else would they decide to stop sponsoring visas? I doubt they suddenly decided that they wanted a chance to "evaluate" you etc. before they sponsored you.
this could also be an urban myth but I had heard that 4 or 5 years ago they were suspended from sponsoring visas for a set period because they were using dependent visa holders and letting them work as much as they wanted (which, of course meant the instructors were working well over the limit that the MOJ sets for dependent visa holders)

The way I heard it was a pissed off instructor at -I think it was- Ikebukuro school made a call to immigration, GABA had a surprise inspection and fired all of the dependent visa holders over the course of an afternoon.

I have also read the fake degree story on various message boards, but was actually told about the immigration raid from a Gaba area Manager - naturally that doesn't mean that it actually happened, and I do know a few guys (very few) who were being sponsored by GABA as far back as 3 years ago - so who knows what -if anything- actually happened?
"Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?"

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