11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

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wilde_oscar
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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by wilde_oscar » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:22 am

Junken Master wrote:One thing I did mention was that its much better to not work directly for a Japanese boss. Well not in my experience anyway - you need to have some kind of western intemediary.
Even have to be careful with this - weren't there plenty of gaijin 'quislings' in what passed for middle management who'd backstab their fellow foreigners to get ahead and look good to senior management?
Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:43 pm

Did ECC make you get involved in sales though? At GEOS that was far and away the worst part of the job. Not only were you expected to act as a salesman for every product and lesson they made, but they kept active track of your sales record and it was basically the only thing they measured your performance by. If you failed to meet your weekly sales target you would be hounded with phone calls and faxes from head office, demanding that you submit detailed reports explaining why you had failed to sell enough. Once I remember at an area meeting in Osaka being berated in front of about 50 other employees by the head of hte Osaka head office because my branch hadn`t made its monthly sales targets. It was just a thoroughly miserable and degrading company to work for.

AEON wasn`t as bad, but we also had to be involved in the sales process there too and I hated every second of it.
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:50 am

Aside from teaching occasional demo lessons, we did not have to be involved in sales. So I suppose that's something.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:25 am

Tall Tall Tree wrote:Aside from teaching occasional demo lessons, we did not have to be involved in sales. So I suppose that's something.
Yeah,thats probably explains why everyone else thinks ECC is a worker`s paradise for Eikaiwa teachers. The sales work (and the pressure that goes with it) was by far the worst part of working at GEOS (a place that even without that had a lot of other bad things going for it too - 11 hour days, massive amounts of paperwork, anal retentive nit-picking, etc etc).

Actually, to contradict myself, I guess NOVA teachers didn`t have to sell stuff either yet people complained a ton about working there......
祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響あり。娑羅雙樹の花の色、盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。おごれる人も久しからず、唯春の夜の夢のごとし。たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Japandy » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:45 pm

No post for 2 months! Is Eikaiwa dead or just the forum?

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Junken Master » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:53 pm

The forum and Eikaiwa are both fucked!

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:52 pm

I wonder how bad it actually is out there these days. Surely somebody out there reading this forum still works in Eikaiwa?

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by RalphWiggum » Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:46 am

senseiman wrote:I wonder how bad it actually is out there these days. Surely somebody out there reading this forum still works in Eikaiwa?
You'd think so, wouldn't you? There must be some eikaiwa folks left, and there doesn't seem to be any kind of sizeable Facebook group for them. Maybe they just can't stand talking about it in their free time any more!

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Japandy » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:08 am

RalphWiggum wrote:
senseiman wrote:I wonder how bad it actually is out there these days. Surely somebody out there reading this forum still works in Eikaiwa?
You'd think so, wouldn't you? There must be some eikaiwa folks left, and there doesn't seem to be any kind of sizeable Facebook group for them. Maybe they just can't stand talking about it in their free time any more!
A mate who used to work with me at Nova stayed with me last week. He has to work every day to supplement his Nova salary with private students and has resorted to growing his own vegetables to save money. Sounds like tough times.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by scanman » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:53 am

Yes, Eikaiwa is no longer what it used to be. People used to moan and groan a lot, but seemed to get by financially and managed to have a bit of fun. Now it seems that there has been a downturn in conditions and salaries which has acted like a an anesthetic, numbing the senses, including the critical, opinionated senses.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:48 pm

Yeah, I kind of wonder how bad it is. My salary ranged from 250,000 to 285,000 a month when I was working in Eikaiwa, with about 40,000 a month taken out for rent and maybe 20,000 or so for taxes and other deductions. That left quite a bit in my pocket and, even when I was going out 3-4 times a week and pissing money away on expensive beer I could still save quite a bit.

In retrospect it was pretty good. Though I remember then the long termers talking about how much better it had been in the bubble economy years.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Japandy » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:23 pm

I got 275,000 yen for my first Nova paycheck in 1999. He has worked there for 22 years (tragically) and takes home less than that. I didn't want to pry but it sounds like it is under 250,000. Staggering really.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by RalphWiggum » Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:02 am

Japandy wrote:I got 275,000 yen for my first Nova paycheck in 1999. He has worked there for 22 years (tragically) and takes home less than that. I didn't want to pry but it sounds like it is under 250,000. Staggering really.
Sadly that's probably a more appropriate figure for the kind of work you do at Nova. I was taking home a good bit over 300k by the time I jacked it in (Tokyo weighting, Master's degree bonus, AT bonus and three years of decent pay rises got it to that amount) and aside from the hassle of "managing" the other instructors it was the easiest job I've ever done or will ever do. The expectations of you were so, so low - there were a few people at my branch who were worth their money but not many.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by JD9 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:58 am

I'm still in the game but like most people I know I run my own thing. The hours are fantastic and the money is great, but even still I'm over it and can't wait to move back home next year. Of course back home the hours will be terrible and the money will be shit and I'll miss Japan every single day...

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by inflames » Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:20 pm

One of my mates is at Nova still; apparently the rate for people is 1025 yen per lesson, plus some allowances.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by scanman » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:06 pm

inflames wrote:One of my mates is at Nova still; apparently the rate for people is 1025 yen per lesson, plus some allowances.
So, at eight lessons a day, perhaps, that would be 10,000 yen a day.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by RalphWiggum » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:20 pm

scanman wrote:
inflames wrote:One of my mates is at Nova still; apparently the rate for people is 1025 yen per lesson, plus some allowances.
So, at eight lessons a day, perhaps, that would be 10,000 yen a day.
That's barely more than convenience store staff wages...

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Japandy » Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:31 am

Not sure how they can survive on 10,000 yen a day. Absolutely disgraceful money considering what the students pay.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:42 am

Man, 1025 yen per lesson is pretty dismal. It would have been unheard of about 10 years ago, even double that would have been pretty stingy. I spent a couple of years between 2003 and 2005 teaching lessons out of my own apartment and supplementing my income by part timing at other schools. I wouldn`t take anything less than 3,000 per lesson back then (at least for other schools) and didn`t have trouble finding stuff.

I really feel bad for that guy who has been working there for 22 years and now makes less than when he started, that just sucks.

I could kind of see this coming back in 2005 when I decided to leave Japan the first time and go back to school, which is why I made that decision. Of course that was before the NOVA and GEOS bankruptcies and I had no idea things would get this bad this fast.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:36 pm

Japandy wrote:I got 275,000 yen for my first Nova paycheck in 1999. He has worked there for 22 years (tragically) and takes home less than that. I didn't want to pry but it sounds like it is under 250,000. Staggering really.
I'm sorry, but it sounds like he's lacking… ambition, or something. Eikaiwa droning is not a career, any more than cashiering at a conbini or the stereotypical flipping burgers. Why did he stick with it for so long once it became clear there wouldn't be any advancement? I'm guessing he's somewhere around 45 now and probably has no other marketable skills he can exploit to find something better… it sounds like he really painted himself in a corner career-wise. Poor guy.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by RalphWiggum » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:38 pm

Tall Tall Tree wrote:
Japandy wrote:I got 275,000 yen for my first Nova paycheck in 1999. He has worked there for 22 years (tragically) and takes home less than that. I didn't want to pry but it sounds like it is under 250,000. Staggering really.
I'm sorry, but it sounds like he's lacking… ambition, or something. Eikaiwa droning is not a career, any more than cashiering at a conbini or the stereotypical flipping burgers. Why did he stick with it for so long once it became clear there wouldn't be any advancement? I'm guessing he's somewhere around 45 now and probably has no other marketable skills he can exploit to find something better… it sounds like he really painted himself in a corner career-wise. Poor guy.
You say that, but at the time I left Japan in terms of money it COULD be a career. I knew a couple of blokes who'd been with Nova since the early 1990s who were taking home over 400,000 yen a month (after tax and insurance), and with a couple of lucrative private classes a week bringing in another 70-80,000 per month under the table they were making the equivalent of £40-50k. Not everyone wants to be a manager or has the ambition to move up through the ranks - lots of people are quite content to chug along as long as the pay packet comes in at the end of the month.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Japandy » Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:45 am

He is obviously unhappy but at 52 not much choice for him. Cobbles together a decent wage with all the private students but rarely gets a day off.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by inflames » Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:26 pm

If the dude got a distance master's degree he could be 54 and working at a university (almost certainly part-time). Might have other obligations that prevent him from that, but it's more than possible.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:55 am

University is probably a bit better than Eikaiwa, but I don`t know if I would recommend getting a Masters for that (at least not for someone over 50). For hijokin (part time) you can get 20,000-25,000 a month per class, which is probably better than doing privates, but not much so. It is about as insecure as Eikaiwa and, for those teaching English, you pretty much have to cobble together as many classes at as many universities, colleges and Eikaiwa schools as you can to make ends meet.

It is good to have since it does open up extra part-time employment opportunities for you, but unless you are young and can ammortize the cost of the degree (and taking a couple years away from work) over a long term, it might not be worth it. Seems some people on here have done pretty well just by setting up their own schools, which I would think is a better way to make a decent living in English teaching.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by inflames » Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:28 am

It can be done part-time over 2 years, and classes should start at 25,000 (22k is the lowest I've heard; 25k seems to be the minimum). It's not overly difficult to get 3 classes a day - that's 75k a month for the year right there (and you're only working 30 weeks). If someone can get 10 or 12 koma (even at 25k), that's still 250 or 300k a month for only 30 weeks of work, with nights and weekends off. Unis pay for the entire year (except for national ones and some crappy private ones), and having the national one on your resume helps you get into private ones.

Setting up the school is a possibility but it involves a lot of work - you constantly have to go out and find new students.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by Japandy » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:21 am

I am now a university lecturer in the UK in a field unrelated to Eikaiwa. I have only been doing this for a year and a half (love it!) and before that was working at a UK language school. There I started a long-distance Masters in TESOL. Now have the final year to do but not sure it is worth it unless I have to go back to Japan (have a Japanese wife). However, this is unlikely as I bought a new house 6 months ago. Might just stick with the PG diploma and put the final year fees towards getting a new car!

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:35 am

Yeah, I guess it is a step up from Eikaiwa. I am lucky enough to have a full time position but I taught a course as hijokin at a private university last term on the side for the first time and met a lot of people who string hijokin positions together to make ends meet. One had just been told that all her classes, which made up about half her income, were going to be taken away the following term, while all the others were anxiously awaiting their own fates. It seemed they were all living pretty precariously and had about as much security as an eikaiwa drone.

Part of the problem is that if you have a Masters but no Phd you really can`t advance beyond that precarious stage. While it is better than Eikaiwa I am not sure I would recommend it. The pay can be marginally better, but the lack of job security is something you will be stuck with.

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by JD9 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:29 am

inflames wrote:Setting up the school is a possibility but it involves a lot of work - you constantly have to go out and find new students.
For adult classes that might be true, but not for kids in my experience. We're in our 4th year with our school and only advertised twice in the first few months. I think we peaked at 85 students but I got sick of working so much and we cut that down gradually to about 60. We've been winding the school down even more bit by bit this year as we'll be closing and moving back to Aus in April next year. We live (and our school is located) in a small city outside of Nagoya that has a lot of other English schools, but the key to our ongoing success has been very competitive pricing, a comprehensive website and offering 'family lessons' for mixed aged kids. I think I'm down to 15hrs teaching a week at the moment and still making over 300k/month.

Any drones with spouse visas or residency that are slaving away full time for peanuts, are deadbeat fucking idiots IMO. :bye:

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:31 pm

JD9 wrote:

Any drones with spouse visas or residency that are slaving away full time for peanuts, are deadbeat fucking idiots IMO. :bye:

:clap:

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Re: 11 Years Since I left Eikaiwa - Holy Shit

Unread post by senseiman » Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:05 pm

Langslave wrote: People can malign "eikaiwa drones" all they like, but to me that's just snobbery, you do what you have to to keep a roof over your head.
Apologies, I didn`t mean any offence in using the term Eikaiwa drone, its just something I used to apply to myself in a self deprecating way when I worked there and the habit stuck.
JD9 wrote:
For adult classes that might be true, but not for kids in my experience. We're in our 4th year with our school and only advertised twice in the first few months. I think we peaked at 85 students but I got sick of working so much and we cut that down gradually to about 60.
That is pretty impressive. For 2 years my wife and I ran a sort of `school` out of our apartment. We just had one room done up as a class and most of our students were ones we poached from our previous employer while the others were people we got mostly through word of mouth and just charging way less than the big ones.

Its not too difficult to do - at least if you have a Japanese spouse and a bit of cash saved up to get you through the start up costs and first few months with low income - but then not many fall into that category.

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