As you guys have probably noticed, part one was a little long and emotional.
Since I arrived back in the UK on April 6th everything has been a complete roller-coaster.
I arrived late on Friday night, Tuesday was payday and I knew there would be a problem. Of course there was a problem. Despite being told that they would stick to the contract 100% in every matter, they 100% did, and have, not.
I’m going to keep this short and simple, so people can see why I left China as quickly as I did, and why I haven’t gone back.
My exboss asked me to take a week to think about whether or not I wanted to come back to China. On Tuesday when I asked him why I hadn’t been paid his response was ‘we haven’t been able to re-rent out your flat’. Now, as someone who hadn’t yet made their decision about going back, why was he trying to rent my flat when I’d only been gone 4 days? ALAAAAAAAAAAARM BEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLS.
In the following days, and weeks, I’ve had 3 different excuses as to why I wasn’t paid on April 10th.
I’ve had threats of being sued, taken to court, being reported to the police and foreign bureau.
I’ve had insults, nasty comments, lies and over-emotional, angry emails that were clearly written within 5 minutes of reading the email that I had sent. They were unprofessional, unkind and full of lies.
These people were making angry assumptions, putting words in my mouth and even copying their FRIENDS into these emails. People I didn’t know, people who didn’t even work for the company. It was ridiculous.
I had emails saying I had vandalized the apartment, broken the air conditioning on purpose, telling me I was a terrible teacher and that I should have no confidence in myself.
I had messages saying all I was after was ‘lots of money’ and free gifts.
Anyone who knows me will know I don’t do things for ‘freebies’ or ‘gifts’. I feel guilty when our canteen manager gives me a brownie for free, or if my students give me chocolate when they bring coffee to school.
In fact, people insisting I accept gifts such as coffee cups, dinners and whatever else only makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. Especially if said person is supposed to be a manager. I continuously felt as if I was being ‘bribed’ and ‘guilted’ into staying.
In China, I wasn’t actually having days off. Despite not working much at all, my phone was buzzing 24/7 and I was called into the school constantly for ‘paperwork’ or ‘meetings’ or other such things which could have been done on an actual work day.
On my sick day I was called 4 different times, despite being SICK and needing to sleep. Telling them I needed to sleep, my phone kept ringing. I ‘had to’ go to hospital. I ‘had to’ go and get my phone sorted out. I was dragged around the city for a total of 5 hours on my sick day, when I should have been resting. No chance.
I was mentally exhausted and rapidly slipping back into bad habits and it couldn’t continue.
I honestly didn’t expect things to turn out this way. I handed in a resignation letter and offered to work my 30 days notice, as any normal person should. I was denied this. The resignation was accepted and I was suspended immediately. I’m beyond shocked, but I don’t know why because you hear these exact stories coming from China all of the time.
I wanted to use my 30 days notice to figure out something different, a different city or just another option. They made it very obvious that wasn’t going to happen.
And as a person who went to China for the ‘freebies’ I have lost £4,000 in this process and still have not received my salary, actually not a single penny. Why is that? Because contracts in China are absolutely, completely, 100% WORTHLESS. There are some nasty people in the world and unfortunately it’s not always easy to figure out who they are until they screw you over.