Nothing to do with us

But we’re not going to tell you.

This afternoon I learnt, although hadn’t been previously informed, that we’re basically on our own when it comes to getting the medical done. The most that the school will do for us is give us the address. When we get to the medical centre, the helpful <span class = “sarcasm”>English-speak­ing</span> staff will no doubt tell us where we need to go and what we need to do. Past experience tells me that we’re going to need someone who can speak Chinese for those awkward little moments where otherwise con­fusion would ensue.

That was one thing. The other is my departure on Friday. I’ve come to expect schools to collect me from the airport when I arrive and take me back when I depart. Perhaps there’s no duty in this instance, but I’ve always believed that there was. I happened to mention the revised departure time, to which the response was an enquiry whether I’d be making my own way there. I think that’s what might end up happening. It would be such a fitting end to my time here and the perfect summation of this place.

If you could see me now, you’d see I’m making my I’m-not-impressed face.

1. The medical check has now rejoined reality. The contract still goes to Saturday, but contracts here are merely loo paper waiting to happen.
2. [27.06.07] Just before we got taken to do the medical check (¥410, please), I asked about being taken to the airport on Friday. No, was the answer. Why? Because it’s early in the morning (no different from usual, actually) and because the other (foreign) teachers would expect the same assistance. I’m pretty certain that the school is meant to deliver us to the airport at the end of the contract. I’m making my not-impressed face again.

Employment contracts
As far as I can tell, employment contracts are, in one respect, just like every other con­tract in China, with the terms being suggestions that are never that rigorously enforced.

In other respects, because of the power differential between the employee and the em­ployer, employers do appear to see contracts as sticks with which to beat employees when it suits them to do so, but not because they value the contract.

In contrast, employers probably don’t think they’re bound by the contract because (here comes the hypothesis) they regard it as a set of instructions binding the employee, and not instructions which bind them.


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