Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I'm a little distressed today.
Recently, the Nagano Foreign Language Center merged with the Excellent English School which was located just down the street. No biggie, the Excellent crew just moved a couple of blocks down and pretty much just put their classes in our building and brought their 2 teachers, one of whom is a New Yorker by the name of Gaury. She's married to a japanese chap and therefore has some pretty wicked Japanese skills. I'm not sure that i like her, mostly that she's fine but we probably won't ever be buddies or anything. No problem there, but what really troubled me today was our conversation.

Gaury: So, what do you think of the people here?

Me: Well, i think that they're fine, but i don't understand much japanese so i'm not sure.

Gaury: Well i don't like the people at all! I think that they're reall assholes, particularly Bucho-san. They're just so rude to Kimiko (former owner of Excellent). I mean, she's really cool and they just treat her like crap!

Me: Well like i said, i don't know enough japanese to tell, they seem nice enough in English. I like Mr. Adachi (Tomo) a lot, i think he's a great guy.

Gaury: Really?!? Whoa, i don't know, this place feels like an english factory, like they don't care about the students. I heard from Kimiko that they lose like 30 students a month because people don't like it here. I mean all of my students hate it, some of them are probably going to quit because they don't like the environment.

Me: Hmm, i don't know, i hadn't heard that.

Gaury: Yeah, this place feels like a NOVA (the 800lb Gorilla of the industry). It feels like nobody wants to be here. I mean, even at AEON (another biggie) they have a better environment.

Me: Really. Well, that's interesting

This was kind of a shocker because i really think of my employers as assholes or anything before. I mean, Bucho-san probably does suck, i can tell that the guy is pretty much a cheauvanist crappy japanese business man, but really, i just don't know enough japanese to tell if anyone else is a jerk. For the most part they all seem happy and i haven't heard anything from my students, though maybe none of them would tell me if they didn't like me.
Realistically, i can see problems with how things are done and that maybe it's not as good as it could be, but i don't know about the claim that we loose 30 students a month, i think i would notice that.

Anyway, i'll chat with my English compatriot Paul about it sometime when there are no other english speakers around. My general impression is that my school isn't as bad as all that and that Gaury doesn't know the whole deal, though i can't really second guess her because i don't know any japanese.
We'll just see

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