I started working at Transworld 3 years ago. That first year, I had the opportunity to go home and go to a conference. Now, mind you, I flew home and was able to see my family for 2 days before I had to fly to Chicago and attend a large, international conference. At that time, it was TIT policy to 1) refund a portion of the foreign teachers’ pay for plane tickets, once a year, to fly home to see their families; and 2) pay back a portion of any teachers’ plane tickets to fly to an international conference. So, theoretically, Jane and I should have gotten some money from that. But…. we didn’t.
Why, you may ask?
Because we turned in the paperwork a few weeks late. Now, mind you… Transworld
had 3 foreign teachers (Now two). THREE. You wouldn’t think giving us a small amount of our plane tickets back would be so hard. Also, not a lot of teachers fly to international conferences. They really don’t. Most of them are content to stick to conferences here in Taiwan. It’s also not uncommon for paperwork at TIT to be backdated. I personally have signed several sheets that were backdated more than 6 months – and that was in preparation for an MOE inspection.
So Transworld really screwed us over there. No money… on a small technicality.
Well, Jane and I decided to fly home again this Spring Break and get married. This was the first time I would see my family in 2 years and I would have about 5 days to soak it up. All went well and, I understood, TIT would pay us back. In fact, as soon as we got back, I told Jane to do the paperwork so that it gets in on time and they will give us back a small amount.
But they’ve gone and screwed me again. This time, their excuse is that they have no money. Really? You can’t spare NT$60,000 to pay me back a portion of my plane ticket (Jane isn’t a foreign teacher, hence her ticket shouldn’t be paid back). NT$40,000? The plane ticket cost NT$63,000.
TIT still only has 3 foreign teachers. Ben hasn’t gone home in a long time. Muto Sensei went home last year (Did she get refunded, I wonder? Did she do the paperwork?) and I went home this Spring break for the first time in 2 years, and again I was denied even a semblance of a refund. To my knowledge, the policy is still in effect. I have received no notice otherwise. Indeed, the refund was denied on the basis of the school not having the money, not on the basis of the policy not being effective.
This year has not been a good year at TIT, and I have absolutely nothing positive to say about them right now. I think there are several good teachers in the DAFL, and I even think our Chair is a good administrator, but I have nothing positive to say about the school administration or budgeting.
Henceforth, even though I shall continue my employment at TIT, I will no longer associate myself with them in any way.
No more business cards with TIT information on them.
No more journal papers with TIT as my school.
No more recruiting.
No more pictures for the department to exploit my whiteness and get more students.
When my school starts supporting me, I will begin supporting my school again. Until then, I’m here for my students (who are awesome!), a few friendly teachers, and no one else.