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Question Cutting contract: Altia

ADarnYankee

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I'm currently working for Altia Central. However, I want to move to Osaka by first or second week or May. I've a friend there who can help make life easier than where I am now. He's also letting me work at his bar part time.

Problem is, the bar would not provide enough, so I'm looking for main work, too.

However, in case I find nothing, I have a plan B: just stay here. I've told Altia I'm recontracting. What I haven't told them is that as soon as I get hired, I'm cutting contract. Altia has provided me housing, which I'll certainly lose once they know I'm out. I have heard back from one company, which wants to contact Altia. But if Altia catches wind of my 'treachery' I fear there will be consequences.

Has anyone ever cut contract with Altia? How did they respond? I'm guessing they wouldn't do a nice job reference for an employing who cut and run...right?
 

Glenski

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Let me guess. You need the contract with Altia only so you can renew your work visa, right?
Please don't make the rest of foreigners in Japan or people from your home country look so unethical.
 

ADarnYankee

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Let me guess. You need the contract with Altia only so you can renew your work visa, right?
Please don't make the rest of foreigners in Japan or people from your home country look so unethical.
Assumptions are allowed, wrong as they may be. Constructive answers are more helpful ;)

My work visa is fine. What isn't is that I struggle to pay bills in Japan and back home. When you're willing to step off your high horse and pay me money so I can livw decently, bring up this 'ethics' conversation again. Guilt doesn't work on me when faced with survival.
 

Glenski

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What I haven't told them is that as soon as I get hired, I'm cutting contract.
I object to this unethical behavior. Can't get more constructive than that with such a post. I'm not trying to make you feel guilty.

Living decently needs some description. I know a guy who said he can't live without a case of imported wine per month. Yeah, yeah, I know wages have been falling over the past few years, and I feel for people in that situation because I've been there, done that. But when you openly lie to an employer like you describe, you hurt the rest of us, hurt the company, hurt the students. We have no idea what you have been doing to try making ends meet, either, what your qualifications are, what exactly you're looking for, how long you've been here, etc. So, the best I could really honestly offer as advice is to hustle and look for work, but that's so general that I didn't want to post it earlier.

Help us to help you.
 

ADarnYankee

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I object to this unethical behavior. Can't get more constructive than that with such a post. I'm not trying to make you feel guilty.

Living decently needs some description. I know a guy who said he can't live without a case of imported wine per month. Yeah, yeah, I know wages have been falling over the past few years, and I feel for people in that situation because I've been there, done that. But when you openly lie to an employer like you describe, you hurt the rest of us, hurt the company, hurt the students. We have no idea what you have been doing to try making ends meet, either, what your qualifications are, what exactly you're looking for, how long you've been here, etc. So, the best I could really honestly offer as advice is to hustle and look for work, but that's so general that I didn't want to post it earlier.

Help us to help you.
That is fair. I definitely don't need a caae of wine, heh. To be honest, I'd rather avoid doing this as well. In most cases, I would. But the chance I have in Osaka for an easier life is a limited time offer. I have until May. I wish I could wait later. My friend is moving to Korea and instead of just letting go of his place, he is letting me rent it for 15,000 a month. I'll also be able to work part time at a bar he owns (managed by someone else) and make extra on the side.

My rent now is 54,000 a month. Partly through follies of my youth, I sadly have a lot of debt back in the US. But I gotta pay it regardless. I do private eikaiwa lessons when I can and also some translation work - both recent endeavors. For me, a decent life is being able to enjoy a nice round of karaoke sometimes, be able to eat out maybe once a month - no five star dining - just usual stuff anyone would do. I don't spend money on loads of alcohol, I don't go to clubs or bar hopping, I haven't even travelled outside my local area since last August. Yet I end up not having enough to pay bills, or end up asking for money and getting indebted to people. I have a very tight budget, and what's leftover if I manage to pay my bills successfully ends up mostly going to gas (I have a company car, but I use it personally for the convenience it affords, thus I bear the onus of gas even to work...which is fair) and groceries (I don't buy a lot of food: basic cheap stuff like yakisoba, though I would like to start cooking nice things like I used to).

Anyway, life is not impossible, but if I have to live like this, I'd rather suffer in my own country, where at least family can help. My extra work will, in theory, become an aid for me, and I am working my *** off. Like I said, I don't wanna cut contract; I feel like an ***, but the only person who can help me in the end is me.
 

Glenski

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Thanks for that reply. 54,000 is pretty cheap rent, so with the lifestyle you described, I have to wonder just how little your employer is currently paying you that doesn't afford you enough to live on. I would also be concerned about the work visa not being the proper one to allow bar work.
 

ADarnYankee

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Did you look into personal bankruptcy? That seems to be the American way these days.
I haven't, no. I'd rather avoid such a route, but if there is nothing else, I'll at least look into it.
 

ADarnYankee

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Thanks for that reply. 54,000 is pretty cheap rent, so with the lifestyle you described, I have to wonder just how little your employer is currently paying you that doesn't afford you enough to live on. I would also be concerned about the work visa not being the proper one to allow bar work.
They gave me a Leopalace. I used to work with JET and had a bigger place and a much bigger paycheck. I've been taking paycuts ever since I left the States.

I have wondered about the Visa, too. But I know people who have worked part time other places on a different Visa. Perhaps they were keeping it mum. I'll look into it.
 

Glenski

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I would be surprised if people didn't keep it quiet about working in places where their visa didn't apply. All it takes is one random bar check by the police, and you're busted...literally. The penalty can be mild or severe.

How much does Altia pay you? I realize that salaries have gone down in the last few years. I've heard really sad cases where the salary that used to be typical for eikaiwas (250,000/month) was slashed to 180,000 or even less, and that some places were claiming teachers were part-timers just so the company could avoid making insurance co-payments. Just wondering what your situation is, because long ago I calculated that people with the 250K salary would still take home 30-50K without having to live on bread and water. Also, are you fixed on living in a downtown area? That would automatically mean higher rent in most cases, but a moderate commute from outside would reduce that cost.

Most people nowadays seem to have multiple jobs to make up for the disparity in today's wages. Networking helps, obviously. Rather than consider bankruptcy, how strongly have you considered this practical alternative which most people do? Working in the bigger cities may have more competition than smaller cities, but the number of job opportunities should still offset that to some degree.
 

marley'sghost

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You only need to give 2 weeks notice to terminate a contract. To the best of my knowledge. I'm just a random guy on the internet.
I respect Glenski's opinion. But on the other hand Altia, Interac, etc. are nothing more than temp agencies all said and done. Turnover in this racket is high. Now if you pull a runner and just disappear, that's unethical. If you really want to go ahead and do this, give your 2 weeks and let them cry.
I assume Altia holds onto a month's pay, The old, "Salary will be paid at the end of the following month" clause, right? If they do decide to get pissy, they could make it difficult if you are counting on that April salary. in May.
That being said, check your visa. I am pretty sure "working part-time in my buddies bar" is not included on an instructor visa. Tread with care.
 

Glenski

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You only need to give 2 weeks notice to terminate a contract.
Legally, that applies only if you've been with a company a year previously. It also seems to apply in this case, but I still say telling an employer you will renew a contract and then immediately reneging on it is unethical, if not in poor taste. They will have set a schedule, and perhaps some students will be expecting you personally. I already mentioned how this reflects badly on other foreign teachers.
 

marley'sghost

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I think I would replace "unethical" with "bad timing". And "poor taste" with ......"mercenary", maybe? I know honesty is the best policy, but total and complete honesty is a recipe for disaster. . I don' t think that merely failing to inform a potential employer that you are exploring other options and that they are your "Plan B", is unethical. It's one of those little white lies we tell to get through the day.

Sure the school and company will be inconvenienced. But again, if the school was that interested in stability, they would not have hired a temp, As for Altia, it is just a middle man. Supplying staff is their one and only job. And yeah, if he's any good, the kids will be disappointed, but teachers come and go every year. Life goes on.

And as for "making us all look bad", depends on it's handled. "Mr. D. Yankee had to go home for family reasons. Here is a shiny new replacement. We are so sorry for the inconvenience." Done?
 

mikomimi89

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You might want to check the type of work your visa allows and look at American laws too. I heard awhile ago (maybe 5 years ago?) that Americans were not allowed to/discouraged from working at establishments that sold alcohol.
 

ADarnYankee

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Apologies for the late replies, everyone. I do plan on giving as much notice to Altia as possible - should I decide to go ahead with the plan. And I did check with immigration. Turns out working at the bar is a no no. Glad I asked. Thanks for all the replies.
 

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