Monday, January 30, 2012

The High End of Low In Tokyo

Howdy Yall! To be honest, I have been thinking for a while as to how exactly to write this post. I really do not want to be misunderstood. It is not easy to write about living wages because I am aware that there are many reasons which could be given to refuse to provide a living wage for workers. Yet, I think it is time for me to write about this.
  Ya know, it is no secret that being a foreign English teacher in Japan means dealing with being kicked around and exploited. You really have to develop a certain love for teaching English in order to hang in there. It is very hard to get a job teaching English which provides a living wage. For some reason a lot of companies feel that teachers do not deserve to have a living wage. I do not understand this kind of thinking but it is the sad truth. It seems only logical to me that when workers are given a living wage they should be more motivated to try their best. It also seems natural to me that giving workers a living wage cuts down on problems from within any given company. I assume that such logic would be the natural thinking of most people; but as we all know this is not true. Yet, we must still deal with this situation and attempt to make the best if it.

Working out a deal to get something close to a living wage or at least a situation which is somewhat stable is the key. Of course, most of us care deeply about our jobs. To say that we don't is nothing more than an attempt to kick us around a bit. Yet, it is important to come to an understanding which works for both sides(the teacher and the company). The way to go about this depends on the nature of the company you are working for. If you work for a company which is a bit open then a friendly chat about a few issues should produce some results. Although, if you work for a more closed company with clandestine inner workings, it will take some more hard bargaining to reach some kind of understanding.

Let's assume we are dealing with a more clandestine situation. You should expect that there will be a few reasons for knocking you down or not giving you some of the things you want. Some of those reason will be valid and you will have to explain those things. Yet, most of the reasons will be trumped up charges; which you will also have to explain why those reasons, with respect of course, are not serious reasons to kick you down. The most important thing is to remember that you want to work for said company. What you want is to simply get a decent deal and not be fucked over.

Depending on the kind of personalities you are dealing with, you may have to be a bit stern. You got to be careful about being stern because ego and pride is an easy thing to offend. I know no one wants to feed someone's ego so it is best to simply speak very honest and on a human level. It takes a real fucker to not understand you if you are being honest and very human.

As for me, my goal is always the same. I just want to have something of a living wage in order to provide food on the table for my wife. It would be nice to be able to come to work everyday with the understanding that I am in fact trying hard and can be spared all the useless politics that ruin the teaching experience. I really have fallen in love with teaching English in Japan. My passion for teaching should never have to come into question. I find it sad that politics seems to get in the way of what is important; teach English and make a decent living at the same time.

The high end of low is a hard thing to face when you have such simple goals in mind.